Weekdays on TDC (DStv 123)
Weekdays on TDC (DStv 123)

TDC (DStv 123) gives you classic characters to fall in love with

Pick a character, pick a show and get into all the Turkish telenovela action on TDC (DStv 123)

From November, fans of those epic Turkish telenovelas have a new home on DStv – the Timeless Dizi Channel or TDC (DStv 123). In November, we have 2 series set during the 1970s – Karadayi, and Moms and Mothers – and one modern tale of star-crossed love in The Red Scarf.

As they bring us the kinds of characters we find so compelling in our telenovela stories, they do it with Turkish flavour. Karadayi, particularly, is set in Istanbul and is a treat for the eyes in every episode, while the 1970s fashion is just intriguing at this point.

If you’re not sure where to start, try out one of these fantastic characters…

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The Tortured Hero

35-year-old Mahir Kara (Kenan İmirzalıoğlu), known to his nephew as Karadayi – the uncle in black – is a complicated man. He’s something of a Godfather figure in the series Karadayi, set in 1970s Istanbul. But he and his father are the ones protecting their neighbourhood from gangsterism and drugs.

All the local girls are in love with Karadayi. As the series begins, he has yet to lose his heart – despite being on the verge of marrying beautiful, somewhat spoilt, orphan Ayten (Melike İpek Yalova), who’s been over the moon for him since she was 14 years old. But when his father, Nazif (Çetin Tekindor), is framed (in Mahir’s place) for the murder of a prosecutor on the day of Mahir and Ayten’s engagement party, Mahir drops everything to declare war on the legal system. He goes undercover as a law clerk to clear his father’s name and save his life. It’s an action that puts him on a conflicted course with the woman who could be his true love, the graceful and upright judge on his father’s case, Feride Şadoğlu (Bergüzar Korel), who has no idea of his real identity.

Mahir, a shoemaker by trade like his father, is a man who values education and grew up wanting to be a teacher, but he got twisted off that path over and over by fate. He saw his own father murder his mother for adultery, yet came to love and respect his stepmother, Safiye Kara (Şebnem Dilligil), thanks to the loving care and fairness with which she raised him. He longs for justice and peace, but has a violent temper. He’s unpredictable, passionate and driven to be protective of those around him, particularly his younger stepsiblings. And at all times, he is surrounded by 2-faced enemies and backstabbers with loyalties to the gangsters that he and his father have chased out over the years.

PS: Model-turned-actor Kenan won 16 Best Actor awards for his portrayal of the complicated, emotional, dangerous yet sympathetic Mahir.

Watch Karadayi, weekdays on TDC (DStv 123) at 20:00

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The powerful heroine

33-year-old Feride Şadoğlu (Bergüzar Korel), the chief judge of the criminal court in Istanbul, comes from a rich but honourable and educated family. Her intelligence and work ethic have made her the apple of her family’s eye, and they have always valued her and her brother, Melih (Olgun Toker), equally (unlike in Mahir’s family, where women’s roles have been strictly limited). She loves and honours her family, particularly her grandfather, who is her hero.

Feride is a strongly patriotic woman who wants Istanbul to be a safe and just city, free of thugs and gangsters. She approaches the law and her cases with an open mind, and she is unbribable and cannot be intimidated. As such, she has made many dangerous enemies during her time as a judge.

Feride’s beauty has attracted marriage offers, but she has treated the law as her first duty, always. She’s looking for a man of substance and integrity, and she hasn’t met him yet. It worries her mother, Kerime Şadoğlu (Lila Gürmen), who doesn’t think the law makes a suitable husband, and she is determined to play matchmaker. Her father, Beyefendi Şadoğlu (Erhan Yazıcıoğlu), is also playing matchmaker, but with a more sinister goal. In his drive to become prime minister of Turkey, he has been amassing money, power and connections as a secret godfather of crime. And he has his eyes on a match that would allow him to control both Feride and Mahir.

Meeting Mahir releases Feride’s flirty side, and we get to see a completely different side of Istanbul’s elegant sole female judge.

PS: Bergüzar’s performance caught the eye of Oscar winner Russell Crowe, a huge fan of the Karadayi series, which he found addictive while he was filming The Water Diviner in Turkey. He believes she could be a big Hollywood star.

Watch Karadayi, weekdays on TDC (DStv 123) at 20:00

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The ultimate star-crossed lovers

Telenovela The Red Scarf is based on Kyrgyzstani author Chingiz Aitmatov's short story, My Poplar in a Red Scarf, which has been adapted for films and stage plays as well as this telenovela. The star-crossed lovers are a feisty, wild-hearted young Turkish woman named Asiye Has (Özge Özpirinçci) and a cheeky young man named Ilyas Avci (Seçkin Özdemir) who is determined to become a motocross champion. Both make mistakes with their choices not long into their hasty marriage (their wedding will be coming up soon on TDC). Ayise takes their unborn child and goes off with a kindly, loving man called Cemşit (Ahmet Mekin), leaving Ilyas kicking himself over letting her go so he could chase his racing dreams and a sexy, powerful ex-girlfriend of his. Once he becomes famous, rich and successful, Ilyas is determined to win back Ayise, leaving her to make her own tough choice between her peaceful, loving and stable life with Cemşit, and the reckless passion that Ilyas has always awakened in her.

As a romance, it seems a bit questionable, particularly with the scenes of abuse and cheating. But Asiye and Ilyas are both complicated, sensitive and determined people, and the way that they both think about love is deeply poetic and dramatic. Early in the series, Asiye tries to renounce love, vowing, “I promise not to love anybody until the day I die. I’ll put his kisses into a box and throw it into the sea. I will forget him.” Good luck with that, Ayise. That box is going to float and wash up on your shores again all too soon.

Watch The Red Scarf, weekdays on TDC (DStv 123) at 18:20

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The evil matriarch

Widowed mother and nurse Neriman Turan (Binnur Kaya) is one of those people who is incapable of believing that they’re ever wrong. She extends that attitude to her son, Murat (Hakan Kurtas). Her beloved, darling baby boy has never done a thing wrong in his life. So when Murat gets swept up in a student political movement at his university, Neriman blames his young wife, Zeliha (Sinem Kobal). And when Zeliha falls pregnant, cruel Neriman literally takes the baby from her breast to have another woman, named Kader (Hazar Erguclu), raise it, while telling Zeliha that her baby is dead. There’s something sinister about Neriman’s bloodline. She, her corrupt psycho cop brother, Ayhan (Okan Yalabik), and even the blindly ambitious Murat are obsessed with getting what they want at any cost. Neriman will manipulate, control and destroy whatever stands in her path to meet her goals. And she’ll never show a sign of weakness.

The brave knight

Student activist Tahsin (Metin Akdulger) is hung up on love without being a drip about it. He has secretly loved Zeliha even before she married Murat. During the protests at the university, while Murat focuses on his own goals, Tahsin always keeps an eye out for Zeliha’s safety. Even after Murat’s death, Tahsin stands by Zeliha. While he is determined to whisk her away to Sweden, when she decides to stay in Turkey to search for her baby, believing him to still be alive, he continues to stand by her. Zeliha was Tahsin’s love at first sight, and like a knight from a storybook, he will remain true to his one love and live to protect and serve her without any expectation of being loved in return. Secretly, Tahsin comes from a rich family and could pretty much have anything he’s ever wanted. But this honourable man knows that you can’t buy love. When it comes down to it, Tahsin is even willing to marry another woman in a bargain to keep Zeliha safe – sacrificing any last chance to ever be with her.

Watch Moms and Mothers, weekdays on TDC (DStv 123) at 19:10

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