Forbidden Love Drama Review

Forbidden Love Drama Review: Forbidden Love (Aşk-ı Memnu), a Turkish drama series that aired from 2008 to 2010, is a modern adaptation of Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil’s classic novel. The show captivated audiences with its gripping narrative, complex characters, and exploration of forbidden desires. Spanning two seasons with a total of 79 episodes, it has left an indelible mark on Turkish television.

Forbidden Love Drama Review

Plot Overview

The story revolves around Bihter Yöreoğlu, a young and beautiful woman consumed by a deep resentment towards her mother, Firdevs, whom she blames for her father’s death. Seeking revenge and an escape from her mother’s toxic influence, Bihter marries Adnan Ziyagil, a wealthy widower. Adnan, significantly older than Bihter, provides her with the stability and security she craves. However, this seemingly peaceful arrangement is disrupted when Behlül, Adnan’s charming and womanizing nephew, falls in love with Bihter.

Bihter initially resists Behlül’s advances, but she eventually succumbs to his persistent affection. Their illicit affair becomes the central conflict of the series, as they struggle with their forbidden love amidst guilt, fear, and the looming threat of discovery. The affair sets off a chain of events that profoundly impacts everyone in the Ziyagil household.

Character Dynamics

Bihter Yöreoğlu (Beren Saat): Bihter is a complex character driven by a mix of vulnerability and determination. Her marriage to Adnan is initially a means to escape her mother’s manipulative grasp, but her affair with Behlül reveals her deep longing for genuine affection and passion. Beren Saat’s portrayal of Bihter captures her internal conflicts and tragic trajectory effectively.

Behlül Haznedar (Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ): Behlül is portrayed as a handsome, carefree playboy who gradually falls genuinely in love with Bihter. His character arc involves a significant transformation from a frivolous womanizer to a man tormented by guilt and unrequited love. Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ’s performance brings depth to Behlül’s struggle between love and loyalty.

Adnan Ziyagil (Selçuk Yöntem): Adnan is a wealthy businessman and a devoted father who remains oblivious to the turmoil brewing in his household. His character is initially a symbol of stability and kindness, but as the story progresses, he is forced to confront the betrayals that shatter his family. Selçuk Yöntem’s portrayal emphasizes Adnan’s dignified yet sorrowful response to the unfolding chaos.

Firdevs Yöreoğlu (Nebahat Çehre): Firdevs is the quintessential antagonist, driven by greed and a relentless pursuit of wealth and status. Her manipulative nature and lack of maternal affection contribute significantly to the tragic events of the series. Nebahat Çehre delivers a compelling performance that underscores Firdevs’ complexity and malevolence.

Nihal Ziyagil (Hazal Kaya): Adnan’s daughter, Nihal, is depicted as innocent and naive, unaware of the darker aspects of her family’s dynamics. Her unrequited love for Behlül adds another layer of tragedy to the narrative. Hazal Kaya’s portrayal captures Nihal’s purity and subsequent heartbreak, making her a sympathetic character.

Themes and Symbolism

Forbidden Love delves into themes of passion, betrayal, and the consequences of hidden desires. The title itself highlights the central motif of the series—love that defies societal norms and moral boundaries. The series portrays how such love, while intoxicating, leads to devastating consequences for everyone involved.

The series also explores the dynamics of power and manipulation within familial and romantic relationships. Firdevs’ character embodies the destructive potential of unchecked ambition and selfishness, while Bihter’s and Behlül’s affair illustrates the conflict between individual desires and familial duties.

Production and Reception

Produced by Ay Yapım, Forbidden Love was a critical and commercial success, praised for its high production values, intricate storytelling, and strong performances. The show’s lavish settings, particularly the historical mansion by the Bosphorus, add to its visual appeal, creating a stark contrast between the opulent lifestyle of the Ziyagil family and the underlying moral decay.

