[Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking-4] The Southeastern Region’s appeal

[Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking-4] The Southeastern Region’s appeal

Rumkale, Gaziantep

August 07, 2009, Friday/ 16:44:00
Turkey's southeastern Anatolia region welcomes visitors with its historical heritage, unique foods and unharmed natural beauty.It is worth visiting the southeastern Anatolian city of Adıyaman just to see Mt. Nemrut, which is considered by some to be where the most beautiful sunrise and sunset in the world can be seen.

You'll need a few days to sample the historical beauty and the cuisine of Gaziantep, which is nicknamed the “Paris of the Southeast.”

Visitors can find themselves lost in history while sauntering along the streets of Mardin, feeling as though they have been transported centuries into the past. People who go to Batman should taste the local culinary delicacies. And you should not return home without visiting Balıklıgöl, the Harran area and Atatürk Dam and without tasting çiğ köfte (raw meatballs with special seasoning) and mırra (a special bitter coffee from the Şanlıurfa/Mardin region).

Sunrise and sunset on Mt. Nemrut

Home to some of the most unique pieces of Turkey's archaeological heritage, Mt. Nemrut, which is also known as the “visual throne of the gods,” is the most popular place to visit in Adıyaman. But historical hot spots in Adıyaman are not limited to only Mt. Nemrut. Adıyaman, which was the capital of the Commagene kingdom, serves as a kind of outdoor museum during all four seasons, with ruins dating back to that first century B.C.

»» [Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking (1)] Mediterranean shores offer more pleasures than just sea and history

»» [Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking (2)] The wonders of the Mediterranean shores

»» [Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking-3] Exploring the Marmara Region

»» [Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking-4]The Southeastern Region's appeal

»» [Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking-5] Black Sea plains radiate color

»» [Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking-6]Unraveling Turkey's exotic East

»» [ Do not return without seeing, eating and drinking-7 ]The charms of Turkey's Aegean region

Adıyaman Castle, the ancient city of Perre and its rock tomb, the Karakuş Tumulus and Cendere Bridge are other places worth visiting after Mt. Nemrut. In the region, a typical meal begins with your choice of meyir çorba (soup made out of chickpeas, yogurt and cracked wheat), alaca çorba (a soup made with wheat), malhıta çorba (a soup made with cracked wheat and red lentils) or mercimek çorba (lentil soup) and continues with çiğ köfte, meatballs or Adıyaman tavası (a tasty meat and vegetable casserole). Pirpirim cacığı, made from cheese curds prepared with parsley or pepper and served with butter, should also be tasted.

One day in Gaziantep is not enough

One day is definitely not enough to see the historical beauties and taste the cuisine of the “Paris of the Southeast.” Visitors should spend at least three days in Gaziantep for a decent glimpse of this city.

If you are fond of history and culture, you may be able to visit the museums in a day, but that might not be enough time. Mosaics brought from the ancient city of Zeugma, which are called masterpieces by archeologists, the Mars sculpture and the clay seal collection -- a unique exhibit -- should not be missed at the Gaziantep Archeology Museum.  

Additionally, people can learn about the British-French occupation of Gaziantep, which lasted two years, and the city's liberation in detail at the Panorama Museum, housed in passages of Gaziantep Castle.

The Gaziantep Metropolitan Zoo, one of the pre-eminent zoos in Turkey, is also worth seeing.  Taking a boat tour after visiting the ancient city of Zeugma gives one a chance to see the beauties that emerged as a result of the water supplied by Birecik Dam.

Visitors can start the day with treats such as katmer (a layered pastry with butter spread over rolled out pieces of dough) and beyran çorbası (a soup made from dewlap). Those who are adventurous can have ciğer kebabı (liver kebab) for breakfast. For lunch, there is a variety of choices, including keme kebabı (a kebab cooked with truffles). Visitors should taste keme, a truffle that is native to the area but is imported from Syria when not found.  

One should definitely eat baklava (sheets of phyllo pastry soaked in syrup and sprinkled with nuts) in Gaziantep, the hometown of baklava. Visitors can also take baklava to their relatives as a gift.

Ulu Mosque and Malabadi Bridge in Diyarbakır

The most popular dishes in Diyarbakır are watermelon, ciğer kebabı, kaburga dolması (stuffed lamb ribs), meftune (a meat stew with eggplants, peppers, tomatoes and sumac) and burma kadayıf (a dessert made with shredded phyllo and pistachios). You can enjoy licorice sherbet, said to be cure for various diseases, and tea in the historical Hasan Paşa Han. If you visit Diyarbakır in September, you should certainly taste the watermelons grown there.

There are many historical spots worth seeing in Diyarbakır, an area that hosted 33 civilizations throughout history. The historical Diyarbakır city walls and İçkale, which continues to be restored, are the first places one should visit in Diyarbakır. The easiest way to climb the city walls is via Keçi Burcu. One never gets sick of looking at the Diyarbakır Suriçi, the Hevsel Gardens and the Ongözlü Bridge over the historical city walls. Diyarbakır Ulu Mosque, which was converted from the Mar-Toma Church in Suriçi and is considered by some to be the fifth holiest place in the Islamic world, contains architectural techniques from many cultures, including stone equipment used during Roman times and techniques from the Selçuklu, Artuklu, İnaloğulları and Ottoman periods.

The sun clock made by Turkish scholar El Cezire is also exhibited in Ulu Mosque, the first mosque in Anatolia. Visitors can learn how the time is set on the sun clock from older people who go to the mosque to pray.

