—  City  —
Gaziantep Castle
Gaziantep is located in Turkey
Location of Gaziantep within Turkey.
Coordinates: 37°04′N 37°23′E / 37.067°N 37.383°E / 37.067; 37.383Coordinates: 37°04′N 37°23′E / 37.067°N 37.383°E / 37.067; 37.383
Country  Turkey
Region Southeastern Anatolia
Province Gaziantep
 – City 7.642 km2 (3 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 – Density 212/km2 (549.1/sq mi)
 – Metro 1,341,054
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 – Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 27x xx
Area code(s) 342 & 343
Licence plate 27

Gaziantep (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈgaːziantep]) Ottoman Turkish: Ayintab) previously and still informally called Antep; ʻayn tāb [ʕajn tæːb] is a city in southeast Turkey and amongst the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. The city is located 185 kilometres (115 miles) northeast of Adana and 127 kilometres by road north of Aleppo, Syria. The metropolitan area in the entire Gaziantep Province had a population of 1.3 million as of 2010,[1] making the city sixth most populous in Turkey. The city has two urban districts under its administration, Şahinbey and Şehitkamil.



Gaziantep was originally called Aïntap (from Arabic عين تاب) but after some centuries the name shifted to Antep. The origin of the name is shrouded in mystery, but there are several theories:

  • "Aïntap" may be derived from "Khantap", meaning "king's land" in the Hittite language.
  • "Aïntap" means "full of springs" in Persian.
  • "Aïn", a word of praise, and "tap", meaning "spring", may have combined to form the name.
  • "Ayin ţaba" means "good spring" in Aramaic (however, the Arabic name for the city is spelled with t, not ṭ)

In 1921, "Antep" was legally renamed "Gaziantep", meaning "Victorious Antep".[2]



A lion from the ancient city of Sam'al (Hittite: Yadiya; Turkish: Zincirli Höyük) within the modern Gaziantep Province. Displayed at the Vorderasiatisches Museum (within the Pergamon Museum) in Berlin.
The Kilamuwa Stela (inscription of King Kilamuwa of the Kingdom of Sam'al) from the ancient city of Sam'al (Hittite: Yadiya) within the modern Gaziantep Province. Displayed at the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin.
Mask of Achelous (Greek: Ἀχελῷος Achelōos) on a Roman mosaic in the ancient city of Zeugma within the modern Gaziantep Province. Displayed at the Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology.
The famous so-called "Gypsy Girl" mosaic from the ancient city of Zeugma within the modern Gaziantep Province. Displayed at the Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology.

Gaziantep is the probable site of the Hellenistic city of Antiochia ad Taurum ("Antiochia in the Taurus Mountains"). The ruins of the Doliche (Turkish: Dülük) lie a few kilometers to the north of the city center and they are located in the natural setting of a forest arranged into a recreational area also including picnic and camping facilities.

Gaziantep is one of the most developed provinces of the region and is also one of the oldest, its history reaching as far back as the Hittites. Being the center of pistachio cultivation in Turkey and with its extensive olive groves and vineyards, Gaziantep is one of the important agricultural and industrial centres of Turkey.

In the center of the city stands the Gaziantep Fortress and the Ravanda citadel as reminders of past - the citadel was restored by the Byzantines in the 6th century. The Archaeological Museum, with its important collections from Neolithic and the Hittite ages as well as the Roman and Commagene times, attracts many visitors. A recent addition to the Museum's riches are the Roman mosaics discovered in Zeugma. The surroundings of the city are also full of valuable Hittite remains. The Hasan Süzer House, which has been restored to its original state, now houses the Ethnographical Museum. Yesemek Sculpture Workshop, 30 kilometers south of the town of Islahiye, is one of the world's first of this kind. Some of the other historical remains are the Zeugma (called also Belkıs in Turkish), and Kargamış ruins by the town of Nizip and slightly more to the north, Rumkale.

Gaziantep was ruled by Akkadians, Mitannis, Hittites, Neo-Hittites, Assyrians, Urartians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Armenians, Parthians, Commagene, Romans, Byzantines, Sassanids, and Arabs.

Middle Ages

In the first half of the 7th century, Arab armies captured this region. It was passed to the Umayyads in 661 and the Abbasids in 750. During the period of Arab rule, it was ravaged several times by the Eastern Romans (Byzantines). After the disintegration of the Abbasid dynasty, the city was ruled successively by the Tulunids, the Ikhshidids and the Hamdanids. In 962, it was recaptured by the Byzantines (Eastern Romans), and retained by them until the Seljuk conquest in 1067. The regime of the Anatolian Seljuks gave way to the Syria Seljuks in 1086. Tutush I appointed Thoros of Edessa as governor of the region.

