Notes: This article contains spoilers. I accept full responsibility for any grammatical misuse/misspelling of my favorite Turkish words, and any story errors.
The first encounter between Can Yaman and myself happened when I took a hesitant leap from Turkish drama into the alternate world of Turkish romantic comedy. I landed with both feet and a hopeful heart into the phenomenon of Erkenci Kus (“Early Bird”). There I found the endearing story of Sanem, her family and workplace, and the larger than life character of Can Divit. This unique and captivating figure raised my curiosity about the earlier works of actor Can Yaman.
Cautiously hopeful that his work in previous roles would reveal different facets of his talent, but still resonate as unique and magnetic characters, I journeyed back into his brief filmography to explore what Can Yaman brought to the table before the series of Erkenci Kus hit the world of rom-coms and turned it upside down. Part 1 of the journey (found here) was the often madcap Inadina Ask (“Love-Out-Of-Spite”), an imperfect series with a convincing performance by Can Yaman as Yalin Aras, a character I came to love with all of my dizi-binging heart. Now, on to Dolunay, Part 2 of Life Before Erkenci Kus.
Next Stop: Dolunay (“Full Moon”)
Filmed just a few years after Inadina Ask, Dolunay is definitely slicker and checks off most of the boxes that make for compelling Turkish drama. It is the usual formula with a love story based in Istanbul that delves into the lives of the rich and those living a modest life; dysfunctional family dynamics; and includes blackmail, scheming characters, and evil villainy on full display. Naturally, there is lots of food and plenty of tea served at all hours which for some strange reason is never consumed. We have the ubiquitous holding company, the cemetery, the police station, a funeral, a court room, the hospital, mountain hideaways, mansions facing the sea, and scene transitions featuring gorgeous views of the bridges that cross the turquoise blue Bosphorus. Truthfully, I sometimes grow tired of this same story formula…but, ablacim, that didn’t stop me from watching this one. Twice!
Let’s get something important out of the way. Billed as a romantic comedy, Dolunay’s comedic moments are sporadic and mostly confined to the side stories. It definitely oozes romance but is enveloped in a drama both intense and disturbing, including some brief scenes of violence and domestic abuse.
A Dolunay “Who’s Who!”
Nazli Pinar is a lovely, single young woman who is an industrious and talented graduate of a culinary arts program. She has been entrusted by her parents with the care of her younger sister Asuman, and embraces this responsibility with seriousness and love. The two sisters share an Istanbul apartment with Nazli’s lifelong devoted friend Fatos. The three of them scrape along together struggling to survive on very little income, each with their own unique dreams. Nazli hopes to open a restaurant of her own someday. Fatos is an aspiring fashion designer with a flair for drama. Asuman—well, Asuman is attending university but her distractions are many. She has a boldly expressed desire for the finer things in life that are well beyond her reach. She is flirtatious, engages in non-stop gossip, and spends way too much of her free time enjoying Istanbul nightlife with her friends. More on Ms. Asuman later.
The world of the wealthy includes a family that owns the thriving business of Pusula Holdings. The company was founded and built by the fathers of the current principal shareholders. They are siblings Ferit Aslan; his sister Zeynep Kaya and her husband Demir; and Demir’s brother Deniz.
Ferit is especially fond of Bulut, his adorable and precocious young nephew, the beloved child of Zeynep and Demir. They share an affectionate, extended family relationship with many happy memories, although there is clearly tension between Ferit and his mother, Leman. Since we are mentioning a mother/son relationship in a Turkish show, you can bet that there will be more to that story.
Also, in the holding company we will meet Engin, Ferit’s trusted employee and closest friend, and the unflappable and amazingly resourceful Mrs. Ikbal, Ferit’s personal assistant. Without a single hair out of place, she tracks down documents, organizes meetings, hires Ferit’s household staff, finds missing persons, and ejects disreputable relatives from the premises with confident flair. People: everyone needs a Mrs. Ikbal in their life!
