From Past To Present: Gaziantep - GeziBilen

From Past To Present: Gaziantep

We will set out on a long but pleasant journey from the early period of Gaziantep, covering Doliche, one of the oldest settlements in Turkey, and move towards the present time. We guarantee that it will definitely not be like a boring history class, and we hope you like our narration. To cut a long story short, we are setting off towards the first years of Gaziantep. Come on, follow us.

First, we have mentioned Doliche, let's find out what it is. As it is just 10 kilometres away from Gaziantep city centrum, settlements are available even today there, and it forms an alive historical place. It was proved through archaeological studies that the first settlements date back to 600 "thousand" years.

This information is enough for briefing. Now, let’s flip through the pages of the history books.

First, we need to know the primary reason why this city is such an old settlement. The closeness of Antep to Mesopotamia, where the civilizations started and the humanity developed, and to the Silk Road, where the trade was founded, not only increases the significance of Antep city but also develops its cultural and historical knowledge. Now, let's talk about the civilizations and cultures, which have lived on these lands.

As we have mentioned, the Doliches lived there. In its first years, the city was under the administration of Babylon, and when it was 1700 BC, they went under the sovereignty of Hittites. Then, these fruitful lands were explored from the nations which were continents away, and Egypt occupied there. After them, everything happened in a rapid succession. The Meds, Assyrians and Persians dominated the city respectively from 700 BC to 546 AD. After a century, in the 6th century AD came Macedonia, Seleucid and Komagene Empires could not resist magnificence of the city and conquered it. Antep city became the cultural capital for being home to all these different civilizations at various times. It formed the whole of a mosaic with its rich cuisine, traditions and customs.

In anno domini, Romans established a city named “Antiochia ad Taurum" close to Doliche. This city gained great importance for Christianity, and it was one of the cities which Saint John, one of Christ's Apostles, chose to spread Christianity. Named as Ayntab then, Antep was adjected to the Byzantium land in 395 AD following these missionary activities. With the emergence of Islam, the Muslim Army commanded by Ömer Bin Hattab was established. In 636 AD, the city was conquered from the hands of Byzantine and Islam started to be spread.

In 1071, Great Seljuk State, commanded by Alp Arslan, came to the Anatolia with the Battle of Malazgirt and passed into history as the Anatolian Seljuks State. This battle enabled that Antep city went into the control of the Seljuks. Although the city was conquered and remained under the control of Ayyubids for a while, Mongolians attacked it in 1270. Occupied by Dulkadirs in 1389, Mamelukes conquered the city in 1471.

As we have stated, the city has been the home to many different civilizations in its history. When it was 1516, the Janissary army of the Ottoman commanded by Selim the Resolute adjected the city into its land. Then, the city had an important place in the Ottoman city culture.

Let’s move on to recent history.

Upon the Ottoman's losing World War I, Armistice of Mudros was concluded as many of us know. Even though it is an armistice treaty, the Ottoman was officially split into pieces after this instrument. Thus, one of the most important cities of the Ottoman for centuries, Antep was left to the auspices of the United Kingdom on 17 December 1918, and then of France on 5 November 1919.

Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the Head Teacher Great Leader Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk came to the fore of history stage. He started a civil revolt with the help of his fellow soldiers, and as a result, the Independence War was initiated. And the people of Antep started the resistance in 1920 risking death rather than losing their independence and joined in the Independence War. The city was led by Şahin Bey, who was one of the important names of the National Forces and had an undeniable role in defence of Antep. The city regained its independence after ten months of fighting. Then, the French soldiers had to withdraw, and the Ankara Treaty was concluded indicating officially that the city was given to the Turks.

Reclaimed after the heroic fighting of the local people, Antep was granted the title of “Gazi” (Veteran) on 8 February 1921. The city has been called as Gaziantep since then.

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