It was captured by the Crusaders and united to the Maras Seigneurship in the County of Edessa in 1098. It reverted to the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in 1150, occupied by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia between 1155–1157 and 1204–1206 and captured by the Zengids in 1172 and the Ayyubids in 1181. It was retaken by Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in 1218. It was ruled by the Ilkhanate between 1260–1261, 1271–1272, 1280–1281 and 1299–1317 and by the Mamluks between 1261–1271, 1272–1280, 1281–1299, 1317–1341, 1353–1378, 1381–1389 and 1395-1516. It was also governed by the Dulkadirids, which was a Turkish vassal state of the Mamluks.

Ottoman Period

The Ottoman Empire captured Gaziantep after the Battle of Marj Dabiq in 1516, during the reign of Sultan Selim I. In the Ottoman period, Aintab was a sanjak centered initially in the Dulkadir Eyalet (1516-1818), and later in the Aleppo vilayet (1908–1918). It was also a kaza in the Aleppo vilayet (1818–1908).

Modern Turkey

In 1923, Antep was removed from the Aleppo vilayet and ceded to Turkey according to the Treaty of Lausanne signed between the Ankara government and the Allies at the end of World War I, together with other parts of northern Syria including Adana, Mersin, Tarsus, Urfa, Kahramanmaraş, and Diyarbakır.


According to the Ottoman census of 1543, the Aintab subdivision of the governorate-general of Aleppo contained fifteen tribes, all Turkmen. Much of the Aintab elite was also of Turkmen origin. In the same period, Aintab's demographic makeup stood out from the rest of Aleppo province or other surrounding provinces, since its non-Muslim population was relatively small and uniformly Armenian Christian, while the neighboring governorate-general of Dulkadirids (Maraş) was approximately 4.5% non-Muslim and that of Diyarbakır was approximately 15 per cent. At that period Aintab appears to have had no Jewish community, although a Jewish financier, most probably based in Aleppo, figured prominently in the city's economic and administrative life.

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica of 1911, by the end of the 19th century, it had a population of about 45,000, 2/3 of which was Muslim, largely Yörük Türkmens.[3]


Gaziantep is traditionally said to reflect in advance the rising political trends in Turkey, according preference to ANAP in 1984, DYP in 1989, Necmettin Erbakan's (then named as) Welfare Party in 1994, and AKP in 2004 local elections. One exception was in 1999 when, boosted by the successful image of Gaziantep city mayor Mr. Celal Doğan, CHP came first with 17.02 % of the votes for the Provincial General Assembly (with four parties scoring over 15 %, and the rightist MHP's rise at that time (campaigning on Turkish-identity consciousness arguments) still being reflected by its second position after CHP for the province. DEHAP, campaigning on Kurdish-identity consciousness arguments, after having touched a modest 5 % ceiling in 1999, seems to have ebbed down, its score under SHP's cover in 2004 local elections remaining at a still more modest 1.81 % (with MHP at 5.36 %). Although Kurdish sources seem to show an interest in and put forth categorizations concerning the province's ethnic structure, in the light of the voter's trends, it is doubtful whether Gaziantep Province fits in the viewpoint.[clarification needed] In any case, in 2004, AKP obtained 55.11 % and CHP 21.57 %, and all other parties below 6 % at the Provincial General Assembly elections. Prime Minister Erdoğan is known to have deemed the local elections in Gaziantep as particularly important and to have mobilized considerable governmental weight beforehand. Current mayor is Mr. Dr. Asım Güzelbey, who successfully continued his career after serving 30 years in Gaziantep as an orthopaedic surgeon till the elections in 2004.


The mayors of Gaziantep
Municipal President's Name Mission Year
Dr. Asım Güzelbey 2004–present-day
Celal Doğan 1989–2004
Ömer Arpacıoğlu 1984–1989


Gaziantep is famous for its regional specialities: the copper-ware products and "Yemeni" slippers, specific to the region, are two examples. The city is an economic center for South Eastern and Eastern Turkey. The number of large industrial businesses established in Gaziantep comprise four percent of Turkish industry in general, while small industries comprise six percent. Also Gaziantep has the largest organized industrial area in Turkey and holds first position in exports and imports.[4]

Gaziantep also has a developing tourist industry. Development around the base of the castle upgrades the beauty and accessibility to the castle and to the surrounding copper workshops. New restaurants and tourist friendly businesses are moving into the area. In comparison with some other regions of Turkey, tourists are still a novelty in Gaziantep and the locals make them very welcome. Many students studying the English language are willing to be guides for tourists.

