In the last couple of years, the number of people watching the Turkish series has increased by a large value not only in the east but also in the Western countries. Turkish TV series have a huge fanbase in countries like the United States, China, Russia, Balkan countries, the Middle East, Korea, Latin America, and Asia. Although a lot of popular Turkish shows have been dubbed in English, available to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming platforms, the viewers still seem to enjoy the original version with subtitles.
One of the most popular Turkish TV series that are watched by numerous viewers internationally is ‘Kurulus: Osman’, which revolves around the life of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I. If you have already watched the show but still can’t get over it, we are here for your rescue. Following is a list of the top eight captivating series that are similar to ‘Kurulus Osman’ and deal with history, royal family, war, state affairs, action, and adventure.
Dirilis: Ertugrul (2014–2019)
Created by: Mehmet Bozdağ
Starring: Engin Altan Düzyatan, Hülya Darcan, Kaan Taşaner, Didem Balçın, Cengiz Coşkun, Esra Bilgiç, Nurettin Sönmez
Number of seasons: 5
Set in the 13th century, the Turkish show ‘Dirilis: Ertugrul’ is the prequel of ‘Kurulus Osman’ and has been inspired by the life of Ertuğrul Ghazi the father of Osman I, who established the Ottoman Empire. Ertuğrul agrees to confront the enemies of a sultan in exchange for tribal land when a good deed ends up getting his clan in danger. The show has become one of the most popular Turkish historical series that has gathered a lot of fame not into in Turkey but also globally, particularly in Azerbaijan and Pakistan. It delivers the message of Erdoğan and his party and has been awarded several awards. You can binge-watch all the seasons of the show online on Netflix.
Rise of Empires: Ottoman (2020)
Directed by: Emre Şahin
Starring: Cem Yiğit Üzümoğlu, Selim Bayraktar, Tommaso Basili, Tuba Büyüküstün, Osman Sonant, Damla Sönmez
Number of seasons: 1
‘Rise of Empires: Ottoman‘ is a Netflix Original docudrama that focuses on the Ottoman Empire, revolving around Sultan Mehmed II, who wages a legendary campaign that led to the fall of the Eastern Roman capital of Constantinople. Dealing with one of the most significant events that change the course of history, the show has, for now, come up with just one season, but there is a high probability that the show makers might come up with a brand new season soon. The character of Mehmed II successfully managed to showcase how kind, well-educated and intelligent the Sultan was and what were his true ingenious. A handful of highly charged and epic battle scenes have also been delivered by the series making the series a must-watch for all the historical genre lovers. You can watch all the six episodes of the series on Netflix.
Payitaht: Abdülhamid (2017-2021)
Directed by: Emre Konuk, Serdar Akar, Doğan Ümit Karaca, Şevki Es
Starring: Bülent İnal, Bahadır Yenişehirlioğlu, Ozlem Conker, Hakan Boyav
Number of seasons: 5
The Turkish TV series narrates the life of Sultan Abdülhamid Han, or Abdul Hamid II, who was crowned as the ‘Great Khan’ ruling on the throne for 33 long years. Also named ‘The Last Emperor,’ the show depicts the historical events that took place during the rule of Sultan Abdul Hamid II and his struggles to keep keep the Empire and Caliphate alive, with his smart moves against the enemies of Islam. The show has succeeded in delivering how the west and the zionists had attempted to ruin the imperium and harmony of people living during that time. The show has been praised wholeheartedly by the Muslims and has been claimed to showcase the fierce but accurate details of history. You can check the series out on YouTube for free.
The Great Seljuks: Guardians of Justice (2020-present)
Directed by: Sedat İnci
Starring: Buğra Gülsoy, Ekin Koç, Hatice Şendil, Sezin Akbaşoğulları, Gürkan Uygun, Mehmet Özgür, Sevda Erginci
Number of seasons: 1
‘The Great Seljuks: Guardians of Justice’ is a fiction TV series that focuses on the life of Sultan Malik-Shah I and Ahmad Sanjar, his son, who together structured the Seljuk Empire. The show depicts the political events and wars that took place during their reign and narrates the struggles and battles of the Sultan against the leader of the Order of Assassins, Hassan-i Sabbah, who fought in order to reimpose the Fatimid Caliphate, followed by the battle against the Byzantine Empire, along with the rival states that tried to weaken the Seljuks. The show has received a lot of praise in Turkey as well as in several other countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Being called a record-breaking TV series, the show has been compared with ‘Diriliş: Ertuğrul,’ which is known worldwide for the portrayal of the life of Ertuğrul. You can watch the show on Multipoint TV along with English subtitles.
