South Eastern

The City of Gastronomy

Charming its visitors with the glittering Gypsy Girl mosaic, Gaziantep takes you on a delicious journey of food through a long avenue of local delicacies.

For centuries Gaziantep has been a meeting place for naturalists, historians, archaeologists, enthusiasts of adventure and for the ones who are in love with art, devotees of nature and explorers of cultural values. It is particularly well-known throughout Türkiye for its excellent pistachios and rich gastronomy. Its gastronomic connections to the ancient past have contributed much to the formation of the city’s cultural identity.

Designated UNESCO Creative City in 2015.

Rooted in the local economy as a major driving force, gastronomy is also an important element in creating intercultural dialogue and social cohesion, thus placing the city in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network

Lahmacun (a delicious thin pizza topped with spicy meat and herbs), İçli Köfte (a kind of meatball that has been prepared with a paste made of cracked wheat as a casing, stuffed with meat and then fried) and baklava (a honey and nut pastry) are only three of many delicacies that will delight both the palate and the eye.

The city hosted many civilizations throughout history, and it has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The discovery of sumptuous mosaics in the ancient city of Zeugma nearby has contributed not only to the cultural richness of Türkiye but also to the cultural heritage of the world. One of the largest mosaic museums is to be found here and the pieces from Zeugma, in particular the world-famous gypsy girl mosaic, amaze its visitors.

The city's castle was originally built as a watchtower in the Roman Period. But the current appearance dates from the Justinian era. The Archaeology Museum has important artefacts from Neolithic, Hittite and Roman times. The Hasan Süzer House, from the turn of the century, was beautifully restored as the Ethnographical Museum. The artisans of Gaziantep specialize in copperware and furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

In the west of Gaziantep, the Dülük Forest makes a good day's outing, or you can stay overnight in the campsite. Enjoy strolling through the archaeological site in the woods which dates back to prehistoric times! A Hittite school of sculpture is centred there in Yesemek where more than 300 works of art still reflect the beauty of the Hittite period. Kargamış, close to the Syrian border, is another important archaeological site that once served as a late Hittite capital on the banks of the Fırat (Euphrates) River. The site's finds, including immense bas-reliefs, are on display now in the world-famous Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

Home to beautiful Roman mosaics, the ancient city of Belkıs (Zeugma) is on the banks of the Fırat River on the edge of the district of Nizip. At the junction of the Fırat River and Merzimen Creek, is located Rumkale sat on a rocky hill. The site bears a special importance for Christianity as it is believed that this is where St John copied and edited the drafts of his gospel.