Monday, 17 July 2017

TURKEY: Gaziantep, Some Hotels Will Charge Minibar Drinks You Didn't Drink Or Even Touch

Gaziantep, or informally known as Antep, is a city in Southeastern Anatolia.

Today, Gaziantep is well known as home to thousands of refugees from Syria.

Gaziantep, previously and still informally called Antep, is a city in southeast Turkey and among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The city is located 185 kilometres (115 mi) northeast of Adana and 97 kilometres (60 mi) north of Aleppo, Syria.

It is the sixth most populous city in Turkey. Apart from being renowned for cuisine, Gaziantep is also an industrial city having the third biggest industry in Turkey, which makes it vulnerable to migration from other cities, especially the East.

Gaziantep International Airport. Gaziantep has an international airport and has direct flights to major cities in Europe, especially in summer. It is also well-connected with daily flights to major cities in Turkey, allowing to reach different destinations easily.

It is 15 km from city center. You can reach the city center from the airport with the Havaş shuttle service (10 lira, departs after most incoming flights) and with ring buses-Karataş- Vilayet- Havaalanı (5 lira). It takes 30 minutes to reach the city center.

The coach station "otogar" in Gaziantep is one of the most convenient stations in Turkey. It is well-integrated with most of the cities in the West and the East. The local coach companies, "Seç Turizm, Ben Turizm and Çayıragası" provide excellent service with punctual arrivals.

As a common Turkish tradition, you might expect 5 to 10 minutes delays on departure, yet the drivers compensate it on the high way. From Istanbul, it usually takes 15 hours by express overnight buses. From Ankara, it takes 9 hours and from Izmir it is 16 hours. But don't worry, Turkey has surprisingly perfect motor ways and comfortable coaches with beverage offerings will make your journey safe and relax.

Passenger trains no longer run to Gaziantep. The railway lines to Adana for Istanbul and Ankara, to Mosul in Iraq, and to Aleppo in Syria, are all closed indefinitely.

Gaziantep is famous for its regional specialities: Copper-ware and "Yemeni" sandals, specific to the region, are two examples. The city is an economic center for Southeastern and Eastern Turkey. The number of large industrial businesses established in Gaziantep comprise four percent of Turkish industry in general, while small industries comprise six percent.

Also, Gaziantep has the largest organized industrial area in Turkey and holds first position in exports and imports.The city is centre of the Green olive oil- based Nizip Soap industry.

Traditionally, commerce in Gaziantep was centre in covered markets known as 'Bedesten' or 'Hans', the best known of which are the Zincirli Bedesten, Hüseyin Pasha Bedesten and Kemikli Bedesten.

Gaziantep also has a developing tourist industry. Development around the base of the castle upgrades the beauty and accessibility to the castle and to the surrounding copper workshops. New restaurants and tourist friendly businesses are moving into the area. In comparison with some other regions of Turkey, tourists are still a novelty in Gaziantep and the locals make them very welcome. Many students studying the English language are willing to be guides for tourists.

Gaziantep is one of the leading producers of machined carpets in the world. It exported approximately US$700 million of machine-made carpets in 2006. There are over 100 carpet facilities in the Gaziantep Organized Industrial Zone.

With its extensive olive groves, vineyards, and pistachio orchards, Gaziantep is one of the important agricultural and industrial centres of Turkey.

Gaziantep is the center of pistachio cultivation in Turkey, producing 60,000 metric tons and lends its name to the Turkish word for pistachio, Antep fıstığı, meaning "Antep nut".

In 2009, the largest enclosed shopping center in the city and region, Sanko Park, opened, and began drawing a significant number of shoppers from Syria.

The Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology has collections of ceramic pieces from the Neolithic Age; various objects, figures and seals from the Chalcolithic and Bronze Ages; stone and bronze objects, jewellery, ceramics, coins, glass objects, mosaics and statues from the Hittite, Urartu, Persian, Roman, Commagene, and Byzantine periods.

The Zeugma Mosaic Museum houses mosaics from Zeugma and other mosaics, a total of 1700m2.It opened to the public on 9 September 2011.

