15 Best Turkish Series on Netflix: Learn some Turkish and Culture 2023

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So you want to watch the Best Turkish series on Netflix but don’t know where to start? Let me share my favorites

Let’s be honest, not everyone has the same taste when it comes to film and TV.

One person will say that a film is the best one this year while another person thinks it was terrible.

We all have our own opinions. So I will be curious to hear what you think about these TV shows as you watch them.

I have really enjoyed watching most of these and they have been helpful for learning Turkish as I watched them over and over.

Besides enjoying these TV series, I found them so helpful for learning about the local culture.

Learning a language is hard work but it is definitely made easier when it is enjoyable!

Whether you’re wanting to learn some Turkish before you come or you’re just wanting to branch out into new international movies and shows, this is the list for you.

Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites as well as some tips to help you learn Turkish as you watch them.

I hope these will help you on your language learning journey just like they have helped me on mine!

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Best Turkish Series Netflix has to offer

Generally speaking, there are romantic comedy movies like there are in the States but not typically as a TV show.

Turks really love dramas more, as far as I can see. They love movies and TV shows that will really make you cry your eyes out.

I remember one movie I watched called “Paper Lives“. Seriously a brilliant movie. Until the end. I was devastated at how it ended.

This is how many of them go. When you learn Turkish, they use the most gut-wrenching stories and leave them with terrible cliffhangers. It’s the Turkish way.

With the development of the film industry in Turkey, you can now more and more, find something for everyone I think.

There is a lot of great local stuff out there to watch, both shows and movies.

As you start watching Turkish Netflix series, I encourage you to take note, especially if you’re planning to visit or move here. You will be enlightened!

Pro Tip: Watch on Chrome with the Language Reactor plugin to 10x your learning capacity. You will be able to see Turkish and English at the same time and save phrases that you want to learn. Super helpful tool!

Pro Tip: If you are having a hard time finding any of the shows try using a VPN. First, quit your browser, then turn on Surf Shark VPN by selecting a different country, and then log back into Netflix.

protector on Netflix with a shot of Hakan

1. The Protector – “Hakan: Muhafiz”

“The Protector” follows Hakan Demir, a modern-day Istanbul shopkeeper who discovers he’s the last in a line of ancient protectors. Armed with a mystical talisman and newfound powers, he must defend the city from supernatural threats while uncovering his family’s secrets.

This Turkish TV series on Netflix was perfect because it was mostly set in modern times. So the language was what people are currently using.

This show is also really enjoyable to watch. It has a great storyline and it remained good, in my opinion, past season 2 when many start to lose some of their luster.

There are moments of flashbacks to different eras like the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople, and even the beginning of time.

If you like magic and action with a hint of romance, this series will be perfect for you! And an extra tidbit, it is actually based on a book!

N. Ipek Gokdel’s novel “Karakalem ve Bir Delikanlinin Tuhaf Hikayesi (A Strange Story of Charcoal and a Young Man)”.

If you’re into action you will love watching Hakan battle his immortal enemy for the salvation of Istanbul.


2. The gift – “Atİye “

When an Istanbul-based artist, Atiye, discovers a mysterious symbol in her ancestral art, she embarks on a quest to unravel her family’s hidden past and the enigmatic connection she shares with an ancient archaeological site in this gripping supernatural drama.

Last year my mom came to stay with me for a month. One of our favorite things to do is watch a show in the evening together.

We picked this one that is based in Turkey and it was so fun. I loved that it was set both in Gobeklitepe and Istanbul.

What was more fun was how excited my mom got when she realized she had been somewhere in the show.

In this Turkish drama, you will look back into historical sites as well as learn a bit about culture as you watch the interpersonal exchanges.

You can also see what life in Istanbul is like as they get around the city and avoid car accidents in all the traffic on Istanbul’s streets.

You can see a look into modern Turkish families as well as go on an adventure of fantastical proportions.


3. Love me like this – “Beni Böyle Sev”

When Ayse and Omer meet it is not love at first sight, at least for one of them. As the story unfolds they decide to take on the world, or at least the tensions between their families. Will love carry them through or will it fall apart?

This is one of the best Turkish series available for learning some culture.

Because it aired on TV and not Netflix originally, it isn’t overwhelmed with the drugs, sex, and alcohol of many Netflix shows.

What it lacks there, however, it makes up in drama.

I am a “what you see is what you get” kind of person. I don’t understand the games people play most of the time. This helped me understand multiple things.

The culture in Turkey, on the whole, is a very indirect culture, especially when it comes to something that could cause dishonor to someone else.

They will ask very direct questions or tell you that you have gained weight, but they won’t correct you as that would be shameful.

So they go around an issue, hoping you will figure it out.

You will also see the tensions between the rich and the poor, the Istanbulites and those from the Black Sea Region, and those who are forward-thinking and those who aren’t.

