Turkey
Kozluca

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    • Day110

      Gaziantep

      July 15, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 38 °C

      Nach den ganzen Wanderungen in der Hitze Kappadokien’s tut ein Abstecher in die Food Hauptstadt der Türkei gerade recht. Ein direkter Bus bringt uns in 6 Stunden nach Gaziantep, der 6. grössten Stadt der Türkei mit etwas über 2 Millionen Einwohnern nahe der syrischen Grenze. Seit einigen Jahren steht Antep (wie man es hier nennt) auf der Liste der „UNESCO Creative Cities“ in der Kategorie Gastronomie.
      Die Landwirtschaft ist mit vielen Produkten über die Landesgrenzen hinaus bekannt. Zu den Bekanntesten von ihnen gehören Antep-Pistazien und Antep-Paprika. Auch das Olivenöl und die Süßigkeiten sind berüchtigt. Berühmt ist die Stadt aber vor allem für seine Baklava mit den lokalen Pistazien. Es gibt mehr als 500 Bäckereien in der Stadt die Baklava herstellen. Die berühmteste davon ist die Koçak-Bäckerei. Selbstverständlich besuchen wir den Marktführer und deren Fabrik, ein riesiges Gebäude mit grossem Café, wo es nur Baklava in diversen Formen und Variationen zu kaufen gibt. Wir sind begeistert von diesem Gaumenschmaus, kein Vergleich zu den Baklava’s die wir in Istanbul oder auf dem Balkan probiert hatten. Wir schlemmern uns also 2 Tage durch die Spezialitäten Gaziantep’s, da ist kaum Zeit für weitere Sehenswürdigkeiten 😉. Allzu viel gibt es zum Glück auch nicht zu sehen und auch hier herrschen wieder knapp 40 Grad , so beschränkt sich unser Radius von Restaurant zu Café und wieder zurück. Ganz nach unserem Gusto 🍽👌🤤.
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      Traveler

      neue frisur?

      7/22/22Reply
      Traveler

      kurzhaarfrisur der hitze wegen 😜

      7/23/22Reply
       
    • Day125

      Gaziantep

      December 4, 2021 in Turkey ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

      Weiter geht es Richtung Osten nach Gaziantep. Die Stadt wurde von der UNESCO für ihre Gastronomie ausgezeichnet. Hier sollen die Baklava erfunden worden sein und die Stadt schreibt sich auch sonst eine einzigartige Küche zu, da hier die kulinarischen Einflüsse der Türken, Kurden, Armenier und Syrer zu finden sind.

      Wir besuchen heute als erstes die Burg, die direkt neben unserer Unterkunft steht. Auf dem Weg nach oben zeigt uns ein Museum die Wichtigkeit der Stadt beim Widerstand gegen die Besetzung der Franzosen nach dem Ersten Weltkriegs. Oben angekommen haben wir eine schöne, wenn auch etwas dunstige Sicht auf die Stadt.

      Neben dem Burghügel wurde ein alter Hamam in ein Museum umgewandelt und gibt Einblick in diese Jahrtausende alte Badekultur, die auch heute noch in der Türkei und im arabischen Raum seinen Platz hat. Hier werden die verschiedenen Wasch-Praktiken erklärt und mit vielen Ausstellungsstücken veranschaulicht

      Ein weiteres Museum, das wir uns ansehen, ist das Zeugma Mozaik Museum. Aus der in der Nähe liegenden antiken Stadt Zeugma, die inzwischen zum grossen Teil durch den Bau eines Staudamms überflutet wurde, konnten viele Mosaike freigelegt und gerettet werden, insgesamt eine Fläche von mehr als 1'700m². Ganze Häuserböden sind hier ausgestellt und es ist imposant, in welcher Grösse und Detailfülle dieses Kunsthandwerk ausgeführt wurde.

      Zurück zur Kulinarik: Als Stärkung nach unserer Ankunft probieren wir einen Dürüm Nohut, ein Fladenbrot mit Kichererbsenfüllung. Beim Frühstück wird uns auch Katmer serviert, ein Gebäck mit Frischkäse und Pistazienfüllung. Baklava besorgen wir uns von der Kocak-Baklavastube. Hier wird selbst der hauchdünne Teig noch von Hand gerollt und die Baklava sollen angeblich die besten der Stadt sein. In der Türkei haben wir bis jetzt immer gut gegessen und hier ist natürlich auch Gaziantep keine Ausnahme.

