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Best Turkish Movies for Learning Turkish

Wouldn’t it be fun learning Turkish by watching Turkish movies? You’ll be glad to hear that today, movies are an effective way of teaching a foreign language. They’re used both as a visual and an auditory tool.

Further, Turkish movies reflect the real life, popular culture, and art of the Turkish society. They’re also a good way to learn about daily conversations and improve pronunciation. Turkish movies with English subtitles will not only help you increase your vocabulary, but also help you understand how and where the words are used. In other words, Turkish movies will help you develop your skills for verbal communication and comprehension. You can watch Turkish movies on Netflix or YouTube.

Table of Contents

  1. How Can Turkish Learners Make the Most of Watching Movies?
  2. General Info about Turkish Films
  3. Movies to Watch
  4. Conclusion: How TurkishClass101 Can Help You Learn More Turkish

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1. How Can Turkish Learners Make the Most of Watching Movies?

Top Verbs

Watching a movie, whether it’s a Turkish prison movie or a Turkish cat movie (such as Kedi), will increase your exposure to the language. However, in order to get the most out of these Turkish movies, you should pay attention to the following:

  • First of all, try to learn what kind of movie you’ll be watching. This is critical because it will be more helpful to choose the type of movie you enjoy.
  • Since repetition is important in learning a foreign language, watch the movie more than once.
  • Turkish movies with English subtitles are helpful, but try to limit subtitle use to your first watch. After the first time, you should watch it without the subtitles.
  • Don’t use a dictionary while watching the movie. I can hear you saying, “I can stop it, use the dictionary, and then resume it.” No, no, that’s not a good idea at all. Do not look up words. However, you can make a note of the words that you need to look up later.


  • Back to the importance of repetition; repeat the words and phrases that are frequently used in the movie.
  • Try to summarize what’s going on in the film from time to time.

Use these tips to watch Turkish movies for your maximum benefit and enjoyment!

2. General Info about Turkish Films

Movie Genres

Before introducing our list of Turkish films, let’s go over some Turkish terminology related to movies.

· Sinema / Sinema filmi – “Movie”

· Film – “Film”

· İzlemek / Seyretmek – “To watch”

· Oyuncu – “Actor / actress”

· Yönetmen – “Director”

· Korku – “Horror”

· Komedi – “Comedy”

Now that you have an idea of the terminology and vocabulary you should know about Turkish movies, we’ll give you a little information on the different types of Turkish movies out there!

a. Turkish Horror Movies

There are quite a few Turkish horror movies. However, they’re not as popular as horror movies in the USA because the movie sector in this arena is still developing. Dabbe, Siccin, Ses, and Gen are some Turkish horror movies you may stumble across in your search for a good scary film.

b. Turkish Cat Movies

Yes, we’re really including this. There’s a Turkish-made documentary film about the wild cats of Istanbul, called Kedi, (or “Cat” in English). It’s a heartwarming movie, and highly acclaimed in Turkey and the United States.

c. Turkish Prison Movies

Some popular Turkish prison movies are: 72. koğuş, Duvar, Uçurtmayı vurmasınlar, Tatar Ramazan, and Yol. The film Yol won numerous honors, including the Palme d’Or at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.

d. Turkish Comedy Movies

There are a lot of Turkish comedy movies. Here are some of them: Hababam Sınıfı, Salako, Vizontele, Tosun Paşa, Dondurmam Gaymak, and Organize İşler.

Comedy Movie

e. Other Types of Turkish Movies

There are also many drama, romance, and historical movies in Turkish. However, you may find that adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy movies are a little more popular. These include movies like G.O.R.A and A.R.O.G.

f. Turkish Movies 2018

If you’re looking for newer Turkish movies that are highly acclaimed, check out some of the best Turkish movies 2018: Müslüm, Kelebekler, Bizim için Şampiyon, Ahlat Ağacı, Sibel, Börü, and Ölümlü Dünya.

