Aşk-ı Memnu (2008 TV series)

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Aşk-ı Memnu
Aşk-ı Memnu (TV series).jpg
GenreSoap opera
Based onAşk-ı Memnu
by Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil
Written by
  • Ece Yörenç[1]
  • Melek Gençoğlu[1]
Directed byHilal Saral[1]
StarringBeren Saat
Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ
Selçuk Yöntem
Nebahat Çehre
Hazal Kaya
ComposerToygar Işıklı
Country of originTurkey
Original languageTurkish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes79
ProducerKerem Çatay
CinematographyHüseyin Tunç
Running time90 minutes
Production companyAy Yapım
Original networkKanal D
Original release4 August 2008 (2008-08-04) –
24 June 2010 (2010-06-24)
Related showsPasión prohibida
Dil Sambhal Jaa Zara

Aşk-ı Memnu (Ottoman Turkish for "the forbidden love") is a Turkish drama television series originally broadcast on Kanal D between 2008 and 2010. It is an adaptation of Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil's 1899 novel Aşk-ı Memnu set in contemporary Istanbul instead of the novel's late 19th-century setting.[2] With ensemble cast starring Beren Saat, Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ, Selçuk Yöntem, Hazal Kaya & Nebahat Çehre.


Adnan Ziyagil, a rich Istanbul businessman lives an idyllic life in his mansion on the shore of Istanbul's Bosporus strait with his two children: teenage daughter Nihal and eleven-year-old son Bülent, his orphaned younger relative Behlül, and various house staff. Behlül, son of Adnan's cousin, moved in after his parents died in a car accident when he was young. He is in his 20s as the series starts. Ms. Deniz de Courton is the children's tutor and she has been living in the household long before the death of Adnan's wife. Deniz is of both Turkish and French heritage and is known to the entire household as "Mademoiselle". She was "entrusted" with the children by Adnan's deceased wife on her deathbed.

The mansion, where Vehbi Koç resided with his family during the summer months, and which has been turned into a museum today as the "Vehbi Koç Büyükdere House", is the main shooting location of the series, Sarıyer, Istanbul

A wealthy widower, Adnan attracts the attention of Firdevs Yöreoğlu, who has two daughters and has recently lost her husband. Peyker Yöreoğlu (Firdevs' eldest daughter) dated Behlül but marries Nihat Önal, son of another wealthy Istanbul family as the story begins. At their wedding, Adnan and Firdevs' youngest daughter, Bihter Yöreoğlu bond over the loss of their loved ones. Adnan falls in love with the much younger and beautiful Bihter. He proposes to her and she agrees to marry him even though she knows that her mother fancies him. There is no love lost between mother and daughter as Bihter blames her mother for her father's death after she cheated on him with another man. Firdevs is also not a favorite of Nihat's father, the rich but cunning businessman Hilmi Önal. Hilmi dislikes Firdevs because she is greedy, cunning, and self-centered; he vows to make her life a living hell. Firdevs – along with her maid, Katya – moves in with the Ziyagils after she suffers a serious car accident.

The marriage of Bihter and Adnan begins well as Bihter tries to endear herself to Adnan's children. Adnan is devoted to Bihter but their age difference soon shows in their widely different reactions to events. Everyone knows Behlül as a playboy, more interested in girls than in his university studies. Bihter has held a grudge against him since he left her sister Peyker. Living together in the Ziyagil mansion, Behlül falls head over heels in love with Bihter. He tries to stay away and has feelings of guilt toward his uncle, but it proves a losing battle as he becomes more and more captivated by Bihter. She initially rejects him, but later falls for him. Their "forbidden love" (Aşk i Memnu in Turkish) becomes the centerpiece of the story which ends tragically. The series is an in-depth look at the damage created by their illicit affair on themselves and the entire Ziyagil household.


