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“The best feeling in the world”

Successful actors Pelin Akil and Anıl Altan say that the arrival of their now two-year-old twin daughters, Alin and Lina, have brought more responsibility and way more fun into their lives. We talked with the famous couple about parenting including the intricacies of having twins and creating a work-life balance.

Anıl: Shirt: Jil Sander/Beymen Pelin: Dress: Hakaan Yıldırım Alin & Lina: Bathing Suit: Miss Muse - Beymen Skirt: Perapie - Beymen Sandals: Le Petit 100

In what way do you think the twins changed your life the most?

Pelin: Coming up with games and playing, having a practical mindset, being in the moment, and doing all this without calculations. They’re two lives born to this world, hungry for knowledge. They’re very curious and brave. They have no limits; we sometimes try to set boundaries but not firm ones. We explore the world and grow up together; we’re companions. Our daughters are the most precious things in our lives. Being their parents is the best feeling in the world. I think it’s impossible to imagine what kind of parent you’d be without having kids. I never would have thought that I would be as giving and would build my entire life around them. I don’t think it’s healthy, but I don’t think there’s right or wrong; it’s instinctual. Before they came along, I was very relaxed, messy, and spontaneous, but now, it’s all for them. Everything’s orderly and organized. I’ve always been emotional, but I’m even more so now.

Anıl: Now, I check the oven, the windows, the door, and the stair doors four times before going to bed. The biggest advantage of being a parent is returning to those early years in life. We observe and witness them, which provides a very special experience for us to understand ourselves. Now I know why parents keep saying, “You’ll understand me when you have a kid of your own!” When you make the same sacrifices as your parents, it a strengthens your bond with your own parents. Our daughters brought more responsibility and way more fun into our house.


When you become parents, time becomes more valuable. How do you share the responsibilities around the house?

Pelin: Since their birth, we’ve each been taking equal care of your daughters. I can even say that Anıl has been as attentive as a mother. When I was breastfeeding, I would wake up every three hours to pump; he’d feed one of them, and I’d feed the other. When you have twins, you never have the luxury of saying, “Could you take the baby for a while?” because it’s one for each parent all the time. When I thanked Anıl for helping me, he’d resent it and say, “I’m not helping. I’m doing my job as their father.” So, we have total division of tasks, which is kind of essential in parenting. We want to be with them at every moment because they grow up so fast, and once you miss it, you can’t make up for it. It’s as melancholic as it is magical. Although it can be tiresome at times, I would never give up on this happiness in which we’re always close together. They’re going to grow up and leave the nest. As their parents, we try to enjoy each moment we have with them as much as possible.


Anıl: T-shirt: Vakko Pants: Allsaints - Beymen Pelin: Dress: Gül Hürgel Earrings: Il Bernardo Alin & Lina: Dress: Gül Hürgel Sandals: Le Petit 100 Socks: Penti

Anıl: It’s hard yet essential to create a balance of time. I care very deeply about their development, especially in the first four years, and am kind of obsessed about spending quality time with them. We try to spend as much time as possible with them in this period during which they’re very open to development and learning and which will build the foundation of their personality. When one of us is at work, the other is taking care of them. If we’re both working, we call in grandmothers or aunts. We sometimes take them to work so that they have an idea of what we do and where we are when we’re not with them. We don’t believe in gender roles where mothers and fathers each do certain things. Instead, we share everything from feeding to cleaning, story time to putting them to sleep. It’s very precious.



How do you keep your work-life balance?

Pelin: It’s not very easy but I’m madly in love with both aspects of life. When I was pregnant, I was on the stage doing theatre. When they were born and three-monthsold, I would commute between home and rehearsals and would perform in the evening. I never could, or would, have done it without a partner like Anıl. The postpartum period was very difficult for me, but he was my biggest support. He always told me to go to work and to take a break without a single complaint. He’s the reason I feel grateful for each day - and for Alin and Lina for choosing us as their parents.


