Behzat Ç.: An Ankara Detective Story (Bir Ankara Polisiyesi) is a 2010 Turkish television series based on the novels by Emrah Serbes, and starring Erdal Beşikçioğlu in the title role.
The series details the exploits of Behzat, a troubled detective on the Ankara Police Force. Disdainful of authority figures, plagued by personal demons, short-tempered and unpredictable, he would be ousted from his job if not for his penchant for solving difficult crimes. At work he is aided by an eccentric team of investigators: Harun, Hayalet (Ghost), Akbaba (Vulture), Eda, and Cevdet. Esra, the public prosecutor, also lends the gang assistance on a regular basis.
The series follows the format of a standard procedural, presenting a weekly case that is usually wrapped up by the end of the episode, but also features character arcs and an over-arching mystery that unfolds over the course of a season:
- Season One (episodes 1-38) details Behzat's investigation into the suspicious death of his daughter, Berna. Meanwhile, his team is dogged by a powerful and charismatic criminal, who may hold crucial information about her final days.
- Season Two (episodes 39-69) features the search for the "Finger-Cutting Killer", a serial murderer who removes a digit from each of their victims. The team continues their pursuit of Ercüment Çözer and his associates.
- Season Three (episodes 70-96) follows Behzat's hunt for the killer of his wife Esra. Meanwhile, a new spate of serial killings strike Ankara, and the culprit may be closer than he thinks.
With copious amounts of swearing and alcohol consumption, Behzat Ç. was a frequent target of RTÜK, the national broadcast regulation agency. The show has also been noted for its willingness to confront issues faced by contemporary Turkish society, with episodes tackling topics such as domestic violence, police brutality, political suppression, censorship, and the treatment of minorities such as Kurds, migrant workers, and the LGBT community.
The series spawned two feature films under the Behzat Ç title, Seni Kalbime Gömdüm ("I Buried You in My Heart") and Ankara Yanıyor ("Ankara Burning"). A continuation of the series is currently in development, titled Behzat Ç.: İmamların Öcü ("The Imams' Vengeance").
Behzat Ç. contains examples of:
- Drinking on Duty: Behzat keeps a bottle of vodka stashed under his desk and regularly drinks it from a coffee mug on the job.
- Homophobic Hate Crime:
- In one episode, the team investigates a series of crimes targeting transgender women, who are snatched off the street at night, beaten by their abductors, then left for dead on the side of the road.
- A third-season episode of the series features the murder of a gay woman by a male Abhorrent Admirer, who kills her after she repeatedly rejects his advances (she already has a girlfriend) and his "generous" offer to "fix" her by paying for conversion therapy.
- I Have Many Names: "Şule, Jale, Selma, Berna. What difference does it make?"note
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Hayalet (Ghost) and Akbaba (Vulture). Their real names are Sabri Özay and İsmet Karasu, respectively.
- Limited Wardrobe: Hayalet wears the same outfit all the time, and only diversifies his wardrobe when he goes on a date with Ilgin.
- Luke, You Are My Father: In the season one finale, Şule reveals she is Behzat's daughter from a fling he had before his marriage to Ceyda.
- Only One Name: the viewer never learns Behzat's full surname. Placards and other objects that might reveal what Ç stands for are always obscured by other objects.
- Parental Abandonment: Şule's motive for pursuing her father.
- Platonic Prostitution: Eylül's relationship with Behzat after Esra's death. He refuses sex and even kisses from her, but is comforted by her companionship and warmth.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Behzat and his older brother, Şevket. Behzat is standoffish, brusque, and volatile, while Şevket is a gregarious, thoughtful, and courteous man.