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Project Type

Documentary Photography




Middle of Anatolia, Türkiye

Four generations of women in a Middle Anatolian village.

The youngest is married to the youngest son of the family, and he also has a little son who embellishes his future hopes. They live in the same house with their sister-in-law. They raise their children together and do house and garden chores together.

Their neighbor, a little older than him, is the female shepherd of the village. In the words of the people in the village, 'what can she do when there is no man at her head?'. He has never been married. He became both the man and the woman of the tiny old house inherited from his father. He made his living thanks to his sheep. The way to protect yourself from loneliness, gossip and harm is to be tough on women and look hard. It is forbidden to laugh only at women. Before we had a long conversation he was almost angry, then he seemed to soften. He even smiled.

Ayşe is the eldest daughter-in-law of the house. She is married to the eldest son of the family. He likes to laugh, it doesn't have to be a reason. She also likes frowning in the same way. She helps her husband in the repair of hand-woven and valuable carpets. She is always asked what, when and who will do it at home, she knows everything. She is the mother of the house, even her husband.

The old woman is estimated to be close to 90 years old. No one knows his age, and he certainly won't tell when asked. She was twenty-one years old and had four young children when her husband was killed. According to the custom, if a woman whose husband dies remarries, her children are taken in by her deceased husband's family, and in most cases the children are never shown to their mother again. The old woman chose not to marry so that she would not have to be separated from her children. She has been living alone since the age of twenty-one and has raised her children all alone.

The sisters and some other neighbors check on the old woman every other day, asking how she is and seeing if she is missing anything.

Even today, the old woman is held in high esteem because of the difficult choice she made many years ago.

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