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Gaziantep





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Gaziantep

Gaziantep, Turkey.
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The mound of Gaziantep, Turkey with its Byzantine fortress.

Gaziantep, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Photo: Andreas Kontokanis.

Gaziantep, Turkey.
Gaziantep, Turkey.

Gaziantep, Turkey.
Gaziantep, Turkey.

Gaziantep, Turkey.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Photo: Andreas Kontokanis.

City in southeastern Turkey with 850,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate), at an elevation of 1,070 metres above sea level, near the Sacirsuyu River, a tributary of the Euphrates, 120 km from the Mediterranean and 25 km from the Syrian border. It is the capital of Gaziantep province with 1.3 million inhabitants (2004 estimate).
The economic base of Gaziantep is the production of striped silk and cotton fabric, tent cloth from goat's hair, leather, olive oil soap and sweets made from grapes. The surrounding region produces pistachio nuts, cereals, tobacco, cotton, wine and goatskin rugs.
Gaziantep has very good connections with other urban centres by rail and road. Adana is 250 km west, Kahramanmaras northwest, Sanliurfa 150 km east and Aleppo, Syria 100 km south.
Gaziantep is a friendly and lively modern city. It is handsomely constructed, mainly with stone houses and covered bazaars. It is bordered by gardens, vineyards and olive and nut groves. Gaziantep is noted for having separated the industrial zone from the city itself by a belt of forest. The most important historical part of Gaziantep is the 6th century Byzantine fortress on top of an artificial mound (see photo). Gaziantep also has notable 11th and 16th century mosques.

History
The site of Gaziantep has been settled since the 4th millennium BCE.
Around 1000 BCE: The Doliche period, most probably a Hittite settlement.
1183: Conquered by Turkish tribes. It had until then been a Syrian town, known as Hamtap.
Early 16th century: Falls to the Ottoman Empire. It is called Ayintab, from the Arabic "ayn tab", "good spring".
1919: Occupied by the British.
1920: The French take over control of Ayintab.
1922: Following the Turkish reconquest , the prefix "Gazi", "warrior of Islam" is added to the name. It is then simplified to Gaziantep.




By Tore Kjeilen