There is a “black sheep” in this family, namely Demet, the sister of Deniz and Demir. She achieved this unenviable status by marrying the rough and odious Hakan Onder, a disgraced former employee of Pusula. Shunned by her family after the marriage, we also learn that Demet was once engaged to Ferit via an arranged marriage. While he put an end to it, she still carries a huge Olympic-sized torch for him. Demet is a glamorous blonde who sports an outrageous wardrobe of five-inch heels, stylish crop tops, lacy peek-a- boo things, clingy sheaths, and single-sleeved blouses. She does yoga on the deck and has not one ounce of body fat. Did I mention how much I hate Demet? No, not only because of her enviable BMI, but because she is not very nice. Her husband Hakan is bombastically inappropriate in social situations, falsely affable, and has the worst-groomed neck beard in all of Turkey. Lutfen, Hakan, see a barber and get that fixed. Hadi!
I guess now would be the perfect time to note that Hakan is the villain of this story. While he singlehandedly makes his wife’s life a living hell, he uses his minions to carry out his dirty work of smuggling, blackmail, and worse.
The secondary characters include Tarik, Engin’s driver; Alya, a talented singer who is Deniz’s former love; and Manami, a teacher of Japanese, an aspiring restaurateur, and a lover of art and culture. Their side stories intertwine with the main plot in ways that are frequently comical, and sometimes downright exasperating, especially when key moments between the romantic leads are interrupted.
The World According to Ferit
Ferit Aslan, head of Pusula holdings, has a methodical approach to business that is based on a process of careful analysis. The first step is to examine the situation from multiple angles, weigh all the options, then proceed on the most logical path that will ensure a positive outcome. This serves Ferit well. Because his actions are also governed by decency and ethics, he is well-respected and admired. Cool-headed, patient, and deliberative, once he chooses his course, he takes action with unwavering decisiveness and so creates his very ordered world. He applies this method to his personal life as well, which could possibly be the reason Ferit is seen as a forever bachelor by those who know him well. In an early scene with his friend Engin, Ferit discusses his deep distrust of women and his belief that women will use deception and manipulation to lead him to fall in love, only to later abandon him, leaving him with a broken heart. Ah, Ferit, ah! Despite his finely tailored suits in varying shades of beautiful blue, a glorious head of hair, enticing dimples, and a killer smile, Ferit Aslan walks alone.
In the Beginning
From Jane Austen’s perspective, “a single man in possession of a good fortune” and in want of a personal chef calls Mrs. Ikbal to make it happen. So begins Nazli’s tenure as Ferit Bey’s new employee. Despite Mrs. Ikbal’s best efforts and to no one’s surprise, his household has seen a long line of failed chefs and housekeepers, unable to abide by his demanding and meticulous routines. And this, my friends, is the beginning of the story of how Nazli excels in challenging Ferit Aslan’s ordered world view where so many have failed. And how they both find love in the process.
Nazli finds herself in a dream kitchen, hired to cook for a man she has yet to meet. Scheduled to arrive after Ferit has left for work, and depart before Ferit returns home, Nazli prepares dinners that boldly deviate from the written menus he leaves for her. Her practical side results in the appearance of unfamiliar items on Ferit’s counter top and instructive sticky notes that communicate reheating tips and applications of sauces for the food she has prepared. He responds by leaving her notes asking that she stop leaving him notes. While Ferit is cautiously impressed with her cooking, he is decidedly unimpressed with her willfulness to ignore his directives to stop leaving notes. Then one day, they finally meet face-to-face in a hilariously delicious scene. Suffice it to say that their preconceived notions of one another prove to be highly inaccurate.
Actions that come naturally to Nazli seem foreign to Ferit. He is either carefully observing her or studiously ignoring her. Nazli’s sense of adventure and spontaneity challenge Ferit’s cautious and methodical ways. Her creativity threatens his sense of order, and worse than that, she seemingly has no intention of changing her ways just to please her new boss. Her tasks are carried out without the deferential subservience that Ferit has come to expect. Yet, from their first encounter, Ferit Bey is mightily intrigued by his new personal chef, who continues to leave sticky notes in abundance.
