Skip to main content

12 Best Turkish Historical Drama Series

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Diana is a huge fan of Chinese, Korean, and Turkish culture, and she loves watching Turkish dramas.

Fahriye Evcen as Akça Hatun in Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu.

Fahriye Evcen as Akça Hatun in Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu.

Here are 12 best Turkish historical drama series for those who love the stories about other periods, palace intrigues, action scenes, and some politics here and there. Be ready to dive into countless romantic rivalries, the stories of survival and treason.

Top 12 Turkish Historical Dramas

  1. Vatanim Sensin
  2. Dirilis: Ertugrul
  3. The Magnificent Century
  4. Muhtesem Yüzyil: Kösem
  5. Çalikusu
  6. Uyanis: Büyük Selcuklu
  7. Yesilçam: Bir Sinema Hayvani
  8. Destan
  9. Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu
  10. Barbaros: Sword of the Mediterranean
  11. Kurulus: Osman
  12. Midnight at the Pera Palace
Midnight at the Pera Palace

Midnight at the Pera Palace

12. Midnight at the Pera Palace

  • Genres: drama, history, mystery
  • Episodes: 8
  • Original Release: 2022

One of the best Turkish historical drama series, it is based on a popular historical novel by Charles King and follows the story of a real-life Pera Palace Hotel. We are introduced to a journalist looking for new ideas. One day, she visits the Pera Palace, the hotel well-known for its alluring history and supernatural incidents. The manager of the hotel tells her the history of the place.

The journalist gets particularly interested in the story of Peride, who prevented the assassination of Mustafá Kemal. She doesn’t know yet that she will soon be mistaken for Peride, living her life and solving her problems. The thing is that one of the hotel’s rooms has a time-traveling portal, so she is accidentally sent back to 1919. There, she must find a way to not alter the past so that the future doesn’t change.

You should watch Midnight at the Pera Palace if you want to learn about the rise of modern-day Turkey. In general, it’s a great historical TV show for anyone who is into beautiful costumes and locations. Moreover, the ending of the first season gives you a clue of what the second season would be about—a Nazi period could be introduced, which is quite intriguing.

Kurulus: Osman

Kurulus: Osman

11. Kurulus: Osman

  • Genres: action, adventure, drama
  • Episodes: 98
  • Original Release: 2019

This Turkish historical TV series revolves around the founder of the Ottoman Empire. It is all about the struggles of Osman I to establish a sovereign state and control the empire that would be able to stand against the Byzantine and Mongol Empires.

If you like stories about morals, justice, and respect for women, then you probably don’t want to miss TV shows like Kurukus: Osman (translated as Establishment: Osman). It’s one of those refreshing and educational shows that show the best glory of Muslims. Moreover, you will definitely like the plot twists and large-scale battle scenes!

Barbaros: Sword of the Mediterranean

Barbaros: Sword of the Mediterranean

10. Barbaros: Sword of the Mediterranean

  • Genres: action, adventure, history
  • Episodes: 32
  • Original Release: 2021
Scroll to Continue

Read More From Reelrundown

Here’s a Turkish period series about "Barbaros" Hayreddin Pasha, the 16th-century Ottoman admiral also known as “King of the Sea”. When you are watching it, it’s like you are diving into a journey across the Ottoman Empire and their quest to find the holy secret while confronting their enemies.

You can’t miss Barbaros: Sword of the Mediterranean if you like action scenes, stunning cinematography, and good world-building!

Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu

Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu

9. Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu

  • Genres: action, history, war
  • Episodes: 27
  • Original Release: 2021

Here’s a Turkish historical that is a prequel story of “Awakening: the Great Seljuk”. The story is set in the 11th century and centers on the second sultan of the Seljuk dynasty.

Watch Alparslan: Büyük Selçuklu and it will win your heart with its plot, storytelling, captivating fighting sequences, settings, costumes - with pretty much everything!

Destan

Destan

8. Destan

  • Genres: action, history, war
  • Episodes: 27
  • Original Release: 2021

The actions of this Turkish drama take place in the 8th century, before Turkey converted to Islam. The plot is fictional and doesn’t fully depict historical reality. So, it’s just an epic story of love between a warrior mountain girl and a disabled Prince. She became an orphan because Alpagu Khan killed her father, while he is his son. Follow their journey of revenge.

Don’t hesitate and watch Destan if you are into suspense, witchcraft, and rituals. For some people, it might seem like there’s too much of this stuff, so it’s important that you love such stories. There are times when things get more and more violent and gore. However you see it, this Turkish historical drama is one of the most intriguing ones!

Yesilçam: Bir Sinema Hayvani

Yesilçam: Bir Sinema Hayvani

7. Yesilçam: Bir Sinema Hayvani

  • Genres: drama, history, romance
  • Episodes: 20
  • Original Release: 2021

Set in the 1960s, the Turkish historical drama tells us about the golden years of Turkish cinema usually recognized as Yeşilçam. What is even more interesting, the protagonist of the story is a film producer, which means that everything is told from his perspective. He is a young talented film producer who owns his own company.

