About the film
The documentary Daughters of Anatolia began from a personal interest in traditional nomadic people who travel with goat herds and make yogurt and cheese. During my teaching and travels in the mountains of Turkey a few years ago, I landed in Saliha Gök’s tent and stayed for tea. After four years and five trips (2011-2013) of traveling and filming with them, we came out with more than just documentation of traditional yogurt and cheese making. We found lifestyles that are ancient in their connection to the earth, to the mountains, to animals and to each other. I have been humbled and extremely grateful to have been welcomed into their lives.
Daughters of Anatolia follows the Gök family, a group of nomadic goat herders, as they travel on the “Göҫ,” or seasonal migration, from the temperate winters along the Mediterranean Sea to the cool summers in the Taurus Mountains, and back again. It is a route their ancestors pursued for a thousand years in order to provide forage for the animals throughout the year. The family relies on their 350 goats for their sustenance and livelihood: They make, eat and sell cheese and yogurt from the milk. They shear, spin, weave, and sell goat wool. They butcher the animals for their own meat consumption.
Saliha and Meryem Gök are married to two brothers, Ali and Hüseyin. Ali and Saliha have three daughters, Melek, Hürü, Nazlı, as well as a son, Mehmet. They all travel together, along with Ali and Hüseyin’s father. In addition to the goats, the family owns 24 sheep, eight camels, two horses and four guard dogs.