Gaziantep is one of the leading producers of machined carpets in the world. It exported approximately $700 million USD of machine-made carpets in 2006. There are over 100 carpet facilities in the Gaziantep Organized Industrial Zone.

Gaziantep also produced 60,000 MT of pistachios in 2007. Turkey is third in pistachio production in the world, after Iran and USA. The town lends its name to the Turkish word for pistachio, Antep fıstığı, meaning "Antep nut".

In 2009, the first enclosed shopping center in the city and region, Sanko Park, opened, and began drawing a significant number of shoppers from Syria.[5]

Places of interest

File:Zincirli Bedesten.jpg
Zincirli Bedesten (Covered Bazaar) of Antep.

Gaziantep Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Turkey. Especially interesting are the bird pavilion and the aquarium. Gaziantep Zoo offers a large variety of animals, attractive picnic grounds, and a cafeteria .

Zincirli Bedesten is the Ottoman era covered bazaar of Gaziantep and was built in 1781 by Hüseyin Pasha of Darende. We know from records that there was formerly an epigraph on the south gate written by Kusuri, however, this inscription is not in place today. This bazaar was used as a wholesale market hall for meat, fruit and vegetables.

Museums in Gaziantep

Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology hosts ceramic pieces from the Neolithic Age, various objects, figures, seals from Calcolithic and Bronze Age, stone and bronze objects, jewellery, ceramics, coins, and glass objects from the Urartu, Hittite, Persian, Roman and Byzantium periods. The mosaics of the ancient city of Zeugma are also displayed at the museum.

Hasan Suzer Ethnography Museum has the old life style decoration and collections of various weapons, documents, instruments used in the defense of the city as well as the photographs of local resistance heroes.

Yesemek Open Air Museum is located in the village known by the same name, close to Islahiye District of Gaziantep. It is the largest open air sculpture workshop in the Near East and the ruins in the area date back to Hittites.

Wall paintings and floor mosaics in Zeugma.

The remains of the old city of Belkis (Zeugma) are located in Kavunlu village which is 10 kilometers away from Nizip district of Gaziantep. These remains date back to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine times.

Gaziantep Defence Museum Before you enter the Panorama Museum located within the Gaziantep Castle, you encounter the statues of three local heroes Karayılan, Şehitkamil and Şahinbey at the entrance. As you enter the museum, you hear the echoes: "I am from Antep. I am a hawk (Şahin)."

Gaziantep War Museum This historical Antep house also known as "Nakıpoğlu House" in Gaziantep is expressing 6.317 martyrs and their sprits from defending of Gaziantep as strongly a symbol for our national union and unity and how Antep War was won with voice and chronological panels.

Gaziantep Mevlevi Lodge Foundation Museum The dervish lodge is part of the mosque's külliye (Islamic-Ottoman social complex centered around a mosque). It was built in the 17th century. The Mevlevi Lodge Monastery is entered via a courtyard which opens off the courtyard of the mosque.

Emine Göğüş Cuisine Museum Gaziantep is known for its cuisine and food culture. A historical stone house built in 1904, has been restored and turned into the Emine Göğüş Cuisine Museum. The museum opened as part of the celebrations for the 87th anniversary of Gaziantep's liberation from French occupation.

Gaziantep Historical Places

Zeugma City Zeugma ancient city is located on the shore of the river Euphrates within the boundaries of Belkıs Village. Zeugma ancient city which was established on a land of about 20 million kilometres, because it is at the shallowest passable part of Euphrates and since it is very strategic region in terms of military and commerce, it protects its importance in each period of history.

Aziz Bedros Church This church is an old Armenian church. (Built nearly 450 years ago).

Doliche City Doliche village and its neighbourhood is located 11 kilometres north of Gaziantep have witnessed all major houses of humankind history and have caused their traces to reach up to today. It is almost open-air museum by means of stone tools used by people who had lived 30-40 thousand years ago, of Mithras underground temple, splendid rock graves, stone quarries from which giant rock blocks are produced.

