Culture and history info
Gaziantep was made famous in Bulgaria and Greece by the Turkish TV series Yabancı Damat (literally The Foreign Groom), known in Bulgaria as Брак с чужденец (Marriage with a Foreigner), a love story between a Turk and a Greek. In Greece, the popular TV series is known as Τα σύνορα της Αγάπης (The Borders of Love). It is a love story between two youngsters, Nikos, a Greek boy, son of a wealthy Athenian ship owner; and Nazlı, daughter of a Gaziantep baklava maker. Due to the historic rivalry and hatred between the Greeks and Turks, a love affair between these two youngsters is received badly by both families. The dislike between the two families increases as the episodes pass, with the Turkish family being more strict towards their daughter. The main culprits, however, are the two grandparents (Nikos' grandmother and Nazlı's grandfather), who reach extreme points in order to stop the youngsters' wedding. The TV series was launched in 2004 and was later also shown in Serbia, Croatia and other Balkan countries.
Gaziantep began as being part of Yamhad until the kingdom was eventually destroyed by the Hittites. Later, there are traces of settlement going back to the 4th millennium BC.[unreliable source?] The archaeological site of Tell Tülük, which gives its name to the Neolithic Dulicien culture, is situated a few kilometers to the north of the city center.
Gaziantep is the probable site of the Hellenistic city of Antiochia ad Taurum ("Antiochia in the Taurus Mountains").[unreliable source?]
In the center of the city stands the Gaziantep Fortress and the Ravanda citadel, which were restored by the Byzantines in the 6th century.
Following the Muslim conquest of the Levant, the city passed to the Umayyads in 661 and the Abbasids in 750. It was ravaged several times during the Arab–Byzantine wars. After the disintegration of the Abbasid dynasty, the city was ruled successively by the Tulunids, the Ikhshidids and the Hamdanids. In 962, it was recaptured by the Byzantines.
The Anatolian Seljuks took Aintab in 1067. They gave way to the Syrian Seljuks in 1086. Tutush I appointed Thoros of Edessa as governor of the region.
It was captured by the Crusaders and united to the Maras Seigneurship in the County of Edessa in 1098.
It reverted to the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in 1150, was controlled by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia between 1155–1157 and 1204–1206 and captured by the Zengids in 1172 and the Ayyubids in 1181. It was retaken by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in 1218. It was ruled by the Ilkhanate between 1260–1261, 1271–1272, 1280–1281 and 1299–1317 and by the Mamluks between 1261–1271, 1272–1280, 1281–1299, 1317–1341, 1353–1378, 1381–1389 and 1395–1516. It was also governed by the Dulkadirids, which was a Turkish vassal state of the Mamluks.
The Ottoman Empire captured Gaziantep after the Battle of Marj Dabiq in 1516, under the reign of Sultan Selim I. In the Ottoman period, Aintab was a sanjak centered initially in the Dulkadir Eyalet (1516–1818), and later in the Aleppo vilayet (1908–1918). It was also a kaza in the Aleppo vilayet (1818–1908). The city established itself as a centre for commerce due to its location straddling trade routes.
The 17th century Turkish traveler Evliya Celebi noted that there were 3,900 shops and two bedesten.
By the end of the 19th century, Aintab had a population of about 45,000, two thirds of which was Muslim—largely Turkish, but also Arabs and Kurdish. Of the Christians, there was a large Armenian community. In the 19th century, there was considerable American Protestant Christian missionary activity in Aintab. In particular, Central Turkey College was founded in 1874 by the American Mission Board and largely served the Armenian community. The Armenians were systemically slaughtered during the Hamidian massacres in 1895 and later the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Consequently, the Central Turkey College was transferred to Aleppo in 1916.