By season 2, however, the season that never ends, I had to take a break. The drama was just too much to bear. Too much to handle.

This one is no longer available on Netflix but because it was there so long and you can still watch it online I left it on the list.


Innocent on Netflix with two men in a boat on the lake

4. Innocent – “Masum”

“Masum” (Innocent) is a suspenseful and emotionally charged Turkish drama series that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. This series revolves around Cevdet. As Cevdet strives to clear his name and rebuild his life, he becomes entangled in a web of betrayal, revenge, and long-buried family mysteries

This is the only other one on this list that I haven’t yet watched. I have read many great things about it though and look forward to watching it!

This miniseries is actually an adaptation of a theatrical play by Berkun Oya.

You will definitely be able to see the elements of the honor/shame culture as well as the ties families have in Turkey.

This story will tug on all the emotions and stir up feelings you maybe forgot were even there.

A retired Superintendent Cevdet resides with his wife Nermin and son Tarık in a calm coastal town.

But when tragedy strikes the family, Tarık’s wife, Emel, and brother, Taner, meet with a fatal accident.

The tranquil life of the town is disrupted when Yusuf, a former student of Cevdet and now a Commissioner, is dispatched by Chief Inspector Selahattin to investigate the enigmatic demise of his dear friend, Taner.

As the investigation unfolds, the hidden secrets that Cevdet and Nermin have guarded for so long are on the brink of being exposed, setting the stage for a compelling story.


5. Ethos – “Bir Başkadır”

“Bir Baskadir” delves into the complex tapestry of Turkish society through the eyes of a psychologist named Peri, who encounters a diverse range of patients. This thought-provoking series explores societal norms, identities, and the human condition.

This is one of those dramas where different people’s stories are intertwined and you understand in the end what is happening.

This show would be for a more advanced learner.

I say this because Meryem, the main character, truly has an accent and if you don’t know the language well, it will be hard to understand her.

There is also some cultural context as she lives with her brother and his family.

Tensions rise as “dirty laundry” is aired and issues are addressed in therapy.

I really enjoyed this one. So much so that I have watched it through twice. Hopefully next time I can do just Turkish sound and subtitles.


6. Fatma

“Fatma” follows the story of a cleaning lady who turns to crime after her husband goes missing. Her journey into the criminal underworld leads to unexpected consequences as she searches for answers and justice.

In this TV series, the gritty and unconventional protagonist, a cleaning lady turned vigilante, adds a unique twist to the crime drama genre.

Fatma goes looking for her husband after he is released from prison and along the way finds herself committing murder.

When her husband’s shady associates find out about it they take advantage of it, forcing her to keep killing in order to survive this new world she has found herself in.

This was another one I watched a few episodes of but never finished. It just wasn’t my kind of show.

That being said, not every show everyone will like. Give it a try. If you don’t like it, just move on.


7. Midnight at the Pera Palace – “Pera Palas’ta Gece Yarısı”

A historical drama set in the iconic Pera Palace Hotel during the early 20th century, this series weaves a captivating narrative around the hotel’s guests, including famous figures like Agatha Christie and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, against the backdrop of a changing world.

This was a really fun show. I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns.

It is actually based on a novel by Charles King but I didn’t know what when I watched the series.

The main character, Esra, is a journalist who goes to the Pera Palace in search of her next big story.

She is completely shocked and confused when she finds herself back in 1919. She is further shocked when she learns what she does in 1919 affects her current time.

She meets many famous people when she steps back in time. People like Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Agatha Christie, and more.

It was a nice break from some of the heavy drama of many typical local shows. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Another self on Netflix - three women friends who face their pasts

8. Another Self – “Zeytİn ağacı”

This show follows Ada, Sevgi and Leyla’s adventure, which start with raki and fish in Ayvalık. They make a pact to stop holding back and to start doing the things that make them come alive. It allows them to make new decisions for their own lives while reconciling them with their past.

Oh, man. I am LOVING this series. I recently started it and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite Netflix shows.

When I lived in America I started learning about the ties our emotions have to things in the physical.

I had many experiences where forgiveness or realizing I believed something terrible about myself and “cleaning” it up led to some big shifts health-wise.

This show follows three friends, one of whom has cancer.

They end up going to a spiritual healer and have some crazy encounters that lead to all three of them facing the demons from their past and moving forward.

Honestly, not all Turkish shows go so well and have this redemptive ending like they do in America. I have found that hard to watch sometimes.

I haven’t finished this series yet but I can already see the light and the redemption in the story and I am all in.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I have so far!


9. Yakamoz S-245

A gripping submarine thriller, “Yakamoz S-245” delves into the lives of the submarine crew members as they navigate the challenges of the deep sea, international tensions, and personal conflicts.

