The Turkish Series That Kept Me Up at Night for A Whole Week

Turkish series are Disney princess movies for adults

My first introduction to Turkish series was 10 years ago when I was leaving my teenage years behind and thinking of myself as an adult while my acts were still very juvenile. It was in the second year of college when I decided the most major step for me at this time and choose to be specialized in architecture. I and my colleagues left all of this new exciting stage behind and only talked in our free time about one thing. The new Turkish series —which happens to be one of the best turkish romance dramas— that was airing at the time in our channels, Forbidden Love.

Like anyone of my colleagues, I was hooked to the romantic series. It was dubbed to Arabic and aired in our TVs for everyone in our region to watch. I don’t think that anyone wasn’t following the show or at least have someone in their family member who’s watching it. Even the non-tv people became addicts to the show. And what not to love in a forbidden love.

Back then, we didn’t know what’s the sequence of the Turkish series is like. Is it long, short, dramatic, full of events? We were hooked to the drama and the romance in this series which is something we as Egyptians love to indulge in. We make the same kind of series, but we don’t give the same love portion in our shows. Mainly our Egyptian series are aired daily except for the weekend. And each episode is 30 minutes long, yes, including the ads. Forbidden Love was originally long. Each episode is 120 minutes long, aired weekly. When our channel aired it, it had to cut each episode to 4 episodes for us to watch in 4 different days. What we noticed is that the Turkish series is filled with details that we as Arab viewers can get bored with if we watched the developments of the events in four days. And if you think that this problem stopped us, you’d be wrong. The show was a major success which encouraged tourism in Turkey. Turkey became the dream destination in our countries. Even the villa that the series was filmed in is still one of the attractions that Arabs love to visit when they travel to Turkey. We felt the familiarity in their culture, and we felt safe to discover more. Muhannd (Kivanç Tatlitug, the lead actor of Forbidden Love) is a memory of the dream man a girl once fantasied for months. For the majority of the girls who didn’t like him, they hated the fact that he doesn’t give them a chance to be prettier than him. A thought I heard more than once by girls who don’t think of him as their dream man.

From that moment, Turkish series entered our lives and our news in a way that I couldn’t handle. It was everywhere, and I was one of those who wanted a full movie or a full series in front of me to end and get done with. I abandoned the Turkish series after watching another one that was aired right after Forbidden Love in the same way (on tv, with ads and each episode divided into 4). I thought I was done for good with Turkish series and their deliberate events.

Two weeks ago, my friend was catching up with me and noticed that I need a portion of corny love in my life. I assured her that I watch romantic-comedy movies every other week and I’m in a good state. She introduced me to a new series called Erkenci Kus (Early Bird). A Turkish romantic-comedy series about a girl named Sanem who can’t land a permanent job and dreams to become a famous writer one day. She then goes to work in an advertising agency her sister works in. And where she meets Jan, and his brother Emre. Two bosses that one of them turn her against the other, while she fell in love with Jan and the adventure begins. I was in need of a thing that I can’t forget myself in and dive deep after working without any rest to relaunch the site for straight three months. For the first time in a long time, I needed the little details.

The series was more than what I expected. Trendy, talked to our age in a very fun and carefree way. Easy going, light like any romantic-comedy movie you can escape to after a day of work. The episode is so long, a movie long, but thanks to Youtube, I enjoyed watching it. Also, it was the first time for me to watch a Turkish series translated so it was more real. I learned a lot of things. Like, most of the nouns of the Arabic language and Turkish are the same. So it’s interesting to learn Turkish, and now I can understand why so many Arabs learn Turkish. There is a similarity in both cultures and food which also, can now understand more why we are so hooked to them.

Demet Özdemir and Can Yaman are playing the most charming couple. We can say they are the dream couple of 2019. Everyone one in the cast is playing their part as if it’s their real life. And each woman in the series played a vital part that stuck with me. Sanem’s close friends, sister, mother, neighbor, enemy, and frienemy, each one already exists in our lives, and the series was taken from this life and performed in the most perfect way. For customs, Parlaque is doing an amazing job in applying the trends on Can and is not afraid of showing it. Can style is loud and clear, and the little details she adds speak the loudest. Furthermore, Dilsan Selek the stylist for Demet, Öznur Serçeler and most of the cast did a remarkable job for us viewers to easily understand each personality from what they are wearing before they start to act. I even had fun watching her outtake in the ’80s fashion in a fun clip the girls did in the series (above photo).