The Hasan Süzer Ethnography Museum, a restored late-Ottoman stone building, has the old life style decoration and collections of various weapons, documents, instruments used in the defense of the city as well as the photographs of local resistance heroes. It was originally built in 1906 as the home of Garouj Karamanoukian.

Some of the other historical remains are the Zeugm,called also Belkıs in Turkish, and Kargamış ruins by the town of Nizip and slightly more to the north, Rumkale.

Yesemek Open-Air Museum is located in the village known by the same name, 30 km (19 mi) south of the town of Islahiye. It is the largest open-air sculpture workshop in the Near East and the ruins in the area date back to Hittites.

Gaziantep Defence Museum: Before you enter the Panorama Museum located within the Gaziantep Castle, you encounter the statues of three local heroes Molla Mehmet Karayılan, Şehit Mehmet Kâmil and Şahin Bey at the entrance. As you enter the museum, you hear the echoes: "I am from Antep. I am a hawk (Şahin)."

Gaziantep War Museum, in a historic Antep house,also known as the Nakıpoğlu House is dedicated to the memory of the 6,317 who died defending the city, becoming symbols of Turkey's national unity and resolve for maintaining independence. The story of how the Battle of Antep is narrated with audio devices and chronological panels.

Gaziantep Mevlevi Lodge Foundation Museum The dervish lodge is part of the mosque's külliye,Islamic-Ottoman social complex centered around a mosque. It was built in the 17th century. The Mevlevi Lodge Monastery is entered via a courtyard which opens off the courtyard of the mosque.

Emine Göğüş Cuisine Museum Gaziantep is known for its cuisine and food culture. A historical stone house built in 1904 has been restored and turned into the Emine Goguş Cuisine Museum. The museum opened as part of the celebrations for the 87th anniversary of Gaziantep's liberation from French occupation.

The city centre is reasonably compact and walkable. There are plenty of local buses if you prefer and of course taxis for tired feet.

Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi), Kamil Ocak Caddesi 2, Şehitkamil,on the corner of Kamil Ocak Caddesi and İstasyon Caddesi; south of train station. Tu-Su 8:30AM-noon 1PM-6PM (May-Sep); Tu-Su 8AM-noon 1PM-4:30PM (Oct-Apr). This local archaeological museum hosts some stunning mosaics excavated from the nearby Roman site of Zeugma. The museum, which also has a small cafe inside, is wheelchair accessible. 2 TL.

The Castle's Museum. It is a great opportunity to learn from the Turkish point of view what happended in the WWI, especially what concerns to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and the further occupation. 1 TL 0.5 if you look young and say you're a student. It's worth the ridicule price even if the museum is a bit too detailed on the national heroes. the view from the top of the castle is amazing.

Kitchen Museum, look for the signs near the casle, can't miss it. Museum about turkish traditional cuisine, food, ingredients, tool and bon tòn. Very interesting. 1 TL 0.5 if you say you're a student.

Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Mithatpaşa Mahallesi Hacı Sani Konukoğlu Bulvarı 27500, Şehitkamil, Gaziantep. Zeugma Mosaic Museum, in the town of Gaziantep, Turkey, is the biggest mosaic museum on the world, containing 1700m2 of mosaics 15 Turkish Liras.

Zeugma is an ancient city which was established at the shallowest passable part of the river Euphrates, within the boundaries of the present-day Belkıs village in Gaziantep Province. Due to the strategic character of the region in terms of military and commerce since antiquity (Zeugma was the headquarters of an important Roman legion, the Legio IV Scythica, near the border with Parthia) the city has maintained its importance for centuries, also during the Byzantine period.

Gaziantep Citadel, also known as the Kale, located in the centre of the city displays the historic past and architectural style of the city. Although the history of castle is incomplete, as a result of the excavations conducted there, Bronze Age settlement layers are thought to exist under the section existing on the surface of the soil.

Armenian Church The former Holy Mother of God (Surp Asdvadzadzin) Cathedral converted into the Liberation mosque after the Armenian Genocide

Boyacı Mosque A historic Mosque in Şahinbey built by Kadı Kemalettin in 1211 and completed in 1357. It has one of the world's oldest wooden minbars which elaborately adorned with Koranic verses, stars and geometric patterns. Its minaret is considered one of the syymbols of the city.

Şirvani Mosque (Şirvani Mehmet Efendi Mosque), also called 'İki Şerefeli Cami' - One of the oldest Mosques of Gaziantep located in Seferpaşa. It was built by Şirvani Mehmet Efendi.

Omeriye Mosque A mosque in Dugmeci. Tradition states that it was first built during the period of the Muslim Caliphate under the second Caliph Umar hence its name, which would make it the oldest known mosque in Gaziantep. The modern mosque was restored at the site in 1850. It is known for its black and red marble mihrab.

Şeyh Fethullah Mosque A historic mosque built in 1563 and located in Kepenek. It has adjoining Turkish baths and a medrese.

Nuri Mehmet Pasha Mosque, Mosque in Çukur built in 1786 by nobleman Nuri Mehmet Pasha. Between 1958 and 1968, it was changed into museum but was reinstated as a mosque after an extensive restoration.

Ahmet Çelebi Mosque Mosque in Ulucanlar that was built by Hacı Osman, in 1672. It is noted for its elaborate wooden interior.

Tahtali Mosque Wodden Mosque located in Fiekeroglu, that was built in 1557. The mosque has a unique red marble mihrab.

Alauddevle Mosque (Ali Dola Mosque) built by Dulkadir bey Alaüddevle Bozkurt. Construction started in 1479 and it was completed in 1515. It has been restored recently with the addition of new entrance.

Ali Nacar Mosque Mosque in Yaprak ŞehitKamil one of the biggest Mosques in Gaziantep originally built by Ali Nacar. It was enlarged in 1816.

Eyupoglu Mosque Mosque built by the local Islamic saint Eyuboglu Ahmet during the 14th century. There has been a major restoration, so much so that the present structure hardly resembles the original building.

Kendirli Church The Church was built in 1860 by means of assistance of French missionaries and Napoleon the Third. It is a Catholic Armenian Church. It has a rectangular plan and was built through white cut stones on a foundation of black cut stone within a large garden.

Pişirici Kastel The "kastel" (fountain) used to be part of a bigger group of buildings, and it is thought to have been built in 1282. "Kastels" are water fountains built below ground, and they are structures peculiar to Gaziantep. They are places for ablution, prayer, washing and relaxation.

Old houses of Gaziantep The traditional houses of Gaziantep are located in the old city: Eyuboglu, Turktepe, Tepebaşı, Bostancı, Kozluca, Şehrekustu and Kale. They are made of locally found keymik rock and have an inner courtyard called the 'Hayat' which the focal point of the house.

Tahmis Coffee House The Tahmis Coffee House was built by the Turkmen Aga and Flag Officer, Mustafa Aga Bin Yusuf in 1635–1638, in order to provide an income for the dervish lodge. The building suffered two big fires in 1901 and 1903.

Gaziantep Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Turkey. Especially interesting are the bird pavilion and the aquarium. Gaziantep Zoo offers a large variety of animals, attractive picnic grounds, and a cafeteria. The facility is established on 1.000.000 m2 field. There are 264 species and 6.814 animals. Aquarium is fascinating.

Zincirli Bedesten is the Ottoman era covered bazaar of Gaziantep and was built in 1781 by Huseyin Pasha of Darende. We know from records that there was formerly an epigraph on the south gate written by Kusuri, however, this inscription is not in place today. This bazaar was used as a wholesale market hall for meat, fruit and vegetables.

Bakırcılar çarşısi is the coppersmith bazaar of Gaziantep. This trade has existed in the region for over 500 years. The bazaar is part of the official culture route designed to help visitors discover traditions and culture of the city.

Anatolia Inn The exact date of the inn's construction is unknown, but it is estimated to have been built in the early 19th century. It is a two-storey building with two courtyards. It is said to have been built by Muhsinzade Hadji Mehmet Bey in 1892. The inn was repaired in 1985 and parts of the top floor were rebuilt.

Kürkçü Inn Classic Ottoman Inn in Boyacı built in 1890.

Old Wheat Inn The original building was constructed by Mustafa Ağa in 1640 to provide an income for the dervish lodge, but was completely destroyed in a fire. The exact construction date of the present building is unknown; however the architectural style suggests the 19th Century.

Şire Inn The building is built on rectangular plan and contains many motifs of classical Ottoman inn architecture. It was built with evenly cut stones and the pitched roof is covered by tiles.

Tobacco Inn This inn has no epigraph showing the dates of construction or renovation, but according to historical data, the estimated date of construction is the late 17th Century. Ownership was passed to Huseyin Aga, son of Nur Ali Aga, in the early 19th Century.

Yuzukçu Inn The construction date of this inn is unknown. The epigraph on the main gate of the inn is dated 1800, but the building apparently had been built earlier and was repaired at this date. The first owners of the inn were Asiye, the daughter of Battal Bey and Emine Hatun, the daughter of Hadji Osman Bey.

The city is home to many Turkish baths (Hamams), most of which date from the Ottoman and Dulkadir beylik period, namely the Huseyin Pasha Baths, İki kapılı Baths, Tabak Baths, Şeyh Fethullah Baths and Şehitler Baths.

100. Yıl Atatürk Kültür Parkı (100th Anniversary Atatürk Culture Park) is the largest park in Gaziantep located in the centre of the city along the Alleben river which it borders for 5 km (3 mi).

Visit the castle, explore the bazaars and don't forget the museum. There are a lot of museums in the center of city, especially some of them are close to castle. You should go Mosaic Museum close to stadium, Medusa Museum (Glass Museum), Martyr's Museum, Dervishes Museum (Mevlevihane), Hasan Süzer Etnographia Museum.

You can buy a lot of traditional things in Gaziantep. You should try Bakırcılar Çarşısı, a traditional bazaar in the center of the city. You can buy baklava, nargile (hooka pipe), yemeni (local leather shoes) and much more. Prices here are much better than the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.

As the centre of a large pistachio-growing region, as the groves along the highway leading to Gaziantep indicate, you can find many stores selling this local product known in Turkish as Antep Fıstığı, i.e. "Pistachio of Antep", an expression which surpassed the former name of Şam Fıstıgı, i.e. "Pistachio of Damascus", used during Ottoman period, both fresh but not very tasty, though and also in a salty roasted variety,a lot more delicious!.

Antep is known for its cuisine that is heavily influenced by its southern neighbours. The city is renowned for its local variety of kebab (Antep kebabı). You can find many places that sell spicy kebabs here. Make sure you enter a place that is crowded and order ayran with your kebab. Try a lahmacun, which is minced, marinated, spiced meat with minced vegetables on an extremely thin, crunchy dough. Lahmacun can be made with garlic or onions, in general, you will find garlic ones in Antep.

Food in Gaziantep is different from the cuisine in other parts of Turkey because of the influence of Oguz Turks and the culinary traditions of nearby Aleppo which was an important regional administrative center of the Seljuk and Ottoman empires. The difference is noticeable in its rice dishes, soups, kebabs, kofte (meatballs), etc. The meatballs come in varieties of çig kofte, içli kofte, meatball with malhita (lentils), sour small meatballs, and small meatball with yoghurt.

Gaziantep's food is known for being spicy compared to other Turkish cuisine; many of the local specialties as well as savory foods shared with other regions of Turkey are prepared with Aleppo pepper, a type of chili pepper, and paprika.

Antep's desserts include the sweet pastry baklava, burmalı, kunefe, kadayıf, etc. In 2013, Gaziantep baklava became the first Turkish product with a European protected designation of origin and geographical indication.Antep is also famous for its slender type of pistachios.

Its kebab varieties include the kıyma (minced meat) kebab, kuşbaşı (meat cut in goulash-type cubes) kebab, simit kebab, patlıcan (aubergine) kebab, ciger (liver) kebab and sogan (onion) kebab. There is also lahmacun, yuvarlama (mas soup) and karışık (mixed) dolama (a preparation made of different types of vegetables, yogurtlu patates (potato with yogurt), beyran, etc.)

Antep is also famous for its pistachios. You can find fresh, unroasted pistachios as well as roasted ones. Try the spicy nuts.

Beyran a spicy lamb soup with rice served for breakfast.

Katmer a thin phyllo pastry stuffed with sheep cheese, pistachios, and sugar served for breakfast.

Upon finishing your dinner, make sure to have baklava made with pistachios. Also, you can try the hot desserts with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Antep is known for its food, and meals there are one of the highlights of visiting the region. So enjoy yourself.

Kebapci Halil Usta, Karşıyaka Semti Gaziantep Mozaik Müzesi Arkası Tekel Caddesi Öcükoğlu Sokak 27500 Şehitkamil/gaziantep, Türkiye. Halil's shop is not to be missed! He grew up on the floor of a butcher shop while learning the trade. 15 TL for a single portion, 30 TL for a double portion. A portion consists of one kebap of your choice, bread and salad. 15 TL.

Many of Antep's drinking establishments are basically for picking up women. However there are some nice birahanes or beer-houseswhere you can enjoy a quiet drink in peace.

- Meyan Şerbeti. Licorice root drink served for free in the bazaar area. Often announced as 'Turkish Cola'.

- Dut Suyu. Mulberry juice

- Menengiç Kahvesi. Coffee made from the terebinth berry with a nutty flavor.

- Zahter Çayı. Thyme flavored tea.


Yunus Hotel, Bey Mah. Kayacık Sokak No 16, Şahinbey off Atatürk Boulevard, parallel to Hürriyet Caddesi behind the Post Office. Two stars in city centre with very clean rooms and free Wi-Fi. Staff are exceptionally friendly, although there is not a lot of English. 50 TL(March 2016) for a double room including breakfast.

Allstar Sevcan Hotel. Three stars in city centre.

Tugcan Hotel. Five stars in the city.

Hotel Burak, Alabey Mah. Hürriyet Cad, 27, Şahinbey. It is a good hotel, in a perfect location. It was possible to bargain the price from the original 45 TL down to 35 TL, including the dinner and a very good breakfast. Obtaining the reduction will depend on the season, the manager, and the ability to bargain. 35 to 45 TL/single room.

Hotel Evin,directly opposite the Yunus Hotel. Not the most sparkling of hotels, but absolutely acceptable and with a private bathroom, satellite TV and Wi-Fi. 25 TL (45 TL high season and after a bit of bargain) a room with a double bed.

Ugurlu Otel, (Next to Yunus Otel). Be sure to bargain because they cheat on prices. When you pay with card they'll try to charge you with minibar drinks you didn't drink. Remember to ask for the IDs cause they wont remember in your place. 80 TL the double room breakfast included,bargained from 100 TL and 140 TL exposed price.

Hotel Söylemez, Şekeroğlu Mh., Eski Saray Cd No:8. Somewhat grumpy staff but the room was clean, comfortable, and a bargain for the price. 40 to 50 TL/single room w/breakfast.

Utkubey Hotel Nice clean room, pleasant reception area, great breakfast. Lift. Seemed much more pleasant than Yunus next door. In the city center on a quiet side street

From city's otogar you will find numerous agents selling tickets to dozens of destinations including Istanbul, Konya, Van, Dogubeyazit, and Antalya to name a few. Buses leave frequently. Shop around for the best price. Bus to Marsin takes 5 hrs and costs 25 TL.

A week in Southeastern Anatolia — A seven-day long itinerary starting and finishing in Gaziantep and drawing a circle in Southeastern Anatolia, touching all major sights of the region.

Gaziantep was made famous in Bulgaria and Greece by the Turkish TV series Yabancı Damat,literally The Foreign Groom, known in Bulgaria as Marriage with a Foreigner, a love story between a Turk and a Greek.

In Greece, the popular TV series is known as The Borders of Love. It is a love story between two youngsters, Nikos, a Greek boy, son of a wealthy Athenian ship owner; and Nazlı, daughter of a Gaziantep baklava maker. Due to the historic rivalry and hatred between the Greeks and Turks, a love affair between these two youngsters is received badly by both families.

The dislike between the two families increases as the episodes pass, with the Turkish family being more strict towards their daughter. The main culprits, however, are the two grandparents,Nikos' grandmother and Nazlı's grandfather, who reach extreme points in order to stop the youngsters' wedding.

The TV series was launched in 2004 and was later also shown in Serbia, Croatia and other Balkan countries.

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