Review: Turkish Netflix drama ‘The Protector’ a let-down

Cagatay Ulusoy (L) and Hazar Erguclu star in the show. (Photo courtesy: Netflix)
Updated 22 December 2018
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Review: Turkish Netflix drama ‘The Protector’ a let-down

CHENNAI: “The Protector,” the first ever original Turkish series by Netflix, is a bit of a let-down despite its impressive production values.
Edited with imagination and splendidly photographed, it is nonetheless weak on performances.
The dubbing in English is awful with lip-syncing going haywire, and the subtitling is quite off the mark as well.
Directed by several people, “The Protector” is a fantasy of sorts, but there is a political undertone to it given Turkey’s conflicting status that pulls it between Europe and Asia.
The protagonist of the series, Hakan Demir (played feebly by Cagatay Ulusoy), is an ordinary shopkeeper in Istanbul, where the drama unfolds.
When he realizes that he has special powers and is The Protector to save the city and its 15 million inhabitants, his life turns into a fascinating fable.
With his magical shirt and a sword, he is assigned to vanquish the lone surviving Immortal, who is out to destroy Istanbul.
Woven into this adventure are subplots. There is Zeyneb (played by an attractive Hazar Erguclu, whose performance stands out), who is bent on protecting The Protector but whose relationship with him is never defined clearly.
Is she in love with Demir, as his love interest Leyla Sancak (played by Ayca Aysin Turan) seems to suspect? The tension between the two women provides an entertaining additional storyline.
There is also Faysal Erdem (played by Okan Yalabik, who is unusually stiff), with his business empire.
His trusted lieutenant, Mazhar Dragusha (played by Mehmet Kurtulus), becomes a sworn enemy of Demir.
The series needs to work harder in its second season. But one standout feature is the wonderful, realistic portrayal of Istanbul and its many architectural wonders and quirks, from its many street cats to the endless cups of Turkish tea consumed by the show’s characters.


Al-Ahsa: Home to the most prominent archaeological and historical sites in Saudi Arabia

Updated 5 min 47 sec ago
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Al-Ahsa: Home to the most prominent archaeological and historical sites in Saudi Arabia

  • City became the first in the Gulf to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk art
  • It is also home to the largest oasis in the Kingdom, which has had human settlements from the Neolithic times

AL-AHSA: Al-Ahsa is an oasis rich with green spaces and water springs, and was home to many ancient civilizations, some that existed as far back as 6,000 BC.

It contains the most prominent archaeological and historical sites in Saudi Arabia, and has achieved three Arab and international accolades in the last four years.

In 2015, it became the first Gulf city to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk art.

The network brings together 180 cities from 72 countries to place creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level, and to cooperate actively at the international level.

FASTFACT

 

• In 2015, Al-Ahsa became the first Gulf city to be included in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network in the fields of crafts and folk art.

• In 2018, Al-Ahsa became the fifth Saudi site on the World Heritage List following Madain Saleh, Al-Turaif district in Ad-Diriyah, Historic Jeddah, and Rock Art in the Hail region.

• Al-Ahsa was chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2019.

The second achievement was UNESCO’s designation of Al-Ahsa as a World Heritage Site in 2018, becoming the fifth such Saudi site. Moreover, Al-Ahsa was chosen as the Arab Tourism Capital for 2019 by the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism.

These achievements would not have been possible without the Saudi government’s support, and Al-Ahsa residents’ relentless efforts to maintain their cultural heritage. 

Al-Ahsa is also home to the largest oasis in the Kingdom, which has had human settlements from the Neolithic times.

Al-Ahsa Oasis includes the Jawatha archaeological site including Jawatha Mosque dating back to the Qarmatain state in the 9th century and Al-Hazm Palace.

Musicians perform at an historical site in Al-Ahsa, (Supplied photo)

Tombs can be seen in several parts of the oasis dating back to ancient civilizations.

It also features a picturesque beach, more than 30 natural springs irrigating the green oasis, and unique urban-style buildings.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 13th annual conference of the Creative Cities Network on June 2, Al-Ahsa Mayor Adel bin Mohammed Al-Mulhem said the city has strived to maintain creativity in folk arts and crafts across many projects and programs.

He underscored the importance of culture in shaping future cities, and its role in sustainable urban development.

Al-Ahsa province is considered the greenest and most fertile land in the eastern region of the Kingdom. 

Al-Ahsa gets its name from the nature of its land; in Arabic, Al-Ahsa is a plural word of “Al-Hisa” which refers to the accumulated sand with a solid base underneath. When it rains, the sand prevents the sun from drying up the water.

Decoder

AL-AHSA

Al-Ahsa, part of Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, got its name from the nature of its land; in Arabic, Al-Ahsa is a plural word of “Al-Hisa” which refers to the accumulated sand with a solid base underneath. When it rains, the sand prevents the sun from drying up the water.