There’s something magical about the allure of historical dramas. Whether it’s the gorgeous sets, grand costumes, or the exciting plotlines, Turkish historical dramas are sure to enchant viewers of all nationalities. They’ve certainly made their mark on international TV.
Turkey is a country that boasts an incredible array of historical shows that range from comedies to family dramas. It’s no wonder its popular TV exports are priceless gems that captivate viewers even after all these years.
Whether you’re new to Turkish historical dramas or you’re already a fan, this list of the best Turkish historical drama series has something for everyone. So get comfortable and dive right in!
The Magnificent Century (2011 – 2014)
Heading up the list of best Turkish historical drama series is “The Magnificent Century.” This show is based on the reality of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and his rule over the Ottoman Empire. It portrays the personal struggles and battles of the sultan and his remarkable political achievements.
The series was directed by Osman Sinav and broadcasted on the Turkish channel Show TV starting in 2011. It delivered four fantastic seasons of this must-watch series that thrill audiences to this day with its captivating plotlines, intense character dynamics, and beautiful sets and costumes.
Valley of Wolves: Ambush (2020)
The Turkish action-drama “Valley of Wolves: Ambush” is based on the same title book and follows a deep-cover intelligence officer who is sent on a daring mission to secure a powerful Ottoman confidant of the Sheikh of Arabia.
This drama series aired on Fox Turkey in 2020 and was created by Erdem Eren and based on the novel by Osman İşçioğlu. Balkan Region’s response and support of this series was tremendous, propelling the series to become a runaway success.
Magnificient Century (2011 – 2014)
Taking the third spot in the list of best Turkish historical dramas is “Magnificient Century”. This fictional tale focuses on the love story of two 16th century characters, Sultan Kosem and her beloved chief court physician and Golden Age’s unsolved mysteries.
The series is written by Kerem Deren and directed by Hilmi Türkan, and it was aired on Star TV in 2011. It featured sixty-three episodes and is set in the Ottoman Empire under the reign of Sultan Ahmed.
The Emir’s Path (2021)
Coming in fourth place on the list is Turkish historical drama series “The Emir’s Path”. This series follows the life of Tayyip Erdogan, the current president of Turkey, and his rise to power. It narrates the untold story of his past, his revolutionary reforms, and his struggles against the status quo.
Written by Hilmi Sözer, the series was directed by Ali Bilge and broadcasted on the Turkish channel TRT1 in 2021. It is known for its rich storytelling and passionately portrays Erdogan’s strong vision for Turkey.
The Red Room (2020)
At number five on the list is “The Red Room”. This Turkish historical drama series is based on the novel of the same name and is set in Istanbul at the time of the Ottoman Empire. It tells the story of a young girl facing a difficult challenge—rising to the rank of sultana in a society dominated by men.
The series was created and written by Özcan Deniz, Timur Savci and Isil Zeybekoğlu and starred Özcan Deniz, Yagiz Can Konyali, Asli Tandoğan, and Öykü Karayel in the lead. It has won numerous awards and critically acclaimed shows, making it a must-watch historical drama series.
The Oath (2020)
Italian-Turkish co-production “The Oath” is definitely worth a mention in the best Turkish historical drama series list. This series follows the journey of the young daughter of an aristocratic family from Venice who is sent to Constantinople. Here, she is taken in by a mysterious master and discovers the city’s hidden secrets, including forbidden customs and laws.
The series is created by famed Turkish writer Olgun Simsek and is broadcasted on the Turkish channel Star TV in 2021. The series won numerous awards for its impressive production and storyline, making it one of the best Turkish historical dramas of the decade.
Ezel (2009 – 2011)
Rounding off the list is one of the most popular Turkish series of all time – “Ezel”. This show tells the story of a man wrongly imprisoned, who escapes to take revenge on the people that betrayed him.
This beloved series is created by Kerem Deren and Eşref Uğur, and it was aired on the Turkish channel Show TV starting in 2009. It starred Kenan Imirzalioglu, Kaykhan Gürel, Osman Sonant, Oyku Karayel, and Ceyda Duvenci in the lead and ran for two successful seasons.
Whether you’re in it for the romance, drama, or the political intrigue, Turkish historical dramas have something for everyone. The best Turkish historical drama series listed above can bring a touch of drama and excitement as well as shed light on the interesting and varied culture of this region. So why not pick one to watch today?