      Übrigens: Pistazien werden in der Türkei "Antep fıstığı" genannt, "Nüsse aus Antep".
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    • Day180

      Baklava heaven

      March 13, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ ❄️ 0 °C

      In Gaziantep we discovered that this place is THE Baklava place in Turkey! And also for other amazing Turkish dishes… Lamacun, Icli Köfte….etc. There’s food for the stomach but also food for the mind, in the largest mosaic museum…Read more

      Traveler

      With all the cycling you are doing you can eat all you can and won't put on weight 😊

      3/23/22Reply
       
    • Day6

      KATMER DAY

      May 16, 2022 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 63 °F

      Noisy as heck boutique hotel, didn't sleep well. After breakfast, we walked around for a bit and found an outdoor bazaar. During Can's meeting, I talked with one of the other hotel guests who is a lady from Croatia who lived in Germany for a while, so we spoke German. She gave me the tea on how she doesn't like the woman she is traveling with and I felt bad for her. After that, Can and I finally went to get katmer from a nearby place! Interestingly enough, we seemed to be in the middle of a crime scene. There were police inspecting a car where supposedly the owner of the car's brother shot 2 bullets through the windows. We were literally sitting there eating katmer and drinking tea as they inspected the crime scene hahaha. Other curious onlookers unashamedly walked right up too. Strange but funny. After that, we walked around the Gaziantep castle, I learned some history, saw some views. Then during Can's next meeting, I chatted with both the ladies in German. It was an interesting interaction. After that, we got juice, explored the city a bit, then I checked out the indoor bazaar and the copper bazaar. Later on, we got chicken dinner from a Syrian place and then got katmer from a restaurant. Yessss, more katmer! Finished off by getting pistachios for the road tomorrow.Read more

      Traveler

      Gut dass du dein deutsch ein bisschen geübt hast

      5/16/22Reply
      Traveler

      Tu pratiques le turc aussi ?

      5/16/22Reply
      Traveler

      Trop bien le château fort

      5/16/22Reply
      Traveler

      Cosy

      5/16/22Reply
       
    • Day44

      Kebab @ Halil Usta’s Place

      October 18, 2021 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

      Gaziantep, long known for its gastronomic history, was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2015. (More info here … https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/gaziantep). As such food is an important element of any visit to the city.

      When we visited Gaziantep in 2018, our friend, Nilgün, took us to have lunch at Halil Usta, one of the city’s foremost kebab houses where the chef himself greets arrivals at the door. Located on a back street behind the Zeugma Museum, this is a restaurant patronized mostly by the locals … just the kind of place we try to seek out when we are traveling.

      Our early arrival around 11:30a meant that we pretty much had the place to ourselves and avoided the crowds that start to show up soon after noon. You can order specific dishes, but we just told the waiter to bring us small portions of several dishes to share … “acısız” (without hot spices) at our request, though there is no such thing as totally hot-spice-free in this region.

      We started with the famous “kaşık salatası” … a juicy tomato and lettuce salad eaten with a spoon (kaşık) and served with pide. Then came yağlı ekmek … buttered, slightly spicy pide. A variety of meats followed … each from a specific cut of lamb meat. Ordering small portions was the smart way to go about our meal as it left us with just enough room for sweets … all filled with pistachios … for which the city is known.

      Thus sated, it was time to proceed with the rest of our plans for the day.
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      Traveler

      Oh, that looks SO delicious!

      11/28/21Reply
       
    • Day44

      Zeugma: The Museum

      October 18, 2021 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 68 °F

      After breakfast at the hotel, we hopped in a cab and went to the Zeugma Mosaic Museum … one of my favorite museums anywhere in the world. Operated under the auspices of the Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism, our MüzeKart covered the admission.

      We arrived just as the museum opened its doors at 9:00a. Our time there was sandwiched between two tour groups, one of which was practically out the door already, and neither of which spent much time at the museum. Thus leaving us to enjoy this great museum without the crowds with which we shared it in 2018.

      The museum was purpose-built to exhibit and preserve some of the archaeological treasures of Zeugma, a city of antiquity overlooking the Euphrates River … which we hope to visit on our way out of the city in a few days’ time. It is the largest museum of its kind in the world.

      There are amazingly well-preserved floor and wall mosaics of varying sizes throughout the museum. Each deserving of careful attention to the beautiful details. But the highlight is a small fragment known as the Gypsy Girl … though there is some question as to the actual gender of the figure since no other parts of the body were featured amongst the pieces found. It is the hauntingly beautiful eyes that draw those that behold the piece that has since become a symbol of the city. The fragment, which dates back to the 2nd-3rd centuries AD, is part of a much bigger mosaic, parts of which were smuggled out of Turkey in the 1960s … and some of which have since been returned.

      (Unless otherwise noted, all mosaics date back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.)
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      Traveler

      I do love the Gypsy Girl. not only haunting but somehow so familiar. maybe from your previous visit, or some art history class I took a gazillion years ago.

      11/18/21Reply
      Traveler

      This is gorgeous. I love mosaics and it's just astonishing how much detail is in these beautiful works.

      11/28/21Reply
      Two to Travel

      It’s an amazing museum … and they are incredibly well-preserved.

      11/28/21Reply
       
    • Day45

      Hamam to Mutfak to Mosaics

      October 19, 2021 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

      After our visit to the Gaziantep Castle, we wandered around the downtown streets, visiting a couple of boutique museums.

      The first one we went to was the Hamam Museum, which has exhibits describing Turkey’s hamam culture. The museum is housed in the Paşa Hamamı, a public bathhouse that is thought to date back to 1577, and which was built in the Ottoman style.

