This region hosted civilizations in almost every phase of history; and it is a mosaic of cultures with its religious and ethnic diversity. Turkey’s position on this amazing region with its doors opened to both sides can be summarized as “a fountain in the middle of desert”. Turkey has attracted the global powers throughout the history, and it has a strategic position due to its geographical position. It is also a rare place on the earth “with rain and sun on it” thanks to its mild climate in which four seasons can be experienced at the same time.
While some people ski in a region, some people go and surf in the sea. Turkish economy has been getting better in recent years, and it continues to be a gate of hope for immigrants coming from third world countries with its economic and social reforms. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming from the continents of Africa and Asia to settle the country.
The region in which Turkey is located has war, blood and tears; and there are some attempts to harm stability and safety within the country. But the common sense of public with an “Ottoman” tradition and the sincerity of rulers help to secure the unity and solidarity in the country.
Gaziantep is located in the Southeast region of Turkey and it is a brand city which became famous in terms of industry and trade. City was given the name “Gazi” (Veteran) because of the resistance and defense during the First World War; and it is the biggest city in its region, and 7th in Turkey. The population is close to two million, with immigration from other cities and Syrian immigrants running away from the war. People of Gaziantep are famous with their entrepreneurship.
Being a tradesman is considered as a blessed title and it has its own control mechanism. Just like the Ahi Order, tradesmanship is a concept with its own spiritual and moral dynamics. Economy of Gaziantep has a trade volume from Lebanon to Tokyo in terms of industry and trade; and it continues to stand erect with its solid infrastructure in spite of the occupations and civil war along its borders.
The terror activities, civil war and disorder in Middle East have caused a stagnation but the entrepreneurs of Gaziantep have discovered new markets in the West and in Africa for their products. Thousands of different products, such as chocolate, pasta, television sets, textile etc. are manufactured in hundreds of factories and shops at organized industrial site.
Gaziantep has a unique heritage in terms of historical assets; and it is a city of civilizations hosted the Hittites, Sumerians and Romans. There are plenty of artifacts that belong to these civilizations in Zeugma Museum and City Museum. The cultural structure in the city is a combination of colors, with Turks, Kurds and Arabs residing. Local governments have shown great efforts to preserve the antique architecture of the city. The houses known as “Antep Houses” have a unique architecture and they are protected and restored under the supervision of municipalities. Historical Antep Fortress is transformed into a museum, lightened after the restorations, and opened for public services.
The cuisine of city is also famous, pistachio and baklava are at the forefront and it has an assertive spot in terms of world cuisine. Antep cuisine has many famous meat and vegetable kebabs and the most known food are Yuvarlama, stuffed meatballs and lahmacun.
In the first issue of our journal we publish as Times of Turkey Publication Group, when we decided to give Gaziantep a special spot; we had some concerns if we made a wrong decision, as some members in our editorial board were not so happy about it. But, as we had a chance to closely review Gaziantep, we all have realized that our decision was accurate.
We wanted that the whole world to recognize this beautiful city and meet the clever and affectionate people of Gaziantep. In the first issue of our journal, as Times of Turkey we have collected news, interviews and analyses about Gaziantep; also we have tried to enrich it with comments and articles on the events in Turkey and the world. We hope you will like this first issue.
We hereby send our gratitude to Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mrs. Fatma Şahin and MUSIAD Gaziantep Branch President Mr. Mehmet Çelenk for their support in our news and analyses about Gaziantep. We are also thankful to our Editorial Board President Prof. Dr. Mustafa Sıtkı Bilgin, all our lecturers and employees.