Netflix presents The Protector

A Turkish savior rises!

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: February 24, 2022 (URL is not
Available on: Netflix
Content release date: 2018-12-14

After the death of his adoptive father, jack-of-all-trades and master of none, Hakan Demir discovers he’s actually part of an ancient secret order sworn to protect the city of Istanbul from all threats!

The city of Istanbul has been around for a very very long time, and the Ottoman Empire Turks who lived there took their legacy in life and love in the city very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they formed the ancient order of Loyal Ones, humans sworn to help the one known as the Protector, the one blessed by the sacred Ottoman tunic and relics, to save the city from the evil designs of the Immortals.

Hakan (Cagatay Ulusoy) is entirely unimpressed with the idea that he has to save the entire city of Istanbul, even with the help of the Loyal Ones and his personal trainer-cum-nemesis, Zeynep, the daughter of the leader of the Loyal Ones, Kemal (Yurdaer Okur). Zeynep (Hazar Erguclu) herself is even less impressed with the idea that Hakan is the Protector, the one they’ve been waiting and training and praying for, this nobody devil-may-care wastrel of a guy who’s generally content to run scams from the antique store his adoptive father had in the bazaar, before getting saddled with saving the world, or at least the whole city of Istanbul. Which might as well be the world, for all that Hakan is prepared for it!

Though the first season of The Protector generally deals with a single Immortal villain, the savvy and dangerous businessman Faysal Erdem (Okan Yalabik), later episodes of the show reveal that there were at one time a whole cadre of Immortals. And Faysal may be their leader, but he has only ever had one single focused goal amidst all this other nastiness: bring his beloved wife, Ruya (Burcin Terzioglu), back to life from the dead. Faysal freely admits he will commit any and all atrocities, up to and far past destroying the whole ancient city of Istanbul, to accomplish his one desire above any other.

Full of intrigue and betrayal from the past, and the rise of heroism here in the present, The Protector demonstrates that the journey from nobody to champion is a messy, stupid, dangerous, and fraught thing, and well worth every single torturous step. Someone has to protect the people from the bad guys, it might as well be someone who, until just recently, was one of them – common, blissfully ignorant, but ultimately more or less content. Even as the Protector, entrenched deep in the war with the Immortals, goaded on by the Loyal Ones, and beset on all sides by a battle, not of his own making, Hakan never forgot the people of Istanbul and how much he loved all of them.

Boasting three seasons of gorgeous scenery directly from the ancient city of Istanbul, a wonderful cast, and an easily understood “I just want to be loved” storyline, The Protector is a superb sendup of Turkish cinema, found on Netflix!