It is the summer of 1305. Just after noon, the hottest time of day. Söğüt Greek flows lazily as it skirts willows and tall poplars and thick, shoulder- high grass. The soft breeze caresses Nilüfer Hatun’s long and wavy blond hair as she sits on the edge of the pond. Pregnancy has given the young woman a luminous air. Her purple eyes glow brightly, but she is somewhat apprehensive. She fervently wishes to give birth to a boy who will be the heir to the Sultanate. Her prayers for a baby boy take her mind to her husband Sultan Orhan with whom, she is endlessly in love.
It was in Yarhisar, a Byzantine castle on the borders of Ottoman – held lands. She was called Holofera then, the beautiful daughter of Governor Mikhail. She met Orhan by chance during a festival and their mutual love was born. Orhan discussed the situation with his father Osman Bey. Osman asked her father for her hand, but he was refused because Holofera was engaged to be married the next day to someone else. Osman Bey told his son: “That’s all I can do, the rest is up to you.”
Sultan Orhan gathers his forces and attacks the wedding ceremony. He abducts the girl he loves and marries her himself. The wedding takes place on the banks of Söğüt creek during a wondrous ceremony. Holofera converts to Islam by her own wish. They change her name to Nilüfer.
The Sultana murmurs longingly, almost as a sigh, a song a call to her husband: “ I love you Orhan, I cannot live without you.”