‘Another Self’ Season 1 Recap: What Happened To Sevgi And Her Friends?

Experiences from the past shape the course of the future, a philosophical awareness that has been a recurrent topic in literature and art since antiquity. Netflix’s Turkish drama series Another Self draws this awareness to a quite literal definition, probably influenced by Middle Eastern spiritual beliefs, as we find characters getting entangled in a cycle of misery in the present due to traumas their ancestors faced in the past. Call it a weird version of genetic memory or a mystical connection with one’s roots; the concept is not really something original, and the approach taken by the makers of Another Life to address it with a melodramatic angle kind of undercuts the significance of the character development as well. However, there is a deeper cultural and historical significance embedded within the narrative, which makes this exploration of the past to reshape the present a much more nuanced ordeal than one would expect. Honestly, after going through the first season of the series, it always felt like a one-and-done, which is why the tease provided in the finale to set up a second season was not really necessary. But streaming platforms can’t get rid of the habit of stretching things out, which is why a revisit of the first season is needed before the second season releases later this week.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why Did Sevgi and Her Friends Travel to Ayvalik?

The series focuses on three friends, Sevgi, Ada, and Leyla, whose spiritual journey to the Turkish coastal town of Ayvalik and eventual enlightenment allow them to get a better understanding of themselves. After Sevgi’s liver cancer relapses despite her going through prolonged exhaustive treatment, she decides to opt for an alternative procedure and go to Ayvalik to meet a spiritual healer named Zaman, who, according to fellow cancer survivors, can help her to improve physically and mentally. Ada, who is an accomplished surgeon, is totally against entertaining such ideas, but Leyla convinces her to support Sevgi’s decision, which can provide her with some much-needed solace. 

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Generational Trauma: The Three Friends Are Connected With Turkey’s Tragic Past

The process of Zaman’s unconventional treatment is spiritual in nature and requires the afflicted person to unwind their emotional and psychological baggage to heal internally, which eventually improves their physical condition as well. The ghost of Sevgi’s past is the traumatic childhood memory of her father’s murder, due to which she has never been able to get rid of her misplaced sense of guilt. Zaman helps Sevgi to reconcile with her emotional burden, as she acknowledges that her father would have wanted her to be happy. Miraculously enough, Sevgi’s next tests show that her condition has improved significantly in the process. Sevgi decides to settle in Ayvalik and finds a companion in Fiko, a local who is also a regular visitor of Zaman. 

On the other hand, Ada and Leyla have their fair share of problems, as their bad taste in men has made them suffer considerably in life. Ada was in conflict regarding the betterment of her career opportunities due to her husband pressuring her to stay together, but after learning that he had been repeatedly cheating on her, Ada decided to break her marriage and move on from him. Her sudden neurotic troubles lead to her getting fired from her workplace, and Ada decides to settle in Ayvalik for the time being. Sevgi convinces her to attend one of Zaman’s sessions, and Ada learns that the traumatic past of her family is the reason for her recent neurotic disorder. Ada’s grandmother witnessed her sister’s death at the hands of her father during her childhood, only because the little girl had unknowingly sheltered a Komitadji(Bulgarian rebels who took up arms against Turkish government). Ada’s grandmother’s childhood trauma seeped into her consciousness as well, and the neurotic troubles were a result of that. Ada also had an estranged relationship with her mother, Belgin, whom she blamed for abandoning her father, Kemal, when he was on his deathbed. However, as Belgin suffers a stroke and Ada starts feeling guilt for abandoning her mother, she connects with her mother’s past with Zaman’s help and learns that her father secretly had another family in Georgia, which makes her feel apologetic towards her mother. Similarly, Belgin’s mother had disapproved of her relationship with Kemal, which has also led to an estrangement between the mother and daughter, and in her dying moments, Belgin acknowledged the truth in her mother’s assessment. Ada’s life mimics Belgin’s mistakes when she decides to rekindle her relationship with her old flame Toprak, who also lives in Ayvalik, and learns too late that his family and someone else need him more than she does. 

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Leyla overcomes her fear of drowning in water by reconciling with her ancestral trauma. Her great-grandmother, Eleni’s Greek nationality was the reason for her separation from her Turkish family and her subsequent death by drowning during the Great Population Exchange, and only after honoring her memory does Leyla become liberated from her fears. Leyla also inherits the property of Eleni, which just happened to be located in Ayvalik as well. However, Leyla nearly ruins her life by hopelessly sticking around with her cheating, criminal husband, jeopardizing the fate of her son and unborn child as a result, and almost making the grave mistake of illegally fleeing from the country. Eleni’s memories stop Leyla from following through on her decision, and as she finally abandons her husband, it is revealed that she had indeed made the right choice. Leyla honors the memories of her great grandmother by opening a restaurant at Ayvalik in partnership with Fiko and naming it ‘Eleni’.

On her wedding night, Sevgi learns from her mother’s letter that the person whom she had known to be her father was instead her father’s colleague, and her biological father, who was a revolutionary during the Cold War era, had died before her birth. The most significant part of her life was a lie, a knowledge that shocks and traumatizes Sevgi all over again, and her cancer relapses once again. An interesting aspect and a common factor in the past traumas of all three characters is that these occurrences serve as a reminder of Turkey’s tragic history. The Balkan wars, which had a ripple effect on Ada’s family and took the life of her grandmother’s sister, saw a huge number of Turks migrating away from their homeland, and prejudice regarding neighboring rivals claimed the lives of too many innocents during this time period. Just like Leyla’s father, a huge number of leftist activists and revolutionaries were killed in Turkey during the Cold War era. The Great Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey during the early 20th century, which claimed the life of Eleni, was also responsible for the deaths, displacement, and agony of a huge number of people from both countries. As the three friends dig up their ancestral trauma, they connect with the horrors of their nation’s troubling history. 

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What Happened to Sevgi and Her Friends?

At the end of Another Self season 1, Leyla is probably the most relieved of all three of the friends, as she has managed to get rid of her worthless husband and is free to live her life with her children and friends. Sevgi is back to square one with the revelation about her father and cancer relapsing, and Ada has become too heartbroken after repeatedly falling for the wrong person. All three friends decide to continue their sessions with Zaman, as with the second season to be released soon, they need to do some more soul-searching to finally get a grip on their respective lives. 


Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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