One Of The Oldest Cities In The World!
Gaziantep is located at the western tip of the south-eastern region of Anatolia and at the north-western tip of Mesopotamia. The city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It has a history dating back to the Paleolithic Period (site of Doliche) and is home to Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuq and Ottoman layers. Due to its special location on the Silk Road, the city has grown rapidly after it passed into Ottoman reign in 1516. During this period, the city became a centre where not only goods and money but also beliefs, traditions, thoughts and scientific knowledge were exchanged.
Gaziantep has become a regional centre and the top ten fastest growing cities in the world with its strong cultural, agricultural and commercial structure as well as its young and educated population. The city carries out about 10 % of the total export of Turkey. With a population of 1 million 890 thousand, the city has an unemployment ratio of only about 6,9%.
Copper and pearl working, jewelry and yemeni (colored leather shoes) making are still ongoing together with the traditional master-apprentice relationship. The city is also the educational centre of the region with its four universities. Many fairs, as the International Pistachio festival are organized every year since 10 years. This rich cultural life of the city is also a driving force of development.
The current economic structure of the city relies on the trio of gastronomy, agriculture and commerce just like it did throughout history.
Gaziantep has a strong reputation in all culinary areas and one of the real treats of the city is its incredible food. The pistachios and thus the baklava are considered to be the best in the world and it is the only Turkish foodstuff to have achieved the honour to be officially protected by the European Union as an authentic food. An international festival is even organized every year in Gaziantep to celebrate pistachios and culture, the “International Gaziantep Pistachio Culture and Art Festival”.
Moreover, an art of live in Gaziantep, hospitality is first class and a natural way-of-life.
Besides its gastronomic tourism, the city counts many museums which the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, the city's top tourist attraction. Opened in 2012 it displays fine mosaics unearthed during the excavation of the nearby Belkis-Zeugma archaeological site. On opening it became the world's largest mosaic museum.
Some other museums have been settled in old Gaziantep mansions as Emine Göğüş Culinary Museum (the first of Turkey), or the City Museum set in the restored Bayazhan building.
Thus, thanks to its cultural assets and its involvement in a constant urban development, the city of Gaziantep has been awarded in 2015 from European Commission EDEN Award on “Local Tourism and Gastronomy” and has been recognized by UNESCO as a Creative City in the field on gastronomy.