Turkish shepherds fight ‘Siberian’ cold to tend flocks

Even as spring is dawning elsewhere in Turkey, shepherds in a region known as the Siberia of the Mediterranean continue to struggle to keep their flocks fed and healthy in the face of bitter cold.

At sunrise, shepherds lead their flocks to Mt. Berit, trekking miles through the cold of Goksun, in the south-central Kahramanmaras province.

The sheep and goats graze wherever they can find a patch of green, as snow still covers much of the ground in Ericek, an area some 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level.

The Kangal shepherd dogs, famed as herders' best friend across Anatolia, protect the livestock and shepherds alike.

Tough, large, and very strong, with sharp sight and hearing, Kangals prove a match to most predators who might threaten the herd.

Taking a break from their duties tending the flock, shepherds fill their kettles with snow, brew some tea, and take in a simple lunch.

Huseyin Gurbuz, a local shepherd, says his job can be easy or harder, depending on the season.

"Here we're at the Siberia of the Mediterranean, the highest point in Kahramanmaras, he told Anadolu Agency.

There's always snow here, sometimes up to three meters high. But everything is definitely much easier in the summer."

Another shepherd, Sinan Koca, said he will continue working hard to earn a living in the face of bitter cold odds.

Source: Anadolu Agency