Role Actor Character
Bihter Yöreoğlu Ziyagil Beren Saat The lead protagonist Bihter is a beautiful young woman who blames her mother, Firdevs for the death of her father. While her mother was planning to marry Adnan Ziyagil, a rich widower, Adnan proposes to Bihter instead of her mother. Bihter agrees, but it is clear that for her Adnan is more of a father figure, replacing the father she has lost. Bihter attempts to endear herself to Adnan's two children. She begins an affair with Behlül, Adnan's "nephew" who lives in the mansion and falls in love with her. Commits suicide in the final episode.
Behlül Haznedar Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ The orphaned son of Adnan's cousin who lost both his parents in a car accident when he was a young child. He has been raised by Adnan, whom he calls "uncle". He is known as a womanizer and has many girls in his life, but he gradually falls madly in love with Bihter. A deeply feeling young man but he is not brave enough to defend their forbidden love. He ends up losing Bihter and his family at the end and says he will live unhappy forever.
Adnan Ziyagil Selçuk Yöntem A rich Istanbul businessman, head of a powerful holding, Adnan is a widower who falls in love with and marries the much younger Bihter. He has two children, Nihal and Bülent. He has raised the orphaned Behlül as his own son.
Firdevs Yöreoğlu Nebahat Çehre Bihter's and Peyker's mother, a greedy woman obsessed with money, status, and power. Her husband died of a heart attack when he discovered that she was having an affair. She is overbearing and manipulative and meddles in both her daughters (Bihter and Peyker)'s lives. She becomes aware of but wants to prevent the love between Bihter and Behlül. Gets a stroke and gets paralyzed.
Nihal Ziyagil Hazal Kaya The parallel lead protagonist Nihal is Adnan's innocent and naive daughter. Though she and Behlül have been raised as siblings, she develops romantic feelings for and falls blindly in love with him. Behlül becomes engaged to her as one of his many attempts to cover up (or make up to his uncle for) his illicit affair with Bihter. In the end, Nihal, her father, brother, and Ms. Deniz move from the house to start a new life.
Ms. Deniz De Courton Zerrin Tekindor Nihal's and Bülent's tutor, she is well educated and cares for both the children who have been entrusted to her by their dying mother. She is secretly in love with Adnan but conceals her feelings as Adnan marries Bihter.
Bülent Ziyagil Batuhan Karacakaya Adnan's son and Nihal's brother, he is eleven years old when the series begins. A fun-loving kid who loves Behlül and looks up to him.
Peyker Yöreoğlu Önal Nur Fettahoğlu Bihter's older sister, Firdevs's daughter, Nihat's wife, Doruk's and Saif's mother and Behlül's ex-girlfriend.
Nihat Önal Ilker Kizmaz Peyker's husband, Hilmi Önal's and Aynur's son, Adnan's much younger brother-in-law and business partner.
Hilmi Önal Recep Aktuğ Nihat's father. A cruel and manipulative man who treats his wife and son as accessories. Hilmi initially disowns Nihat because he married Firdevs' daughter against his wishes. Nihat then goes to work for Adnan Ziyagil's family.
Aynur Önal Zerrin Nişancı Nihat's mother, Peyker's mother-in-law. A soft-spoken and kind lady who loves Peyker and Nihat very much.
Beşir Elçi Baran Akbulut Driver at Adnan's house. He was orphaned at the age of six and brought by Adnan to live in his house. He was raised along with Nihal and has fallen in love with her. He would go to any length to keep Nihal happy. He finds out about the Bihter-Behlül affair. In the end he dies by lung cancer.
Elif Meryem Eda Özerkan Behlül's most steady girlfriend. Behlül proposes to her in his attempts to stay away from Bihter but feels no real love for her. They have a long engagement but break-up as Behlül and Bihter get deeper into their affair. Eventually she moves to Paris for her modeling career.
Süleyman Rana Cabbar Cook and head of the household staff for the Ziyagil family. He is married to Şayeste and has a daughter, Cemile. All three of them have lived in the mansion for years and are considered as "family" though there are clear upstairs and downstairs conflicts between masters and servants.
Şayeste Fatma Karanfil Süleyman's wife and Cemile's mom.
Cemile Pelin Ermiş Süleyman and Şayeste's daughter. Loves Beşir.
Nesrin Evren Duyal The maid of the house. Gets engaged to Captain Rıza.
Katya Ufuk Kaplan Mrs. Firdevs's maid from Ukraine who had a crush on Sait.
Pelin Hayal Köseoğlu Nihal's friend. While she has a crush on Behlul, Bülent has a crush on her.
Sait Uğur Tekin When Beşir was sick, Sait came to the Ziyagil house as a driver. But actually, he was sent by Hilmi to spy on the family.
Arsen Ziyagil Gülsen Tuncer Adnan's older sister. Motherly presence for his children but lives in a country house outside of Istanbul. Often a "voice of reason" for Adnan and the rest of the family.