Gaziantep Citadel Gaziantep Citadel, located in the centre of the city displays the historic past and architectural style of the city. Although the history of castle is a mystery, as a result of the excavations conducted there, Bronze Age settlement layers are thought to exist under the section existing on the surface of the soil.

Kendirli Church The Church was built in 1860 by means of assistance of French missionaries and Napoleon the Third. It is a catholic Armenian Church. It has a rectangular plan and was built through white cut stones on a foundation of black cut stone within a large garden.

Pişirici Kastel The "kastel" (fountain) used to be part of a bigger group of buildings, and it is thought to have been built in 1282. "Kastels" are water fountains built below ground, and they are structures peculiar to Gaziantep. They are places for ablution, prayer, washing and relaxation.

Rumkale settlement Rumkale is an ancient castle near to Kasaba Village. The castle, which took shape of a peninsula due to the Birecik Dam, may be accessed from Kasaba village and Halfeti by boats. It is located on a hill covered by steep and high rocks where the Firat (Euphrates) River and Merziman stream meet. It is believed that settlement on it started since the era of Assyrians due to its strategic position.

Karkamis was an important centre of arts and culture in the past and it's located on the Syrian border. It's the place of the famous Legend of Gilgamesh.

Houses of Gaziantep are worth to visit with rich cultural heritage. They are great samples of traditional architectural featuring Southeastern Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Syria cultures.

Tahmis Coffee House The Tahmis Coffee House was built by the Turkmen Ağa and Flag Officer, Mustafa Ağa Bin Yusuf in 1635-1638, in order to provide an income for the dervish lodge. The building suffered two big fires in 1901 and 1903.

Gaziantep Historical Inns

Anatolia Inn The exact date of the inn's (caravanserai) construction is unknown, but it is estimated to have been built in the early 19th century. It is a two-storey building with two courtyards. It is said to have been built by Muhsinzade Hadji Mehmet Bey in 1892. The inn was repaired in 1985 and parts of the top floor were rebuilt.

Old Wheat Inn The original building was constructed by Mustafa Ağa in 1640 to provide an income for the dervish lodge, but was completely destroyed in a fire. The exact construction date of the present building is unknown; however the architectural style suggests the 19th Century.

Şire Inn It is possible to obtain information on the building from epitaphs taking place in three fronts of the inn. Its architect was stated as Kirkos. The building, which bears many properties of the classical Ottoman inn architecture, has a rectangular plan. It was built with evenly-cut stones and the pitched roof is covered by tiles.

Tobacco Inn This inn has no epigraph showing the dates of construction or renovation, but according to historical data, the estimated date of construction is the late 17th Century. Ownership was passed to Hüseyin Ağa, son of Nur Ali Ağa, in the early 19th Century.

Yüzükçü Inn The construction date of this inn is unknown. The epigraph on the main gate of the inn is dated 1800, but the building apparently had been built earlier and was repaired at this date. The first owners of the inn were Asiye, the daughter of Battal Bey and Emine Hatun, the daughter of Hadji Osman Bey.


In Turkey, Gaziantep is famous for its baklava and is regarded the native city of this delicious dessert.
Lahmacun being served.

Food in Gaziantep is different from the cuisine in other parts of Turkey because of the influence of Oğuz Turks and the culinary traditions of nearby Aleppo which was an important regional administrative center of the Seljuk and Ottoman empires. The difference is visible in its rice meals, soups, kebabs, meatballs, etc. The meatballs come in varieties of çiğ köfte, içli köfte, meatball with malhita (lentils), sour small meatballs, and small meatball with yoghurt.

Antep's desserts are a must try for the tourist as well and they include the sweet pastry baklava (originally native to this city and famous throughout the former Ottoman lands), burmalı, künefe, kadayıf, etc. Antep is also famous for its slender and delicious type of pistachios (which are among the most valuable and fresh-tasted types in the global market.)

Its kebab varieties include the kıyma (minced meat) kebab, kuşbaşı (meat cut in goulash-type cubes) kebab, simit kebab, patlıcan (aubergine) kebab, ciğer (liver) kebab and soğan (onion) kebab. Other than these, make sure you at least taste the lahmacun (thin-crusted Armenian pizza with spicy minced meat, mostly found in Cilicia, in those areas close to Syria and Lebanon), yuvarlama (mas soup) and karışık (mixed) dolama (a preparation made of different types of vegetables, yoğurtlu patates (potato with yogurt), beyran, etc.)