Improve Pronunciation

3. Movies to Watch

1 – Süt Kardeşler – “The Foster Brothers”

This is a 1976 Turkish comedy film directed by Ertem Eğilmez. Its cast consists of famous actors and actresses, including: Kemal Sunal, Şener Şen, Halit Akçatepe, Hale Soygazi, Adile Naşit, and Ayşen Gruda.

It’s the story of a famous writer named Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar.

Miss Melek lives in a mansion. She thinks Ramazan, who is Şaban’s friend, is her foster son and Ramazan stays with her. When she realizes she made a mistake, she introduces Ramazan to her brother Hüsamettin as her son-in-law, Bayram, because Hüsamettin is a short-tempered character. Things get complicated when the real Şaban comes to the mansion. Meanwhile, a gulyabani (a ghoul from Turkish folklore) haunts the mansion.

Here’s a quote from the movie:
Ben garip bir dilenciyim sokak sokak gezerim’.
“I am a strange beggar, wandering around the streets.”

This movie is recommended for Turkish learners at the beginner level.

2 – Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım – “The Girl with the Red Scarf”

This is a 1978 Turkish romantic drama film, directed by Atıf Yılmaz. The cast consists of Türkan Şoray, Kadir İnanır, and Ahmet Mekin.

It’s about a village girl who falls in love with a truck driver from İstanbul. They get married and have a child. One night, the husband (Ilyas) helps a man, and his life changes from then on. He leaves his wife and his son. He goes back to his ex-girlfriend. After that, the wife (Asya) takes her son and goes away, without a clue where she’ll end up.

A man called Cemşit helps them, and Asya’s son comes to know him as a father. Asya decides to marry Cemşit, and they live happily for many years. Then one day, İlyas suddenly shows up and Asya finds herself in a dilemma between him and Cemşit; between love and logic.

One of the most famous quotes of this film is:
Sevgi neydi? Sevgi, sahip çıkan dost, sıcak insan eli. İnsan emeğiydi. Sevgi iyilikti. Sevgi emekti.
“What was love? Love is a friendly, warm human hand that is looking out for. It was human effort. Love was goodness. Love was effort.”

The film won three awards, and was voted one of the ten Best Turkish Films in a poll carried out by the Ankara Cinema Association.

3- Muhsin Bey – “Mr. Muhsin”

This is a 1987 Turkish drama film, written and directed by Yavuz Turgul. The actors and actresses are Şener Şen, Uğur Yücel, and Sermin Hürmeriç.

Mr. Muhsin is a middle-aged music producer, and Ali Nazik is a young man who dreams of becoming a celebrity. It starts out as a simple adventure they share, and then turns into a self-esteem issue for Mr. Muhsin.

The film won the Golden Oranges for Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Script, Special Jury Prize at the 6th International Istanbul Film Festival, and St. Sebastian Reward at St. Sebastian Film Festival in 1988. It was also voted one of the ten Best Turkish Films by the Ankara Cinema Association.

Here’s one of the most popular quotes of this film:
Agam, bene açık söyle. Ben kıtıpiyoz bi Ali Nazik’im. Türkücü bile degilem, bi garibem. Senin gibi anlı şanlı biri beni ne yapsın?
“My master, tell me straight. I’m grotty Ali Nazik. I’m not even a folk singer, I’m a weirdo. What would a glorious person like you do with me?”

4 – Uçurtmayı Vurmasınlar — “Don’t Let Them Shoot the Kite”

This is a 1989 Turkish drama film, co-written, co-produced, and directed by Tunç Başaran. This is an example of a Turkish prison movie. The major cast includes Nur Sürer, Ozan Bilen, Füsun Demirel, Rozet Hubeş, Güzin Özipek, Güzin Özyağcılar, and Yasemin Alkaya.

A woman gets sentenced to prison, and must take her son with her. Her son, Barış, becomes friends with another prisoner named Inci, and they form a special bond. The film shows all sides of prison life, and the life İnci and Barış create for themselves.