After two days of binge-watching, I was watching Katie’s stories in a very low sound and I swear I felt like she’s talking in Turkish and I’m trying to understand her by turning it up. It hit me halfway there that I’m hooked to this life more than I thought. After watching 3 to 4 episodes a day, yes, I literally didn’t want to do anything else. The only thing that stopped from watching more is sleep. You can’t finish an episode without at least check the episode after to know what will happen. You can’t close in the middle of the episode because there’s always a catch. Whether it’s a party, a kiss, something you want closure for. I felt like I was back in time when I used to watch Disney movies as a child and was so intrigued about the dramatic events, but waiting for the happily-ever-after ending so bad that I’m sure it’s going to happen eventually.

On the fourth day, the soundtrack of the series became my alarm. Preparing my morning coffee while it’s playing on the background is the time of my life. After playing 28 episodes in one week, I discovered that the show is still airing in Turkey. And I have to wait weekly for the remaining episodes. That’s when the fun stopped, and I had to wake up. And writing about it to fall in this mood again.

Update

Turkey series became my beautiful escape. Where I disconnect from work and the rushing lifestyle I’m living right now. After writing this post, Erkenci Kus got canceled because they elongate it, and did a second season which was, in my opinion (and the audience), not necessary for the story. But the good news is, when the show started to get boring, I started to look for other Turkish series and movies. And I found out that I don’t like Turkish movies as much as series. I’m having fun watching  few of the best Turkish romantic-comedy series out there, scheduled only on the weekends. If you are searching for suggestions of Turkish dramas like Erkenci Kus, here is a handful of selection that I think you might like. Love Has No Words (Aşk Laftan Anlamaz), a portion of love you don’t need IRL and might kill you, but would love to watch, thank me later.The Queen Of The Night (Gecenin Kraliçesi), and Falcon Crest if you need a little action between all the romance scenes for some refreshing.

    1. I watched Season one!! It’s on of the favorites yes! I’m now continuing it, rewatching Erkenci Kus, and was watching the new series My Home but it stopped at ep. 12 due to the tough times.

      1. Thank you for your post! I’m obsessed with the love story.. the way he adores her.. I’ve spent sleepless nights trying to catch up as I just discovered it. Also thanks for the suggestions for other shows to watch when I reach the end. I don’t think any will captivate me as much as this has.. here in the States live stories are fully of nudity.. it was so refreshing to see and feel the love delivered so gently.. all the actors are fantastic!

        1. Agree with you. I like the “innocence” of Erkenci Kus. Cast is taking their clothes off and falling into bed like they do in Hollywood tv and movies. Also fascinated by each characters story/subplot and what will happen. I had a rough time with Episode 7 as it kept starting over many times. But I was so hooked, and I didn’t want to miss any story points so I persevered.

  1. The first season of Erkenci Kus was a complete delight and fun to watch. There was absolute no need for the second season. They could have nicely wrapped up the story, the second season is stretched out repetitive and lost its charm.

    1. Yes! that’s what I thought too, the ending felt like a punch on the face, you want a happy ending, here it is, you can feel that the makers were pushed to end it because it started to feel lousy. Although, I must say that Sanem’s looks were much better and felt grown up somehow, most of the looks I’d wear right now, especially the skirts.