The Magnificent Century (2011-2014)
Directed by: Durul Taylan, Yagmur Taylan, Mert Baykal, Yağız Alp Akaydın
Starring: Halit Ergenç, Meryem Uzerli, Okan Yalabık, Vahide Perçin, Nebahat Çehre, Selma Ergeç, Nur Fettahoğlu, Mehmet Günsür
Number of seasons: 4
One of the first Turkish historical series that managed to grab the attention of the international viewers, ‘The Magnificent Century’ has been inspired by the life history of the longest-ruling Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Süleyman, and his wife Sultana Hürrem Sultan, who was originally a slave era. It brings into the limelight the dark side of royalty where revenge, bloodshed, assassinations, and backstabbing are common norms, and no one can sleep peacefully. The storyline has remained engaging and gripping till the very end, with amazing performances by the actors, especially the ones who played the roles of Suleiman, Hurrem, Mahidevran, and Bayezid. The use of classic costumes, direction as well as the dramatization of the Ottoman empire has also aided in making the series an international success. You can tune in to fuboTV and DIRECTV and watch the complete series with English subtitles.
The Protector (2018-2020)
Created by: Binnur Karaevli
Starring: Çağatay Ulusoy, Ayça Ayşin Turan, Hazar Ergüçlü, Okan Yalabık, Burçin Terzioğlu, Engin Öztürk, Funda Eryiğit, Taner Ölmez
Number of seasons: 4
‘The Protector’ is a Netflix Original Fantasy Turkish series that has been adapted from the 2016 Turkish novel by Nilüfer İpek Gökdel titled, ‘A Strange Story of Charcoal and a Young Man’. The show revolves around an Istanbul shopkeeper living in modern Istanbul, Hakan Demir, who, after the murder of his adoptive father, ends up discovering that he is somehow related to an ancient secret order which bears the responsibility to protect the city. With the help of Kemal and his daughter Zeynep, who are the members belonging to the secret order of the Loyal Ones, Hakan embraces the legacy of his family as The Protector and embarks on a journey to end the Immortal enemy, preventing the demolition of the city. The series combines the mystical elements along with modern business rivalries with the dreams of a young man. You can absolutely binge-watch all the four seasons of the show on Netflix.
Created by: Michael Hirst
Starring: Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Jessalyn Gilsig, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård, George Blagden, Gabriel Byrne, Donal Logue
Number of seasons: 6
Although ‘Vikings’ is a non-Turkish historical show, it shares a similar theme to ‘Kurulus Osman’, focusing on the life stories of one of the most known epic Norse heroes, Ragnar Lothbrok, who was notorious in West Francia and Anglo-Saxon England. Ragnar gains fame by making a raid to England, gradually becoming the king of Scandia, aided by his family members and fellow warriors. The later seasons of the series focus on the fortunes of his sons along with their adventures in England, Kievan Rus’, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, and America. One of the best historical series ever made, all the seasons of ‘Vikings’ are available for stream on Netflix.
The Last Kingdom (2015-present)
Starring: Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson, Emily Cox, Tobias Santelmann, Adrian Bower, Thomas W. Gabrielsson
Total Number of Seasons: 4
Adapted from a series of novels by Bernard Cornwell titled ‘The Saxon Stories,’ ‘The Last Kingdom‘ is a British historical series which has been set around 800-900 A.D in England. The show follows a conflict between the Vikings and the Saxons— one who is determined to capture more ground while the other wanting to defend their land from the Vikings. The protagonist of the series is Uhtred, who is born as a Saxon but has been raised by their enemies, the Vikings. In order to claim his birthright, Uhtred sets out on a dangerous quest— between the two sides. You can stream the show online on Netflix and Prime Video.