Art world gathers to bid farewell to Okay

Art world gathers to bid farewell to Okay

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Art world gathers to bid farewell to Okay

Renowned singer and composer Sezen Aksu (2nd R), the best friend of Meral Okay, was at the funeral ceremony along with many figures from Turkish art world. AA photo

Meral Okay, Turkey’s best known screenwriter, who died on April 9 in her home after a battle with lung cancer, was buried yesterday in Istanbul’s Zincirlikuyu cemetery, after prayers at Bebek Mosque.

Among the attendees of the funeral ceremony were actress Meryem Uzerli, the Hürrem Sultan of Okay’s last TV series, “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (A Magnificent Century) along with other members of the series, Okay’s best friend singer Sezen Aksu, and other well known Turkish figures.

There was a lot of traffic all day in Bebek, because of interest in the funeral ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Okay’s nephew Atila Saral said “Meral recently said she would recover. She was very cheerful and everything was OK. Her father visited her in her last night, she saw him and left us.”

Okay was the screenwriter of “İkinci Bahar” (Second Spring), “Asmalı Konak” (Asmalı Mansion) and the recent hit “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (A Magnificent Century), some of the best known Turkish TV series.

Born in 1959, Okay was a member of the Turkish Workers’ Party (TİP) at the time of the Sept. 12, 1980, coup. She married actor Yaman Okay in 1984 but he died of cancer 10 years later at the age of 41.

She then moved to Istanbul and began working for daily Günaydın while also writing song lyrics. She became well-known for the TV series “İkinci Bahar,” starring legendary actress Türkan Şoray and the incomparable Şener Şen. She also produced one feature film.

Okay made appearances as an actress in TV series and films such as “Bir Bulut Olsam” (If I Were a Cloud), “Beynelmilel” (International), “Yeditepe Istanbul” (Istanbul Seven Hills) and “Seni Seviyorum Rosa” (I Love You, Rosa).