Top 10 Best Turkish Historical Movies to Watch in 2023

Turkey has a rich history that spans thousands of years, with numerous stories of ancient empires, heroic battles, and cultural achievements. Over the years, the Turkish entertainment industry has produced several outstanding movies and historical TV series based on Turkish history.

In this article, we will explore the world of Turkish historical movies, their significance, and the top movies that you should watch to learn more about Turkey's fascinating history.

turkish historical movies

Top 10 Turkish Historical Movies

If you are a historical drama lover and want to explore Turkey's fascinating history, the Ottoman Empire era, and some biggest battles in the history of Turkey then we brought the top 10 most popular Turkish historical movies for you.

  1. Malazgirt 1071
  2. Türkler Geliyor: Adaletin Kilici
  3. 125 Years Memory
  4. Deliler
  5. İlk Göktürk
  6. Direnis Karatay
  7. 120
  8. Ayla: The Daughter of War
  9. The Ottoman Lieutenant
  10. Fetih 1453

10. Malazgirt 1071

Malazgirt 1071 is one of the best Turkish historical movies, this movie is based on the Battle of Malazgirt, which took place on August 26, 1071, in the eastern part of modern-day Turkey. The battle was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Turks.

The movie Malazgirt 1071 was released in 2023, it is co-directed by directors Bilal Kalyoncu and Özgür Bakar. In the movie, the popular actor Cengiz Coşkun has played the character of Sultan Alparslan whereas Vildan Atasever has played the character of Queen.

  • Release Date: 11 February 2022

Malazgirt 1071 The Best Turkish Historical Movies

9. Türkler Geliyor: Adaletin Kilici

Türkler Geliyor: Adaletin Kilici also known by its English title "The Turks are Coming: Sword of Justice", is another action-adventure Turkish historical movie. The film plot is set in the 15th century, and it tells the story of the Ottoman Empire's conquest of the Balkans. It is the story of a young Ottoman warrior named Akıncı, who sets out to find his kidnapped wife and leads his fellow warriors into battle against the Serbian army. The movie is directed by Kamil Aydın whereas Emre Kıvılcım, İsmail Filiz, and Cem Uçan are the star cast.

  • Release Date: 17 January 2020

8. 125 Years Memory

Basically "125 Years Memory" is a Japanese movie based on a true historical event between Japan and Turkey. The movie is about the true story of the sinking of the Turkish frigate Ertuğrul off the coast of Japan in 1890 and it tells how the tragedy of Ertuğrul brought the two countries closer together. The movie story follows a Japanese naval officer named Saito and his crew who rescue the survivors of the sinking, despite facing their own challenges and dangers at sea. The film is directed by the popular Japanese director Mitsutoshi Tanaka whereas celebrities Kenan Ece, Miki Nakatani, and Hiroshi Tamaki played the lead characters in the movie.

  • Release Date: 5 December 2015

7. Deliler

"Deliler" is a Turkish historical action movie that was released in 2018 and it is also popular with the name " Vlad the Impaler". The film is set in the 15th-century Ottoman Empire and tells the story of a group of warriors known as "Deliler" who are tasked with protecting the borders of the empire from invading forces. The Deliler is a special force trained in various forms of combat and is known for its bravery and loyalty to the Sultan.

The film is directed by Osman Kaya and stars Cem Uçan, Erkan Petekkaya, and Nur Fettahoğlu, among others. The film "Deliler" is popular for its action scenes and historical accuracy.

  • Release Date: 23 November 2018

Deliler The Best Turkish Historical Movie

6. İlk Göktürk

İlk Göktürk also known as The First Gokturk is one of the most awaited Turkish historical movies. The movie is based on the real-life story of the Göktürks, a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia during the 6th and 7th centuries. The movie specifically focuses on the rise of the Göktürk Empire under the leadership of Bumin Khan and his son Istemi Yabgu. The movie is directed by Alper Çağlar whereas the handsome Turkish actors Aytaç Sasmaz and Robert Maaser are playing the lead characters in the film.