Nazli and the adorable child Bulut come upon each other at Ferit’s house and instantly bond. When Ferit arrives and sees them together, his eyes soften and his heart starts to melt as he observes Nazli’s easy way with Bulut. Ablas, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but Can Yaman legit SHINES in the expressive eyes department; eye-sex included. UFF!
Actually, It’s NOT About You, Ferit Bey
Ferit is surprised to discover that Nazli’s accomplishments extend beyond his own kitchen. When Nazli appears at an event he is attending held in honor of his business colleagues from Japan, his reaction is very negative to her being there. His first thought is that she is only there to pursue him and takes no pains to hide his annoyance. Ferit is walking a fine line between suspicion and attraction. Nevertheless, at the suggestion of his Japanese guests, he shares a dance with a reluctant and none-too-pleased Nazli.
Despite having spilled her drink on the Japanese guest of honor, Nazli still manages to shine. She states her mortified apologies, in Japanese, and bonds with Mr. Nakatani and his wife in the process. This makes an impression on Ferit. As the evening moves forward, Ferit, Nazli and the Nakatani’s visit Ferit’s mansion for late-night coffee. However, featured instead is several cups of sake, NO coffee, and a cok tipsy Nazli. The Nakatani’s depart and Ferit, Nazli, and dolunay (that full moon!) are all that remain.
The Scientific Method, Ferit-Style
Rigorous skepticism is the cornerstone of the Scientific Method, and Ferit possesses this quality in spades. Maalasef, Ferit’s experiment is flawed from the outset as he cannot figure out how to be objective when it comes to his attraction to Nazli. Still, he soldiers on but makes the fatal error of inviting Nazli to bed. His methodology is neither scientific nor romantic, because his pick-up line actually accuses Nazli of trying to seduce him because he is rich! Smooth, Ferit… cok smooth. *SIDE NOTE: FERIT BEY IS BEHAVING LIKE AN ASS BUT HE LOOKS SO DAMN GOOD DOING IT. CARRY ON* Although this event occurs very early in the series, it’s an important one. So, in the spirit of Science, let’s examine the experiment in greater detail here in Table 1.
Table 1: The Ferit Aslan Seduction Experiment
Deniz is very much falling in love. He is coming off a bad breakup and has a lot to offer to the right woman, and his heart is set on Nazli. Meanwhile, the day after Ferit’s indecent proposal, Nazli gets a dinner invitation from Bulut’s mother. She reluctantly accepts, and Zeynep and Demir finally get to meet Bulut’s new BFF. Ferit joins the meal but it’s not pretty. Just know this, ablacim: if I were to ever get so inebriated as to wake up naked in my boss’s bed, there is no way I would show my face in public for ages. But that’s just me, and I’ve never had a boss who looks like Ferit Aslan.
Next, the whole dinner party heads over to the house of brother Deniz, where there are plenty of surprises to go around. Ferit discovers that Nazli and Deniz have previously met, and Deniz wonders why Nazli has been out to dinner with Ferit. Meanwhile, Alya remains deeply in love with her ex, Deniz, and her quick senses detect the sparks flying between Ferit and Nazli. This is no love triangle; it’s more like a Turkish parallelogram, people!
Then in a shocking and sad turn of events, Zeynep and Demir are killed in a car accident. The passengers in the car, Bulut and his grandmother Leman, are both seriously injured. The family is shaken. Deniz is broken and fragile, and a stoic Ferit takes the lead to serve as guardian for the injured and now orphaned Bulut. Inconsolable and angrily acting out from his little hospital bed, it is only when Nazli appears that Bulut allows his mask of anger to fall away. The ensuing scene of the raw heartbreak of a grieving child is wrenching. Bulut is able to express his loss in simple words and finally, to cry. As did I. Nazli is asked to return to Ferit’s home as Bulut’s caretaker. She willingly, readily, and generously agrees. Her kindness and empathetic understanding of Bulut’s needs touches Ferit deeply. A tiny little fire is also starting to make its way into Nazli’s heart, too.
