2 June 2021
Also known as the ‘Paris of the East’, Gaziantep’s authentic bazaars, magnificent museums and incredible flavors… We are embarking on a unique cultural journey in Gaziantep from the pen of Brandlifemag.com writer Doğuş Bengi.
Hello to everyone! This week, I decided to write a travel article again. I realized that this gives me great excitement. Generally, in my articles, I discuss places where I have had the opportunity to personally travel. This week, I wanted to write about the city of Gaziantep, which I missed so much. Gaziantep, which I had the opportunity to see three times, managed to fascinate me with a different aspect each time. Gaziantep, with its magnificent history, unique tastes and truthful people… 11 BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GAZIANTEP
Gaziantep is a wonderful city that can be called the cradle of civilizations, where civilizations such as Hittite, Assyrian, Persian and Komagene lived in time. It joined the Great Seljuk Empire in the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 and the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Yavuz Sultan Selim. Gaziantep, historical periods in terms of Chalcolithic, Paleolithic, Neolithic periods; After the Bronze Age; It has a deep rooted and rich history that includes civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Eti, Mitanni, Assyrian, Med, Persian, Alexander, Hellenic, Seleucid, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic Arab and Turkish-Islamic. During the War of Independence, during the British and French occupations, he received the title of “Gazi” for his heroic and honorable support to the National Struggle. Also, as a great detail; The first veteran of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was registered here.
If you have decided to travel to Gaziantep, you should definitely consider these suggestions that I will list now. It is possible to reach Gaziantep from many cities by air. Gaziantep Oğuzeli Airport is half an hour away from the city center. There are many car rental companies in the airport. If you did not participate in the tour with the tour program, you can visit the city and its surroundings by renting a car.
As for accommodation, I recommend you to stay in the city center. I stayed at Tugcan Hotel in all three of my visits. It was very central and walking distance to everything. It is important to pay attention to this issue, as museums and ruins are closed on Mondays throughout the country. Because Gaziantep is a museum paradise.
Have you heard of Zeugma Museum? Maybe you visited too. Two of the three mosaic museums in the world are in Turkey. They are in the cities of Gaziantep and Antakya. In my opinion, Zeugma Museum is the most comprehensive and beautiful museum in Turkey. I can say that it would be beneficial to shape your visit according to Zeugma. There is the famous Gypsy Girl mosaic in Zeugma. The gypsy girl mosaic is made with the three-quarter gaze technique, like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and you feel that the painting is looking at you wherever you go. You will experience a truly fascinating moment. There is also the ‘Mars Statue’ in the Zeugma Museum.
It may be helpful to take a look at Emine Göğüş Culinary Museum before moving on to Gaziantep’s uniquely delicious dishes. The building, which was built in 1905 as Kethüdazade Mansion, was converted into a museum in 2008. Many kitchen materials that are still used today or have antique value are exhibited in the museum. Dishes, desserts, spices and many other things unique to Gaziantep are waiting for you in the museum in both Turkish and English.
I would definitely like to see the Atatürk House in the city. Atatürk House, which started with the bed where Gazi Mustafa Kemal slept when he came to Gaziantep, and the section where the items he used were exhibited, is an example of a museum designed in a very modern way.
The Bath Museum is also a very interesting place. This is the 1577 bath of the complex built by Lala Mustafa Pasha. It was restored by Gaziantep Municipality in 2015 and turned into a museum where Ottoman bath culture is exhibited.
The second toy museum opened by Sunay Akın after Istanbul is located in Gaziantep. It is on the same street as the Atatürk museum.
Gaziantep has another interesting museum: the Money Museum. This museum, which was built in 1920, is known to few people. But I found it very iconic and valuable. There are interesting coins from every historical period in his archive.
After the museums, how about a tour in Gaziantep’s extraordinarily beautiful streets and bazaars? The first destination is Bakırcılar Bazaar… This is Gaziantep’s most famous bazaar. It takes its name from the copper items sold there.
Copper craftsmanship has existed in this city since ancient times. You will see masters crafting copper plates, teapots, coffee pots and glasses at every corner. Grab your phones now. You can take super photos!
Historical Bey Neighborhood. I’ve been here on my three trips. A place that impresses me. This is the neighborhood where Atatürk, who was born in Thessaloniki, was officially registered in Turkey. Until the 20th century, Muslims and Armenians lived here as next-door neighbors. Instagrammers will love it here.
Elmacı Market is a must stop for tasting local flavors and culture. In some places, it can also be referred to as the “Alcı Market”. I can guarantee that you will be in an authentic and nostalgic environment. Before returning home, I say buy nuts and spices such as peanuts and walnuts from here.
Finally, if you have time left according to your travel plan, see Rumkale. This place is a natural wonder. It is a peninsula in Kamışlı Village in Rumkale Nizip district. Hz. It is rumored that Yohannes, one of the apostles of Jesus, lived in Rumkale. It is a sacred site for the Christian religion.
Now let’s come to the eating and drinking activities, which is the main reason for many to visit Gaziantep. Every time I go, I discover a different flavor and feel enchanted. There will definitely be some I missed, but in my opinion, the flavor stops that should be visited in the city are as follows; – Kebapçı Halil Usta for Küşleme, one of the most iconic flavors of the city. – Definitely Imam Çağdaş for Ali Nazik Kebab. – If you can tolerate the endless queues for Minced Meat Kebab, Kebapçı Ömer. – Yesemek for Nesting, which is a kind of yogurt soup. – Meat dishes with fruits are very important in Antep cuisine. Kebab is made with almost every fruit from quince to apricot. The best fruit kebabs you can eat are at the Culinary Arts Center (MSM). – There are two kinds of lahmacun in Antep. One is classic ground beef, and the other is lahmacun with onions, which, in addition to minced meat, has other ingredients such as grated quince, onion and pomegranate syrup. Çıtır is the best address for Lahmacun.
– I’m not a baklava and künefe lover. But I can say that my travel partners generally loved Güllüoğlu’s baklavas. Celebioğulları were also very good, they said. – For myself, the best dessert I ate in Turkey was in Gaziantep. Make sure to take note of Zeki İnal. There can be no such place! They make such a şöbiyet dessert that you will lose your mind. I have three eateries in one sitting. – If you are a liver lover, Cigerci Mustafa will be a delicious stop. He uses a lot of his material. – I have two suggestions for Katmer, another indispensable part of Antep. Katmerci Zekeriya Usta and Fortitude.
– Beyran Soup is a must for breakfast in the city. For this, you should go to Metanet as the first stop, sir. – Chickpea Wrap is important. But the portion may be too much, say half. And my greetings to Dürümcü Recep Usta.
– It is recommended to drink Menengic Coffee and Zahter Tea before leaving the city. Tahmis Kahvesi, one of the most iconic buildings in the city, is the perfect address for these drinks. Here you can take a lot of photos and shop for coffee for your loved ones. – If you are looking for a stylish and luxurious place, Hışvahan will be the ideal stop. The food is also very good. – Let’s not forget Papyrus Cafe. In a magnificently decorated Armenian mansion built in 1884, Menengic Coffee and Zahter Tea go great.