Engin Altan Düzyatan returns to the small screen on Thursday night in new epic period drama Barbaroslar: Akdeniz’in Kılıcı (Barbaros: Sword of the Mediterranean).
Set in the sixteenth century, Düzyatan plays Oruç Reis, the older brother of Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha, one of the Ottoman Empire’s most colourful and important personalities.
The lead role is played by Ulaş Tuna Astepe, who shot to fame in violent contemporary drama series Sen Anlat Karadeniz (2018-2019), which ran for three seasons.
Born around 1478, Barbaros started his life on the seas as a pirate under his elder brother Oruç Reis, a feared buccaneer. After Oruç Reis’ death, his younger brother inherited his nickname Barbaros, which means ‘red beard’ in Italian.
The younger Barbaros carved out his own name for his successful exploits that brought him to the attention of the Ottomans, who started to co-operate with him in key battles.
In 1529, Barbaros re-took the Peñón of Algiers, a strategically important island off the coast of Algeria, from the Spaniards, bringing him the gratitude of the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.
Four years later, the Sultan appointed Barbaros Kapudan Pasha (Grand Admiral) and gave him command of his fleet. Barbaros went on to conquer the Mediterranean Sea, winning a host of decisive battles against Europeans.
Produced by ES Film, Barbaroslar: Akdeniz’in Kılıcı was filmed partly in Turkey and partly in Algeria, and casts Yetkin Dikinciler and Pelin Akil alongside Düzyatan and Astepe.
The first episode airs on Thursday 16 September on Turkish state broadcaster TRT at 6pm UK time, 8pm Turkey/TRNC time. It will also be available on the channel’s iPlayer and on YouTube.