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Saadet Aksoy

Saadet AksoySaadet Aksoy, born on the 29th of August 1983 in Istanbul, Turkey. She is a Turkish-born actress, who received critical acclaim with her portrayal of Aska - a red-haired punk trumpet player in Italian actor-director Sergio Castellitto's film titled Twice Born.

The film Twice Born was adapted from the novel with the same title by Margaret Mazzantini.

She speaks fluent English, basic French and Italian. She studied English Language and Literature at Bogazici University in Istanbul and started taking film and acting classes while working on short films, taking parts in stage productions, commercials and TV series.

She co-starred in the film with Penélope Cruz and Emile Hirsch. Christy Lemire described her as "the striking Saadet Aksoy" in her Twice Born review, and film critic David Rooney stated that "Saadet Aksoy brings a subdued fire-iness to her scenes as a Bosnian woman" in The Hollywood Reporter.

In his article in Variety, Boyd Van Hoeij wrote, "Turkish thespian Saadet Aksoy impresses in a supporting role as a spunky Yugoslav local." in regards to her performance in Twice Born.

Sergio Castellitto explained his first encounter with Aksoy in an article on Vogue Turkey with these words:

Saadet Aksoy"Saadet, the first time I met you it was through the internet where I had accidentally 'fallen' on a movie trailer. I actually don't remember anything of that trailer, of that movie."

"Yet I remember that I saw a woman turning her head abruptly to the camera, her blue eyes burning everything in that framing, blasting the reverse shot."

Saadet Aksoy has been in the juries of such film festivals as Cairo International Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival and the Istanbul Film Festival. She became the spokesperson for L'Oreal Paris in Turkey in the year 2013.

Aksoy was born in Istanbul to İnci Aksoy, a retired chief police inspector, and Anıl Aksoy, a retired police chief.

She talks about the strong female figures in her family in an interview saying:

"My mom and grandma have been my two role models. Both have stood out in life not only with their physical beauty but they have also been successful in their careers and been respected in life thanks to their identities and personalities."

Her grandmother Münire Şahinbaş was one of the first female business magnates in Turkey. Her maternal grandfather was a Turkish man from Greece and she has Egyptian descent from her maternal grandmother.

Saadet AksoyAksoy has two older brothers. In an interview she described her childhood and what cinema meant for her even at a young age:

"There were always certain rules in the family. Even though my brothers and I were having so much fun together, I was also quite introverted. Movies were what took me away to completely different lands, and cinema has always amazed me since my childhood."

She takes her first name Saadet from her grandmother on her father's side who died before she was born, and like most Turkish names, it has a specific meaning. The word saadet means bliss in English.

She had roles in such television projects in Turkey as Güz Yangını, Esir Kalpler, Senden Başka, Kalpsiz Adam, Sınıf, Balkan Düğünü and Muhteşem Yüzyıl.

Her theater appearances include the Turkish version of Steel Magnolias staged by the theatre director Mehmet Ergen and the Turkish version of Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat originally written by British playwright Mark Ravenhill.

She made her film debut with Semih Kaplanoğlu's Egg, which premiered at Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007.

It brought her several awards at numerous film festivals such as Valdivia International Film Festival and Sarajevo Film Festival.

Saadet AksoyIn 2008, she took part in the film by Semih Kaplanoğlu, Milk, which was a Venice Film Festival Official Selection.

She later worked with Argentinian director Alejandro Chomski in A Beautiful Life, and in 2009, she was in Bulgarian director Kamen Kalev's Eastern Plays, which also premiered at Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.

Film critic Jay Weissberg praised her performance in Eastern Plays in his article in Variety saying, "All performances are strong, but it's Christov and Aksoy who linger in the memory."

Her 2009 Turkish film Love in Another Language brought her more Best Actress awards at Ankara International Film Festival and Bursa Silk Road Film Festival.

Again in 2009, she took part in the Istanbul scene of The Rebound with Catherine Zeta Jones and Justin Bartha by the director Bart Freundlich.

Her international breakthrough was after she co-starred with Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch in Twice Born.

The movie premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2012. In 2013, Aksoy played in the Turkish movie Sürgün and recently finished shooting her latest project Ragion di Stato directed by Marco Pontecorvo for Italian TV network RAI.

Saadet AksoyAksoy made her debut nationally and internationally with Egg by Semih Kaplanoglu, which premiered in 2007 at Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.

It gained her numerous acting awards at internationally acclaimed film festivals, such as Sarajevo Film Festival and Valdivia International Film Festival.

With Eastern Plays, which also premiered at Directors' Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and Love in Another Language, which brought her a number of national awards, Saadet kept gaining more attention both in her home country and at the international festival circuit.