      1. I watched few Turkish series..But till this date according to me is the 👌 best..None of the series can replace the daydreamers..It’s just Fantastic..Superb..The entire Starcast has acted soo well..Especially Can Yaman..Jaan and Sanam..Their chemistry onscreen is just Superb..excellent..Never have appeared on screen soo real not even in bollywood movies..
        The back ground music..The fashion accessories of Jaan and Sanam..The beautiful seaside view…The snowing mountain view…The beautiful description of Birds. ALBATROSS AND PHENIX. IS JUST SUPERB..NO OTHER SERIES CAN SURPASS THE DAYDREAMERS…I DON’T THINK I WOULD LIKE TO SEE ANY OTHER SERIES AFTER THE DAYDREAMERS AND DON’T WANT TO SPOIL MY TASTE ALSO AFTER SEEING THIS SERIES..THANKS A LOT FOR THE MAKERS OF THE DAYDREAMERS…IF THIS APPRECIATION COULD REACH THEM..AND IF COULD REACH JAAN AND SANAM ALSO.I WILL BE SOOOOOO HAPPY AND GRATEFUL AFTER CRYING LAUGHING AND FINISHING THE SERIES IN JUST 3 DAYS.WATCHING DAY AND NIGHT. IT WAS SOOOOOO GRIIPPING ONE CAN’T STOP WATCHING IT TILL THE END IN THE CONTINUITY..REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO SEE THE EXTENDED VERSION OF THE DAYDREAMERS SEASON 2..AS SOON AS POSSIBLE..BYE 😀 WITH LOTS OF LOVE ❤ AND HUGGGGGS.
        MY NAME IS SHAZIA QUAZI FROM INDIA.THE RATING OF THIS SERIES IS THE HIGHEST.

  2. All the way from SOUTH AFRICA!!! This is the most romantic drama series I had ever watched..Compare to hollywood and bollywood the Turkish just took the cake!! I love this series so much..Im a huge fan of Erkenci Kus, Dirillis Etrugrul, Kurulis Osman, Lovd Again and Love Bird

  3. I love what you wrote – I live in Brooklyn, NY. and I have only watched Turkish series for the past 5 months. You will LOVE Kiralik Ask! Watch it asap. Also do you know about turkflicks? You can become a member and you don’t have to watch on youtube- It feels so good knowing there are others out there that these series are so life changing!

  4. I remember Dolunay, first Turkish series I saw here in Czech Republic. I love it. And now I watch Erkenci Kus. People are beautiful, fashion is amazing, I adore every second. I’m glad that I found out your article and now I know that I’m not alone.

    1. Believe me, you are not!! I also watched Dolunay in my early obsession of Turkish drama, I loved it but I didn’t who are these people back then! Now I know that the stars of Dolunay did another series last year but it got cancel (though it was really good), now I’m waiting for a new fun series bc I’ve watched most of the good ones and can’t find any good one to stick to nowadays.

  5. I recently stumbled upon Erkenci Cus through Facebook, clips of Can and Sanem. It was a breath of fresh air for me since it is just light and fun, something that you can watch and feel relax and not really analyzing what’s happening. I love all the characters and was sad that some major characters did not get to the ending. The show did not just show the characters but it also taught me some Turkish culture. BTW, I am from the Philippines. I am very much intrigued with Turkey, the food, the tea and the people. I really hope I can visit it someday. Now I am in search of new Turkish series to watch.

    1. Hi! I’m dying to visit as well! Keep your eyes on the comment you’ll find my latest watched series, I will also post soon about the best to watch these days!

  6. This really is such a wonderful resource that youre offering and you give it away for free. I adore seeing internet sites that understand the worth of offering a top quality useful resource for free. It?s the outdated what goes around comes around routine.

  7. Oh My god,the chemistry of Can and Sanem was so super,but the end of the series was so down. Now i am watching Erkenci Cus repeatedly as the first parts of love, its heart touching and romantic.

  8. I binge watched this series and also ask laftan anlamaz . Can you please tell me a site to watch Turkish shows for free? And how is Sen cal Kapimi (You Knock on my door). I haven’t watched it yet but I would like a review.

    1. Two of the best actually! I really don’t have a particular site to recommend but now you will find most of the new series on YT in several languages!

      As for Sen cal Kapimi, I’ve really tried to watch this series after that much rave about it. I watched like 15 episodes but I never really like it, there’s something off with the script, the charisma bt. The two and even the whole feel of the series so I stoped watching. I switched to My Home My Destiny (starting Demet Ozdemir) but it is more on the dramatic side. But I think the series got cancelled after 27 episodes. Still, it was a good one.

      If you want good series with Eng. subtitles, there are great selection on Netflix. I just finished Phi (Amazing) and 50M2 (also great waiting for 2nd season).

