A blend of East and West, a love that cannot have a happy ending. Mahmoud II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Anna, an open-minded, hardworking Russian girl.
They meet coincidentally and fall in love at first sight. Anna is a Russian girl who lives with her merchant father Arkadiy Vasilyev. She is well educated and a free spirited girl who loves working. Mahmoud, watching the talkative and foolishly cute Anna with a smile on his face is impressed by her ideas and her modern, confident character.
Anna is honored when Mahmoud offers her to tutor his children. However, when she learns that she has to stay in the harem to get this job, she looks Mahmoud in the eyes and says
“I am not a slave.”, proceeding to leave the palace, declining his offer.
However, a secret society called Ethniki Hetairia, comprised of Greeks and Russians, wishing to have a spy inside the palace, wants to take advantage of this situation and decides to use her as a spy. When Anna absolutely refuses to become a spy, they threaten her with killing her father. Anna, who was planning on marrying her fiancée in a month is stuck between a rock and a hard place in the face of this situation. She will either give her life up and enter the palace or lose her father. The truth Anna has no idea about is that the leader of “Ethniki Hetairia” is Anna’s father Arkadiy himself.
Accepting to enter the palace as a spy is a defining point in Anna’s life. She breaks up with her fiancée Nikolay with a letter. Her life in the palace begins. She is given the nickname ‘Dove’. Even though she has a hard time to get used to the order of harem at the beginning, she learns the rules in time. On one hand, she is teaching the children, on the other hand communicating some confidential information to the Russians and the Greek. Mahmoud wants from Anna is for her to give him French lessons in secret. Their private tutoring sessions leads the two to spend a lot of time together. These secret meeting in the night start as a duty to Anna, but soon, they unwittingly turn into dates they both look forward to. Anna shows Mahmoud how to waltz, Mahmoud explains Anna the intricacies of Islamic calligraphy. Anna, with her cuteness, knowledge, manners and stubborn personality piques Mahmoud’s interest more and more every day, yet she is oblivious to the fact. She gradually becomes more impressed by the Sultan’s modern mentality and also by his passive Eastern man attitude. As she realizes that she can no longer bear to see Mahmoud with other women, Anna realizes that she is in love with him. She no longer wants to be a spy nor wants Mahmoud to be with his other wives but that seems out of question at the point fate brought them to.
Finally, Mahmoud and Anna confess their love to each other, and they begin to experience love together. When Anna declares that she will no longer act as a spy, Ethniki Hetairia threaten her with exposing what she already did so far. Anna experiences the shock of a lifetime when she learns that her beloved father Arkadiy is indeed the leader of this group.
Anna is ready to risk everything, even death; she attempts suicide but survives. In the end, she confesses to Mahmoud that she was put into the palace as a spy. It would not be easy for Mahmoud to forgive her. After a long period of punishment, he cannot stand punishing her anymore as he knows Anna did what she did because her father’s life was threatened and forgives Anna.
In the light of these events Mahmoud’s other wives, Bezm-i Alem Sultan and Pertevniyal Sultan, and also Nikolay, who wants to win Anna back, will unsurprisingly cause trouble. Cevri Kalfa, feeling that there is something peculiar about Anna, starts watching her every move. Moreover, Anna is not giving birth and the throne needs successors. Anna finds herself in pain due to the tight grip of this love.
Anna and Mahmoud would unwittingly change each other during this process, and on the way, they would cause an Empire to change with them…
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