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Confined to his home on sick-leave (and prevented from sneaking his beloved brandy and cigars), Inspector Ikmen of the Istanbul police is forced to hand his latest case over to his protege, the newly promoted Suleyman. That's too bad, because the aristocratic Suleyman knows nothing about Arabesk, the throbbing, deeply sentimental music that is adored by Turkey's working classes, and the case is drenched in those mournful melodies. A secret marriage, a murdered bride, an aging beauty, a father driven mad with grief and guilt: it's all so melodramatic that Suleyman can barely keep his lip from curling. Ikmen, unashamed of his own plebeian tastes, is happy to weigh in from the sidelines, but both cops eventually come to one conclusion: At the real heart of this operatic catastrophe is the city itself.