The film won the Golden Oranges for Best Film, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, at the 26th Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. It also won 2nd Best Film at the 10th Mediterranean International Film Festival, and Best Turkish Film at the 8th İstanbul International Film Festival. If that’s not enough, it was also voted the Best Turkish Film of the Year at the 1989 Istanbul Film Festival.

Here’s a quote from the movie:
Bak kuşların kanatlarına, güneş sana el sallıyor. Her akşam kuşlarla birlikte uykuya yatar güneş. Gün batımını göremeyenlere kuşların kanatlarıyla el sallar. Biz de el sallayalım.
“Look at the wings of the birds; the sun is waving at you. Every night the sun lies asleep with the birds. He waves with the wings of birds at those who cannot see the sunset. Let’s also wave.”

5 – Babam ve oğlum — “My Father and My Son”

This is a 2005 Turkish drama film written and directed by Çağan Irmak about a family torn apart by the 1980 Turkish coup d’état.

A young man named Sadık leaves his village on the Aegean coast to study journalism in Istanbul. However, his father Hüseyin wants him to study Agricultural Engineering to manage their farm. During his years at the university, Sadık becomes a militant in left wing politics. When his father learns about this, he disinherits him.

Sadık’s wife dies at a park while giving birth to their son, unable to go attend a hospital because of a curfew law. Following this, Sadık gets arrested because of his political activities. He gets tortured and imprisoned for three years, and after some time he starts having health problems.

A few years after being released, he finds out that he will die and takes his son back to his family’s farm. After Sadık passes away, his family raises his son.

The cast for this film includes:
· Fikret Kuşkan
· Çetin Tekindor
· Hümeyra
· Şerif Sezer
· Ege Tanman

The film won an award for its soundtrack at the World Soundtrack Awards, awarded to Evanthia Reboutsika. The film became one of the highest-grossing Turkish films in history.

Two famous quotes from this film are:

  • İnsan büyüyünce hayalleri küçülür mü?
    “When a person grows up, do his dreams get smaller?”
  • Evlatlar, babalarını hep hatırlamak istedikleri gibi hatırlarlar.
    “Sons remember their fathers as they always wanted to.”

6 – Beyaz melek — “White Angel”

This one is a 2007 Turkish drama film, written and directed by Mahsun Kırmızıgül.

Ali and Reşat bring their father Ahmet, who is suffering from brain cancer, for chemotherapy treatment in İstanbul. However, Ahmet can’t bear the treatment and thinks himself to be a burden. He escapes from the hospital and reaches a nursing home, and the residents of the nursing home accept him. Ali and Reşat find him, but decide to let him stay there because their father is really happy there.

The cast includes:
· Mahsun Kırmızıgül
· Arif Erkin Güzelbeyoğlu
· Yıldız Kenter
· Nejat Uygur
· Yavuz Bingöl
· Erol Günaydın
· Sarp Apak
· Zeynep Tokuş
· Toron Karacaoğlu
· Salih Kalyon

The film won the Remi Award at the 41st WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and became the second-highest-grossing Turkish film of 2007.

One of the famous quotes from this film is:
Hayat her şeye rağmen yaşamaya değer.
“Life is worth living after all.”

Since the language of this movie is simple and easy to understand, it’s recommended for intermediate Turkish learners.

7 – Hababam Sınıfı — “The Chaos Class”

This is a 1975 Turkish comedy film, directed by Ertem Eğilmez. The story is based on a novel by a well-known author, Rıfat Ilgaz.

A group of lazy, ignorant high school students attending a private school are in no rush to graduate. They’re like a family there and are cared for by the school attendant, Hafize Ana, who treats them like his real sons. They play a lot of tricks and make jokes to frustrate the new principal, who is warm-hearted, but very disciplined.

The film was so successful that eight more sequels followed it.

