- Her parents moved from Turkey to West Germany before she was born.
- Trained as a public administrator and worked for two years at a municipal waste office.
- After she was nominated for several awards for her work in Head-On (2004), the German press uncovered that she had previously worked in the adult film industry; during one of her acceptance speeches, she publicly complained about the situation.
- Supports women's rights and volunteers with Terre des Femmes, which fights to end domestic violence against women.
- 2010, Tribeca Film Festival — Best Actress in a Narrative Feature: Winner
- 2010, European Film Awards — European Actress: Nominee
- 2004, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Actress: Winner
- 2013, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2010, Tribeca Film Festival — Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film: Winner
- 2004, European Film Awards — European Actress: Nominee
- 2010, Deutscher Filmpreis — Best Actress: Winner
- Birth Place: Heilbronn, West Germany
- Profession: Actor
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