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She had experienced this feeling before. This overwhelming sense of "leaving" was manifesting, for the first time, in a way that she knew so strongly where to go. Her breathing sped up. Her fingers started to go numb. The fire rising from her heart was spreading from her neck to her face; from there to the roots of her hair. The voices coming from the stage to backstage began to get hoarse. She was alone at the messy backstage, left by the hastily prepared actors to begin the performance on time. She couldn’t contain her excitement. The performance was about to come to an end. She would soon be on the stage to greet the audience and accept the applause that would last for minutes. However, this time it would not be like that. What happened, how it happened, these scenes to which she was passionately attached to; these backstages, full of laughter and tears, were too tight for her, she did not know. But Aysel understood that it was time to go... She sat in the chair in front of the illuminated backstage mirror. She took the coloured wig standing in front of the mirror and the large-framed glasses used as accessories in the play. She had made up her mind. This little scene where she was going out soon did not sadden her...

Leyla did not only take her black hair, black eyes, and sharp facial features from her father. She took from him the tolerance of Bektashism, the judgement of character, sincere and far from hypocrisy, strong nature, and the constant search of the beautiful and divine.


Aysel Gürel appeared on the stage for the first time in Trabzon. She was fifteen years old. She played Juliet in the play Romeo and Juliet prepared by the Trabzon Public House. The director of the play, Talat Gözbak, who attracted attention with his interesting clothes and hats, had to give the role of Juliet to Aysel, whom he found "skinny", as there was no other actress who applied. They performed in a hall that was converted from an old church into a cinema and a theatre hall. Their performance was highly appreciated. Even the notables of Trabzon and the governors of the surrounding provinces came to the theatre to watch the performance. Her father Ali Rıza Gürel had a great influence on this.

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