She was cast in parts in American productions, A Beautiful Life by Alejandro Chomski and The Rebound by Bart Freundlich.

She has recently finished shooting Marco Pontecorvo-directed Italian series Ragion di Stato.

Aksoy has also been a jury member in many film festivals such as Cairo Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, and Sarajevo Film Festival.

Saadet Aksoy worked hard to literally learn to play the trumpet for her trumpet scenes in "Twice Born" with her teacher, amazing trumpet soloist Luca Seccafieno. It is not an easy instrument to play.

Saadet Aksoy

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Year Title Role Notes
2007 Egg Ayla Directors' Fortnight
2008 Milk Semra Venice Film Festival
2008 Beautiful Life Denise
2009 Eastern Plays Işıl Directors' Fortnight
2009 Love in Another Language Zeynep
2009 The Rebound Turkish girl in Istanbul
2012 Twice Born Aska Toronto International Film Festival
2013 Sürgün Eleni


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Güz Yangını Pınar
2006 Esir Kalpler İrem
2007 Senden Başka Elif
2008 Kalpsiz Adam Feraye
2008 Sınıf Duygu
2009 Balkan Düğünü Zehra
2011 Muhteşem Yüzyıl Victoria (Sadıka)
2014 Ragion di Stato Rania
2016 Kördüğüm Eylül
2017 Vatanım Sensin Lucy


Year Organisation Award Work Result
2007 Sarajevo Film Festival Best Actress Egg Won
2007 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival Best Newcomer Egg Won
2007 Valdivia International Film Festival Best Actress Egg Won
2008 Siyad Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Egg Won
2008 Yeşilçam Film Awards Young Talent Egg Won
2008 Ankara International Film Festival Best Female Newcomer Egg Won
2008 İsmail Dümbüllü Awards Best Film Actress Egg Won
2009 Ankara International Film Festival Best Actress Love in Another Language Won
2009 Bursa Silk Road Film Festival Best Actress Love in Another Language Won


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Bonesetters Waiting Room

In the Bonesetter's Waiting Room:
Travels Through Indian Medicine

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week India defies definition, and the story of medicine in India is similarly rich and complex: shaped by unique challenges and opportunities, uniting cutting-edge technological developments with ancient cultural traditions, fuelled by political changes which transformed the lives of millions and moulded by the energy of forceful individuals. Here, Aarathi Prasad investigates how Indian medicine came to be the way it is. Her travels will take her to bonesetter clinics in Jaipur and Hyderabad and the waiting-rooms of Bollywood's best plastic surgeons, and introduce her to traditional healers as well as the world-beating heart surgeon who is revolutionising treatment of the poor around the globe.

Like a Virgin

Exploring the Frontiers of Conception

Sexual evolution is a slippery business. Like all mammals, we humans seem to have been left no choice in the matter: even though it is costly, inefficient and dangerous, if we want to reproduce we simply have to have sex. Yet most human cultures tell the tale of a maiden who gives birth untouched by a man; and in the wild there are plenty of creatures – such as turkeys, komodo dragons, sharks and the ‘Jesus Christ’ lizard (which walks on water, too) – that take various approaches to reproducing without sex.

In LIKE A VIRGIN, the biology writer Aarathi Prasad discusses how reproduction without sex is achieved in animals and explores why evolution hasn’t made it an option for humans – yet. In doing so, she provides a quirky, entertaining and perceptive overview of the mysteries of evolutionary biology, sex and reproduction – past, present and future.

It’s a remarkable story that ranges across Greek mythology, natural history, agriculture, conservation and medicine; takes in some of the most exciting areas of developmental genetics and molecular biology that other popular science books largely ignore; and is packed full of a cast of amazing characters, be they obscure animals or eccentric scientists such as the respected geneticist Dr Helen Spurway who in the UK in the 1950s unwittingly sparked a nationwide search for a virgin mother.

There is now a plethora of strategies being developed in reproductive medicine that could ultimately keep our species going in a world of embellished sex: the creation of artificial eggs and sperm from bone marrow, labs-on-chips on which eggs are fertilized, silicone wombs and artificial wombs (where fetuses can spend their full nine months), and even research to prepare us for reproduction in space. What’s more, we are finally beginning to understand what genetic modifications are needed to allow for the creation of women who could have babies without having sex. Now that we have the competent hand of science in our lives, will girls still need men?

Publisher: Oneworld (UK/US)
Pub Date: 16 August 2012
Status: Draft manuscript
Length: 288 pages

All rights available excluding:
UK & Commonwealth, US, Arabic (Arab Scientific), Japan (East Press)

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Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats... take a look

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