I really enjoyed this series as well. I am a huge action movie/show fan and this didn’t disappoint. It was so good that I was sad there was only one season for it.

Hopefully more will come.

Arman, a free-spirited dive instructor and marine biologist, is recruited to join a research mission aboard a submarine.

After they leave, chaos erupts when a deadly solar phenomenon threatens all life on the surface.

When the team is forced to seek refuge on a military submarine, Arman and his scientific team face a dual challenge: figuring out what is going on above and discerning the true intentions of their newfound naval companions.

Tensions run high, particularly between Arman and the stern second-in-command, Umut.

In the midst of it all, Arman not only battles for survival but also rekindles a lost love.

Through this harrowing journey, he will discover that he is in fact a hero, a leader, and a legend.


10. 50M2

This action-packed series follows a hitman named Golge, who goes into hiding and assumes a new identity when he unexpectedly inherits a small tailor shop. His quest for redemption and a fresh start leads to unexpected alliances and revelations.

50M2 was a show that I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Golge, who was a hitman in his former life, was betrayed by his boss and when he finds a vacant tailor shop, he decides to hide.

The problem is he is quickly mistaken for the former owner’s son.

When he decides to adopt this persona it impacts not only his life but the lives of others as well.

Again, this one was also a nice break from the drama and I really enjoyed the action of the show. It drew me in and I couldn’t stop watching.


11. The Club – “Kulüp”

“The Club” portrays the inner workings of an exclusive Istanbul nightclub, exploring the lives, ambitions, and complex relationships of its employees and patrons in a world of glamour and intrigue.

I really enjoyed it and look forward to watching it again!

This is another historical fiction set circa the 1950s. One of the main characters is Matilda, who happens to be an ex-convict and is working hard to be reconciled with her daughter Rasel.

Because of this woman, the environment that many found to be oppressive and hard becomes like a home for the employees.

But there are things from her past that threaten this new life she is making for herself.

There is definitely more cultural context in this series and it showed how this club pushed the boundaries of its time. I recommend giving it a try for sure.


Wolf on Netflix with a photo of a wolf face

12. Wolf – “Börü”

“Wolf” follows the journey of a young man named Ali, who joins a secret government organization tasked with eliminating a terrorist group. This espionage thriller explores themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the thin line between good and evil.

This is about a special operations police team that takes on a sensitive assignment.

As they work to rid the country of a terrorist group they end up having to deal with intense situations both on and off the job.

The tensions in their personal lives could greatly affect their jobs and end up costing them much more.

The miniseries continues on with Börü 2039.

This is one on my list to watch and one of the very few on this list that I haven’t had a chance to watch.

I only included it because of the recommendations to watch it and because IMDB gives it an 8.1. Worth a try, right?


13. Love 101 – “Aşk 101”

Set in the ’90s, “Love 101” tells the story of a group of misfit high school students who hatch a plan to unite their favorite teacher with the school’s basketball coach. Their adventure turns into a heartwarming journey of self-discovery and friendship.

If you love drama and feel reminiscent of being in the “cool” club in high school or perhaps always getting in trouble, you’ll love this show.

This coming-of-age series will keep you on your toes and perhaps rolling your eyes.

Love 101 is about 5 teenagers who often get into trouble at school.

While most teachers don’t want to put up with their shenanigans, there is one who tries to protect and help them. But then they find out that she is leaving.

In their desperation to stop this from happening, they decide to help her fall in love with the sports coach so she can choose where she teaches.

While I couldn’t really get into this one, my language teacher highly recommended it for learning Turkish and culture so I am passing it on to you!


14. The Tailor – “Terzİ”

“The Tailor” follows the life of Peyami, a renowned tailor who recently achieved success with a runway show, overshadowed by his eccentric best friend Dimitri. However, their jubilation is disrupted by Peyami’s grandfather’s passing, threatening to expose a dark secret he’s been avoiding.

I had a hard time watching this one. Dimitri’s character was a bit much for me.

When I first saw the trailer, I thought it was going to go differently than it did. Upon the urging of my language teacher, I gave it a try.

I ended up liking the first season a lot.

There is great character development in this series and the more you understand each of the characters you understand why they are the way they are.

The second season I skipped a lot of the, especially in the first couple of episodes because it was just too many sex scenes but I was dying to know the real story.

There were so many lies and secrets that kept being discovered. I was kept on my toes the whole time.

By the end of the second season, again I saw some redemptive elements that I am shocked to see in a Turkish drama.

This show definitely won’t be for everyone but it is definitely one to learn culture from as well as some commonly used phrases.


15. Shamaran

In “Shamaran” Şahsu travels to Adana with the intention of confronting her long-lost grandfather, who abandoned her mother years ago. During her journey, she becomes entangled in the enigmatic and unusual community of Mar, who are descendants of Shahmaran, leading to unexpected and mysterious encounters.

