Emin Alper’s Ermenek

DIRECTOR EMİN ALPER’S FILM, BEYOND THE HILL, TOOK THE AWARD FOR BEST FILM IN THE 31ST ISTANBUL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL’S NATIONAL COMPETITION. WE ASKED HIM ABOUT ERMENEK.

How is Ermenek reflected in your work?
I left Ermenek when I was 10. It is a repository of stories for me as the setting for the tales my mother and father and relatives used to tell. Later when I made up stories myself and set them in Ermenek that repository brimmed over with the natural and historical beauty of the place and took on a fairytale-like quality in the world of my imagination.

Did you get a chance to go there often when you were shooting Beyond the Hill?
During the last two years while we were making the film we went there often. The shoots were made 20-25 minutes outside Ermenek, in a highland near the village of Balkusan. But our whole team stayed in the town.

What do you miss the most about Ermenek when you are away?
I miss speaking in our dialect and the natural humor of the Ermenek people. And I really miss my father whom I lost just recently and who will always be synonymous with Ermenek for me.
 
Ermenek, on the banks of the Göksu River.

Centuries-old  hillside houses complement the region’s historical texture.

A waterfall at Ermenek.

Ermenek cuisine is a synthesis of the Mediterranean and Central Anatolian.