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Wie exotisch! German crime-fighting goes Turkish in Homicide Unit Istanbul, the penultimate new series to debut during MHz Networks’ premiere week.

Homicide Unit Istanbul (Mordkommission Istanbul)
Homicide Unit Istanbul (Mordkommission Istanbul) © ARD Degeto / Eraydin Erdogan, courtesy of MHz Networks

Set in and around Turkey’s historic city of Istanbul (formerly Byzantium and Constantinople), Homicide Unit Istanbul (Mordkommission Istanbul) stars Erol Sander (Alexander, Tatort) as Commissioner Mehmet Özakin of the Istanbul Police’s Criminal Investigation Department.

Mehmet, a nattily suited and booted by-the-book Turkish cop and ladies’ magnet, is happily married to modern working woman Sevim Özakin (Idil Üner, Tatort) and partnered with Mustafa Tombul (Oscar Ortega Sánchez, Commissario Brunetti), his single, maternally-challenged trusty sidekick.

Together, Mehmet and Mustafa do battle against bureaucratic laziness and criminal elements in and near the magnificent Istanbul, where the population of 15 million means there is always something unsavory to investigate.

In the first feature-length episode, “Last Stop Istanbul” (“Die Tote in de Zisterne“), a beautiful woman is murdered in the ancient Roman cistern of Yerebatan Sarayi. Mehmet later learns from his friend Yunus (The Accidental Spy) that a regular customer of Yunus’ restaurant, German reporter Anja Sonntag, seems to have disappeared. As it turns out, the victim and the missing are one and the same.

Then a frightened young Turkish woman arrives in Istanbul to look for Anja. So does Monika Adler (Christine Neubauer, München 7), a journalist who begins conducting her own investigation into the killing of Anja, her best friend, much to Mehmet’s irritation.

Mustafa discovers several interesting tidbits from Anja’s laptop, including her many visits to the Turkish tourist resort of Marmaris, numerous calls to and from someone named Emre, and multiple transfers of money to an Arif Genc. Then Mehmet finds a clue about the killer and how the perpetrator left the scene of the crime without notice.

And the mysterious woman, Kadriye (Sesede Terziyan, Tatort), turns up at the Özakins’ (gorgeous) flat to seek Mehmet’s help. Only she changes her mind, leaves surreptitiously, and is abducted off the street.

Mehmet believes he and Mustafa will find the killer in Marmaris, so they travel to that part of the Turkish Riviera (as does Monika) to delve further into Anja’s dealings with Arif and Emre (Alper Kul, The Shadow), one of the two guest hosts at the resort hotel, and according to the hotel chef, a gigolo for hire, as well.

After another murder, another abduction, and an attempted murder, Mehmet puts all of the seemingly disparate pieces together…

Shown in German with English subtitles, this first episode of Homicide Unit Istanbul premieres tonight, 30 April 2015, at 9 PM ET, on MHz Worldview and MHz Worldview Live.

Additional episodes will be available on MHz Choice, MHz Networks’ new subscription video-on-demand service, beginning 3 May 2015.

Read more about MHz Choice here.

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Homicide Unit Istanbul: German Crime Drama, Turkish Setting, American Premiere