After 26 episodes Tuzak (overview of series here) ended its run on Turkish television channel, TV8, on April 28. The series starring Akin Akinozu, Bensu Soral, Riza Kocaoglu, Talat Bulut and others ended with a promising teaser. Plagued with low ratings, minimal promotion and several day and time changes, the series plodded on to the finale with an excellent cast, a dedicated crew and veteran screenwriters. For the most part, questions were answered and loose ends tied. The Yorukoglus attained the justice they were after and most everyone got what they deserved. Most Turkish dizis drag on endlessly with repetitive plot lines of abuse, obstinance and evil relatives (most often an evil mother), but the success of Tuzak in this writer’s opinion, was in the simplicity of its plot.
In the early days of the internet, Ibrahm Yorukoglu had a novel e-commerce idea, and like most innovators, he went door to door trying to raise money to make his idea a reality. To his misfortune, Ibrahim ran across Demir Gumusay, a down on his luck investor who was looking for a good idea to co-opt.
Ibrahim made the mistake of trusting Demir who, as often happens in the business world, stole the idea and built an empire around it. When Ibrahim found out it was too late and a confrontation led to tragedy. Out of desperation Demir shot Ibrahim in the head paralyzing from the neck down and accidentally killed his oldest son. As if that wasn’t enough, Demir who was made rich through Ibrahim’s idea, was able to buy the right people and get off scot-free with no repercussion for his crime.
Years later, Ibrahim’s remaining children, Mahir, Umut and Umay, with Umut as the mastermind, set an intricate plan to bring Demir to justice. Not through primitive vengeance, but through the law. The siblings went deep undercover and infiltrated Demir’s life: Umut as his lawyer, Mahir as his chauffeur, and Umay, as a trusted employee in his company.
The siblings had the help of their good friends Ayse, who was Demir’s shaman, and Ali a hacker who instigated the plan with a recording that would reek chaos in Demir’s life.
Of course, the traps that were set by the Yorukoglus didn’t always go as planned and there were setbacks and lives lost along the way. But in the end, the company that should have been Ibrahim’s went to him, and Demir ended up incapacitated in prison, much like Ibrahim. In the end, justice did prevail for Demir, but at what cost to the Yorukoglus. The plot was simple, but behind it there were many existential questions that the audience would consider along the way.
As Demir told it, he offered to buy Ibrahim’s idea but the refusal of Ibrahim to play ball led to his situation. Be that as it may, the trauma and suffering caused the Yorukoglu siblings led to an obsession on the part of Umut that would cause great unhappiness for his younger sister Umay. Like many people with causes, Umut in his single mindedness failed to recognize his sister’s dreams, her needs and the psychological effect that the plan had on her. In the end, Umay paid the ultimate price, but was it worth it?
Umut, in an effort to make a name for himself and feature prominently on the roster of corporate magnates as the go-to lawyer, took on a new personality, Cinar Yilmaz. As Cinar he would work on the edges of the law to cover up shady business practices. So when Demir needed a lawyer to clean his mess, he turned to Cinar/Umut. We don’t know what dirty business Umut covered up before, and we can’t even say it was worth the effort.
Anyone who has lived a number of years knows that even without prodding, justice does eventually prevail. It may not be the kind of justice one might want, but it is justice nonetheless. Perhaps Demir would have lost his business to a more powerful competitor, and maybe he would have had a stroke, even without the Yorukoglu’s meddling. Umut and his team were able to restore the company to Ibrahim, but is that more important than the loss of his daughter? I don’t think Ibrahim would agree, and so one is left underwhelmed when Umut says proudly on television “Justice has prevailed.”
Having said that the plan led to a beautiful and passionate romance between Umut and Demir’s intelligent and independent daughter, Ceren. This love story is unique in Turkish dizis because Ceren presents a strong counterpart to Umut’s imposing character. She is confident and strong, but feminine at the same time. She knows what she wants and she makes no bones about it. She is the first to kiss Umut and the one to propose marriage. And what is more surprising in this Turkish dizi, is that Umut is not intimidated by these traits. He considers himself lucky. If nothing else, the presentation of Ceren as a role model for women, was a huge success for the dizi.
However, there were several storylines in the series that were started but unfortunately, the threat of the series being cancelled early on led to those storylines being abandoned abruptly as the writers shifted to the main plot. For example, there was allusion to a possible romance between one of Demir’s sons, Mete, and Ayse which could have been interesting given Mete’s greed and ambition. It would have been interesting to see Mete evolve under Ayse’s care. And the love story between Mahir and Demir’s wife, Luna, was abruptly cut short in favor of a different storyline. It was unclear where that would have led and had interesting possibilities. The Yorukoglu siblings were raised by their aunts who added a certain charm and wisdom, but their roles were cut in order to truncate the series. These promising storylines were cut, but interestingly enough, even though the writers knew that the series had a set end date, they brought in a new character whose role is still unclear. Demir’s first wife who was held in captivity to Demir for 20+ years returned with an ambiguous storyline. But no sooner did she come than she left, with little impact on the series.
The plot of revenge/justice for Ibrahim was the foil for the Yorukoglus and the Gumusays in these 26 episodes. This is what brought them together and it was needed to set the stage. But the final scene of the series was even more interesting and opened the door for new adventures. With justice having prevailed and the remaining Yorukoglus and their friends paired up neatly, the stage was set for what the Yorukoglus were best at: Bringing justice to those who escaped justice. In the final scene, team Yorukoglu is once again in position (and undercover) to bring justice to a powerful businessman who has evaded the law. With Cinar’s James Bond like confidence, a second season (another 20 or so episodes) of the series would be a unique addition to diziland. If the channels won’t have it, perhaps the digital platforms would consider taking it on. Maybe Netflix would like a new project?
Check out the final scene of Tuzak. What do you think?
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