Aylin Berkay exhibited three distinguishing physical characteristics in each of the 12 films she made — no matter whether she was acting in a comedic role (as in Oooh Oh! opposite Aydemir Akbaş and Kamer Baba [real name: Kamer Sadık]) or in a more serious role (as in Esmerin Adı Sarışının Tadı with Tarik Şimsek and Zerrin Doğan).
The first thing to strike your eye when Aylin Hanım appears on screen is her great long mane of bright blond hair — which (as a budding poet once wrote) was “not to match what mats there down.”
Later, when the plot requires a less fully clothed Aylin, you notice her second physical characteristic — a boyish upper torso.
And when Aylin Hanım flashes her trademark look of “Astonished Innocence” on-screen, thereby exhibiting her third physical characteristic, you might think you were in the presence of the original Dumb Blonde female.
But you’d be wrong.
Because Aylin was originally a man, named Ali — who served his mandatory military duty honorably, as a member in good standing of the Turkish Army’s Military Marching Band.
Exactly when Ali Berkay (or possibly Ali Saraç) had ‘the op’ and changed to Aylin Berkay is not recorded.
But after making films like Oooh Oh! and Beyoğlu Piliçleri (Beyoğlu Chicks) as a woman, she quit making movies entirely after 1979 — and reinvented herself
as a stage singer and recording artist, under the name Serbülent Sultan.
Other notable transsexual Turkish performers of stage and screen include: Emel Aydan (whose male name was Erdoğan Kaşif — and who once had a nightclub striptease act in Milan, performing under the name of Rita Santiago), Tijen Erman (aka Christian Carol), Derya Sonay, and Ahenk Dalgalıdeniz.
And here you thought, dear reader, that Bülent Ersoy ‘wrote the book’ on transsexual Turkish performers…
[Click following to access a picture-laden HTML-version of Aylin Berkay’s entry (with movie-clip) — in the The Whole Earth Catalog
of Turkish Movies/Films, etc.]