Netflix’s The Tailor: Is the Turkish Show Based on a Real Person?

Netflix’s ‘The Tailor’ (also known as ‘Terzi’) is a Turkish-language mystery drama series created by Onur Güvenatam and directed by Cem Karci. It follows Peyami Dokumacı, a famous tailor attempting to protect a dark secret from his past. However, Peyami’s life turns upside down when he becomes unwillingly involved with Esvet, a young woman with her own secrets. Given the show’s exploration of complex interpersonal relationships and the study of human behavior, viewers must wonder if ‘The Tailor’ is inspired by true story.

The Inspiration Behind The Tailor

‘The Tailor’ is partially based on a true story. The television series originates from a story by author Gülseren Budayıcıoğlu. It was adapted into a screenplay by screenwriters Rana Mamatlıoğlu and Bekir Baran Sıtkı. Director Cem Karci helmed the project, and Onur Güvenatam is credited as the series creator. Hence, it is safe to say that the creative quartet is responsible for shaping the television series. However, the show is likely not a direct representation of actual events, as several sources have claimed.

Gülseren Budayıcıoğlu devised the basic story for the show. Budayıcıoğlu is a celebrated Turkish author and television writer. However, she started her career as a psychiatrist before becoming a television presenter and later publishing her own novels. Several of Budayıcıoğlu novels, such as ‘Madalyonun İçi,’ ‘Camdaki Kız,’ and ‘Hayata Dön’ have served as the source material for several hit television shows. Some sources have claimed that ‘The Tailor’ is an adaptation of the author’s third published book, ‘Hayata Dön.’ The book, first published in 2011, tells the story of a young girl named Ala and her traumatic experiences.

It also features several anecdotes and stories the author uses to shape the narrative. However, ‘The Tailor’ does not appear to be a direct adaption of the book as its narrative differs from Ala’s story. Instead, the show is likely inspired by some of Budayıcıoğlu’s other interactions with her patients. In a 2023 interview, Budayıcıoğlu spoke about her other television show adaptations in an interview. The author explained that she draws inspiration from real people she interacts with. However, Budayıcıoğlu also revealed that she avoids showing their real people and their lives to protect their identities. Nonetheless, she succeeds in creating realistic characters.

Budayıcıoğlu publishes a blog for the website Hurriyet. Through her blog, Budayıcıoğlu shares her experience as a psychiatrist and raises awareness about mental health. She also shares her thoughts on letters written to her by people experiencing mental health issues. It is possible that one of these letters served as the primary inspiration for the television series. However, as mentioned above, Budayıcıoğlu fictionalizes certain people and events, meaning ‘The Tailor’ is a fictional story.

‘The Tailor’ explores the traumatic past of its protagonist, Peyami Dokumacı, who wrestles with his father’s mental health issues. Meanwhile, Esvet is a young girl who is forced into marriage with an abusive partner by her parents. Thus, the series explores the correlation between the physiological effect of parents’ actions on their children. Subsequently, the series explores taboo subjects and complex relationships that resonate emotionally with the audiences.

Ultimately, ‘TheTailor’ is a television series deeply interested in exploring the psychological states of its characters. These characters may or may not be inspired by real people but appear to portray realistic emotions due to Budayıcıoğlu’s understanding of human nature. It explores complex themes such as domestic abuse, mental health, marriage, adoption, and parenthood.  Therefore, despite the heavily dramatized and convoluted narrative, the series maintains a semblance of realism.

Read More: Where is Netflix’s The Tailor Filmed?