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Summary

 

Sine is a bright young architect who works for her uncle, Rüstem’s studio. Her real ambition is to be an installation-performance artist, but all the project proposals she has taken to galleries so far have been turned down. In her disappointment, Sine finds her life shading into one of the performances she longs to stage.

In reality, Sine has little choice but to carry on with architecture if she wants to make a living. She is increasingly drawn into the business of Rüstem’s office and even has to act as guarantor to a bank loan her uncle wants to take out. Stress and her growing sense of unease give Sine sleepless nights.

Faced with financial problems, Rüstem looks out for new business opportunities to save his studio. He is even prepared to engage in relationships that could be comprising from a legal point of view. The job of handling this less pleasant side of the business is delegated to Hakan, an enterprising young architect who also works at the practice. Hakan has a romantic interest in Sine.

As the muddy waters of the office swirl around her, Sine lands a job she thinks will make her happy. In years past her uncle’s studio built a residential complex for a small housing association in Istanbul’s suburbs. Yaren, a young guy who works for the association, tracks Sine down and asks her to design a small mosque for the complex. He says she should feel free to design something unconventional that showcases her architectural ability. Energized and inspired by this new proposal, Sine comes up with an original and inventive design for the mosque. When she shows Yaren the plans, he likes them a lot. In the contact they have during the evolution of the project we sense an unspoken attraction between them. Hakan begins to resent Sine and Hakan seeing each other and becomes jealous of their closeness. Sine makes it clear to Hakan that there is nothing between her and Yaren.

Construction begins on the innovative mosque for Yaren’s housing complex. But progress is later stalled by a large landslide, which destroys some of the homes owned by housing association members. The disaster persuades Yaren, his friends and colleagues to sue Rüstem’s practice as the responsible architect and contractor. But in the resulting trial the firm is acquitted. The landslide victims are understandably angry. And Sine is anxious to exonerate herself in their eyes.

But when she visits, they are a little rough with her. Rüstem finds out about the incident and files a complaint with the police for assault. Sine protests, but the prosecution goes ahead all the same. With the wheels of justice now in motion, Sine is powerless to stop a chain of events she doesn’t want to happen. Yaren, along with the housing association members, is arrested by the police.

Continuing insomnia leads Sine to spend the night at a sleep clinic. Here she has a dream that brings to mind the myth of the Seven Sleepers. Waking next morning, she has changed physically; she is a different person. Sine now has the freedom to do things she longed to do, but never could before undergoing this physical change. She tells her uncle, for example, that she wants to resign. On a return trip to the sleep clinic, she has a variation of the same dream. On waking, she is again physically different. She continues to accomplish things she was psychologically incapable of until now. Feeling bad for Yaren and his friends, who are still in custody, she goes to the police and withdraws the charges against them. The men are released. On each occasion, the changes that happen in Sine lead her to find different answers to life’s problems. Using different ways, she continues to battle with her destiny in order to be free, to attain happiness and spiritual catharsis. She is sometimes valiant, sometimes hesitant, sometimes timid, but she remains actively engaged in pursuing her dreams.