Published On: Wed, Jul 4th, 2018

Gaziantep a historical town and a major industry center in southeastern Turkey

Gaziantep a historical town and a major industry center in southeastern Turkey

In developing Turkey there are not many cities with such a strong industry and economy as Gaziantep which is located in the southeastern part of the country.

The city has been playing an important role in the Turkish economy with its industrial establishments and commercial infrastructure and has certainly taken its place among the group of few cities doing the biggest contributing to the revenues of the country after cities like Istanbul and Kocaeli.


Due to its geographical location the town has always functioned as a bridge between important regions in a commercial zone.

The industry in the city is so developed that the number of large industry businesses established here account for four percent of the Turkish industry in general, and small industries comprise six percent. Looking at the issue from a social window this also provides abundant job opportunities as the city is crowded with plenty of small and medium size enterprises.

The major areas of the existing businesses in Gaziantep are mainly located in the regions of organized industrial zones (Organize Sanayi Bölgeleri) such as Örnek Sanayi, Küçük Sanayi Bölgesi and more.


The city is known as an economical center in the East and South East Anatolia regions. In addition to large size installations the city has small manufacturing shops and workshops. It is known to be a leading important production center in Turkey for many sectors.

Companies in eight different sectors operate in the area. These are ood, textile, chemicals-plastics, machinery-metals, automotive subcontractors, building subcontractors, leather and processed leather products and forest-wood-paper products industries.

These establishments run their operations in 3 organized industrial zones (12 million sqm) which offer more convenient and thus competitive production opportunities for medium and small size operations that cooperatively manufacture products, by utilizing common substructure facilities on a well planned site

On the other hand the city is looking forward to realizing another giant project called SEAP which is an integrated Regional Development Project to encompass industry agriculture, road construction, education, health and other similar sectors, and help improve the socio-economic structure of the region. It is the biggest large-scale project ever carried out by the Central Government in a regional sphere.


Gaziantep is the fourth biggest province in terms of its amount of exports with a total of 5,012 firms employing 180,000 people in the province. Gaziantep’s targets for 2023 (the 100th anniversary of the Republic) are $30 billion in exports and an employment figure of 350,000.

Judging on the development expected throughout the SEAP project it is clear that the city will have even better opportunities of employment and thus migration to mega towns like Istanbul will not even come into question.

Zeugma Ruins – Gaziantep



Gaziantep is one of the first settlements in Anatolia. Ruins which belong to the Stone, Calcoholitic and Copper Age, Hittite, Mitani, Assyrian, Roman and Byzantine, Islam and Turkish – Islamic Period can be traced everywhere in the area.

Because the region has hosted great civilizations throughout history which provides the advantage to offer visitors unparallelled touristic  attractions such as worldwide known ZEUGMA, the ancient Roman city.

Among other historical places worth seeing are The GAZIANTEP FORTRESS that was inhabited during the Calcoholitic Age, RUMKALE (HROMGLA) which is 62 km from Gaziantep and thought to have been built during the late Hittite Period, around 840 B.C., and TILMEN TUMULUS, 10km east of Islahiye, which is 24m high and one of the biggest tumuli of the region.

On the other hand thanks to the many cultures settled in the region all along history the town is in possession of plenty unique traditions and folkloric handicrafts as well as a unique architecture with some beautiful houses.


For many years, Gaziantep cuisine has had a privileged place among the world cuisines due to its traditional and regional richness of flavour.     The very special feature of Gaziantep cuisine is in the careful use of the ingredients in the preparation of the meals. All the ingredients are chosen with great care. Plentiful quantities of spices, tomato pastes and different mixtures give different tastes and flavours to regional dishes in this region.

Among most famous tastes of the region are meatballs (köfteler),  kebabs and other dishes such as yuvarlama, and lahmacun. As for desserts baklava is world famous.


To recap thanks to its location at an important junction, unparallelled history and sufficient infrastructure,  as well as economic and industrial structure, Gaziantep is certainly destined to be new shining star of Turkey in the Middle East as well. (18.03.2012 – Editor, UPDATED 05 July 2018)

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