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Birce Akalay
Birce Akalay, February 2020 (cropped).jpg
Akalay posing for an interview with Cumhuriyet during the promotion of Keşanlı Ali Destanı in 2020 (photo by Vedat Arık)
Born (1984-06-19) 19 June 1984 (age 39)
Education Haliç University Conservatory
Occupation Actress
Years active 2006–present
Murat Ünalmış
(m. 2011; div. 2012)

Sarp Levendoğlu
(m. 2014; div. 2017)

Birce Akalay (born 19 June 1984) is a Turkish actress.

Akalay, who had her breakthrough with a role in the TV series Yer Gök Aşk as Havva, has appeared in various TV series and movies to this date. In 2017, she was cast in the play Yedi Kocalı Hürmüz, directed by Müjdat Gezen. In 2020, she had a leading role in the play Keşanlı Ali Destanı and portrayed the character of "Zilha". At the same time, she continued her career on television with a leading role in Star TV's series Babil, which premiered in January 2020.

Life and career

Akalay was born on 19 June 1984 in Istanbul. She started ballet at the age of four and was injured at the age of sixteen. She graduated from theatre department of Pera Fine Arts High School in 2003. She then enrolled in Istanbul University with a major in theatre analysis but left the school at third grade to pursue her dream of becoming a theatre actress. Since she had reached the age of twenty, she lost the chance to win a place in state conservatory but instead won a seat in Haliç University Conservatory for theatre studies and finished her education there. As of 2020, she is a lecturer at Haliç University's theatre department, teaching acting courses. In 2004, she completed in Miss Turkey and finished in the 3rd place. Subsequently, she represented her country in Miss Europe. In 2007, she made her television debut with a supporting role in the TV series Asi. She had her first cinematic role in the same year with a part in the movie Son Ders: Aşk ve Üniversite. She got her first leading role in television with the series Kader, playing the character of Lamia, and was then cast in the series Senin Uğruna in the same year.

After playing supporting roles in Alayına İsyan and Kış Masalı in 2009, her breakthrough came with her role as Havva in 2010 series Yer Gök Aşk, which was well received by critics and fans. In 2013, she joined the cast of Ben Onu Çok Sevdim , portraying the character of Ayhan. She continued her TV career with roles in Küçük Ağa (2014–2015), Evli ve Öfkeli (2015–2016), Hayat Bazen Tatlıdır (2016–2017) and Siyah Beyaz Aşk (2017–2018). After playing a leading role in the TV series Ağlama Anne in late 2018, she didn't appear in any productions for 1 year.

In the meantime, she started teaching as a lecturer at Haliç University Theater Department and took part in the music program Benimle Söyle as the chief judge. In January 2020, she began portraying İlay in Star TV's series Babil. Akalay has also continued her career on stage and in 2020 appeared as "Zilha" in the play Keşanlı Ali Destanı. Her cousin, Barış Murat Yağcı, is also an actor.



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Son Ders: Aşk ve Üniversite Sevim Supporting role
2009 Sizi Seviyorum Eda Supporting role
Nefes: Vatan Sağolsun Zeynep Supporting role
2013 Re-Era Scientist 1 Short film
2016 Deliormanlı Hülya Leading role


Year Title Role Notes
2007 Asi Zeynep Supporting role
2007 Kader Lamia Leading role
2007 Senin Uğruna Özlem Leading role
2009 Alayına İsyan Sevtap Leading role
2009 Kış Masalı Zişan Supporting role
2010–2012 Yer Gök Aşk Havva Karagül Leading role
2013 Böyle Bitmesin Aylin Guest appearance
2013 Ben Onu Çok Sevdim Ayhan Aydan Leading role
2014–2015 Küçük Ağa Sinem Acar Leading role
2015–2016 Evli ve Öfkeli Esra Leading role
2016–2017 Hayat Bazen Tatlıdır Hayat Sarıyaz Leading role
2017–2018 Siyah Beyaz Aşk Aslı Çınar Aslan Leading role
2018 Ağlama Anne Alev Fırıncıoğlu Leading role
2020 Babil İlay Yücedağ Leading role
2021 Son Yaz Sare Akay Leading role
2022 As the Crow Flies Lale Kiran Leading role
2022 Graveyard Önem Özülkü Leading role

TV programs

Year Title Notes
2004–2006 Spor Gecesi Presenter
2005 Şampiyonlar Ligi Finali Presenter (Turkish version)
Şampiyonlar Ligi Özel Presenter
2006 8. Etap Presenter
2009 Sinema Dünyası Presenter
2019 Benimle Söyle Judge


Year Title Role Writer Director Notes
2017–2019 Yedi Kocalı Hürmüz Hürmüz Sadık Şendil Müjdat Gezen
2020 Keşanlı Ali Destanı Zilha Haldun Taner Yücel Erten
2021 The Taming of the Shrew Katherina (Kate) Minola William Shakespeare İbrahim Çiçek

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2017 Barrier-Free Life Foundation 8th Bests of the Year Awards Best Theatre Actress Yedi Kocalı Hürmüz Won
2018 9th Karadeniz Technical University (KTÜ) Media Awards Best Actress Siyah Beyaz Aşk Won
Istanbul University 1453 Awards Best Actress of the Year Won
2nd Bosphorus Awards Most Successful Actress Won
45th Golden Butterfly Awards Best Actress Nominated
2019 Okan University Bests of the Year Awards Best TV Actress Ağlama Anne Won
2nd Best of Rumeli Awards Best Actress Won
2020 3rd International İzmir Artemis Film Festival Best Actress (TV series) Babil Nominated
2021 We Asked the Students Project Awards Best Actress Won
2022 6th Distinctive International Arab Festivals Awards International Actress of the Year Kuş Uçuşu
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