A business getaway lands Ferit and Nazli in interesting territory. This is illustrated by a hotel room mix-up, Nazli enjoying a bubble bath in the bathroom of guess-who, a late-night omelet personally prepared for two, and lots of Can Yaman-style eye-sex.
A World of Pain
The death of Bulut’s parents mostly give way to a world of pain, treachery, and sadness. The death of Zeynep and Demir also brings Demet out of estrangement and back into the life of her brother Deniz, adding to this complex story arc. For unclear reasons, odious Hakan is hell-bent on taking Ferit for everything he’s got, starting with wresting away custody of Bulut to gain control of the shares that Bulut has inherited from his parents, and influencing Deniz to side with Demet for the same purpose.
Poor Bulut desperately wants to remain with Ferit but the courts see it otherwise. Ferit loses custody of Bulut and Nazli loses Ferit, thanks in part to the actions of her younger sister, Asuman.
Asuman, Enfante Terrible
Asuman wants more of everything, and if she manages to emerge unscathed from her various scrapes, then what’s the big deal? Asuman wants things, lots of things, and this takes cash. Hakan and Demet hit the jackpot when they find Asuman to help them in their quest to maintain custody of Bulut and discredit Ferit as a guardian. Asuman steals a potentially incriminating document which makes its way to family court and causes Ferit to lose custody, and Ferit and Bulut are both devastated. Not long after, Nazli learns what Asuman has done.
Even knowing her sister crossed the line in a huge way, she cannot share this with Ferit. She has to protect Asuman from the legal repercussions of her thoughtless action. This is an awful burden for Nazli to bear, especially as she begins very cautiously to allow Ferit into her heart. Ferit’s feelings for Nazli grow along with his trust, tentatively scaling that huge barrier of female betrayal that has ruled him for so long.
Nazli opens a wonderful restaurant with her friend Manami, and Ferit becomes a partner in the venture. Deniz is hoping mightily that Alya is wrong when she tells him there are sparks between Nazli and Ferit. Even after seeing it with his own eyes, Deniz continues to deny the truth. Nazli has been resisting the fire because of the awful actions of her sister, but she is finding Ferit cok irresistible.
Of course, then this happens. Deniz, who normally doesn’t possess a mean bone in his body, loses it. He delivers a flash drive to Ferit that reveals Asuman’s collusion with Hakan and Demet. In a brutal scene, Ferit confronts Nazli with all that he has lost because of her silence. First and foremost, losing Bulut but now also losing trust in her.
Going to the Chapel of Love
Sighs, ablas, big sighs. In the way of the Turkish dizi, for lovers who really love each other but won’t admit it for one reason or another, there always seems to be that one last decent option: get married but in name only. Ferit’s only reason for doing this is to promote the wholesome image of a happily married couple so he can regain custody of Bulut. Nazli agrees, if only to rectify the wrongs done to Ferit by Asuman’s actions and by her own silence. Watching the performance of Can Yaman at this point in the story, with great finesse, he shows Ferit as angry and deeply hurt but still in love with Nazli, just not ready to forgive her. And damn it all, even when Ferit tries to soften up towards Nazli, Deniz or one of the other side characters shows up like a bad penny, with the worst possible timing. Ferit goes ahead with an ornate proposal scene. In his heart of hearts, he wishes it were real but its cruel twist pierces Nazli’s heart… and mine too.
Evil Demet, in her best mode of “if I can’t have Ferit, then no one can” steps in and locks Nazli inside a giant freezer with frozen fish, four hours before the wedding is to take place. But Deniz discovers where Nazli is and rescues her before frostbite sets in.
