29 May 2012


Gazientep is a shopper's paradise with plenty of bargains to be made. Haggling over prices is part of the fun and is expected at this large covered bazaar. Known for the best tasting baklava and pistachio nuts be sure to same some while you're there and you can ensure your popularity by bringing some back to the office with you. There's also a zoo, castle, and a mosaic museum in Gazientep. In our opinion, it's the best of all the mosaic museums in the area.

Entrance Fees - 5 TL for Archeological Museum. Bring plenty of Turkish Lira for shopping.
Getting There - About 3 hours from Incirlik. In the Yellow Zone: Only trips with Outdoor Recreation and ITT allowed. This is a favorite destination for the “U ... Drive” program.
Physical Difficulty - Easy. Stroller friendly.

By Tom Brosnahan
Text from TurkeyTravelPlanner.com copyright © by Tom Brosnahan & Travel Info Exchange, Inc. Used by permission. 

“From a sleepy town famous for its pistachio nuts, Gaziantep has grown to be the commercial powerhouse of Turkey’s Southeast.

At the city center is the Kale (citadel) which is truly ancient, dating back some 9000 years. Clustered around it are some historic neighborhoods which preserve some old stone houses among the characterless modern ones.

The Coppersmiths’ Bazaar
(Bakırcılar Çarşısı) on the south side of the Kale has been spruced up and is well worth some time. Coppersmiths and other artisans work at their crafts in the narrow streets, now shaded by modern coverings from the intense sun and infrequent rains.

The Archeological Museum 
Holds Roman mosaics recovered from the inundation of ancient Zeugma by a dam project. The new museum, built at a cost of US$30 million specifically with the mosaics in mind, opened in 2011 and is simply spectacular—a must-see. In fact, it’s probably the reason you’re visiting Gaziantep (besides those pistachios.)

Photos by Kelly Bortles
In recent years the quiet old pistachio-growers’ town has seen modern office buildings rise in its center, and high-rise apartment blocks crowd its outskirts. Its population is pushing toward a million...but it still grows some of the best pistachios in the world. Try ‘em plain, or in the local baklava, which is wonderful.”

History of Gazientep
From the Turkey Ministry of Culture & Tourism
“Gaziantep, 685 kilometers southeast of Ankara, is located on a wide and fertile plain cultivated with extensive olive groves and vineyards and produces a wide variety of agricultural crops. It is especially known throughout Turkey for its excellent pistachios. 
The 36 towers of the city’s fortress were originally constructed in the Justinian era and were later rebuilt by the Seljuks. The Archaeology Museum has important artifacts from Neolithic, Hittite and Roman times. The Hasan Suzer House, from the turn of the century, has been beautifully restored as the Ethnographical Museum. The artisans of Gazi Antep specialize in copperware and furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The kitchens there produce some of the best lahmacun, a delicious pizza topped with spicy meat and herbs, and also baklava, a honey and nut pastry.

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