Magnificent Century's Hürrem, Meryem Uzerli returns to Turkey for new project

Magnificent Century's Hürrem, Meryem Uzerli returns to Turkey for new project

Cengiz Semercioğlu
Magnificent Centurys Hürrem, Meryem Uzerli returns to Turkey for new project

Meryem Uzerli was one of the star performers in the hit series “The Magnificent Century” (Muhteşem Yüzyıl), which featured the exploits of Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent.

Meryem Uzerli, better known as Hürrem Sultan in the popular Turkish TV series “The Magnificent Century” (Muhteşem Yüzyıl) has returned to Turkey, after signing a contract with O3, the Turkish production company of the biggest TV channel of the Arab world, MBC.

Rather than organizing a signing ceremony for the contract in Dubai, Uzerli recently came together with a small group of press members during a dinner at Les Ottomans hotel in Istanbul. The top executive of MBC, Fadi İsmail, the Turkish partners of O3 Production, Saner Ayar and Onur Güvenatam, were also present at the dinner.

A break of one-and-a-half years has been very good for Meryem. As always, I found her warm, positive and energetic. There was no trace of her being burned out or exhausted; she has renewed and recharged herself to return to Turkey and TV dramas.

Meryem is still living in Berlin, but is planning to move to Istanbul at the end of January. She lived in a hotel room for two years during the shooting of “The Magnificent Century.” This time, her biggest request was a house with a garden for her daughter, Lara. She is still searching for a house in a few neighborhoods, where she will live with her daughter and babysitter.

I have previously written about the theme of Meryem’s new TV series: A modern and chic love story with Istanbul in the background. The shooting is set to start at the end of February and it will be aired at the end of March.

At the end of the night at Les Ottomans, she showed me the photos of Lara on her cell phone. She is 10-months-old - a miniature version of Meryem, with deep blue eyes and yellow hair. “I wouldn’t let her act in a commercial film even if I’m offered 100 million euros. My only purpose in Istanbul is to raise Lara outside the limelight,” she told me.

Dinner of 500,000 euros

Meryem recently received an invitation to an event in the Middle East, offering her 500,000 euros to attend a special dinner. “I don’t usually accept such invitations, but if you donate the money to three Turkish associations working for needy children, I will come,” she said. The oil-rich family replied, “Then we will pay more money.” She will attend this dinner in the coming days.

The most asked question throughout the night was who Meryem’s partner would be in her new TV series. It is still not definite yet, she said. We asked, “Is it İbrahim Çelikkol?” Meryem replied, “I don’t know him.” We asked, "Is it Halit Ergenç?" she said “No way." We asked if it would be Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ, and a smile appeared on Ayar and İsmail’s face.

Ayar gave a clue, saying, “Meryem’s partner will be a very popular actor both in Turkey and the Middle East.” In my opinion, the favorite is Tatlıtuğ.

Meryem raised Lara alone for 10 months, without a babysitter or her mother. “Look, I got biceps from carrying her,” she said, showing her beefed up arms to me. In Istanbul, she will have a babysitter and a helper. “I am here tonight and it is very nice to be here without thinking of her at home,” she said.

I like Meryem’s positive attitude. She is mature enough to say, “What will happen if this TV series does not get the ratings? Our life will go on. There are things in life more important than TV and our businesses.”

Meryem was sick of the working hours when she starred in “The Magnificent Century.” She became fatigued not only because of the working conditions, but also because of everything else that was going on. Now she is ready to return to the scene.