Looking handsome and delectable in his wedding tux, Ferit is furious with her for leaving him at the, um, wedding table. Before Nazli can explain exactly why she smells so fishy, Ferit has already decided that she is flighty, unreliable, and out to make him miserable. Nazli says nothing more. Naturally, they are officially married later that day and they pull it off quite credibly. We are treated with a delicious scene where Nazli is struggling to extricate herself from her wedding gown, and Ferit has to help with all those tiny buttons. But then they are off, to separate bedrooms for their wedding night. Aman!
Speaking of the ways of the Turkish dizi, any exposure to cold temperatures or the slightest of drafts will absolutely result in a high fever the next day, and requires drastic intervention. In Nazli’s case, this results in a cold (hot!) shower personally administered by her brand new, in-name-only hubby.
Ferit heads back into family court. Now that he is a married man in the eyes of the judge, he regains custody of Bulut. To keep up appearances, Ferit and Nazli share a bed. However, all that happens there are nightly battles for blankets and bed space. Ferit learns later from the fish guy that Nazli missed wedding Number One because she somehow (on purpose) got locked in the deep-freeze. Ferit: see what happens when you ASSUME? Naturally, Bulut is deliriously happy to be back in the loving circle of Ferit and Nazli, proving that the wedding in name only was worth it. Surprisingly, Asuman is on hand to help a heartbroken Deniz pick up the pieces as he deals with his feelings about Ferit and Nazli’s marriage.
You just knew an innocent person was going to end up in jail. In Dolunay, it is Ferit. In supportive wife mode, Nazli goes to him offering encouragement and means it with all of her heart. Ferit sneaks in as much hugging time with his wife that a wealthy man under arrest can manage. Ferit is released and returns home, unwrinkled and perfectly groomed without benefit of a travel kit.
Truth is dangerous if you are married to Hakan, because that car accident that killed Bulut’s parents? Hakan arranged that. Demet now becomes aware that she is married to the murderer of her brother. When Hakan discovers that she now knows the truth of what happened, he arranges some pretty hideous blackmail schemes to keep her quiet. Demet resorts to bathrobes, liquor, and tears, and her mascara runs prettily. Despite her shock and fear of Hakan, she has the presence of mind to provoke him to the point of his shouting out a confession of his deeds. She makes a secret recording of it all and hides the small Dictaphone tape in Deniz’s house. Hakan also verbally unleashes the venom he harbors towards Ferit, and how he wants to take him down in a big way. This part also ends up on the tape. What we don’t know is why Hakan hates Ferit. That particular secret is known to Leman, Ferit’s mother.
Mother issues for Turkish men are huge. Rare is the dizi hero who does not worship his mama, and so far, Can Yaman’s dizi men are now 0 for 3. There is a trust issue, and it’s big; big enough to keep Ferit from trusting all woman. (You may wish to refer back to Table 1). The upshot is that back when Ferit was a (very serious) child, he inadvertently becomes privy to his mother Leman’s indiscretions, and in the terrible ways of childhood guilt, thinks this secret must be hidden from his father. That guilt has never been resolved, nor the barely repressed anger he harbors towards his mother. Ferit Aslan can do contempt pretty well, and you do not want to be on the receiving end of that.
Party of Surprises
Nazli arranges a special surprise birthday party for Ferit. The guest list includes several of Ferit’s old friends. Ferit is touched by Nazli’s thoughtfulness and the party is a tender success. The fictitiously married couple puts on a realistic show of affection for the crowd. Purely an act, evet or hayir?
Every dizi surpreeeze party must include a shocker. Nazli innocently creates one by inviting a particular person from Ferit’s old circle, Pelin. When she arrives, she is greeted warmly by Nazli but with abject horror by pretty much everyone else. Unbeknownst to Nazli, Pelin is Ferit’s ex-fiancee. Ferit gives Pelin the what-for and she quickly departs.
In a lovely scene in an outdoor pavilion the following morning, Ferit tries to set Nazli’s mind at ease about Pelin. And he finally gives her the forgiveness she craves.