Gaziantep has a continental climate with influences of a semi-arid climate with very hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters.

Climate data for Gaziantep
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.0
Average low °C (°F) −0.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 90.2
humidity 72 68 63 61 54 45 37 38 45 56 68 71 56.5
Avg. rainy days 12.3 12.3 12.1 10.7 6.8 2.0 0.7 0.4 1.8 6.6 9.2 11.9 86.8
Sunshine hours 117.8 123.2 170.5 207 269.7 318 334.8 316.2 270 217 165 117.8 2,627
Source no. 1: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü [2]
Source no. 2: Weatherbase [6]


Gaziantep Anatolian High School (founded in 1976) is a public school focusing on English language education.

Gaziantep Science High School is a public boarding high school in Gaziantep, Turkey with a curriculum concentrating on natural sciences and mathematics, and with teaching in Turkish.

The main campus of Gaziantep University is located 10 kilometers away from the city center. The institution acquired state university status in 1987, but had already offered higher education since 1973 as an extension campus of the Middle East Technical University.

The Zirve University (Turkish Zirve Üniversitesi) is a private university established in 2009 located in Gaziantep, southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. Currently, the university has five faculties.

Popular culture

Gaziantep was made famous in Bulgaria and Greece by the Turkish TV series Yabancı Damat (literally The Foreign Groom), known in Bulgaria as Брак с чужденец (Marriage with a Foreigner), a love story between a Turk and a Greek. In Greece, the popular TV series is known as Τα σύνορα της Αγάπης (The Borders of Love). It is a love story between two youngsters, Nikos, a Greek boy, son of a wealthy Athenian ship owner; and Nazlı, daughter of a Gaziantep baklava maker. Due to the historic rivalry and hatred between the Greeks and Turks, a love affair between these two youngsters is received badly by both families. The dislike between the two families increases as the episodes pass, with the Turkish family being more strict towards their daughter. The main culprits, however, are the two grandparents (Nikos' grandmother and Nazlı's grandfather), who reach extreme points in order to stop the youngsters' wedding. The TV series was launched in 2004 and was well known in both countries.


Club Sport Established League Venue
Gaziantepspor Football 1969 Spor Toto Super League (Turkish Premier Division) Gaziantep Kamil Ocak Stadium
Gaziantep Büyükşehir Belediyespor Football 1998 Bank Asya 1. Lig (TFF First League) Gaziantep Kamil Ocak Stadium
Gaziantep Büyükşehir Belediyespor Basketball 2000 Turkish Basketball League 2 Kamil Ocak Sports Hall

Image gallery

Images from Gaziantep

International relations

Twin towns - Sister cities

Gaziantep is twinned with:

Notable people from Gaziantep

  • Abdullah Atalar - scientist
  • Ahmet Ümit - writer, poet
  • Arik Erkin - actor
  • Kadri Pasha - Ottoman Grand Vizier 1880
  • Doğu Perinçek - leader of Workers' Party (Turkey)
  • Edip Akbayram - singer
  • Gizem Memiç - Miss Turkey 2010
  • Hazal Kaya - actress
  • Kemal Aslan - footballer
  • Kenan Doğulu - singer
  • Murat Ceylan - footballer
  • Necdet Yaşar - musician
  • Nedim Gürsel - writer
  • Onat Kutlar - writer, poet
  • Ozan Doğulu - musician
  • Ömer Asım Aksoy - one of the Turkey's important linguists
  • Seza Kutlar Aksoy - children's literature writer
  • Sinan Tuzcu - actor
  • Tiran Nersoyan - Armenian archbishop and deposed Patriarch of Jerusalem
  • Ugurol Barlas - writer,sociologist
  • Ülkü Tamer - writer, poet
  • Yağmur Atacan - actor
  • Metehan Eroğlu - student
  • Faruk Hekim - ambassador of Turkey on Planet Earth (May 26, 1986)

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gaziantep — Gaziantep …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Gaziantep — [gä΄zē än tep′] city in S Turkey, near the Syrian border: pop. 574,000 …   English World dictionary

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  • Gaziantep — /gah zee ahn tep /, n. a city in S Turkey in Asia. 294,950. Formerly, Aintab. * * * formerly Aintab City (pop., 1997: 712,800), south central Turkey. Located north of Aleppo, it was strategically situated near ancient trade routes and has been… …   Universalium

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