Avlu (THE YARD)
This adaptation of Australian soap “Wentworth,” co-produced by FremantleMedia, is set in a female prison in Istanbul. “Avlu” boasts the same characters as the Australian original, with action-packed stories of survival as the inmates are thrown together to tackle life behind bars. Abused wife Deniz, played by Demet Evgar (“Wounded Love”), is arrested and charged with her husband’s murder. She is sent to prison where she finds herself caught in the middle of a bitter rivalry between Azra and Alp – the leaders of two notorious jail gangs and gets caught in their warfare. The show, which airs on Star TV, has ruffled feathers with local censors.
Bir Zamanlar Cukurova (Bitter Lands)
Produced by Tims&B Prods. (“Magnificent Century”), this dark romancer set in the 1970s debuted recently on ATV to strong ratings. The story begins in Istanbul and then moves to the Cilician Plains in south-central Turkey, where protags Yilmaz and Zuleyha escape after he commits murder to protect his beloved from the cruelty of her family. They end up intersecting with a powerful landowner named Demir and his domineering mother, Hunkar, who holds their fates in the palm of her hand after a lie the runaway lovers say in order not to be separated from each other turns their lives upside down.
A new title from Ay Yampim being sold by a new company, in which cars collide and the lives of those affected intersect. The accident gives the protag, played by megastar Kivanc Tatlitug, strength to carry on after a family tragedy had broken his heart, according to the synopsis. Tatlitug has a huge fan base, especially in the Middle East.
Hayat Gibi (This Is Us)
An adaptation of NBC’s “This Is Us” chronicles the the lives of five members of the Güneş family across the decades. Cem and Reyhan are expecting triplets, but when one child dies during childbirth the young couple decide to adopt a baby left at the hospital. The show centers on the now adult trio with plenty of flashbacks to their childhood: At 35 Beste, who has struggled with her weight since girlhood, has decided to take control of her life and lose weight. Mahur is looking for his biological father, and Berk – the famous face of a major brand – has decided a change of career is needed. Produced by Medyapim and directed by Merve Girgin (“Kadin”).
This female empowerment drama stars Nurgul Yesilcay in the title role and is about a woman who is wrongly incarcerated after the unexpected death of her unloving husband. When she leaves jail, supported by the love of an old flame, she fights to win back the hearts of her children, who have been brainwashed against her.
Another streamer’s first Turkish original is centered around a young man who discovers that he has supernatural powers. When Istanbul is threatened by dark forces, he joins forces with a group of misfit friends to save the city and its inhabitants. Onur Guvenatam, who produced the successful Turkish adaptation of ABC’s “Pretty Little Liars,” is serving as an executive producer of the 10-episode show, which toplines local A-lister Cagatay Ulusoy, who starred in “Medcezir,” the Turkish remake of “The O.C.”
Dark drama miniseries on yet another streaming service, produced by Ay Yapım (“Phi,” “Heart of the City”), in which a man who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s becomes a serial killer on a mission to punish criminals.
The streamer’s long-awaited first Turkish vampire series sees protag Mia, played by beautiful redhead Elcin Sangu (“Love for Rent”), arrive in Istanbul to kill the rich and powerful Dmitry, leader of a vampire clan whom she believes has turned her into a vampire against her will. She joins forces with a group of vampire hunters from a poor part of town and kicks off a big war between good and evil.