Watching films can be a great way to jolt your language proficiencies up to the next level. If you are interested to learn the Turkish language, immerse yourself with 12 must-watch and enjoyable movies to learn Turkish.
Gone are the times when learning a new language was a hobby for a few. With the world shrinking a bit each day, we, as global citizens, want to explore what has long been left unexplored.
With modern beaches and historical splendors, Turkey has attracted a lot of attention from all over the globe. It is no more unexplored. With Baklava finishing off global parties on a sweet note, discussions started with ‘Merhaba’ make them more fascinating.
But there’s more to Turkish than this. The language is not only a way of expression but also encompasses the whole culture and tradition of Turkey. And what better medium than cinema to understand a language with context.
- Where to watch Turkish movies?
- 12 Must-watch movies to help you learn Turkish
- 1. Eşkıya (The Bandit) — 1996
- 2. Hababam Sinifi (The Chaos Class) — 1975
- 3. Babam ve Oglum (My Father and My Son) — 2005
- 4. G.O.R.A. (2004)
- 5. Vizontele (2001)
- 6. Süt Kardesler (The Foster Brothers) — 1976
- 7. Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalim (The Girl with the Red Scarf) — 1977
- 8. Kis Uykusu (Winter Sleep) — 2014
- 9. Gegen die Wand (Head-On) — 2004
- 10. Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) — 2011.
- 11. Mustang (2015)
- 12. Yol (1982)
- Takeaway on Learning Turkish with Films
Where to watch Turkish movies?
There is an abundance of good movies to learn Turkish on Netflix. To save your time in searching for flicks on Netflix, you can use secret genre codes. Replace the last few digits XXXX (Netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXX) with the below-mentioned codes to explore the treasure.
Movies – 1133133, Emotional TV Dramas – 1630830, Romantic TV-Series – 1630825, Emotional Movies – 1637349, Comedies – 1133134, Dramas – 1133135, Romantic Movies – 1630981, TV Dramas – 1207137, Turkish Movies & TV-Shows – 871341, TV-Series – 1295701, and many more.
You can also watch several original films and TV-Series on various online streaming, including Amazon Prime Video, and many more. Some videos are also available on YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
12 Must-watch movies to help you learn Turkish
Today we’ll take the first step to know how we can learn Turkish the easy way, i.e., by exploring its films. Turkish is one of the difficult languages, and cinemas can undoubtedly help you in the journey of Turkish eloquence.
Here is a list of 12 cinematic wonders that can help you quickly dive through your Turkish lessons. initially, you can see with Turkish subtitles before trying without subtitles.
1. Eşkıya (The Bandit) — 1996
Known for Turkey’s official entry to the 70th Academy Awards, The Bandit is a story of a man released from prison after serving for 35 long years. After finding his home village drowned in water because of the construction of a new dam, he reaches Istanbul to take old revenge.
With the use of some hard vocabulary, this film is suitable for intermediate to advanced-level learners of the Turkish language. If you fancy seeing thriller and crime talkies, you can surely add to your favorite list.
2. Hababam Sinifi (The Chaos Class) — 1975
Going by its name, The Chaos Class takes you back in time and forces you to remember your good-old school days. A crazy bunch of lazy students joins against their new principal.
They make you laugh out loud with their innocent pranks. The vernacular language used by the students in the film allows you to appear for the beginner-level Turkish language fluency exams. The simple dialogues make it an easy-going fun to watch. It is one of the highest-rated Turkish movies.
3. Babam ve Oglum (My Father and My Son) — 2005
A family drama with sudden emotional upheavals in between, My Father and My Son became one of the highest-grossing films of the Turkish cinema. The pain and emotions of a father bring him back to his roots.
The film portrays the powerful relationship between a father and a son with extreme honesty. The movie covers a vivid aspect of Turkish culture. With basic vocabulary and plenty of emotions, the film is helpful for both the elementary and intermediate students of the Turkish language.
4. G.O.R.A. (2004)
With a script in the hands of comedian Cem Yilmaz, G.O.R.A. is a fun film to watch. Aliens abduct a used-carpet dealer, and what follows that gives you a good laugh, all while learning a new language.
The film’s tongue-in-cheek humor will keep you glued. With simple dialogues but a little advanced vocabulary, this movie is best suitable for intermediate and advanced level students. It is one of the most popular science-fiction flicks made in Turkey.
5. Vizontele (2001)
Turkish writer Yilmaz Erdogan pens down his childhood memories in the form of Vizontele. The film is about the 1970s when televisions weren’t conventional in Turkey.
