Turkish-German actress Meryem Uzerli received critical acclaim for her role in historical drama series Muhteem Yüzyıl. She has since become one of the most recognised faces in the Arab world and boasts over 4.8 million followers on Instagram.
Uzerli was born to Turkish and German parents and spent her childhood in Germany before beginning a career in film and TV in Europe. In 2010 she relocated to Turkey where she began appearing in the the hit TV series. It was from this that Uzerli’s popularity grew, particularly in the Arab world. A mum of one, Uzerli now splits her time between Turkey and Germany.
As ambassador for Turkish jewellery brand Atasay, Uzeli was recently in Dubai to launch the jeweller’s UAE capsule collection. Renowned for its fine craftsmanship and rich heritage, Atasay was inspired by the landscape of the UAE to create a range of rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings in 22-carat gold. The designs feature unique motifs that are inspired by the characteristics and elements of the UAE, symbolizing the harmony between the sea and desert.
As ambassador for the brand and a regular visitor to Dubai, Maryem Uzerli has a close relationship to both Atasay and the UAE. We caught up with her on a recent visit.
What are the lessons you have learnt since becoming a mum?
One of the biggest lessons is patience. Then discipline. It is not easy if you have a child that you love standing in front of you, wanting something really badly, and you know if you give it to them they will ask for more. Actually I need to learn more about discipline, it is hard for a working mum, you feel bad because you leave them and you need to find the balance between both lives. The third thing is that my view of the love has changed. This is a different kind of love that you cannot find words for and it is the deepest kind of love where you fear at the same time. My father once told me that our kids raise their parents too and I really believe that.
What do you do when you spend time with your daughter?
It depends on the weather, if the weather is bad, we stay indoors and play with her dolls. Sometimes we paint, sing, dance, or we play with her puppies. She has a tiny little kitchen and she pretends to make me food.
Do you still remember the feeling you had when you stood in front of the camera for the first time?
I try to forget! But of course I can remember. Our brain likes to traumatise us with these memories so I can’t forget it! It was like I had forgotten everything, you know that moment when you see the car is coming but you cannot move? That was the worst feeling ever because I lost control of myself. I was very young, just 18 years old, it was so weird, I couldn’t talk I was just like a tree, and then I woke up because of the screaming of the director!
How would you describe your style?
I would say spontaneous and flexible, sometimes chic, but mostly sporty. Sometimes I can be lazy, when I am with my daughter for example, I call these days in the month my “housewife days”, because once a month I like to spend 8 to 10 days with my daughter; just me and her. It is quality time. So then I am very lazy, there is no fashion, only jeans and T-shirts!
On the red carpet I like to feel like a princess, but you know what? So many fashion designers have told me to avoid these kinds of dresses because they are not modern enough or not fashionable. If you ask me, I would love to wear a Cinderella dress every time I step on the red carpet!
How would you describe your relationship with jewellery?
My relationship with jewellery depends on my mood. Do you know why I adore jewellery so much? Because it reflects light – so whatever you are doing, if you are wearing even a small stone, it reflects the light. It is like a pure positive energy, that is why jewellery is important. Sometimes if I’m in a bad mood I wear more jewellery so that it reflects more light. And I also like to feel glamourous so sometimes I wear it for this reason too.
Tell us how you came to partner with Atasay.
When I came back to Turkey nine years ago, I started to wear Atasay jewellery and it has been very popular there for 30 years. I was wearing rings and necklaces and then a few months ago I met with the brand and we fell In love with each other! I am very proud to be their ambassador. The collection we are presenting now is a new collection for the UAE. It is inspired by the landscape of this beautiful country, there are palm trees, birds, keys which are all symbols of the UAE. The necklace with the key and bird for example means freedom, like this country. It is a very meaningful collection. This brand is full of vision. which I really adore and the collection is made with passion.
What do you like the most about Dubai?
This is very a difficult question for me because there are so many things! I am addicted to sushi for example and I have tested all the sushi restaurants in Dubai. But on a deeper note there is this never ending story of love in Dubai it is so fulfilling and overwhelming, I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere in the world.
What is your favourite stone?
I like diamonds, because of the story behind them. They keep shaping them, trying to reach perfection. I think this is similar to life, we always search for perfection and then we find it in tiny things. You can even find perfection in imperfection. What I find very philosophical about diamonds is that you need to look at them from different angles to understand their true beauty.
What are your luxuries in life?
My luxuries are the things which are not material. My daughter is my biggest gift. The unconditional love I feel for her is something incredible. Even the word luxury is not enough to describe it! Luxury for me is to have time for the people I love, to be able to live in the moment, to feel forgiveness for myself and for others and to be able to feel good emotions whatever I have been through.
What beauty product can you not live without?
I don’t use make-up at all during my daily life, but, if I had to choose something it would be a lip moisturiser or lip gloss with a little colour.
How would like the world to remember you?
As someone who was able to make people happy and feel good.
What is the motto that you live by?
From moment to moment.
What’s your favourite book?
The Future of Now.
And your favourite hobby?
What’s your favourite food?
Sushi, and a Turkish dish called karniyarik.
Your favourite Holiday destination?
By Ruba Nesly