Toprak (meaning “earth” in Turkish) is the mid son of a family annually moving from Urfa to Çukurova as seasonal workers. He is 8, but has not yet started his education, nor was he registered officially. His sister Zehra is forcibly engaged to a man of his father’s age for bride wealth. The younger sister Zeliha is visually impaired having suffered polio.
Zeliha is never taken with to Çukurova due to her pathetic illness. Since Toprak can’t Zeliha’s sorrow, he takes over the father role to care and protect his younger sister. In order to mask the plight of the family, Toprak starts telling a fairy tale to Zeliha.
The tale is very different from the desperate reality of the family. The family in the tale looks for a cure for the fatal illness of the princess. Their quest takes them to the land of the Cotton King and to a mission to rebuild the Cotton Sea, so that they can make a wish from the mighty king and cure the young princess. The fairy tale at the beginning is a parody of their life but becomes a self-delusion for Toprak since the borders between reality and imagined gets blurred.
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