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Then, Leyla was a child...


Starting from the boathouse by the sea on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus; with its marble stairs, wood carvings, high ceilings, the bright, crowded mansion, from there to the farmhouse kilometres away, to the hunting lodge between the valleys and hills, she was growing up in an almost magical world with a sense of limitlessness and freedom. Patience and organization at hunting parties with hounds and horses on weekends, harmony by listening to the choir accompanied by an organ in the church on Sundays; the "love" and sublimity in the endless conversations of the crowded "Bektashi tables", reading the distinguished examples of French, Russian and world literature under the camellia in the garden, she was learning about literature and art. By asking, listening, seeing, playing, saying, living, trying to understand and understanding...


She was enjoying this magical world created by her father, mother and her "Mademoiselle".


Mademoiselle "Madam Lejeune" had a special place and importance in Leyla's life. She was a French countess, who left everything behind, came to Istanbul from Russia in 1919 and settled with the "Çeyrekgil" family to make a living. Although her task was to teach children French, "Mademoiselle "'s relationship with Leyla was not limited to this. She opened the door of French, Italian, Russian and Turkish Literature to Leyla. Leyla took her endless curiosity, the ability to connect with all arts, her passion for theater and music, and the nuances of Italian and French from her, which would prove to be very useful in the future.


All of these were the most important parts of the magical, mysterious and unknown world of the child Leyla. Leyla, at that age, did not know that there could be many worlds and that one day she could discover those worlds, but she would learn that too. Living in this magical world was like a play, like a theater, like a ritual... Leyla decided to "be a writer" with unwavering determination! Like "Balzac", like "Goethe", which she loved very much... A writer who was known and respected by the whole world... When she was only 13 years old, she read the works of Balzac, Dante, Musset and many more, and had even memorized them. At warm family gatherings, she was reading passages from Dante, Goethe, Musset and Vigny to her siblings, her father, her mother, and mademoiselle. She should have been an actress then!

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