It is hard to image a world where actors are not considered the privileged and admired members of a society. However, in Turkey this is more often than not the case as actors from Greek, Armenian Kurdish and Jewish communities have had to hide their ethic roots in order to be accepted.
“Most Armenian and Greek artists changed their names to Turkish names for the screen upon request of producers,” the Turkish daily Hürriyet noted on this matter.
The famous Turkish actress Adile Naşit is one example of the lengths one has to go to in order to be able to have a successful acting career in Turkey when they are from an ethnic minority. She was one of the most beloved actresses because of her family movies and TV show, but what many people did not realize about the woman known by Turks as “mother Hapfize” is that she was actually Greek.
According to the official website of the Women’s Museum Istanbul, Naşit’s grandmother was a well-known Greek dancer known as Küçük Virjin who was born in 1870. She graduated from the Galata Greek Primary School and was the first Greek canto dancer in the Ottoman Empire, armenianweekly.com reported. Küçük had three children — 2 sons and a daughter, Amalia, who was Adile’s mother.
Adile was born in the Turkish republic and because of the treatment of ethnic minorities in Turkey, she adapted the Turkish name, Adile and never went by her birth-given name, Adele.