Gaziantep is culturally and socio-economically the most developed city in the region. It is one of the leading producers of machine made carpets in the world and it is the sixth largest city in Turkey with 1,252,329 (2008) inhabitants. Gaziantep has a developing tourist industry. Coppersmith works, mother of pearl working, traditional shoe making, cloth making, stone working, antique weapons, gold and silver works are the leading traditional handicrafts in Gaziantep. The Karkamis district of Gaziantep was an important centre of arts and culture in the past, Karkamis is the setting where the Legend of Gilgamesh took place. Gaziantep was made famous in Bulgaria & Greece by the Turkish TV serial ‘Yabancı Damat’ (literally The Foreign Groom), known in Bulgaria as ‘Marriage with a Foreigner’, a love story between a Turk and a Greek. In Greece, the TV series is known as ‘The Borders of Love’. Gaziantep has a city-link with Nijmegen and had a school project with a Dutch school. It is interested in making a park for which collaboration can be considered.
In the STGM database a total of 130 NGO’s was listed of which 13 were dedicated to education and youth, 6 to culture and 0 for arts.
Gaziantep University Gaziantep University is a state research university founded in 1987, and it puts an emphasis on scientific and technological research. Gaziantep University used to be an extension campus of the Middle East Technical University before its foundation. The University has a Faculty of Architecture and a Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The main campus is located at Gaziantep, which is close to the city centre, with its extension campuses situated in the neighboring cities. The official language of instruction at the Gaziantep University is English. Gaziantep’s private Gazikent University and Zirve University have no connection to arts. Many University students and students of the public Gaziantep Anatolian High School -where the language of instruction is English- are willing to help with basic translations.
Events and organizations that are relevant for art and culture in Gaziantep are:
- Yesemek Open Air Museum is near Islahiye District, in the village known by the same name. It is the largest open air sculpture workshop in the Near East. It is a sculpturing school, reflecting all stages from the extraction of stones from the quarry to preliminary carving and to the final work. Many pieces of art originating from this town are exhibited in museums abroad.
- Art gallery SANKO
- Gaziantep has a potential for rock music