The series’ success also paved the way for various adaptations, including the Telemundo telenovela Pasión Prohibida and the Romanian series Fructul Oprit. Its impact on Turkish television is evident, as it set a benchmark for subsequent dramas in terms of storytelling and production quality.

Character Development and Arcs

Bihter Yöreoğlu: Bihter’s character is perhaps the most tragic in the series. Her initial motivations are rooted in a desire to escape her mother’s control and to find a secure and stable life. However, as her affair with Behlül develops, she becomes entangled in a web of deceit and guilt. Her internal struggle is portrayed with great depth, showcasing her oscillation between her duty as a wife and her yearning for true love. Beren Saat’s portrayal is nuanced, capturing Bihter’s vulnerability and eventual descent into despair.

Behlül Haznedar: Behlül starts as a carefree and somewhat reckless young man, but his relationship with Bihter forces him to confront his own weaknesses and moral failures. His character undergoes significant development as he grapples with the consequences of his actions. Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ effectively conveys Behlül’s charm and inner turmoil, making him a complex and sympathetic character despite his flaws.

Adnan Ziyagil: Adnan’s journey from a loving and oblivious husband to a heartbroken and betrayed man is central to the narrative. His gradual realization of the truth and the resulting emotional devastation are portrayed with sensitivity by Selçuk Yöntem. Adnan’s character represents the tragic consequences of trust and love when they are violated.

Firdevs Yöreoğlu: Firdevs is a character driven by her own desires for power and wealth. Her manipulative nature and lack of genuine maternal care make her a pivotal antagonist in the series. Nebahat Çehre’s performance brings out Firdevs’ cunning and ruthless aspects, making her a formidable presence in the story.

Nihal Ziyagil: Nihal’s innocence and her naive belief in the goodness of those around her make her eventual disillusionment all the more heartbreaking. Her character highlights the collateral damage of the central affair, showing how the sins of the few can devastate the lives of the many.

Themes and Symbolism

Forbidden Love: The central theme of forbidden love is explored through the clandestine affair between Bihter and Behlül. Their relationship, while passionate, is fraught with moral and ethical dilemmas. The series delves into the consequences of pursuing desires that are socially and morally unacceptable, ultimately leading to tragedy.

Family and Betrayal: The series examines the impact of betrayal within the family unit. Adnan’s household, initially depicted as harmonious and loving, is gradually torn apart by secrets and lies. The portrayal of familial bonds and their destruction adds a poignant layer to the narrative.

Power and Manipulation: Firdevs’ character embodies the themes of power and manipulation. Her actions are driven by a relentless pursuit of wealth and status, often at the expense of her own daughter’s happiness. The series critiques the destructive nature of such ambition and the toxic environments it creates.

Guilt and Redemption: Both Bihter and Behlül experience profound guilt over their affair. Their struggle to reconcile their actions with their conscience forms a significant part of their character arcs. The series explores whether redemption is possible for those who have committed moral transgressions.

Production Elements

Visuals and Settings: The show is renowned for its lavish production values. The Ziyagil mansion, with its picturesque location by the Bosphorus, provides a stunning backdrop for the drama. The opulent interiors and costumes reflect the wealth and status of the characters, while also creating a stark contrast with the moral decay hidden beneath the surface.

Direction and Cinematography: The direction by Hilal Saral is noteworthy for its ability to maintain suspense and emotional intensity throughout the series. The cinematography effectively captures the beauty of the settings and the nuanced performances of the actors, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Soundtrack: The music, composed by Toygar Işıklı, plays a crucial role in setting the tone of the series. The haunting melodies and emotional scores underscore the dramatic moments and enhance the emotional depth of the story. The soundtrack has become iconic, often evoking the intense emotions of the series even outside the context of the show.


Forbidden Love is a masterful blend of romance, drama, and psychological intrigue. Its compelling narrative, complex characters, and exploration of profound themes make it a standout series in Turkish television history. The show’s portrayal of forbidden desires and their tragic repercussions resonates with audiences, ensuring its place as a timeless piece of dramatic storytelling.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours