Gaziantep, Turkey is located just 97 kilometers north of Aleppo, Syria in the Southeastern Anatolian Region of Turkey. With a history dating back to the 4th century BC, Gaziantep is home to many historic and archeological treasures including Gaziantep Fortress and the Zeugma Mosaic Museum.
The Gaziantep Fortress is located in the city of Gaziantep in the Southeastern Anatolian Region of Turkey. Although the original builders of the castle are unknown, the fortress dates back to 3600 BC and was built on a man-made mound.
Gaziantep’s Zeugma Mosaic Museum is the largest mosaic museum in the world, containing 1,700 square meters of mosaics. The museum showcases mosaics unearthed at the Roman site of Belkıs-Zeugma (thought to have been founded by a general in Alexander the Great’s army).
Gaziantep is famous for the production of green olive oil and the cultivation of pistachios. Both are featured in the regional cuisine. Local specialities include lahmacun (a thin flatbread topped topped with minced meat, minced vegetables and herbs) and baklava. In 2013, Gaziantep baklava became the first Turkish product with a European protected designation of origin and geographical indication. Additionally, the food in the region is known for being spicier in comparison to other parts of the country.
Baklava is a pastry made from fine layers of dough, chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. The dessert is believed to have originated in the Anatolian Region of Turkey.
Native to the Middle East, pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees. Recent archeological evidence in Turkey suggests that humans were enjoying pistachios as early as 7000 BC.
With over 100 carpet facilities, Gaziantep is one of the leading producers of machine made carpets in the world. Additionally, the area has rich heritage in metalwork and is a well-known center for hand-crafted copper.
With a history dating back more than 9,000 years, Turkish metalsmiths have been creating decorative and functional pieces for centuries. Some of the earliest examples were excavated from the Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC.
Some believe that tribes from Eastern Asia brought their weaving traditions and motifs to Anatolian Turkey in the 11th century AD. Others contend that the weaving was established in Anatolia during the Neolithic Era. In either case, it is believed that the art predates 7000 BC.
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