However, everything turns upside down once he is betrayed by his business partner. Because of that, the producer can do nothing but start everything from scratch. He vows to make a blockbuster and survive in the Turkish film industry that way. Despite his business, he is also trying to do his best to win back his ex-wife.

If you appreciate well-researched stories and political atmosphere, then you definitely need to check out Yesilçam. If you decide to give it a try, you will learn how the history of Turkey influenced filmmaking there. It will become an enjoyable ride for all fans of period dramas since it tells the history of the country from the perspective of a creative person.

Uyanis: Büyük Selcuklu

Uyanis: Büyük Selcuklu

6. Uyanis: Büyük Selcuklu

  • Genres: drama, history, war
  • Episodes: 49
  • Original Release: 2020

One of the best Turkish historical drama series, Uyanis: Büyük Selcuklu (translated as Awakening: Great Seljuk) portrays the life of Sultan Malik-Shah and his son. It tells about Seljuk Empire, its politics, and wars. The protagonists are battling against the Byzantine Empire, rival states, as well as the leader of the Order of Assassins.

This series has been considered record-breaking. So, if you are still looking for the best TV drama, look nowhere else. Especially you will like it if you are into fighting scenes or action in general.

Çalikusu

Çalikusu

5. Çalikusu

  • Genres: romantic, drama
  • Episodes: 72
  • Original Release: 2013

This Turkish period drama is adapted from the classic book by the same name. When watching it, you will dive into the love story of a stuffier and hard-on-the-outside girl and a kind-hearted passionate guy. She is an orphan who has been forced to attend a boarding school when visiting her aunt on holidays. That’s during one of such breaks when she falls in love with her older cousin. Over time, their mutual love intensifies.

The leads of Çalikusu make a really good couple and have magnificent energy when together. If you miss the type of TV series that keeps you emotionally on edge and make you experience a lasting lingering impact, then make sure you watch it. Moreover, it will make you fall in love with Turkish culture back in the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Muhtesem Yüzyil: Kösem

Muhtesem Yüzyil: Kösem

4. Muhtesem Yüzyil: Kösem

  • Genres: drama, history, romance
  • Episodes: 60
  • Original Release: 2015

One of the top Turkish historical drama series, it portrays the life of a young Greek woman who rises from a slave to a powerful woman who rules over the Ottoman Empire. She takes on the name “Kosem” after getting into the harem of Sultan Ahmed I. She falls in love with him and becomes his wife soon. She acts not only as a mother and wife but also as the regent for half of the time.

If you like those types of stories where women in a harem are powerful, tricky, and manipulate the men of high positions, then Muhtesem Yüzyil: Kösem is a drama for you. Especially it’s recommended to you if you like Magnificent Century, the story of Sultan Suleiman and Roksolana. This drama is like a continuation of it. However, be ready to spend a lot of time on the series, since it’s one of the most lengthy ones.

The Magnificent Century

The Magnificent Century

3. The Magnificent Century

  • Genres: biography, drama, history
  • Episodes: 139
  • Original Release: 2011

This popular Turkish drama introduces us to Sultan Suleyman at the age of 26, when he begins to rule, striving to build the most powerful empire ever. Later, he will be considered the greatest ruler and warrior of his age.

However, the story focuses not only on politics and history but on the relationships in the imperial household as well. You will dive into countless romantic rivalries and entanglements. For example, the hatred between Hurrem Sultan (a slave girl who raised to the top) and Mahidevran Sultan (mother of the first Sultan’s son).

You should definitely check out The Magnificent Century if you are into history and period soap operas. Of course, you shouldn’t expect great historical accuracy, since it’s entertainment first of all. However, you do have complex characters and lots of politics here.

Dirilis: Ertugrul

Dirilis: Ertugrul

2. Dirilis: Ertugrul

  • Genres: action, adventure, drama
  • Episodes: 179
  • Original Release: 2014

Still looking for the best Turkish historical drama series? You will surely like his one! Dirilis: Ertugrul revolves around father and his son, Ertugrul, the person who established the Ottoman Empire. The actions take place in the 13th century, when 400 tents in Antalya plan to migrate to some new place for a better future. Although they do not fully support their leader, Ertugtul, his son, is fully loyal to him.

This TV show is very similar to Game of Thrones, a highly popular American series. However, it doesn’t have nudity and a high level of cruelty. Moreover, you will learn a lot about how Muslims contributed to the world.

Vatanim Sensin

Vatanim Sensin

1. Vatanim Sensin

Genres: drama, history, romance
Episodes: 59
Original Release: 2016

Here’s a Turkish historical drama set in the 1920s, the period of the Turkish War for Independence. That’s the time when Sultanate came to an end and Turkey became a nation. We are introduced to a family that fights the difficulties of this period.

It is falling apart: the husband is a Turkish soldier who sneaks into the Greek military and she is a female officer forming a military community. After her husband goes on a mission, she is left all alone with her children amid the war.

Vatanim Sensin is all about war, survival, treason, as well as love. It has everything to please even those who are the most demanding: unexpected twists, breathtaking battles, and the history behind the story.

More Turkish Dramas

© 2022 Diana

Related Articles