Are we watching or not? Börü / The Protector, action made in Türkiye

Are we watching or not? Börü / The Protector, action made in Türkiye

As Canneseries and its share of international series are coming to an end, we highlight Turkish series including the action series Pipe and the story of the superhero The protector.

In recent years, the range of standard products has been continuously expanded. On the one hand because of the ever-increasing number of fictions offered to the public, but also because they now have access to productions from all over the world, thanks in particular to online services such as Netflix. It is precisely Netflix that recently made available to its viewers two Turkish series, both of which have been renewed for a second season: Pipe etc The protector. The first was produced and broadcast by the Starz channel in its home country, while the second is an original creation for the platform.

Pipe (Wolf): the Turkish Army’s elite terrorist unit

It is something, Pipe ? In the spring of 2014, Turkey had to face numerous threats on the Syrian border. But the danger also comes from within, where foreign terrorist groups operate and members of the army seek to overthrow the regime. Known as Börü (“Wolf”), the elite special forces are the last bulwark to protect the Turkish Republic. It is its members, heroes willing to sacrifice themselves for their mission, that we follow in multiple muscle surgeries – inspired by real events.

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Most expensive mini-series in the history of Turkish television Pipe is an action-packed war series. With a running time of 90 minutes, each of the six episodes follows the same pattern: an action scene at the beginning, an action scene at the end and the private lives of the unit members in between. United by a strong sense of solidarity and brotherhood, all are traumatized to varying degrees by what they experienced on the battlefield. We’ll witness a series of high-risk missions (one per episode) that lead to violent, spectacular and thunderous, immersive and well-executed sequences, sparing neither bullets nor explosions. On the other hand, when the series outlines the personal lives of the members of the unit, it becomes more boring because it’s very conventional and encumbered by high-flown dialogues that don’t add much to the story. It’s a little Marine Special Forces Turkish version.

But the most interesting – and the most disturbing – in Pipe, that is the position taken. First, let’s note that the series maintains a discourse steeped in a studied ambiguity. The screenwriters cover political issues without ever making explicit reference to current power, preferring never to utter the name of Erdogan in order to focus on Kemal Ataturk (the credits even end with his portrait), father of modern Turkey and Artisans of Secularism in the 1920s. Pipe is inspired by the events of 2014: on the one hand the threat of “enemies” gathered at the border or operating inside the country (the Kurds, Syria and the Islamic State) and on the other hand the coup d’état fueled by dissident soldiers and the resulting cleanup. In both cases, we focus solely on the experience of these soldiers loyal to the regime; the enemies are vague, faceless, impersonal beings who must be eliminated and whose motives are never mentioned.

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The series is therefore extremely oriented (the very name of the brigade is reminiscent of the ultra-nationalist Turkish party, the Gray Wolves) and without concessions. If it was a big hit in Turkey, to the point that the last episode was shown in cinemas, it caused a real controversy in other countries, especially Germany. Strictly speaking, Pipe is a military series that should appeal to action fans; it is still necessary to be aware of the tenor of the discourse.

The protector (Hakan, Mirhazir): Istanbul’s superhero

It is something, The protector ? Hakan (Çağatay Ulusoy) is a young man who works with his uncle in a small antique shop in Istanbul’s bazaar. One day he accidentally discovers that he is the last of the protectors, heir to a kind of mythical dynasty of superheroes who have always protected the city of Istanbul from demons. His new powers manifest when he dons a magical tunic, and he must learn to control them with the help of Kemal (Yiurdaer Okul) and his daughter Zeynep (Çağatay Ulusoy), who have been waiting for the appearance of the new one for years Protector.

Created by Binnur Karaevli, the first Netflix-produced Turkish series is a surprising mix: a classic superhero story with everything you’d expect there and a backdrop of Ottoman mythology in a postcard Istanbul. In a way, this first season is mostly about setting the context and the characters. The ten episodes chronicle the development of Hakan as he goes through all the stages that superheroes find themselves in in the making: initial disbelief, refusal to accept a fate beyond himself, learning his new powers (invincibility and superhuman abilities), and finally confrontation with the immortals. demonic creatures trying to take control of the city. A love triangle is added as Hakan’s heart swings between Zeynep and Leyla, employees of a troubled multi-millionaire whose bodyguard he is.

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It must be admitted: If The protector Had it been an American series, it probably wouldn’t have caught our attention. Not that she’s bad. Rather enjoyable to follow, it nevertheless remains very unified – even quite ridiculous at first, if at times it seems to flirt with parody… Fortunately, the series gains strength as the episodes progress, becoming more engaging as we get to the heart of the action. Faithful to its original idea and embracing the great codes of the genre, The protector Above all, it develops a coherent and complex mythology imbued with an alluring exoticism for a Western audience. The bottom line, sort of Arrow mixed with fantasy and ottoman folklore, is nothing out of the ordinary; quite effective, the series remains enjoyable and enjoyable to follow.

Pipe etc The protector : two Turkish series available in France on Netflix. If both suffer from a certain irregularity and clumsiness in the development of the story, they are interesting, each on their own level. Through its nationalist discourse Pipe illustrates a specific context and significant political reality in Türkiye; superhero story against the background of oriental mythology, The protector offers an original variation on the theme.

Pipe (Turkish Starz)
7 episodes of about 90′.
Available on Netflix.

The Protector (Netflix)
10 episodes of about 40′.
Available on Netflix.