Turkey's southeastern cities of Gaziantep and Sanliurfa, both of them officially registered by UNESCO for their culinary and cultural treasures, look forward to treating visitors seeking an unforgettable mid-term holiday.
Gaziantep and Sanliurfa have been attracting considerable numbers of visitors in recent years, and both anticipate a busy mid-term holiday season.
Gaziantep, called Turkey’s culinary capital, is the first location for visitors planning a regional tour of southeastern Turkey.
In addition to the dozens of Turkish baths, museums, and local delicacies, Gaziantep offers many other historical and cultural sites to visit such as the historical Bakircilar and Elmaci Markets, Gaziantep Castle, and the Zeugma Mosaic Museum featuring the famed gypsy (Roma) girl mosaic.
Visitors can also take in the Gaziantep Zoo, one of the largest in the entire world, and see species in their natural habitat at the Safari Park.
Gaziantep offers an embarrassment of riches of 400 indigenous delicacies, including yuvalama, onion and garlic kebab, lahmacun, chickpea wrap and various baklava dessert choices.
Fatma Sahin, the mayor of Gaziantep, told Anadolu Agency that the city has a vast heritage of history, culture and food.
"When you’ve had your fill of sun, sand, and sea, and want to take in some historical legacy, come here to see artifacts dating back to the Romans, the Seljuks, and the Ottoman Empire," she said.
Another favorite destination for vacationers in southeastern Turkey is Sanliurfa, known as the "city of prophets," which draws both culinary and faith-based tourists.
The famed ancient temple of Gobeklitepe, which was added last year to UNESCO's World Heritage List, is a common stop for both local and international tourists, offering them a chance to witness ancient monuments dating back some 12,000 years.
Turkey has declared 2019 the Year of Gobeklitepe.
Sanliurfa's climate, where the temperature never dips below 10 degrees even in winter, offers vacationers a chance to enjoy summery weather year-round.
Another top touristic draw in Sanliurfa is the Pool of Abraham, a stunning natural aquarium full of fish which dazzles visitors from all walks of life.
Harran, Sanliurfa, currently on UNESCO's Temporary Heritage List, welcomes thousands of local and international visitors with the world's first Islamic university and the remains of the Ulu Mosque, dating back to the 700s in the Umayyad era.
Karacadag Ski Center in Siverek, Sanliurfa, situated at an altitude of 919 meters, is also a major winter sports attraction in the region.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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