      These bathhouses consisted of a cold bath, a warm bath, and a hot bath, and had a variety of other rooms that served as changing rooms, a water reservoir, etc. Some had men’s and women’s sections, while others had specifics days of the week designated for the different genders. They also served as a place for get togethers where people could eat, chat, and otherwise socialize during the extensive bathing rituals.

      Not far down the street was the second museum we visited — Mutfak Museum. The literal translation is the kitchen museum, but its purpose is to explore the culinary culture of Gaziantep. I thought this was especially appropriate since the city was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2015 for its gastronomic history and has many trademarked dishes that are known around the world.

      Our last stop before lunch came about as a happenstance as we were walking to the café where we planned to take our midday break. You all know my interest in murals and mosaics, so it should come as no surprise that we stopped at what I thought was a center for mosaics along the way.

      Inside, we were welcomed by Gülçin Sökücü, coordinator of the center and a mosaic artist of some renown. She gave us a brief description of the process of making a mosaic piece, including a demonstration of how natural stones and rocks are chipped into appropriate sizes. We walked away with a much deeper appreciation of the work that must have gone into the creation of the room-sized floor and wall mosaics that we’d seen at the Zeugma Mosaic Museum yesterday.
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      Traveler

      I'm assuming there must be Turkish baths in Turkey? I've been to authentic Turkish baths in Budapest and loved the experience.

      11/28/21Reply
      Two to Travel

      Yes, there are … and, interestingly, I’ve never been.

      11/28/21Reply
       
    • Day45

      Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

      October 19, 2021 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

      Katmer is a pastry dish made with very thin large circular leaves of dough that are folded over into a square. It can have a savory filling or a sweet filling. In Gaziantep, when someone says they ate katmer, they are referring to the latter … filled with clotted cream and pistachios, and garnished with a dusting of pistachios … often served with ice cold milk.

      Since we had dinner plans for tonight, we decided to skip lunch and just have a snack at one of the best known katmer cafés … named for its chef, Zekeriya Usta. (The word usta translates as master of or expert.)

      I had my first taste of the Gaziantep version of katmer in 2019. Frankly, I didn’t care for it much … too much clotted cream and over-the-top sweet. The version we had today was perfect for my palate … just enough filling and not very sweet.
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      Traveler

      Yum!

      11/28/21Reply
       
    • Day44

      Shopping for Spices

      October 18, 2021 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 72 °F

      Gaziantep — in fact, much of southeastern Turkey — is known for its quality of spices and dried herbs. So, after lunch, we hopped in a cab and went into downtown Gaziantep to fill the spice orders we were given by various family members.

      Of course, a stroll to check out the historic shops where coppersmiths and tinsmiths still ply their trade did not go amiss. In a country where massive malls have caused many a mom-and-pop shops to shut down, it was nice to see this shopping area still doing brisk business.
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      What a wonderful colorful landscape of scents and flavors! Your images are always special, Erin. [Diana]

      11/20/21Reply
      Traveler

      Those spices look fabulous! I would be in heaven wandering through that shop. Coincidentally, I just bought my first jar of za'atar!

      11/28/21Reply
       
    • Day44

      Panorama December 25 Museum

      October 18, 2021 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 63 °F

      After completing our spice shopping, we found a courier company to ship the boxes to those who had placed orders with us. Then, it was time for more sightseeing.

      The Turkish War of Independence (May 1919-July 1923) was waged to rid the country of foreign forces that occupied parts of the Ottoman Empire following its defeat in WWI. At the conclusion of this war the Republic of Turkey was born.

      The Istiklal Madalyası (Independence Medal), awarded to those who went above and beyond the call of duty during the war, was also awarded to four cities for their overall valiant efforts in ridding the country of the enemy. Gaziantep, which managed to overthrow the French forces that had occupied the city, is one of those cities. Such efforts were further recognized by awarding the city the title of Gazi (Veteran) to the city that used to simply be known as Antep.

      The story of the occupation and overthrow of the enemy, and the heroism of the people, is told at the Panorama December 25 Museum. There is an overwhelming amount of information to digest at this museum, which is operated by the municipality. Oversized paintings and an amazing panorama complete with 3D details help to bring the story alive.

      We spent over an hour here, focusing our attention on the pictorials as attempting to read even a small portion of the written material would have kept us there not just for hours, but for days. I’d highly recommend the museum … with the caveat that a basic interest and understanding of the general story of the Turkish Independence War is essential to doing even a tiny bit of justice to the museum.

      By the time we left the museum and walked back to our hotel, we were all ready to call it a day as our feet were protesting all the walking we did today. As none of us was hungry after the filling meal we had for lunch, we just called it quits to rest up for what promises to be another busy day tomorrow.
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      I love museums. When our kids were little, I took them to the British Museum and read aloud most of the little explanation plates on the wall next to each exhibit. Sounds like I'd have to plan on a week at the Panorama December 25 Museum. [Diana]

      11/25/21Reply
       

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