The recent celebration in Rome of the National Day of the Republic of Turkey was done in close collaboration with the Municipality of Gaziantep. The event featured the promotion of the cuisine of this region of Turkey which enjoys the status of UNESCO Cultural Heritage.
Turkey, among its wonders, has a small jewel that archaeologists consider one of the oldest cities of the planet. It has civilization and a history rooted in Mesopotamia, the Earth between two rivers, when the cradle of civilization was the Fertile Moon between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.
And it has a deep gastronomic tradition. It’s called Gaziantep. Being one of the oldest cities in history and home to many civilizations, from Rome to the Ottoman Empire and from the Hittites to the Assyrians, Gaziantep’s cuisine is a diverse cultural synthesis.
For centuries it has been one of the hubs along the Silk Road, a cultural and gastronomic melting pot, and today it is the culinary capital of Turkey.
In 2015, UNESCO named it the Creative City of Gastronomy. Gaziantep is the city of taste of Turkey, an undisputed synonym of great cuisine. It is a special city for its 5,000 years of uninterrupted history, certainly, for having been a place of cultural contamination and trade and for having been the center of the world known for centuries.
It has a strong reputation in all the culinary areas, starting with hot and cold appetizers, sauces, legumes, stuffed vegetables, salads, and fried dumplings, continuing with chicken and lamb shish kebab, accompanied by vegetables and pistachios, and ending with the celebrated baklava. This dessert is pistachio based and is the gastronomic excellence of the region which was the nation’s first IGP product.
Gaziantep is also home to the International Gastronomy Festival, “Gastro antep” which hosts world-renowned chefs, gourmets, food writers, and scholars.
On the occasion of the welcome speech, the Ambassador of Turkey in Italy, H.E. Murat Salim Esenli, elaborated on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage of the city, as well as the economic relations between Italy and Turkey and on the Turkish Silk Road.