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

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.

Life lessons from inspirational women — Alexis

Music artist 'Alexis.' (Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2019

Life lessons from inspirational women — Alexis

  • UAE-based singer-songwriter, Alexis just released her album “This Is Me”
  • She talks tolerance, proving yourself, and the power of words

DUBAI: The UAE-based singer-songwriter, who just released her album “This Is Me,” talks tolerance, proving yourself, and the power of words

I’m very demanding of myself, which is a contradiction, because I’m so understanding and accepting of the weaknesses of other people, but I’m not that kind to myself. But I don’t mind laughing at myself either.


I’ve been guilty, earlier in my career, of trying to force situations. Sometimes pushing is good, but allowing things to happen in their own time is also a valuable skill. It’s not necessarily about the destination; it’s the journey. And if you can allow yourself to enjoy the journey, you’ll get there eventually — perhaps in a better condition.


My father encouraged me to be an individual thinker. He’s a man who has roots in a very conservative, male-driven culture, but he was raised by a woman who wasn’t afraid to break the mold. He advised me that because of what I look like, and being a woman, I would always need to be more than just adequately prepared: “If you’re required to know two things for a job, when you walk in there you need to know four or six things.”


I know it’s probably just something parents tell their kids to help them get through difficult situations, but I think that “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you” thing is such nonsense. Words can hurt. They can cause incredible damage. It’s important for us to realize the impact of what we say, how we say it, and to whom. Words have power.


I handled my own business from the very beginning, so I found myself at 18 going into meetings with executives who were in their 40s and 50s. And of course I was a child to them. So having them look beyond the physical thing and realize that I was very serious about my work and knew what I was talking about was a challenge. It’s easy to see me as a fashion horse. It’s harder to see that I’m a worker. Get past the window dressing and I’ve got quality merchandise. But I survived life with older brothers. I think I can tackle anything at this point.


Men and women are equally capable, but in different ways. It’s a bit of a generalization, but we have to accept that different people have different methodologies.