Cornucopia’s travel guide

Gaziantep


Near the border with Syria and just 127km north of Aleppo, Gaziantep is a large university town and the main commercial centre of southeast Anatolia. Gazi means “fighter of the faith” and ancient Antep was given the prefix after holding out against a French attack in 1920, a story told in the War Museum.The Byzantin citadel in the middle of the town is built on a mound that was settled in the Bronze Age. It is an agricultural centre with a busy market, and is famous for pistachios. Famous for pistachios. The Emine Göğüş Cuisine Museum in a 1904 house celebrates the region's cuisine. The Zeugma Mosaic Museum has the largest colledtion of mosaics in the world, 

What you will see

The citadel, which has a small museum, was begun by Justinian and expanded by the Seljuk Turks. In the old town beneath it, coppersmiths and furniture makers carry on their traditional trades. Doors of the old houses open on to courtyards with fruit trees and fountains. A number of mosques, hammams and caravansaries, date from the 15th century, and one of the finest 19th-century mansions is now the Hasan Süzer Ethnography Museum. The Museum of Archaeology has finds from the region, and the new Zeugma Mosaic Museum has items rescued from ancient Zeugma, submerged in the waters of the Birecik Dam. It claims to be the largest mosaic museum in the world. “Most memorable is the heart-rending portrait of a gypsy girl with tousled hair and accusing eyes,” wrote Min Hogg in Cornucopia 24.

Getting there

Gaziantep is 700km from Ankara, 220 km from Adana. The airport is 15km from the city centre.

Connoisseur’s Gaziantep

Sightseeing

Reading List