I have been on six different trips to Turkey, but I haven't ventured far out of town yet, so I'm not sure I can get there. I can say that I'm more excited about Gaziantep than I ever have been. Istanbul is all about visiting friends, filling your face with delicious food and trying not to melt in the scorching summer weather. But I am not yet in Gazianep, although I visit a friend and have not ventured far into the cities.
Gaziantep has a thriving textile industry, is home to pistachios and its food is said to be so good that people only fly to Istanbul for lunch. But the real richness of the local cuisine lies in the good old home cooking. Unfortunately, unlike Istanbul, there are not many esnaf lokanta (restaurants) that serve healthy maggots, but the meals are prepared for everyone who can live and enjoy there. Meatballs have become popular and are now available in restaurants across Turkey.
Perhaps malhutali or kofte (meatballs with lentils and bulgur) would be a more interesting choice. Onion skewers are also popular, but they are not as good as the meatball or bulgur.
The history of baklava is not well documented, but it is known that its present form was developed in the imperial kitchen of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. If you happen to be visiting or living in Izmir, you can find authentic Antep baklava in a local bakery like Bektas, if not in your town.
The Sultan gave trays of baklava to Ottoman households, troops and bodyguards in a ceremonial procession called baklava alayi. The religious festival is also often dedicated to Ramadan, known in Turkey as Seker Bayrami (Sugar Festival), where locals treat family and friends to the traditional sweet dessert at the end of Ramadan.
Gaziantep is not only the centre of pistachio cultivation in Turkey, but also one of the most important industrial centres in Turkey, due to its extensive olive groves and vineyards. Local desserts include baklava, made in Gazantep with pureed pistachios, milk and fat and considered one of the best in the world. Of course, there is also a possibility to add the famous pistachio nuts to the Simit Kebab, where you will find the mixture of meat and bulgur smothered in pistachio puree. Turkish food, pistachios (and hence baklavas) are the only Turkish food to have achieved the status of a food officially protected by the European Union.
Gaziantep is not only known for its cuisine, but also an industrial city with the third largest industry in Turkey, making Gaziantep one of the most important industrial centers in the world. To put this into perspective, it is home to most refugees in Europe, and refugees tend to stay in southern Turkey or closer to home, because they have a common history and there is a need for unskilled labor.
Turkish men often meet for business or socializing and spend hours selecting many of the meze dishes on the table. The appetizing smell leads to the city's famous pieces of pistachio, minced meat littered with them, and boiled pieces of nuts that are hard to find in Turkey. Pistachios, walnuts and almonds are used in the filling layer of pastries, and hazelnuts from the Black Sea region.
One of the most popular dishes in the region is Ali Nazik, but Gaziantep has created some of them that are well known in Turkey. Soup is an important part of the Anatolian diet, and examples of this dish can be found throughout Turkey and beyond.
The cuisine also plays a big role in the traditions and culture of Turkey, and there are many examples of wonderful restaurants in Gaziantep, so this cannot be made the food capital of the world. Turkish cuisine of high quality, but there is no better place in the world to experience it.
If you happen to own an apartment or villa in Turkey, you can try Gaziantep for yourself. Maybe you have a house outside Turkey and you have embraced the food and culture, or maybe you have tasted some of the dishes and owned some of the dishes. Gazianep can also be visited in the summer months, in the winter months or even during the summer holidays.
If you have ever traveled to Turkey, you can get some of the traditional dishes if you live in Turkey or own a property outside Turkey and have visited this wonderful country regularly. Gaziantep is a must - do it on your wish list. Finally, there is the magnificent Mount Judi, where you will find many opportunities to hike and explore the natural environment of eastern Turkey. This is potentially the best place to stop off for exploration in eastern Turkey.
Gaziantep is located at an important junction, similar to Istanbul, which has been built up and developed since the Paleolithic period. In the area, some important buildings were built, such as the town itself, and since the beginning of the Middle Ages it has been continuously inhabited. It has played an important role in the history of the cities that have been inhabited all over the world and that have left a special mark on many of them.