The 950-year-old Ongözlü Bridge -- three kilometers away from the city center -- the Hasan Paşa Han, Deliler Caravanserai, Meryem Ana Church, the Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı Museum, Dört Ayaklı Minaret, Çayönü in the Ergani district and the Malabadi Bridge in the Silvan district are other places worth seeing.

If you are interested in tespih (rosaries), you can buy tespih as a gift for your relatives from peddlers called “tespih borsası," or you can buy a famous “Diyarbakır mat,” made of gold, from the Kuyumcular Bazaar, situated opposite Diyarbakır's Ulu Mosque. You can also purchase a rug and puşi, a traditional scarf, from the Sipahiler Bazaar.

Lose yourself on Mardin streets

It is nice to wander the historical streets of Mardin. Kasimiye Medresesi -- a Muslim theological school -- Kırklar Church, Mardin Museum, Mardin's Ulu Mosque, the historical Postal and Telecommunications General Directorate (PTT) building, Şehidiye Medresesi and Sıttı Radviye -- which is said to exhibit a footprint of the Prophet Mohammed -- are among the places worth visiting in the city.

You should taste Mardin appetizers cooked in a special pan in Cercis Murat Host,and  ikbebet (boiled stuffed mutton balls), irok (fried stuffed mutton balls), sembusek (stuffed bread) and gingerbread lemonade or Süryani wine in the traditional Ebrar restaurant.

Batman: architecture and mountaineering

People who go to Batman should taste Batman's saç tava (a stew cooked on round griddles), bread baked in a tandır (a clay-lined pit oven) and dolma (stuffed foods cooked with sumac). Visiting Zeynel Bey Dome in the historical Hasankeyf district, İmam Abdullah Zaviyesi -- a small Islamic monastery -- Hasankeyf Bridge, Batman's Ulu Mosque, a cave church, small mosques, archeological digging sites, the Mor Kiryakuş and Mor Aho monasteries, Kozluk Castle and Raman Mountain, the center of petroleum production, liven up the city tour.

Steep rocks and colorful flowers and plants in the Sason district will bring joy to people who love mountaineering.

If you travel to Siirt, you can visit the tombs of İbrahim Hakkı Erzurumi, who left behind scholarly works in a range of fields, from mathematics to astronomy; his master, İsmail Fakirullah; Sultan Memduh; and Veysel Karani. You can also visit Ulu Mosque, a historical construction of the Seljuk Empire in the Aydınlar (Tillo) district, seven kilometers away from the city center.

Büryan kebab (a regional dish hung from hooks and cooked with fire in a well, perde pilaf (a rich fried rice with a crust outer layer that is served upside down), kıtel (stuffed mutton balls unique to Siirt) and sour Arap stuffing are among the most delicious foods of Siirt.  

Atatürk Dam and Balıklıgöl

You should not leave without visiting Balıklıgöl, the Harran area and the Atatürk Dam and without tasting çiğ köfte and mırra, which comes from Şanlıurfa -- one of the oldest cities in Anatolia -- which is visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists every year.  

Çiğ köfte, a food with a history that goes back to the Prophet Abraham, is kneaded with isot, a black paprika prepared in a unique manner that takes great effort over the course of 15 to 20 days and is indispensable in local foods.

Çiğ köfte is made by mixing and kneading various spices in addition to meat, boiled and pounded bulgur wheat, onion and chili pepper and is served to guests and customers traditional restaurants.

Visitors often enjoy sıra gecesi (a traditional musical gathering at night), generally organized in restaurants, and through sıra gecesi discover the region's music culture while enjoying çiğ köfte and mırra.

Local and foreign tourists interested in religion should visit the cave of the Prophet Abraham in Balıklıgöl and drink the water there.

Other spots worth seeing in Şanlıurfa are the Halilürrahman and Aynzeliha lakes, which are believed to be the place where Nemrut -- the ruler at the time of the Prophet Abraham -- wanted to throw Prophet Abraham into a large fire, and when he was launched into the fire, it turned into water and fish.

Dome houses that are 150 to 200 years old, remains of the world's first university, the Harran Castle and the natural beauty of the Halfeti district -- two-fifths of which has been submerged under water as a result of the construction of Birecik Dam -- are among the places worth seeing.

Rumkale, which is now submerged under water and is a place where the Bible was copied, can be visited by a boat tour of Halfeti that lasts 30 minutes. One cannot visit Şanlıurfa and not see Atatürk Dam, constructed as part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), the biggest project in the Republic's history.

Zeugma mosaic

One should definitely eat baklava (sheets of phyllo pastry soaked in syrup and sprinkled with nuts) in Gaziantep

Harran, Urfa

Büryan kebab (a regional dish hung from hooks and cooked with fire in a well, perde pilaf (a rich fried rice with a crust outer layer that is served upside down), kıtel (stuffed mutton balls unique to Siirt) and sour Arap stuffing are among the most delicious foods of Siirt.

Büryan kebab (a regional dish hung from hooks and cooked with fire in a well, perde pilaf (a rich fried rice with a crust outer layer that is served upside down), kıtel (stuffed mutton balls unique to Siirt) and sour Arap stuffing are among the most delicious foods of Siirt.

Rumkale, Gaziantep

Çiğ köfte is made by mixing and kneading various spices in addition to meat, boiled and pounded bulgur wheat, onion and chili pepper and is served to guests and customers traditional restaurants.

Travel
Other Titles
Click For More News