The cast included:
· Kemal Sunal
· Münir Özkul
· Tarık Akan
· Adile Naşit
· Halit Akçatepe
· Ahmet Arıman
· Cem Gürdap
· Feridun Şavlı
· Sıtkı Akçatepe
· Ertuğrul Bilda
· Kemal Ergüvenç
· Akil Öztuna
· Muharrem Gürses

One of the most popular quotes of this movie is:

– Uçan memeliye örnek ver Damat Ferit.
– Uçan memeliii…uçan memeli… hmmm… hostes.

– “Give an example of a flying mammal Damat Ferit.”
– “Flying mammal…flying mammal…hmmm…stewardess.”

8 – Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam — “The Man Who Saved the World”

This is a 1982 Turkish science, fantasy, and adventure film. Many have dubbed it the Turkish version of Star Wars. It was written by the famous Turkish actor, Cüneyt Arkın, who also played the main character in the movie. It was directed by Çetin İnanç.

The Earth breaks up into many smaller planets because of an alien attack. Two brave Turkish pilots find themselves on a planet which is led by someone really wicked, whose name is “The Wizard.”

At first, the strength of these two pilots wasn’t sufficient to beat the bad guy and strong creatures. However, they get stronger by hitting the rocks and mountains and finally beat the creatures. Following this, they become known as the men who saved the world.

Here’s a well-known quote from the movie:

  • – Ali: Düşmanımız burada.
    – Murat: Öyleyse kalıyoruz iyilikle kötülüğün savaşı başladı.
  • – Ali: “Our enemy is here.”
    – Murat: “In that case, we’re staying. The battle of good and evil has begun.”

9 – Sivas — “Sivas”

This is a 2014 Turkish drama film directed by Kaan Müjdeci. The movie is about an eleven-year-old boy named Aslan and his relationship with a fighting dog named Sivas.

One day, he and his brother witness a dog fight in which one of the dogs is wounded. Aslan wants to take him home, but his brother Şahin doesn’t let him at first; however, they do end up taking the dog home later. What does fate hold in store for Aslan and Sivas? Watch the movie to find out.

The cast was:
· Doğan İzci
· Çakır
· Hasan Özdemir
· Ezgi Ergin
· Furkan Uyar
· Ozan Çelik
· Banu Fotocan
· Hasan Yazılıtaş
· Okan Avcı

This film won the Special Jury Prize at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

Here’s a popular quote from the movie:
Ayşe sen prenses olmaya kararını verdin mi?
“Ayşe, did you decide to be a princess?”

10 – Uzak — “Distant”

This is a 2002 Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

It’s the story of Yusuf, a young factory worker who loses his job and goes to live with his relative Mahmut in Istanbul. Mahmut is a wealthy and intellectual photographer, whereas Yusuf is illiterate and uneducated. As can be expected, they don’t get along well. In short, Yusuf can’t find a job and Mahmut doesn’t have any goals.

Mahmut takes Yusuf to the countryside where he thinks they can improve their relationship. Mahmut also wants to take pictures there. However, this doesn’t work and Yusuf leaves without telling Mahmut. What happens next?

The cast included:
· Muzaffer Özdemir
· Mehmet Emin Toprak
· Zuhal Gencer
· Nazan Kirilmis
· Feridun Koc
· Fatma Ceylan

This movie was such a success that it won thirty-one awards, a couple of which include Best Actor at Cannes and Best Balkan Movie at the Sofia International Film Festival.

Here is a quote from the movie:

Bazı insanlar çok uzaktalar. Bizim asla gidemeyeceğimiz yerdeler.
“Some people are far away. They are where we can never go.”

Conclusion: How TurkishClass101 Can Help You Learn More Turkish

Make Learning Fun

Now that you know the importance of Turkish films for Turkish learners, would you like to increase your exposure to Turkish and have fun at the same time? If yes, then please visit our site and enjoy some more of our recommended Turkish movies!

Before you go, don’t forget to let us know what you thought of this lesson! Did any of these movies catch your eye? Are there any good ones we missed? We look forward to hearing from you.

Know that your hard work and determination will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Turkish like a native before you know it!

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