Introducing television to a Turkish village bought excitement and challenges. By using tragicomic language, the film spurs out different emotions at the same time. Natural and simple dialogues used by villagers make it an apt choice for beginner-level Turkish language enthusiasts.
6. Süt Kardesler (The Foster Brothers) — 1976
A comedy classic of the Turkish cinema, The Foster Brothers, is a story that creates fun around identity confusion and a ghoul haunting the house. Directed by Ertem Egilmez, the film is one of the most talented directors in the Turkish cinema.
The dialogues within the film are natural, and the vocabulary is straightforward to comprehend. It makes The Foster Brothers a fabulous learning curve for beginning-learners of the Turkish language.
7. Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalim (The Girl with the Red Scarf) — 1977
Directed by the legendary director Atif Yilmaz, The Girl with the Red Scarf is a romantic drama that revolves around love and logic. Touted as one of the most impressive films from the Turkish cinema’s Golden Age, the movie highlights the struggles of a young mother’s life.
The classic drama includes some challenging vocabulary, making it difficult for a beginner to understand. An intermediate learner can best take advantage of this vital piece of Turkish cinema.
8. Kis Uykusu (Winter Sleep) — 2014
If you love drama, this is one movie you should watch. Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Winter Sleep is a 2014 Turkish tragicomedy based on a short story “The Wife” by Anton Chekhov and one subplot of The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The 200-minute long movie also won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Set in the vast steppe of Anatolia, this a story of a wealthy man, Aydın, who owns several hotels. While he spends his time writing columns for a local newspaper and researching the history of Turkish theater, his manager, Hidayet (Ayberk Pekcan) duty, is to run the business and collect the rent from the local tenants.
Winter Sleep is an intensely gripping, masterfully told compelling drama that will help you gain plenty of Turkish vocabulary, phrases, and sentences.
9. Gegen die Wand (Head-On) — 2004
If you are looking for your conventional love story, this isn’t it. Head-on (Gegen die Wand) is a 2004 German-Turkish drama film written and directed by Fatih Akın. The film won the Golden Bear at the 54th Berlin International Film Festival.
The film is about a marriage of convenience between self-destructive individuals — A Turkish-born, an alcoholic German widower and a young lady of Turkish descent.
Both met in a hospital, and she convinced him to marry so she can escape her restrictive, repressive, and abusive male relatives. The lengthy dialogues about the complex social issues will undoubtedly prove to be hard, but valuable for intermediate and advanced learners.
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10. Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) — 2011.
A film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, “Once Upon A Time in Anatolia” is 150 minutes long but slow Turkish crime drama. It is a flick that has received several positive reviews from critics and won many awards in various film festivals.
The first two hours of the movie Mustang take place at night in the vast countryside of Anatolia. The caravan set out in search of a dead body comprises a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor, a driver, two murder suspects and a man with a laptop who will type out the testimony.
Apart from the suspense scenes and awe this Turkish film evokes, it is an excellent way for learners to engage themselves in the art of mastering the Turkish language.
11. Mustang (2015)
Mustang is a Turkish feature film inspired by Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides. The movie is fabulous for beginners and intermediate level students. Even without subtitles, you will gain an immense deal of vocabulary, verb expressions, sentences for daily use.
Set in a coastal town in Northern Turkey, Mustang tells a tale of five rebellious sisters whose family restrict their contact with the outside world, especially boys. The game, which was innocence in nature, causes unintended consequences!
It all started when these beautiful girls were playing games with their male classmates on the beach. The family exaggerates and removed all gadgets like mobile and computers. They eventually put them into house prison to learn the moral lessons and housework to become good brides.
12. Yol (1982)
Premiered at Cannes Film Festival and later at the New York Film Festival, this film depicts Turkey’s political tyranny in the most cinematic way possible. ‘Yol’ translating to ‘trek of life’ displays the journey of five prisoners on bail and the tragedies they face.
It introduces you to the socio-political scenario in Turkey and the oppression of women. With some problematic vocabulary but simple dialogues, the film can help an intermediate-level learner of the Turkish language.
Takeaway on Learning Turkish with Films
Learning a new language opens a world of possibilities. And watching films is one of the smartest ways to study a foreign language. Turkish isn’t a simple language to learn, and when you combine with the movies mentioned above, it will undoubtedly help you achieve your language learning objectives.
If you want more recommendations or information regarding movies to learn Turkish, you can always ask me in the comment session below. Have Fun! İyi Eğlenceler!