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Gaziantep - Past and Present

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Die Stadt Gaziantep

Gaziantep province, founded on a fertile land with a moderate climate, is the most important industrial and cultural centre of the region. There are architectural structures in the city which show the remains of a rich history.

The past and present co-exist in Gaziantep, with its Citadel (which is still standing), and the inns and streets surrounded by historical houses. The "Monument of the Fallen", erected in memory of those killed while fighting against the French during the National War of Independence, thereby earning the title "Gazi" (war veteran) for the city, is worth seeing. The Catholic Kendirli Church in the centre of the city, which was built during the French occupation 84 years ago, is another important site for visitors.

Kargamış, located at the junction of the Syrian border and the Euphrates River, is an important historical centre which was the capital city of the Hittites. The majority of the artefacts found in the city are exhibited at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Another important Hittite city which is worth seeing is Yesemek near Islahiye. This city, which was used as an open-air sculpture studio between 1200 and 800 B.C., is also one of the oldest stone quarries in Anatolia. Today there are 200 Hittite statues on the site.

The Rum Citadel, in which it is believed that the first copy of the New Testament was kept, is located on steep rocks where the Euphrates River and the Merziman Stream intersect. This citadel is of special importance to Christians. A very deep cistern at the centre of the Citadel opens into the Euphrates River. Belkıs (Zeugma), which is 10 km. from Nizip town, was an important Roman city. The city, which is noted for its floor mosaics in the Roman buildings of that period, is worth visiting.

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