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Netflix books into Pera Palace drama

Netflix has commissioned a number of original Turkish drama series, including one based on Charles King’s novel Midnight at the Pera Palace from Red Arrow-owned Karga Seven Pictures in Turkey.

The Pera Palace hotel in Istanbul.

The eight-episode, Turkish-language drama centres on a young journalist, Esra, who is assigned to write a piece about the Pera Palace hotel in Istanbul.

While there, Esra accidentally discovers that one of the historic rooms is a portal to the year 1919 and is thrust into the middle of a political conspiracy against the founder of modern Turkey. Together with the hotel’s manager, Esra must protect the course of history and the future of her country.

Production of the series, which is created for TV by Emre Sahin, Kelly McPherson and Sam Anzel, has started in multiple locations in Turkey.

It is written by Elif Usman and directed by Sahin, who also exec produces with McPherson and Sarah Wetherbee. Sahin, McPherson and Wetherbee are Karga Seven’s founding partners.

The show is one of several forthcoming Turkish originals and acquired series bound for Netflix, which this week announced its third-quarter results and said it is planning to continue to invest in the country’s “rich and diverse storytelling.”

These include Fatma, a series about a cleaning lady who accidentally murders someone while searching for her missing husband, produced by Basak Abacigil Sozeri; 50m2, produced by BKM; and OGM Pictures’ feature film Struggle Alley.

Series that are due to begin production shortly include an as-yet-untitled eight-part adventure series set onboard a submarine, produced by OGM Pictures; The Uysals, about a family living double lives, produced by Ay Yapim; another Ay Yapim series, As the Crow Flies; Club (working title), from O3 Medya, which is set in a revolutionary nightclub in 1955 Istanbul; and sitcom Ersan Kuneri, produced by Cmylmz Fikirsanat and created, directed and starring Cem Yilmaz.

Pelin Distas, Netflix’s director of original content for Turkey, said: “We believe that Turkey is one of the major creative centres for great storytelling that resonates around the world. Therefore, ramping up our investment with our new originals makes us extremely excited. We’re proud to continue creating global opportunities for the talented artists of this great country and sharing their authentic stories with our members in Turkey and around the world.”

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