  9. Hi, all the way from Cape Town, South Africa.I love the funny comedy Turkish series. Watched Erkenci Kus, Inadina Ask and now recently Bay Yanlis. Not too much drama

    1. Lucy, I live in the US and for the last two years, I have watched Turkish Series with English Subtitles through Turkflick.com. As of two weeks ago, I cannot access their website. I paid a yearly subscription and can’t get to a point where I can cancel my subscription. I am going through withdrawals, not being able to find a way to watch them. Do you know of a site were i can watch? Thank you!

  10. From Toronto, Canada ~
    Your post made me laugh because I too binged watched Erkenci Kus! It consumed me. I had to know what happened next. Then after I was done the series, I started over 😂
    This was my first Turkish series and I love love. Truth be told I did fast forward some of the other character story lines because I only cared about Sanem & Can.

    I do agree that the season 2 wasn’t the best.
    On the last episode they start not together and end married with 3 kids! What the heck! It was too rushed.

    It was a nice series to escape real life and Can character is so attractive! I love the way he loves her.

    Also living in North America, TV series and movies are very sexualized, so it was a nice change to see a couple fall in love in a pure form and not only about sex!

    1. Hiii! I’m so grateful that this post made you laugh! I also was skipping some of the others scenes like, get to Can and Senam will ya! The 2nd season was Cinderella on steroids, even in Cinderella we had to search for her feet for a whole hour to get to the end, so yea, that ended really bad.
      The Can character was so good and the actor reAlly outdone himself in this role Bc I’ve watched his other series and that is the best of them, so I hope that he will keep that spirit in the next roles!
      And I know what you’re talking about, I’ve grown up watching American movies and series and normally, there’s a kiss/sex scene in the first seconds of a series or at the end of a movie. So it was really refreshing seeing the Turkish concept of love, I mean, while watching, I was really impatient about any affectionate move—which made the whole thing really good and exciting somehow!

    2. “…. Truth be told I did fast forward some of the other character story lines because I only cared about Sanem & Can.” LOL You took the words right out of my mouth, that was me with my finger on the forward button. I absolutely adored the show. Discovered it last year (2021) and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
      Greetings from Washington, DC

    3. I live in Toronto Canada as well. Can you tell me how you watched the series? Unfortunately not all of the episodes on YouTube have English subtitles.

    4. From Canada here and just finished this. I have to agree – we are over sexualized over here and our stories don’t draw you into this intense type of love.
      I just watched the very last episode and I’ve warned my husband that I will be sad for days as I’ve binged this series big time. I’m so sad!

  11. Another fan from South Africa. Stumbled upon Erkenci Kus via a random FB ad that showed a clip (even though the ad had nothing to do with the series) :-) I am 40yo with two kids and here I am glued to my phone at 2am in the morning watching an episode for the 3rd time!! And then go to work like a zombie the next day! I wonder when netflix will pick this show up? Which series would you recommend that is better or as good as this. Am obsesses with Janem!

    1. Hehehehe! I can feel you!! Let me be honest here, there’s no other one of this kind that gave me the same vibe. But there’s a new series that is called AZIZ that’s airing right now and it’s one of the best shows that’s airing at the moment. only two episodes aired and I can’t wait for more.

  12. Literally just finished this series today…. Saw this post and started laughing. Literally every mood in this post was me the last few days. I binged and couldn’t think of anything but this show. I became obsessed, cried, laughed and enjoyed it so so so much. I did feel like finale was rushed a little towards the end, but I’m sure that was due to tying everything up into a pretty bow for the audience. The characters and the chemistry was amazing especially between the leads. I have never wanted a couple to be so real as I did with these two.

    Glad I’m not the only one that felt this way!!!

    1. Every time I read one of your comments I remember all these moods and want to have it all over again. The show is a success for sure because I’ve been watching every Turkish show since this one and there’s no other show had these great components all together like this one. And don’t worry, I believe that we are gonna start our own “Erkenci Kus” club soon!

