Historical rituals in Göbeklitepe become documentary
Defined as “the zero point of history” in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, which has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List for two years, Göbeklitepe continues to be the subject of books, movies, series and animated films. This historical ruin has been the center of attention of screenwriters and directors who had signed many national and international productions.
Head of the Harran University (HRU) Geography Department Professor Sedat Benek has been awarded in many national and international festivals for his direction in short films. Benek has recently shot a 68-minute documentary on the 12,000-year-old Göbeklitepe.
Making interviews with the inhabitants of Göbeklitepe village, Benek tells of the rituals performed before the discovery at the historical ruins, starting with 102-year-old grandma Ayşe and using the language of people of different ages.
The documentary attracted attention when it made its debut at the 39th Istanbul Festival. It will also be featuring on post-event national and international festivals in Istanbul.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Benek said that they included the interviews of six different people living in the region in the last century along with different faith groups who also talked about the different rituals performed according to days in Göbeklitepe.
Stating that they are trying to convey the emergence of the Göbeklitepe ruin and its impact on the present time, Benek said, “The documentary reveals the rituals that were performed during the active period of Göbeklitepe and the rituals that the villagers performed before the discovery of the ruins were very close to each other.”
Highlighting that these rituals have been continuing ever since and describing some of the rituals, he said, “Beyond the meaning of a wish tree, it turned out that the archaeological site was also a sacred area before the discovery, and in a period considered sacred in March, it was a place where animals were walking around during festivals, sacrifices were made, and in a sense, a place where great festivities were held with the participation of all local people.”
Benek expressed that they were glad to find a serious response at the festival where they first sent their documentary.
Stating that the archaeological dimension is highlighted in all TV series, movies, and documentaries that have been shot so far and that they preferred the form of oral history, Benek said, “In our documentary, we put forward the approach of the local people based on oral history, and it presents humanity as a production in which we question how these rituals continue and how they originated.”
Speaking about featuring the documentary on the international platforms, Benek said, “We will send our documentary to festivals in Turkey and abroad, we think it will get a good response.”
The documentary “Residents of Göbeklitepe” will compete in the 39th Istanbul Film Festival between Oct. 9 and 20.