Last but not least, Shamaran. I have also not finished this one but I must say I am intrigued.

It is definitely a slower starting series than a typical Turkish drama. I am not complaining.

Sahsu ends up going to Adana to speak at a conference and decides to use the time to confront her grandfather.

She has so many questions and only the answers given to her as a child.

When she gets there, however, she discovers an interesting community that believes in the legend of Shahmaran.

This like Atiye has some mystical elements to it so I think I will like it in the end, I have only watched the first episode so far.


Turkish movies on Netflix

There are some great movies out there. I will especially highlight a few of my favorite romantic comedy movies since there aren’t any shows in that category.

  • In Good Hands – This isn’t a comedy but it is a really heart-warming film…except the ending isn’t a typical happy ending. WORTH WATCHING!
  • Love Tactics – This is hysterical. Think “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”.
  • Make Me Believe – I recently watched this one and loved it. Typical enemies turned lovers.
  • Kill Me if You Dare – a couple on the outs win the lottery and have to figure out how to split it.

Learning Turkish

Let’s be honest….learning a new language is hard work. Some languages are definitely harder than others.

This language is one of the hardest for English speakers for sure.


This is one of the reasons.

Well in addition to learning new letters (just a few) and new vocabulary, you will also have to learn a few types of grammar we don’t have in English and to top it all off, you will have to say every sentence backward from English.

I fancy myself a smart person. Took AP calculus and chemistry in high school. I didn’t even score well on the chemistry test but this…I have felt stupid multiple times while learning Turkish.

Mostly because I couldn’t understand something that was being spoken in Turkish as a means to explain Turkish. Once it was explained in English, I was generally fine.

It is a level 4 language for English speakers. That means for English speakers it will generally take 44 weeks (1000+ hours) to learn this language to read and speak level 3 as described by the Foreign Service Institute.

Other level 4 languages include languages like Russian, Czech, Hebrew, Greek, and Tagalog.

There are only five level 5 languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.

So with all that let me say this…my hope is to provide you with helpful tips I have discovered in my learning journey to help yours progress smoother than my own.

This blog is one of many I will write to help you grow in proficiency in the Turkish language.

If you are just visiting, obviously you will be using more phrases than really learning grammar; that’s good for you!

So with that, let’s talk about a few tips for learning this language through Turkish TV Shows.

5 Tips for Watching Turkish TV Shows

There are a few things I would highly recommend so that you can get the most out of your learning journey.

  1. FOCUS – Don’t do anything else while you’re watching, except take note of words/phrases you don’t know or have wanted to know how to say.
  2. 3x your show – Watch the same movie or episode three times. The first time, watch it in Turkish with English subtitles.

    The second time watch it in Turkish with Turkish subtitles. The third time watch it in Turkish with no subtitles. Each time, make sure you make notes as necessary and pause when needed.
  3. Repetition is key – Use the words you wrote down in sentences. Practice using them so they will stick better.

    You can memorize them but they stick so much better when you can use them in a sentence that makes sense because you have just given the word context.
  4. Local production – If you watch something other than the ones below I would encourage you to start with ones that are created locally. You’ll get so much more out of it!

    If you don’t, oftentimes what is dubbed in English voice is different than what is in subtitles. This makes it much harder to line up the sounds and words you’re reading.
  5. Pay attention – Watch the cultural implications of what is happening. Some of my favorite shows below are because I learned so much about the culture more than I paid attention to the language. Turkish shows are rich in help for language learners.

So now, let’s talk about my 5 favorite shows/movies that you can find on Netflix.

If you don’t see them on your particular Netflix, you can always use a VPN to see the Turkish ones. If you need one, this is my favorite!

Turkish TV Shows

There are soooooo many more that I could add to the list.

I encourage you to find some of your favorites and share them with me. I am always on the hunt for new shows on Netflix!

If you watch these and are still looking for some reasons to visit Turkey, check out this post on reasons to visit.

Also, you can check out this post on novels about Turkey.

Read more:

Turkey vacation basics

When I plan a trip these are the websites I use. Hope they help you plan your next adventure as well!

FLIGHTS: I am a huge fan of Kayak and WayAaway.

VISAS: You can use the free e-visa portal here but for a few extra dollars you can use iVisa and someone else will handle any issues that may come up.

E-SIM: When I traveled to SE Asia I discovered e-sims and I’m never going back. Airlo has been easy and cheap! Use code “SEP15” to get 15% off on one booking.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: I use TravelInsurance.com for my trips abroad.

CAR RENTAL: I have loved working with Discover Cars when I rent cars in country.

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best Turkey hotel deals on Booking.com.

CITY TOURS & DAY TRIPS: You can browse GetYourGuide’s website to find just the tour you’re looking for!

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