  13. Hi there…Jasmine from Malaysia. I just fall in love with Erkenci Kus…everything right from the cast, storyline, setting, the culture and fashion is so perfect and spot on. I’m rewatching it again!!! and also just started to watch Bay Yanlis cz I can’t get over with Can 🥰.

    1. Hey Jasmine! I know it’s just makes you hooked to Can and really believe that he exists in rl though you’re more mature than that! I watched Bay Yanlis twice, even tho they didn’t complete it, but for the same reason you mentioned!

  14. I just discovered Erkenci kus via tiktok…its been a whole week of very very late nights or should i say early morning. I have however started getting restless at episode 19…this love between Can and Sanem does not seem to mature…so i peeked and saw a baby and i am like…when did this happen? All the way from Kenya. Yours truely, hooked

    1. Hiii! Yes the ending wasn’t much my type but after watching more Turkish series, it became normal to me because it’s all about the views for them. So if the show views got low, they’ll wrap it up like there no one is watching, it sucks! But I also feel for them somehow.

      1. Yes! Where?!?! I can’t find this series with English subtitles ANYWHERE. I’ve searched everything. You Tube will say English subtitles but then it doesn’t have them.

        1. I’m from the US and binge watched the whole series with English subtitles on Turkish123.com. It’s free but has a lot of popups. Just keep closing them out. I absolutely loved it! Now, I’m almost finished with Bay Yanlis, also staring Can Yaman. YouTube has the entire season with English subtitles. Love this one too! Really, it’s easy on the eyes to watch Can in anything!

  15. I watched erkenci kus a few months ago and cant get over it no matter what. The comedy, their chemistry and everything. Do you possibly have any other recommendations?

  16. I watched erkenci kus a few months ago and cant get over it no matter what. The comedy, their chemistry and everything. Do you possibly have any other recommendations?

    1. Ohhh, you came to the right place. If you want some series to binge watch (complete), here’s a few:
      My Home, My Destiny, a much dramatic one, fairly new, starting Demet (Snam) and Ibrahim Celikkol (you’re gonna fall for him too)
      starting the same actor, we have Black and White Love, a really goood romcom
      Dolunay by Can and Ozge Gürel, amazing, (most of her series are the rom com and very good)
      Kiraz Mevsimi (same actress) also good
      Ask Laftan Anlamaz, one of my favs. rom com
      Ms.Fazilet and her daughters (family series, you’ll get indulged, dramatic but a classic)
      Ufak Tefek Cinayetler, a Turkish version of desperate house wives (not the same story tho and very enjoyable)

      Now I’m watching a couple of series that are still airing:
      Ask, Mantik, intikam (love, logic, revenge)
      Ada Masali, both rom com
      And Marriage Secrets (drama but I have high hopes for it)

      These all on the light side of Turkish series, enjoy!

  17. No one I’ve met so far knows about Turkish series. So I’m happy to read all your comments & see that there are others like me.
    What a wonderful escape these series are. Black Money Love is the first Turkish series & perhaps the best, that I watched. Then The Gift, then Ercenki Kus (which I watched three times). The chemistry between Can & Sanem is complete magic. These series made me want to visit Istanbul & I never even thought of Turkey before. The huge tables of food, the deep romances, the eye contact, the friendships & sisterhood, the respect that some of the characters have for their parents & the love between mothers & their adult children though sometimes stifling, are the things I love. Is the Turkish culture really like it is portrayed in these films?

    Any other suggestions for Turkish series?

    1. Hi Dee, I watched some of the Black Money Love and The Gift (S1) but it didn’t caught my attention that much because I couldn’t found the Turkish culture details I’m looking for in the last as it is in the more fantasy, dramatic side. To answer your question, yes, the Turkish culture is JUST like what they portray in series and even more. We have A LOT of similarity with them (Egyptians) when it comes to culture and even words (especially nouns) as Mohamed Ali Basha (Ottoman Turkish) was the governor and the de facto ruler of Egypt from 1805 to 1848 and considered the founder of modern Egypt. And I think these culture similarities was one of the reason I got so addicted to their series.