Towel: Dior Earrings: Il Bernardo


Do you think being an actor contributes to the relationship with your children? Pelin: Of course. I don’t think you can succeed in this profession without the ability to empathize. In acting, it’s crucial to understand people, or at least to try to understand them. You put yourself in another person’s shoes and imagine their feelings, desires, and past. I’m sure it has some positive influence on our lives. There are some moments when we disagree or feel overwhelmed, but we try to be understanding and not to exaggerate the negativity. We give each other space and listen to each other. I think you can overcome anything when you love someone from the bottom of your heart.

Anıl: I think acting and parenting reciprocally contribute to one another. Since their birth, everything which we’ve gotten used to, that has lost its magic has regained its pure freshness. You have this creature who’s surprised, crying, getting excited, or feeling shy for the first time ever, and observing it as it’s happening is very valuable for an actor because these experiences strengthen your feelings as well. When you’re skilled in observation and empathy as an actor, you have a stronger communication with them. So, I’d say it goes both ways



Dressing Gown: Dior

Pants: Acne - Beymen


What do you think are the positive and negative aspects of being a parent in the digital age?

Pelin: We’re very much invested in the digital world because of our job. We’re actors and popular so they’re popular and loved by people as well. I’m thinking about how to manage this, maybe not now, but when they’re older. Maybe then we’ll get some help. It makes us very happy to see that people love our daughters, believe in our candidness, and see us as a part of their family. Although we’re always in the public eye, we’ve managed to keep them away from TV, social media, and cell phones. Since I know the importance of direct communication, conversation, and listening, I was afraid to lose this with my kids early on and now I see that it was the right approach. We’ve recently started watching cartoons for 10-15 minutes a day. We watch them together and talk about what we’ve seen to communicate with them.



Anıl: Like I said, we’re very sensitive about their development and pay great attention to communication. Since before they were born, we’ve talked to them every day and narrated everything we did. And now we reap its fruits abundantly. Digital devices such as TV and cell phones have one-way communication. They didn’t see a TV or a smartphone until they were two-and-a-half years old, and we’ve just started introducing them. We only show them content which will enable us to communicate with them and teach them a new language, but it’s 15 minutes at most per day. Back when we were kids, there weren’t as many alternatives in terms of language and social life so it’s definitely more advantageous now. I believe that parents should prioritize communicating with their children and listening to them as individuals; you need to encourage them to experience life and express their feelings.

What is your biggest wish for your children?

Pelin: No matter how much we dote on them or try to do the best for them, they will decide their own paths in life. There’s a two-minute gap between their birth but they’re so different from one another. We raise them with love so that they love every living thing in nature. My biggest wish for them would be to become compassionate, sensitive, healthy, happy, and strong individuals. And, of course, to be with them in every decision as long as we’re able to. I want them to be happy, and we will always support them.




Pelin: Suit: Dior, Earrings: Mevaris Anıl: Suit: Equipment - Beymen

Anıl: I hope that luck never leaves their side, that life gives them love, much more than we ever did, and that they spread this love. I hope they turn out to be independent and self-sufficient people with self-awareness.

What’s the biggest life lesson you wish your children to learn?

Pelin: They will learn everything through experience. What we say or want has a limited effect. They’re going to make mistakes, be unhappy, or fail. However, I’d like them to know that every obstacle they will encounter in life will only make them stronger. And that their dreams will come true if they really want it deep in their hearts.


Pelin: Bathing Suit: Hunza G - Beymen Anıl: Pants: Jil Sander - Beymen Necklace: Anıl's own

Anıl: Let me answer this question with a quote I love and hold dear in my philosophy of life: “Make sure to get in line for failure because the sooner you fail, the sooner you’ll start winning.” Failure is the biggest experience in life. I hope they’re never discouraged from trying and that they keep wondering, questioning, and pursuing knowledge and love.


Dress: Beymen, Ring: Mevaris


PHOTOGRAPHY: ERGİN TURUNÇ

STYLING: BENGİSU GÜREL

HAIR STYLIST: ENGİN ÇAKMAK

MAKEUP ARTIST: MELİS İLKKILIÇ

SPECIAL THANKS TO GÖKHAN AVCIOĞLU AND ÇIRAĞAN PALACE KEMPINSKI.

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