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The early years of the 1900s, one of the neighborhoods in İstanbul
Two men, carpet merchant Acem Nukud and baker Laz Dursun, who claim to owe money to a widow, come to Hamdi's barber shop, which is considered the meeting place of the neighborhood. They look for this widow lady. Naci, the mischievous apprentice of the shop, lovable old man Mustafa Efendi, and the wealthy Haydar cannot come to an agreement with Dursun and Nukud, and they cannot find out the name of the woman they are looking for. As the two friends leave, Haydar sings a song about how women should not live alone for the safety and honor of the neighborhood.
The atmosphere becomes cheerful and lively all of a sudden as a group of women arrive in the neighborhood. The arrivals are Nigar, who tries to make a living by making dowries and reading fortunes, her daughter Letafet, assistant Şetaret, foster child Nefaset, and mute Ülfet.
Those eager to know the future gather around the women to have their fortunes read. The locals approach these women, who are unlike themselves, with caution and suspicion, but the lace inside the dowry and the future read from the palms are intriguing. Meanwhile, Hamdi and Nigar, who lock eyes, immediately remember each other. Haydar has also seen Nigar, and he thinks she resembles someone he knew years ago. At the same time, Nigar's daughter Letafet and Haydar's son Hüsrev see each other and are captivated. Everyone is curious about who these new women in the neighborhood are.
On the same night, in the house across the barber shop, Nigar is advising the girls about the difficulties of a lonely woman's life. She tells her story, which began with giving a foster child to a mansion, with a song. When it's time to sleep and everyone goes to their rooms, Letafet shares her thoughts with Şetaret, and in the barber shop across the street, Hüsrev talks to Hamdi. The feelings of the young lovers unite in the same song. Hamdi, who talks to his apprentice Naci, is also waiting for a suitable life partner, waiting for love.
After midnight, when everyone withdraws from the street, Haydar quietly comes to Nigar's door. He suspects that one of these newly moved women is Nigar, whom he gave as a foster child to his mansion years ago. Nigar is angered by this interrogati and confronts Haydar, standing up to him, revealing that she is the one he is looking for.
Afraid of being ostracized by the neighborhood if Nigar's true identity and the wrongdoings he committed in the past are revealed, Haydar warns Nigar to leave the neighborhood. However, Nigar is no longer the timid little girl she used to be. In this new neighborhood they've moved into, she seizes the opportunity to humiliate Haydar and seek revenge. She cunningly invites Haydar inside and, with the help of the girls, strips him down to his underwear before casting him out into the street.
Haydar, left stranded in the middle of the street at midnight, is bewildered. He asks Hamdi for help, and promises that if he gets his clothes back, he will give him the valuable items in his pockets. Hoping to come out on top and also to see Nigar, Hamdi knocks on the door. However, like Haydar, he will pay the price for knocking on the women's door late at night. In a few minutes, Hamdi finds himself in the same situation as Haydar. At the same time, the tough guy Rumelili, who enters the street, faces the same fate. Nukud and Dursun, faced with the scene, make Haydar, Hamdi, and Rumelili angry. The one who will solve the problem is the apprentice Naci. Naci opens the door to Ülfet, the beautiful mute lady, and she quietly goes outside, leaving her clothes in Naci's hands and running into the house. Naci, enchanted by Ülfet's beauty, is mesmerized with love. He excitedly shouts and wakes up the entire neighborhood. The first act ends with the gathering of the meighborhood residents.
One month later, afternoon in Küçüksu
Letafet and Hüsrev, Haydar, who is chasing after his son, and Şetaret Kalfa, who is following Letafet, meet in the same song. The youth speak of the beauty of love, while the others talk about the impossibility of this love. When they are alone, Hüsrev tells Letafet that he will elope with her and asks her to sneak out of the house after three dog howls and three owls hoot at midnight.
Haydar learns that his son Hüsrev is in love with Nigar's daughter and is furious. Meanwhile, curiosity about these women who live in the neighborhood without a man increases, and various rumors circulate. Despite everything, Nigar and the girls continue their lives in the neighborhood, dreaming. Each of them has a difficult life, a story of survival. Şetaret also tells her tragic story through a song.
When midnight arrives and the meighborhood quiets down, Nigar comes to Hamdi lost in thought in his shop. It becomes apparent that they have known each other for a very long time, secretly in love, but life has blown them in different directions. Now Nigar is worried about her daughter, whom she has just learned is in love. She expresses her feelings through a song about motherhood.
As soon as Nigar enters her home, Dursun and Nukud arrive, and knock on Nigar's door. Nigar, fed up, first lets in Nukud and Dursun, then Haydar. Nigar and the girls, with the guise of setting up a table for entertainment, secretly put medicine in the men's drinks to make them sleep. Then they leave them in the middle of the street in their underwear.
With the noisy shouts and conversations of the intervening neighborhood residents, and Hüsrev, who came to elope with Letafet, changing her mind, the whole neighborhood wakes up. The young couple's reunion brings about a happy end. Haydar has received his punishment and has become discredited in the eyes of the neighborhood. The act ends with a cheerful and instructive song.