Three More Sticky Notes
Bad News! Word is leaking out that Ferit and Nazli have a “fictitious” marriage. Much to Ferit’s displeasure, Asuman is already aware of this. Because he has overheard it from Engin, Deniz also knows. Ferit will not risk losing Bulut again and is convinced that Asuman is responsible for the leak. Nazli defends her sister but Ferit will not hear it. To top it off, Ferit is not willing to own up to the fact that he sees their marriage as more than a fictitious arrangement, despite the mutual eye-sex. In true Nazli style, she leaves Ferit a new batch of sticky notes. She is tired. She is angry. And she is leaving.
Let’s All Go to Olive Garden
Ferit will find where Nazli went and why she left, because he is who he is, and Mrs. Ikbal is who she is. Ferit’s first move is a visit to Fatos. Naturally she has been sworn to secrecy but for some reason is babbling about how much she loves olives. Meanwhile, Nazli is on a bus ride headed to the mountains to help with the olive harvest. In a series of adorable scenes, Ferit shows up, Nazli angrily flings olives at him, the villagers wink and nod, and a Turkish lunch al fresco leads Ferit and Nazli on a wild mushroom safari through the forest. And, oh snap! Ferit and Nazli have lost their way, and it’s conveniently getting dark soon. But wait! Up ahead is a mountain chalet, and there’s tea and stuff, and Can Yaman again gets to display his excellent log-splitting skills. I’m swooning!!
The story has now reached a turning point because of three monumental events; well, really FOUR. You may order them in the proper sequence, depending on your personal preferences:
1. Ferit gently asks Nazli why she left him.
2. Tired and heartbroken, Nazli tells him that it’s hard to maintain a fictitious marriage. Ferit concurs and we all know why.
3. Ferit and Nazli finally express their love for each other in words and some lovely preliminary deeds
4. Bare shoulders fill the screen, and then, and THEN… Cut to that freaking bridge over the Bosphorus!! Well, a girl will just have to dream.
Leman has come with a suitcase and a monster-in-law attitude and is waiting back at Ferit’s mansion. When he arrives, Ferit confronts her and makes it abundantly clear that Nazli will be respected. However, the few mean-hearted Turkish dizi mothers I’ve come across have clearly all had special training in throwing shade. Nazli is kind and deferential, but only as far as Ferit will permit. Because as we all know, Ferit has rules! Speaking of Ferit’s rules, Deniz has an awful time coming to terms with them. Ferit’s methodical approach has always served him well because it rarely interferes with his sense of decency. Deniz, with his free-spirited and artistic nature, takes issue with it simply because his own approach is so different.
Finally, at home and in bed as a truly married couple, Nazli gently coaxes Ferit to talk to her about his relationship with his mother. In a moving scene, Ferit opens his heart with trust and honesty. Ah, Ferit bey.
Sunshine, Lollipops, and Roses
Ferit and Nazli are now extra-officially married, so bring on the waterfront strolls, the balloon man, the food vendors, and couples’ pottery making!! I’ve learned the hard way that too much happiness in dizi-land can only mean one thing: something really, really bad is gonna go down. Perpetrated by another of Asuman’s poor choices, Nazli becomes a victim of Hakan’s penchant for blackmail. He demands that Nazli divorce Ferit so he can regain custody of Bulut. Asuman grows tired of her own behavior and wants to end it all. With his innate and sensitive goodness, Deniz talks her down to safety.
Later, Ferit, oblivious to Nazli’s predicament, posts his own set of sticky notes, directing Nazli to the most dreamy, romantic NON-fictitious proposal, which Nazli must REJECTto save Asuman from Hakan’s threat. Crushed, Nazli initiates divorce proceedings. While initially broken and bewildered, here is where Ferit’s calm perseverance comes to serve him so well. He knows Nazli loves him and patiently waits for the truth to emerge, despite the personal pain they both endure. Through streaming tears, I give you the ensuing TERRIBLE events via Table 2, below:
Table 2: Post-Blackmail Index of Terribility
Asuman Cleans Up and Deniz Mans Up
Asuman has taken a good hard look at her behavior after almost flinging herself off a roof and is finally ready to grow up. Asuman makes sure Ferit learns the reason Nazli has been pushing him away. Deniz implores Nazli to fix things with Ferit for the sake of Nazli and Ferit’s unmistakable love, and moreover for the sake of Bulut’s well-being and safety. And with the simple speaking of the truth, Nazli and Ferit are one again.
