With a rich plot, Seref Meselesi is the finest series I have viewed since entering the world of Turkish Dizis a year ago. The well-scripted storyline kept me watching episode after episode in a rush to follow the drama as it played out to its logical conclusion. Read the details in this no-spoiler review.
• Format: Turkish Drama Series
• Number of episodes: 26
• Genre: Drama and Romance
• Lead actors: Kerem Bursin, Sukru Ozyildiz, Burcu Biricik, Yasemin Kay Allen
• Ending: Highly emotional with all loose ends tied up
• Air date: 2014-2015
• English title: Matter of Respect
• Where to watch Seref Meselesi with English subtitles: NorthAmericaTEN.com (Available free in membership area)
Based on the Italian TV series L’onore e il Rispetto, brothers, Emir (Sukru Ozyildiz) and Yigit (Kerem Bursin) take opposite journeys after the Mafia prompts the needless suicide of their father and mental failure of their mother.
Emir becomes a lawyer to go after the Mafia while Yigit joins the Mafia itself. The relationships both brothers have with the women around them are intense and thought provoking. The brothers' journeys initially appear to be diametrically opposed, but turn out to become remarkably similar parallel journeys full of even more choices with never a right decision.
A story of choices, Seref Meselesi features several main characters whose personal stories fill the viewer with an intense connection to them. We all make choices that can be good or bad, right or wrong, but each of those choices change us as individuals and the lives of those around us.
Expect your heart to be torn apart during the series because there never seems to be a right answer to any decision. Even at the conclusion you will wipe away your tears and question many unspoken issues and choices.
In short, I loved everything about Seref Meselesi. But I particularly loved:
While most Turkish dizis have shown themselves to have top-notch writers, Seref Meselesi sets the bar to a new standard. Hats off to Teodosio Losito who led his team of writers to create storylines that worked seamlessly into new directions full of surprises. Each direction forces all the characters to make important decisions. You may not agree with the decisions, but you cannot deny that the script is incredible. It's a story about love and honor, brotherhood, and forgiveness.
This was my first experience watching Kerem Bursin. The script called on him to display an unusually wide range of acting skills based upon key emotions required for his scenes. In my opinion, Kerem has jumped to the forefront of male actors not just in Turkey, but worldwide. His flawless performance earned him his first of two nominations for Best TV Actor by Golden Star.
Sukru Ozyildiz, also brought amazing acting skills to the program. Although his performance was strong, it did not require the same range of talent required by Kerem’s role. Nonetheless, his acting was stellar, and he too brought tears to this reviewer’s eyes.
Burcu Biricik was amazing as the handicapped love interest of the two Kilic brothers. As Kubra, she provided insight into emotions, relationships, and love.
Yasemin Kay Allen brought beauty to her role as Sibel as well as world-class acting. She too had a romantic connection to both brothers.
Other noteworthy acting performances:
Alma Terzic played Gul, a Russian prostitute and Yigit’s friend. She was often employed by the Mafia bosses and she too had an attraction to Yigit. Don't be fooled. Her gut wrenching choices continue to provide this viewer with food for thought.
Hakan Salinmis played the Mafia father Hakki. Ultimately, the suicide of the Kilic brothers’ father and ultimate demise of their mother was a result of Hakki’s decisions.
Episode 1 opening scene
The series began with a brief scene I assumed correctly would become the final scene. Although it had a minor rewrite when the series finished production, I'd encourage you to try to discover the minor changes. I frequently went back to this scene throughout the dizi as it continuously helped answer questions. Obviously it will not make a lot of sense when you first watch it, but in retrospect, it was a key to understanding the storyline.
Without giving away spoilers, I will only say I found the ending satisfying. I felt it was the only logical way the series could conclude. Should you watch the series and disagree, please write me your thoughts.
As a retired math teacher, I am a man of numbers. Seref Meselesi vaulted to the head of the list for my Top Five Favorite Turkish Programs. It is difficult to imagine that it will fall from this position any time in the near future. I cannot say enough about the powerful script or the intense acting by Kerem Bursin. It is more than just a story of choices.
I could not say it better than what MH Musings wrote in her in depth review of Seref Meselesi:
"The show will leave one with many questions that have room for interpretation but the mark it leaves on the soul is undeniable. The subjective nature of the various themes is at the crux of why I find the dizi to be exceptional. The answers are not fed to the viewer, and as the characters evolve, particularly that of Yigit, one learns to see the world through the filter of someone who is willing to accept his sins and give his love in the most unselfish ways possible."
(Read MH Musing's full review here. But beware of spoilers!)
Please feel free to contact me, but kindly include the name of the program you are asking me about.
Article reprint policy
Special thanks to Mark Lauderdale for his guest review!
Married for nearly 50 years, Mark Lauderdale works as a part time travel agent from his Fort Lauderdale, FL, home along with his wife Susan. The retired teachers have visited every continent and over 100 countries.
New to Turkish Drama, his addiction has encouraged the couple to book their third visit to Turkey in the spring as they travel around the Black Sea.
Also a professional photographer, Mark is hoping for an opportunity to conduct a few photo shoots with his favorite Turkish TV stars, as well as capture the beauty and mystery of Istanbul and the rest of Turkey.
Mark’s greatest achievement might be that he dropped 75 lbs at the age of 66 and the honour of being Florida’s Inspirational Athlete of the Year for the National Bodybuilding Organization. One year later he become the oldest man in history to compete on the stage at Nationals for Men’s Physique, just missing a pro card by 2 positions.