‘Kubra’ Makes A Promised Land Out Of Istanbul

By Louie Fecou
Published: June 17, 2024 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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Where was Kubra filmed?
Kubra | Image via Netflix

Kubra, a Turkish Netflix series based on a well-respected 2020 novel of the same name, tells the story of former marine turned car mechanic Gökhan Ahinolu, who inadvertently becomes a messiah to the working-class people of his neighborhood in Istanbul, where the show was filmed on location.

The setting is important to the show, as it grapples with lofty ideas about class, faith, and technology, with the circumstances and piety of the locals being an integral element to Gokhan’s arc, which develops across an intriguingly, ambiguously mystical Season 1 and a more openly sci-fi-leaning Season 2.

Filming Locations for Season 1

The first season of Kubra was pretty much all filmed on location in Turkey, and the crew would settle on using Istanbul as the main filming location.

Locals and eagle-eyed location hunters will recognize that many key scenes were filmed in and around Istanbul, adding to the authenticity of the production. The show is based on a book, and the main character Gokhan lives in Istanbul, so it was a no-brainer for the crew behind the show to film on location.

The locations used will be familiar to many TV and film enthusiasts, as Istanbul has served as a backdrop for other productions including Argo, American Assassin, Aftersun, and of course James Bond blockbuster Skyfall.

It does look as if some studio work was done for this season, and although difficult to verify it seems highly likely that various real interiors were used for filming.

Where was Kubra filmed?

Istanbul | Image via Wikipedia

Filming Locations for Season 2

Season 2 of Kubra once again focused on the authentic locations of Istanbul and surrounding areas.

The opening car chase in Season 2 — which follows directly from the ending of Season 1 — shows plenty of the locations off, culminating in an alleyway escape that leads underground, through the sewer system.

By the second season, it seems that the crew was able to access the areas needed to keep the show on location, and the various agencies such as the cultural services and police department are acknowledged in the show’s credits.

The location continuity between both seasons is an important aspect to the story, since Gokhan is very much a local prophet, and his story intersects with those of several family members and close associates.

Production Team

Kubra was produced by OGM Pictures, who have been involved in TV and film since 2019.

The company is run by Onur Guvenatam and has had many successful shows in its portfolio including Red Room, Masumlar Apartment, Paper Lives, The Girl in the Glass, Atiye, The House You Were Born Is Destiny and Tomorrow’s Single Ticket.

For Season 1, Dural Taylan is named as an executive producer, along with Onur Guvenatam, Yusuf Chaban, Yagmur Taylan, and Cem Chaban. Dural and Yagmur Taylan are also named as directors.

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