Excursions to the Far East and Black Sea Coast: Places to Explore

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Gaziantep

Gaziantep is the last Turkish-speaking city before the Kurdish and Arab areas and somehow manages to mix the modernity of western Turkey with the Middle Eastern flavor of the East. Not long ago it was an average regional city exporting car parts and pistachios, but local authorities have put a huge effort into promoting tourism by developing the old quarter and showing off the tasty food culture as well as the historical mosaics excavated from nearby Zeugma. You can wander the narrow-laned old town, with its graceful stone houses, and venture through the bustling bazaar filled with the sound of hammering coppersmiths. Many old houses and their large interior courtyards survive; some have become museums, cafés, hotels, and inns.

A melting pot of many culinary traditions, Gaziantep is also one of Turkey’s most important food capitals, and a collection of restaurants and baklava bakeries are considered among the best in the country. In one day you can see the sights but you could easily spend two days exploring and eating.

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