History of the city

Today, among the sites situated in Gaziantep and its region, Dülük (Doliche) is one of the oldest known inhabited cities. It was discovered through the archeological excavations that Doliche was inhabited since the Paleolithic period; however, Doliche was especially occupied during the Early Bronze Age. This city, like Zeugma and Yesemek which are on the DM List of UNESCO, is situated on the Silk Road.

Towards 1700 B.-C., the city of Gaziantep is under the aegis of the Babylonian civilization, then under that of the Hittites and towards 700 B.-C. it falls into the hands of the Egyptian Government. Medes, Assyrians and Persians follow one another then. From the 6th C. B.-C, the Macedonian civilization starts to make its print on the city, print which will be important later with Seleucus I Nicator and Commagene. Afterward, other cultures impose themselves; considering its geographical position, when the city passes to the Ottomans in 1516, it bacomes a dependency of the Aleppo province. In 1531, following the formation of Dulkadir State, the city enters the borders of this state until 1818, when it returns to the Aleppo Province. As such, Gaziantep has an important place in the Ottoman Culture.

With the rise of the Ottoman culture, Gaziantep becomes a more and more important commercial centre. The city sells its textiles to Europe, to on-the-way merchants (via the Silk Road) or to the aleppian merchants. Thousands of looms, inns and caravanserai have then an intense activity. Before WWI and according to a 1902’s text issuying from Aleppo Province governship, the trading post of Gaziantep had 2320 stores, 4 covereed markets (bedesten), 15 caravanserais, 30 ovens, 6 tanneries, 45 dyeings, 11 factories, 8 distilleries, 5 soap factories and up to 2210 looms. Weaving, wheat, pistachios, coffee, ammoniac, tin, gall and a big variety of products such as paints and coulouring agents, or handicrafts, find an important place in this trade. Weaving, damascening, felt, fresco, stone art crafts, copper, stoves, leather shoes (yemeni) and leather craft, soap, kilims, jewellery, pottery, shrill pipe and other hancrafts products sector find in Gaziantep a convenient place.

After the World War I’s armistice, the Ottoman Empire is in ruins as well as the city. December 17th 1918, the English armed forces leave Gaziantep, replaced by the french troops in november 1919. In 1920, the inhabitants of Gaziantep begin to enter in resistance against the French troops but surrender after 10 months of fights, in 1921. According to the agreement of Ankara, the French troops evacuate the city on December 25th, 1921.

Gaziantep, by the law decree number 3398 becomes a metropolis in 1987. İnitially, two districts (Şahinbey and Şehitkamil) are included within the limits of Gaziantep Metropolitan Muncipality territory. With the law N 5216 published in 2004, the limits of these increased in a circle of 30 kilometers from the Governor’s building. Both initial districts are always in the so defined limits.