Antep previously used to be known as Antep in Ottoman Empire. It is a part of the southeastern Anatolia region. It is the sixth most populous city in Turkey and it is one of the oldest civilizations and cities inhabited in the world. There are several theories attached to the name Antep. According to a legend it was derived from Khantap meaning "king's land" in the Hittite language and in Arabic and Aramaic language that means "spring". In February 1921, the Republic of Turkey honored the city as Ghazi Antep literally meaning "Antep the war hero" thanks to its participation in the Turkish War of Independence.
Gaziantep was part of Yamhad until conquered by the Hittites. The signs of the settlement go back to the 4th millennium BC. It is also considered to be the probable site of the Hellenistic city of Antiochia in the Taurus Mountains. It has famous Gaziantep Fortress and the Ravanda citadel restored in the 6th century.
The city was conquered in 661 AD by Umayyads and the Abbasids in 750. It became a battleground of Arab-Byzantine wars. It was famously ruled by Seljuk Turk and remained its part until the Ottoman conquest. Gaziantep was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1516 and became the center of commerce along the trade routes. It had around 3900 shops and covered bazaars and had mainly Muslim concentrated population. But it had a sizeable proportion of Armenians and Christians.
Gaziantep has historical buildings including ruined fortress from the Byzantine Empire and mosques from the 11th and 16th centuries. It also has medieval theological houses that have been converted into an archaeological museum. It has an outstanding collection of Hittite seals. Due to its proximity to Syria, Gaziantep is one of the biggest refugee havens for fleeing refugees. One of its area Inonu Caddesi is famously known as 'Little Aleppo'. It has the famous Gaziantep Archaeological Museum that was founded in 1944. It has over 65,000 artifacts on display from different civilizations. It has one of the world-famous and biggest Mosaics of Zeugma from the famous city of Zeugma founded by Alexander the Great in 300 B.C
Gaziantep is famous for its specialties copper-ware products, delicious lahmacun, and sweet pastry. Gaziantep was declared as "Creative City of Gastronomy" by UNESCO in 2015. The Gaziantep kitchen has a strong influence on Turkish cuisine. Its a cuisine has a strong cultural influence of Oguz Turks and Aleppo. This can be found in kebabs, meatballs, baklava, and many more dishes. It also has two bazaars namely Zincirli and Kemikli Bazaar that are famous for traditional shoes, clothes, stones, antique weapons, gold, and silver works.
In recent times, Gaziantep has out-grown from pistachio -growers and has many modern office buildings, high-rise apartments in its outskirts. It has a population inching towards a million and is one of the biggest exporters of best pistachios and local baklavas. Who knows you can enjoy fall in love with the beautiful ancient city and its settlements. You want to know more about it, let us know!!
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