Mustafa was the first reason why we religiously watched Manahil Aur Khalil


Manahil aur Khalil (Turkish TV drama dubbed in Urdu)


Original name: Menekse ile Halil


Started on: 2007


Ended on: 2008


Mustafa’s character was the first reason why we religiously watched Manahil Aur Khalil


My mother is not the drama addict in our house, that mantle is handled by yours truly. She would occasionally sit and watch Pakistani dramas and only when I would tune in to a particular channel. But with Manahil aur Khalil, the Turkish drama dubbed in Urdu, my mother took the mantle away from me and followed the twists and turns of Manahil and Khalil’s on Express Entertainment quite seriously. So much so that she stopped taking phone calls from 9 pm to 10 pm, would take an early shower just before the drama would air, do any other errand before the drama started and would even watch repeats during weekends! Often we would discuss over dinner why we passionately followed the trials and tribulations of Manahil aur Khalil and it was primarily because of the well-etched characters and a gripping storyline.


Here are five characters of the serial that had us hooked for every single night starting from December 17, 2012 to March 18, 2013 with 86 episodes.


  1. Mustafa- the villainous villain


Hasan Kucukcetin as Mustafa in Menekse ile Haili/Manahil aur Khalil

Hasan Kucukcetin as Mustafa in Menekse ile Haili/Manahil aur Khalil

The villains that one is used to watching on our local screens are completely evil. Think Saman in Maat, Malik Wajahat in Mera Saeein. There are no nuances to the character, no understanding of what is driving the person’s evil motives and are usually overacted by our actors that one does not hate the villain but actually hates the actor for doing such an atrocious job!


In Mustafa we see the transformation of a coarse, reckless, aggressive man into a sophisticated, charming, scheming serial killer. His initial motive is to marry his friend’s beautiful sister Manahil for whom he pays a hefty bride price to her father. Manahil having no choice marries him but their first night of marriage exposes a brutal abusive man. Once she runs away from him, Mustafa’s sole motive is to get her back from Istanbul where she has taken refuge along with her lover Khalil.


Hasan Kucukcetin as Mustafa

Hasan Kucukcetin as Mustafa

In the interim one sees him liaising with goons in Istanbul and outwitting them, falling in love with a lonely widow who is a single parent in a small village in Turkey and using her in his evil plans, his constant outsmarting of the police force and doctors. There is one particular unforgettable scene where Mustafa takes a look back at his life and weeps over what he has become: a serial killer who just cannot stop himself even if he wants to. One actually felt sorry for him and understood why he was doing what he was doing even if it was all so wrong. This is superior writing and also superior acting. One really has no words to praise the actor Hasan Kucukcetin whose emotional and physical transformation was remarkable to say the least. A class act and that is why he is the primary reason why Manahil aur Khalil was worth a watch.


Mustafa’s character highlighted the practice of bride-price that is still practiced in mostly rural areas of Turkey. Manahil’s/ Menekse’s family Doganturk originally comes from a village in Turkey and has settled in Berlin, Germany for a better life. But as is the case of most immigrants they hold on to their tradition as a means of survival in an alien society and Mustufa and Manahil’s family are representatives of such immigrants.


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