Series overview[edit]

Season Number of Episodes Episodes Start of the Season Season Finale Viewers in Turkey (Millions) Day and Time of Broadcasting TV Season TV Channel
Season 1 38 1–38 4 August 2008 18 June 2009 9.6~16.14 Thursday 20:00 2008–2009 Kanal D
Season 2 41 39–79 (Final) 3 September 2009 24 June 2010 15.1~27.1 Thursday 20:15 2009–2010 Kanal D

Television Ratings[edit]

The series grew popularity over the course of its two season run. The pilot episode garnered 9.6 million viewers on its initial release in Turkey, with the amount rising until the first season finale, which 16.14 million viewers have watched. The second season premiered with 15.1 million viewers with the number fluctuating between 15 and 27 million viewers throughout the season. The series' finale, 41st episode of the season and the 79th episode overall, was watched by record-breaking 27.1 million viewers, making it the highest-watched episode of any TV show of all time in Turkey, with almost 40% of the population watching it.[citation needed]

Other adaptations[edit]

The series follows a 1975 adaptation of the novel starring Müjde Ar as Bihter and Itır Esen as Nihal, taking place in the original late 19th-century setting.[2] A Spanish-language American remake titled Pasión prohibida began airing in 2013.[3] Later, the Indian channel Star Plus broadcast the remake of this show as Dil Sambhal Jaa Zara.[4] A Romanian adaptation was also produced by Antena 1 under the title Fructul oprit in 2018;[5] Antena 1 was sued by the writers of Aşk-ı Memnu in 2020 and lost all rights to Fructul oprit, as a court has decided that way too many scenes had been precisely copied.[6]

International broadcasts[edit]

Aşk-ı Memnu has broken rating records in Turkey.[7] The series is the top-rated series there.[8] A major hit in Pakistan with 11.9 ratings on its last episode. It was seen by more than 90 million people in Pakistan. Aired thrice, it was the first foreign drama to get so many ratings in Pakistan. The series was renewed for a fourth time in Pakistan and is currently airing on a YouTube Channel "Dramas Central" in partnership with Kanal D and the Dot Republic Media. Aşk-ı Memnu was dubbed in many languages, including Urdu, Persian, Arabic, Hindi, Portuguese, and Spanish. Broadcasters carrying the series include.


  1. ^ a b c "AŞK-I MEMNU" 33 yıl sonra yeniden". Milliyet. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b "33 Yıl Sonra Aşk-ı Memnu". Hürriyet. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Arşivlenmiş kopya". Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  4. ^ "India is progressing and we need to show it on TV: Sanjay". Business Standard.
  5. ^ "'Aşk-ı Memnu' senaristlerinden Romanya'ya dava". Milliyet. 21 March 2019.
  6. ^ "DECIZIE. Instanța obligă Antena să retragă serialul Fructul oprit, inclusiv de pe Antena Play". Pagina de media. 17 January 2020.
  7. ^ Turquía sueña con el Amor prohibido
  8. ^ Soap Operas in the Arab World Yield Their Own Soft Power
  9. ^ "Rishtey to air Turkish drama 'Pabband Ishq'". BizAsia. 26 September 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2015.

External links[edit]