Ferit learns that his engagement with Pelin went down in flames courtesy of the scheming Demet. She had totally orchestrated the story of Pelin’s infidelity. In a satisfying confrontation, his voice dripping with contempt, Ferit tells Demet, “You are gross”. Or so said the English subtitle. Demet, have you not heard of waterproof mascara?
Asuman and Deniz find the Dictaphone recording, and Hakan is on the loose. After he almost shoots Nazli, Hakan and Ferit struggle for the gun and almost shoot each other. And as Leman stands frozen in place at the scene, the whole truth is finally revealed. Gun in hand, Hakan tells the shocking story of how his father was murdered by Ferit’s father. How he was orphaned by his father’s death and passed from house to house as a child in the foster system. The murder was committed because Hakan’s father was actually the person with whom Leman was carrying on her affair.
This all makes for a big vengeful grudge festering over decades as Hakan made plans to take Ferit Aslan down. Now his triumphant day has finally come! Unfortunately for Hakan, the police have also come and take him into custody. Demet is tracked down at Deniz’s house, and cries some more before getting shipped off to jail, although stopping briefly to ask Nazli to take care of Ferit. Nazli is too kind to respond to Demet, or maybe she is just having flashbacks of the fish freezer.
I’m not playing, because the final episode IS one big wrap party. I guess the story ends were all tied up, so why not give screen time to some Turkish musical talent? I actually enjoyed most of it, and we got to see Mrs. Ikbal let her hair down and be reminded just how talented the actors playing Deniz and Alya are. I could listen to Alya sing all day. Nazli and Ferit exchange lovely gifts, the kind you love to see in a dizi with a happy conclusion.
You may have noticed that I have barely mentioned the side stories involving Engin, Fatos, Tarik, and Manami. In truth, I did not find their stories compelling enough to feel invested in them. Yes, Fatos was a good and loving friend to Nazli. But when she accepted Engin’s proposal simply because she was overwhelmed by the beauty of the ring, she lost me. Is this the same girl who preferred Tarik’s gift of a bunch of country garlic over Engin’s fine necklace? Go figure. Even though these characters offered many comical moments, my heart and brain were forever on the look-out for Ferit and Nazli.
Hakan Kurtas plays Deniz. After seeing him previously in a bad-guy role in Carpisma, he skillfully creates the completely different and utterly sympathetic character of Deniz. His musical talents shine too. A word about Nazli. She is a character to be adored. Her kind heart, beautiful smile, and practical and natural approach to life is singularly refreshing. Nazli is made even more charming because her character is also a bit rough around the edges. I found the casting of Ozge Gurel to be perfect. She is beautiful, husky-voiced, and petite. I just loved her.
About Can Yaman as Ferit Aslan
Can Yaman filled the screen with his unique character of Can Divit in Erkenci Kus. And while Ferit Aslan is more conservative and less flashy, he is also a well-crafted and enduring character. Looking back chronologically to Yalin Aras in the earlier Inadina Ask, I can easily say that when I examine each character, I see Yalin and I see Ferit, with no sign of Can Divit. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I started this retrospective project and to me, speaks to some fine acting!
Despite his huge fan base, sometimes I don’t believe that Can Yaman gets the respect he deserves. Perhaps his small repertoire, combined with his Can Divit phenomenon, make it easier for some others to overlook him. But not me. Definitely, not me.
Photos courtesy of No Dokuz Productions
Special thanks to Mary Bloyd, editor
© Teddie Potter 2020
Copyright by North America TEN and Teddie Potter 2020
#FeritAslan #NazliPinar #Dolunay #NazFer #CanYaman #OzgeGurel #CagriBayrak