Gaziantep – Historical City
Gaziantep is one of the historical cities of Turkey which is famous for its role in industry, agriculture, cuisine and history of this country.
This city attracts a lot of tourists because of its warm-blooded people and useful facilities. There are a lot of museums and mosques which show its long history.
Gaziantep is the capital of a province with the same name which is also known as Antep. It is located in the Southeastern Anatolia from the east it is near to Adana and from the north to Aleppo, Syria.
Sahinbey and Sehitkamil are two urban parts in this city to make it the 6th most crowded city in Turkey.
The name of this city changed during different periods and finally in 1928 the name of Gaziantep was chosen.
The total area of Gaziantep is 7.645 square kilometers with a population of 1556381 based on the last census in 2014.
The city of Gaziantep is famous for its economic effect in eastern and southeastern of Turkey because there are a big number of industrial zones and factories with a great impact on the level of export and import in Turkey.
Nizip Soap industry is also situated in this city which is well-known for its soaps made of green olive oil.
Gaziantep has also made a lot of improvements to attract tourists by making its tourist attractions accessible, and making new restaurants and shopping centers.
Students of English majors in this city prefer to be the tour guides because different tourists are welcome in this city. Furthermore, its carpet industry is important because it exports about US$700 annually.
The other products which have made this city famous for are pistachio, olive and grapevine.
Places to Visit
There are a lot of places to visit in Gaziantep which most of them are historical and worth a visit:
• Gaziantep Castle: you can pay a fee to enter this castle to see the view from the top. This castle was very important in different wars to be considered as a battle ground.
• Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology: it has various ceramic, stone and bronze objects and figures from different historical Eras.
• Zeugma Mosaic Museum
• Hasan Suzer Ethnography Museum: a stone building of Ottoman with decoration of weapons and documents.
• Yesemek Open-Air Museum: the biggest workshop of sculpture from Hittites.
• Gaziantep Defense Museum (Panorama Museum in Gaziantep Castle): it has big statues of local heroes at the entrance.
• Gaziantep War Museum (Nakipoglu House): it is situated in an Antep house to represent the people who were died while defending the city.
• Gaziantep Mevlevi Lodge Foundation Museum
• Emine Gogus Cuisine Museum: it is a stone house to represent food and cuisine culture
• Zeugma (Belkis), Kargamis, and Rumkale: different historical ruins of cities
• Gaziantep Citadel (Kale): it shows the history and culture of the past. It is also situated in the center of city.
• Armenian Church: this place changed its name from Holy Mother of God Cathedral to Armenian Church or Liberation mosque after genocide of Armenians.
• Tahtali Mosque: its mihrab has a fantastic marble in red color.
• Boyaci Mosque: it is an old wooden mosque.
• Omeriye Mosque: it is the oldest mosque in Gaziantep which is famous for its mihrab in black and red marbles.
• Sirvani Mosque: it is an old mosque of the city.
• Seyh Fethullah Mosque: it is a historical mosque with a school and baths near to it.
• Nuri Mehmet Pasha Mosque: this mosque was previously a museum.
• Ahmet Celebi Mosque: it has a fabulous interior made of wood.
• Alauddevle Mosque
• Ali Nacar Mosque: it is one of the largest mosques situated in this city.
• Eyupoglu Mosque: its current look is completely different from that in the past because of changes in its construction.
• Pisirici Kastel: this place is specifically used for relaxation, pray and washing under the ground with water fountains.
• Kendirli Church: it was built in a garden with some stones in black and white for its building.
• Tahmis Coffee House
• Old Houses of Gaziantep: these houses are located in some old parts with special rock and in a unique design.
• Gaziantep Zoo: this zoo is the biggest one in Turkey. It is famous for its various birds, animals, and picnic grounds. It has also a great aquarium.
• Anatolia Inn: it is an inn built in two levels in 19th century.
• Old Wheat Inn
• Kurkcu Inn
• Sire Inn: this place is made of stones and tiles to show Ottoman architecture.
• Yuzukcu Inn
• Tobacco Inn
• Zincirli Bedestan: it is a covered bazaar which was built in Ottoman Era to sell fruit, vegetables and meat.
• Bakircilar Carsisi: it is a coppersmith bazaar of the city which shows the culture and tradition of Gaziantep.
• Huseyin Pasha Baths
• Iki Kapili Baths
• Tabak Baths
• Seyh Fethullah Baths
• Sehitler Baths
• Yil Ataturk Kulture Parki: it is the biggest park which is located near Alleben River.
Climate and Transportation
Gaziantep has a Mediterranean climate. Its summers are dry and hot; while, its winters are cool and snowy.
This city has Oguzeli Airport to have national and international flights. Also, its tram network is considered as one of the public transportation vehicles.
It is possible to take a bus to other cities but the bus station is located some kilometers out of the city.
Unfortunately, trains cannot pass Gaziantep and the passengers can travel to Narli, as the nearest city with train station, to take a train from Adana every day.
What to Eat
One of the factors which made Gaziantep very famous is for its food. There are a variety of delicious local foods in this city which worth a try:
• Kebab: different types of spicy kebab, especially Antep Kebabi, can be served with ayran in various restaurants of this city.
• Lahmacun: it is made of minced spicy meat and vegetables which can be put on thin dough.
• Dolma and Sarma: they are stuffed vegetables which are covered by grapevine leaves.
• Baklava: it is a delicious dessert which can be eaten hot or cold.
• Pistachio: you can eat salty roasted or fresh pistachios in this city.
If you are interested to buy souvenirs from this city for your family members and friends, you can visit the grand bazaar of Bakircilar Carsisi to buy Baklava Nargile, a delicious sweet dessert, and Yemeni, local leather shoes.
These are to samples of all things which can be bought among a lot of traditional items available there.