5. Direnis Karatay

Direnis Karatay is one of the most popular Turkish historical movies, the movie was released on 9 March 2018. The movie is directed by the famous cinematographer Selahattin Sancakli and co-written by screenwriters Selman Kayabasi and Ugur Uzunok. In the movie, Mehmet Aslantug, Fikret Kuskan, and Yurdaer Okur are the male lead cast whereas the beautiful Turkish actresses Burcu Özberk and Ece Yasar and the female lead cast.

The movie is set in the 13th century during the time of the Seljuk Empire and follows the story of Ertuğrul Gazi's younger brother, Karatay Bey, and his struggles to protect his people from external threats.

  • Release Date: 9 March 2018
  • Streaming On: Direnis Karatay

Direnis Karatay The Best Turkish Historical Movie

4. 120

"120" is among one of the best Turkish historical movies, the movie was released on 15th February 2008. The film is co-directed by directors Özhan Eren and Murat Saraçoglu whereas written by Özhan Eren. The celebrities Özge Özberk, Cansel Elcin,  and Burak Sergen are the major cast of the film.

The movie "120" is based on a true story, The movie is set in the Ottoman empire era, during the Sarikamis Battle, the Ottoman army runs out of ammunition and appeals to the people of Van for help, who happen to have supplies. However, the First World War is on and all men are fighting at four corners of the empire and therefore can not respond to the appeal.

  • Release Date: 15 February 2008

3. Ayla: The Daughter of War

"Ayla: The Daughter of War" is one of the best Turkish historical movies released in 2017, directed by Can Ulkay. The film is based on a true story and depicts the experiences of a Turkish soldier named Süleyman during the Korean War. The film has received nominations for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 90th Academy Awards.

During the Korean War, the Turkish soldier Süleyman meets a little young Korean girl named Ayla who has been orphaned by the war. There was no sign of Ayla's family, she was alone and scared when Süleyman found her on the battlefield. Süleyman decides to take care of her despite the language barrier and cultural differences. However, their relationship is put to the test when Süleyman's tour of duty ends, and he is forced to return to Turkey, leaving Ayla behind.

  • Release Date:  27 October 2017

Ayla The Daughter of War The Best Turkish Historical Movie

2. The Ottoman Lieutenant

The Ottoman Lieutenant is one of the best Turkish historical movies directed by Joseph Ruben. The film is set during a historical time period and includes references to real events, but it is not based on a true story. The characters and plot are fictional, although the film attempts to depict the political and social climate of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The film follows the story of a young American nurse named Lillie, who travels to the Ottoman Empire to work at a hospital in Anatolia. Lillie is a young girl who is frustrated by ongoing injustice at home, she decided to leave her home and live her life as she wants. She meets an American doctor Jude who runs a remote medical mission within the Ottoman Empire.

During her journey, she meets Ismail who is a soldier lieutenant in Ottoman Empire, she becomes romantically involved with the Turkish officer Ismail. The emotions and feelings dramatically get changed when Ottoman Empire allied with Germany against the Allies. Ismail's loyalty to the Ottoman Empire and his duty as a soldier clashes with his feelings for Lillie, leading to a complex and tragic love story.

  • Release Date: 10 March 2017

The Ottoman Lieutenant The Best Turkish Historical Movie

1. Fetih 1453

Fetih 1453 also known as Conquest 1453 is a Turkish historical fiction movie released in 2012. It depicts the events leading up to the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. The movie is directed by Faruk Aksoy whereas the movie screen is written by screenwriters Melih Esat, Acil Atilla Engin, and Irfan Saruhan.

The movie portrays the story of Sultan Mehmed II, who became the Ottoman Sultan at the young age of 19 and had a dream of conquering Constantinople which had been controlled by the Byzantine Empire for over a thousand years. It is interesting to see how Mehmed gathered the army and how he dealt with internal and external enemies. The movie has been criticized for its historical facts but regardless of its historical accuracy, "Conquest 1453" remains a popular and well-known movie in Turkey and among fans of historical fiction.

  • Release Date: 25th April 2012

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