Bilal is a shepherd from Gedikli village in the southern Turkey Taurus mountains. Unlike his 8 brothers and sisters who all embraced city life after university, Bilal has been a shepherd ever since he turned 8, when he stopped school.
As he does not own enough animals to meet his family’s basic needs, Bilal regularly works for the Kemali family, a wealthy local clan owning more than 600 sheeps and goats.
I met Bilal in the summer 2013 and I became quickly fascinated by his both poetic and practical vision of life and how he made choices to avoid what he calls the « illusionary aspects of modern times ». Bilal loves his mountains, he doesn’t talk much and he needs to be alone.
We spent 10 days together during the summer transhumance from the high plateau to his home village down in the Chukurova valley along with the Kemali clan’s animals.
In captions are quotes from interviews with Bilal conducted along with Elcin Turan.