Gaziantep is always uppermost on the list of places to visit, based on not only its unique cuisine, but also its rare historical and touristic points of interest. After a pleasant family holiday in Gaziantep, you can pack your bag with the many items which will keep your memories fresh with their aroma, or the delicacies that will carry the taste of Gaziantep back into your dinner table. How about exploring the city for shopping while staying in Gaziantep hotels ranging from stone mansions to luxurious comfortable facilities?
The Coppersmiths’ Bazaar, keeping the flame of Gaziantep’s metalworkers alive, is one of the most special historical places in Gaziantep. Although the exact date of its construction is unknown, it is thought to have been built close to the 19th century. The bazaar retains its still authentic atmosphere and takes its name from the coppersmiths who still hawk their wares to this day. The Coppersmiths’ Bazaar, which is one of the rare places where handmade copper smithing is still celebrated today, is home to many rare pieces that will enchant those who seek out authentic and local goods especially for their homes. From coffee pots to teapots, from pans to jugs, you can even stand and watch as the many handcrafted coppers are forged in the on-site workshops. At a lost for a gift for a family member? You can buy hand-decorated trays and containers, copper pots in which you can brew exquisite teas, copper cezve and ibrik pots for plenty of foamy coffees from the bazaar.
Spice and Yemeni Bazaar
Spice and Yemeniciler Bazaar, where you can find many culinary items you are looking for: from zahter to pepper flakes, from pistachio nuts to terebinth (menengiç) coffee. The Spice Bazaar is the intersection point of vestimentary and foodie culture in Gaziantep. You’ll also find a traditional handcrafted shoe known as Yemeni – produced only in Antep in a tradition handed down from father to son over centuries. You can also buy dried vegetables from the bazaar, convenient for onwards travel and long-term storage. The Spice and Yemeniciler bazaar is quite central, close to the Coppersmiths’ Bazaar.
Through the doors / arcades? of Almaci Market, which we fondly think of as the Spice Bazaar of Gaziantep, waft the delicious odours of handmade pastes, purées and sauces local delicacies unique to Antep, and local spices that enthral you with their musky aroma. Ropes of colourful dried eggplants and peppers are highly appreciated by both locals and tourists. Instead of baklava or pistachios, you can opt for dried local vegetables as a different gift option.
Zincirli Bazaar is one of Turkey’s oldest and most flamboyant covered bazaars. Popularly known as the “Black Step Bazaar (Kara Basamak Bedesteni)”, the covered bazaar was built by the orders of Darendeli Hüseyin Pasha in the 1700s. You can find many enchanting souvenirs in Zincirli Bazaar, which has a 300-year history, from spices to sweets, from copper works to decorative items embroidered with mother-of-pearl. Each one is more attractive than the last.
What to Buy When You Are at the Bazaar?
Kutnu Fabric: Kutnu, a very stylish and colourful type of fabric, is woven from a blend of silk and cotton. Many personal and decorative accessories such as slippers, curtains, bags, cloths, napkins or bedspreads are made from this fabric, which was first used in the creation of caftans for the sultans during the Ottoman period. Kutnu fabric weaving, which has survived from the 16th century to the present day, survives as a dedicated regional craft continued only in Gaziantep today. Kutnu fabric is known to and used by fashion designers around the world.
Yemeni (Shoe): Local handmade shoes are called Yemeni in the region. Yemeni shoes made of leather, traditionally called Köşker, and yemeni making is one of surviving crafts of Gaziantep. Yemeni, which require considerable efforts and manual labour to make, are made from the skin of five different animal species: buffalo, cattle, kid, goat and sheep. A pair of yemeni, is one of the most beautiful and enduring souvenirs that can be brought back from Gaziantep.
Copper products: Copper smithing, which has endured on for about 500 years, is one of the most important handicrafts of Gaziantep. A copper coffee pot, pan, coffee set or a small copper jug is a must to tuck in your luggage when you return home. If you want to outfit your kitchen with practical, useful, authentic works of copper, you will find the most beautiful examples in the Coppersmiths Bazaar.
Mother-of-pearl Inlay: Another handicraft that is almost as famous as copper work is crafts decorated with elements of beauty contained in nature, such as mother-of-pearl inlay. Mother-of-pearl is an iridescent material found in the inner shells of sea creatures such as mussels and oysters. Items made by carving wood and attaching individual slivers of mother-of-pearl one by one are quite exquisite. You can find backgammons sets, canes, chess sets, mirrors, trays or special keepsake boxes made of carved mother-of-pearl intaglio on wood, which requires years of training in this special craftsmanship.
Baklava and Pistachio: You won’t want to leave without stuffing your bags with baklava and pistachios for the journey home, these two are among the notable flavours that spring to mind when it comes to memories of Antep. You can buy both baklava and peanuts from local producers at Almaci Market. Don’t quote us on this, but some manufacturers take orders over the phone or online.
Menengiç (Pistachio) Coffee: If you want to drink a local coffee with your dessert, Menengiç coffee is a delight twist to your after-dinner treats. You can buy menengiç coffee at Almaci Market or Spice Bazaar.
Dried Peppers and Eggplants: You can both gift and have a nice feast with your family from the local dried peppers and eggplants, which will bring a song to the hearts of those who love stuffed peppers. In addition to dried vegetables, you can buy zahter and locally grown chili peppers at the Almaci Market and Spice Bazaar.
Once you have sampled the cuisine, culture, history and nature, you will always carry the traces of your visit to Gaziantep home with you after a visit to these markets.