Midnight at the Pera Palace

Turkish TV Series: Midnight At Pera Palace & The Pera Palace Hotel

Midnight At Pera Palace (Turkish: Pera Palas’ta Gece Yarısi) is a Turkish-made series produced by Netflix, which was broadcast on Netflix on March 3, 2022. The first season aired is 8 episodes. Hazal Kaya, Tansu Biçer and Selahattin Paşalı play the leading roles in the series.  The series is an adaptation of the 2015 book “Midnight at Pera Palace” by Charles King.

The leading role is played by the famous actress Hazal Kaya.
The leading role is played by the famous actress Hazal Kaya.

Summary of the Midnight At Pera Palace (Pera Palas’ta Gece Yarisi)

Esra, a young journalist, is assigned to write an article about the Pera Palace Hotel. So Esra, who goes to the hotel, discovers that one of the rooms she visited is a door to 1919. Thanks to this incredible discovery, Esra, who travels in time, becomes aware of a compo organized against Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the person who founded modern Turkey and saved the country from enemy invasion. Now Esra has to protect the flow of Turkey’s history and its future. However, when Esra meets a mysterious man named Halit, she realizes that nothing is as it seems.

Midnight at the Pera Palace The Birth of Modern Istanbul
Midnight at the Pera Palace The Birth of Modern Istanbul, Charles King, 2015

Review of the Series

Pera Palace is a period series set in 1919 in the last periods of the Ottoman Empire. We can say that the costumes and venues used in the series are very well chosen and describe the period very well. Player selection is not cheap either. A very popular actress in Latin America and the Middle East, such as Hazal Kaya, plays the lead role. However, we cannot say the same about acting and copywriters. In some cases, the acting was too contrived. Especially some of the extra players are quite unsuccessful. However, especially Istanbul in 1919 and the crowd are well-reflected.

As for the scenario; A difficult task was undertaken and the subject of “time travel”, which we do not see often in Turkish productions, is neatly processed into the story, although there are contradictions at times. However, while doing this, it is necessary to mention that there are gaps in the script and that it is sometimes easy for the story to progress.

Midnight At The Pera Palace lead actors
Midnight At The Pera Palace lead actors


E.g; After a while, it becomes noticeable that the characters learn the date of their arrival through the newspapers they find around. The scene where Esra goes directly to the table where the British soldiers are sitting and tells about Mustafa Kemal’s plan is actually the situation that ignites the whole story of the assassination attempt. Instead of making such a big mistake to the main character, especially a character that is tried to be reflected as intelligent, a different solution could be found for the assassination attempt and Esra’s falling into the center of the events. Fortunately, the script defends itself as “In this scene, Esra isn’t sure if she’s going back in time, she thinks she’s dreaming.” If we think about the ridiculous things we do in our dreams, we as the audience have no choice but to laugh at this scene.

Pera Palas Ataturk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in military uniform at Pera Palace Hotel


While there are such glaring screenplay loopholes, probably the smartest strategy was to not try to explain too much of the time travel mechanics. The more explanations there were, the more inconsistencies would draw the audience’s attention. Instead, the series based itself on the fantasy genre rather than science fiction, avoiding scientific issues and drawing too much attention to logic errors.

Pera Palas Hotel Is A Very Fascinating And Mystical Place
Pera Palace Hotel Is A Very Fascinating And Mystical Place


There are also details in the script that make you smile. E.g; Esra’s driving, the fact that women did not drive at that time, a few men’s reactions to it, and Esra’s response to these reactions are some of the referential and entertaining details. It was also a very nice detail that Esra wrote a warning letter in Turkish to Mustafa Kemal and the soldier could not read the letter because the “Letter Revolution” had not yet taken place, but Mustafa Kemal was able to read the letter, probably because it was one of the ideas he had been contemplating for years.

Esra drive cars
A lady driving a car was not uncommon at the time.


The subjects of the series are multi-layered, but this multi-layered situation causes the subject to branch and disperse rather than adding depth to the story. The characters are constantly traveling in time, trying to prevent the planned assassination attempt against Mustafa Kemal, on the other hand, trying to find out who killed the character of Peride, on the one hand, trying not to disturb and sometimes correct the timeline, on the other hand, they live in love. This series of topics, which is tiring even while reading, causes our focus as the audience to shift constantly and sometimes to break away from the story.

Due to the effort to explain many subjects at the same time, no subject can be delved deep enough. Still, the script, one way or another, finally manages to wrap up all these issues, and it does a great job. When the series is over, there is no question mark in our minds except the question marks that are deliberately left to make us wonder about the second season.

The characters try to solve many events between the past and the future.
The characters try to solve many events between the past and the future.


In general, the progression of the story is a little over-predictable, but the classic scenario techniques are used to make it gripping. Season 2 of the series is thought to take place in Istanbul during World War II. I hope you found it useful. You can share your thoughts about the series with us.

Pera Palace Hotel

Hotel of the Pera Palace
Pera Parace Hotel has been in service since the late 1800s.


The hotel was located in the Tepebaşı area of ​​Pera, which is known as ‘Little Europe’ due to its cultural and social activities, with a magnificent view of the Golden Horn. It was a luxury hotel built for the accommodation of the passengers of the “Orient Express” on the Paris-Istanbul expedition. It opened with a ball in 1895.

When Pera Palace Hotel opened as one of the most magnificent buildings in Istanbul, it had many firsts; It was the building where electricity was supplied, the first electric elevator, and the first running hot water, outside the Ottoman Palaces in Istanbul. Pera Palace Hotel, Turkey’s first hotel by European standards, has witnessed historical events since its establishment and has become one of the most important symbols of the city’s culture.

The domed hall of Pera Palace
The domed hall of Pera Palace


Pera Palace has hosted Mustafa Kemal Atatürk many times since 1917. Room 101, which he used as his home on his return to the front, where he made important decisions for the country and hosted his senior guests, was turned into a museum room in 1981, the 100th anniversary of his birth, where Atatürk’s personal belongings are also exhibited. Due to this nature, Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah is a ‘museum-hotel’.

Agatha Christie, one of the world’s most famous crime novel writers, stayed at Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah many times between 1926 and 1932. It is said that he wrote Murder on the Orient Express, one of his most famous novels, during one of his visits, in room 411. The mystery of her lost diary and the room she stayed in is still unsolved even today. A replica of the diary’s key, which was later found in this room, and an old-style typewriter are also exhibited in this room in memory of Christie. There are also rare Agatha Christie books published in different languages ​​and in different years in the room, which is furnished in black and burgundy colors with antique furniture. Do not forget to write your comments about the series and the hotel.

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