10 curious facts about the Turkish soap opera “The Sultan”

“El Sultán” is a Turkish soap opera produced by Tims Productions in 2011. Since its premiere, the production has been sold to more than 60 countries with great success. It stars Halit Ergenç as Suleiman the Magnificent, Meryem Uzerli, Vahide Perçin and Nur Fettahoğlu.

Written by Meral Okay and Yılmaz Şahin, the Turkish soap opera is based on the life of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his wife Hürrem Sultan, a slave who became the first Haseki sultan. ottoman

The argument covers his intimate life, the cultural and political processes of that time –the 16th century–. The Turkish soap opera originally aired on Show TV but was moved to Star TV. If you want to know more, here we tell you 10 facts about “El Sultám”.

“The Sultan” is a Turkish soap opera produced by Tims Productions in 2011 (Photo: Tims Productions)

10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE TURKISH TELENOVELA “EL SULTAN”

1. Turkish soap opera name

The real title of the Turkish soap opera is “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century), but in Latin America it is known as “El Sultán” or “El Gran Sultán”.

2. One of the most expensive soap operas on Turkish television

It is one of the most expensive projects in the history of Turkish television. To make the telenovela, 500 thousand dollars were spent for each episode. Its pre-production generated a cost of almost 5 million dollars. More than 2 were invested in changing rooms. Quite a great investment.

3. “The Sultan” received criticism in Turkey

The novel was not very well received in its home country. The president of Turkey and the most conservative population expressed great discontent with the production, since according to them they had “few decent scenes”.

4. Popularity in Latin America

The Turkish telenovela “El Sultán” was very well received in several Latin American countries. The impact of this production was such that many parents decided to name their children after their favorite fictional characters.

5. Story based on real events

The Turkish soap opera is based on the life of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and his wife Hürrem Sultan, a slave who became the first Haseki Ottoman sultan. It also sheds light on the era known as the Sultanate of Women.

The real title of the Turkish soap opera is “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century).  (Photo: Tim's Productions)
The real title of the Turkish soap opera is “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century). (Photo: Tim’s Productions)

6. How many seasons does the Turkish soap opera “El Sultán” have?

The teleseries had four seasons and 139 episodes in total, but towards its last cycle, it faced an important change. And it is that its protagonist, Meryem Uzerli, who played Hurem, had to leave fiction due to the exhaustion he suffered. In her place came the actress Vahide Perçin.

7. Real locations

The scenes were recorded in fifteen rooms inspired by the Topkaki Palace, whose location is in Istanbul, Turkey. This place still exists, in fact it remains intact since it functioned as one of the administrative centers of the Ottoman Empire.

8. Hurrem, character that existed in real life

The great love of “El Sultan” is Hurrem, who in the series is played by Turkish-German Meryem Uzerli. This character actually existed in real life. Moreover, it was the true love of Sultan Süleyman I. Many poems of the time reflect the great passion that existed between the two.

9. El personaje inspirado en Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha

The character played by Okan Yalabik, Ibrahim Pasha, is inspired by Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha. The latter was a childhood friend of Sultan Süleyman I and their friendship was so deep that he later became the Grand Vizier of his mandate.

10. Premiere and production

The Turkish soap opera “The Sultan” was released in Turkey in 2011 and produced by Tims Productions. Furthermore, it was written by Meral Okay and Yılmaz Şahin. It originally aired on Show TV, but was moved to Star TV.

The teleseries had four seasons and 139 episodes in total.  (Photo: Tim's Productions)
The teleseries had four seasons and 139 episodes in total. (Photo: Tim’s Productions)
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