      I suggest you Aziz since you’re more interested in the culture part. It airs now and shows Turkey in the French occupation (early 20’s) so you also witness how Turkey tried to preserve its culture through the years even though a lot changed from that time (switched their writings from Arabic to English, and some French words has been incorporated to the lang.) while enjoying another great romance between two that come from an entirely different stratum of society. You also won’t feel any boredom while watching, it feels modern somehow… I wait for this series the most every week.

  18. Omg, I can’t believe I am not the only one, I discovered Can and Sanem on Instagram Reels and that’s how I found about the series. This is my first turkish series and I am seriously hooked, I have binge watched like a zombie, currently watching it for the second time and I also fast forward to the scenes with only Can and Sanem 😂

    I think they are both incredibly beautiful human beings, Sanems lips and smile and body figure are so amazing and Can is one of the HOTTEST guys I have seen in my life, I have such a cursh a him haha.

  19. Hi there. I came across your site because I’m absolutely CONSUMED by this series! I’ve been watching the English subtitle episodes off YouTube. Each episode is around 45min I guess they can’t translate it fast enough for me to watch and I’m up to #83. I have no idea how many more there is to go and I hate spoilers but I really can’t wait to finish the series. It’s SO DANG ROMANTIC and both the leads are absolutely gorgeous. I know it’s a happy ending because there are random posts on my Instagram feeds and it shows the most romantic clips. Thank you for your write up. I definitely agree that the usual soaps/series we watch (I’m in New Zealand by the way) are full of sex scenes to engage the audience so it’s so refreshing that this story is full of romantic love and the way they look into each other’s eye!! Oh my!!! This is my first ever foreign series and I will make sure to start on Bay Yanlis (starring Can of course!) when I get to finish this one. If anyone can point to a website there I can watch this with English subtitles that’s not off YouTube, please put me out of my misery and let me know. I will be forever grateful!
    Thanks!
    Christina
    Auckland, New Zealand

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! the Turkish series are so good and somehow give a fresh take on the drama world. I always say it’s perfect for “slow nights” where you wants it for backgrounds, or to totally indulge in it. I will defiantly search for you all a website with an English sub. because I want to share more series that I’m watching now that will blowwww your mind!!!

    2. YouTube only has up to episode 100 which is only half way. Turkish123 is where I watched the rest of the series. It’s free but has a lot of popups. just close them out. I am now almost finished with Bay Yanlis. all of the episodes are on YouTube with English subtitles. I really loved watching the most gorgeous man on the face of the earth in Erkenci Kus, so of course, I had to watch Bay Yanlis. I am really enjoying this series. Can looks very different but just as good looking! I love the way he looks at the women he loves in both the series. Very romantic!

  20. Awesome post! Well done (Health to your hands…and computer. LOL) I discovered the series last year and it completely took over a good chunk of my days. Thank goodness my kids are grown. My poor husband wondered why I was swooning one minute, cackling the next.
    Loved everything about the show, and wished it never ended (Cast, Storyline, Locations, Design of the spaces) Ceycey was an entire mood :D But we could have done without the drawn out Season 2, especially with Iygit creeping at every corner. Ooof. Watching again though and still intrigued.
    Thank you again for this write up. Görüşürüz :)

  21. 2 stars
    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  22. I have just discovered this programme and like others I am hooked. The chemestry between them both is absolutly amazing. Ive laughed and cried especially when he didnt want anything to do with her, after she saved him from being locked up. I stumbled on episode 85 and have watched until episode 100 from high to low and now nothing. Im confused with the episodes, Why get married in episode 1?
    Are there other episodes after 100 with english subtitles. I just want to see them happy together and the souldering looks he gives her.

  23. Thank you for this post and the other recommendations. I got sucked in. I can’t believe I binged the whole thing in such little time. I wasn’t getting much of anything and there was lack of sleep involved.

    Just finished Dolunay and starting Bay Yanlis.

    For those looking for a place to watch this and other Turkish shows with English Subtitles, I’ve been watching on Dailymotion.com. There are the occasional ads but can skip through them.

  24. Im from tamilnadu India, i also got hooked to this serial and you guys would not believe I’m watching it for the 3rd time. Just love this series . There is do much romance but no vulgarity as in the American pictures. Just love Jaan and sanem. My fav couple

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