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Antakya Gaziantep Şanlıurfa Mardin Diyarbakır Nemrut


Historically known as Antioch the southernmost province of Turkey. The city is located in a well-watered and fertile valley on the Orontes River.

Today’s city stands partly on the site of the ancient Antiochia also known as Antioch on the Orontes which was founded in the fourth century BC by the Seleucid Empire. Later, passed and became one of the Roman Empire’s largest cities and was made the capital of the provinces of Syria and Coele – Syria.

It was also an influential early center of Christianity. The Christian New Testament asserts that the name Christian first emerged in Antioch. The city gained much ecclesiastical importance in the Byzantine Empire. Captured by Umar ibn al-Khattab in the seventh century, the medieval Antakiyah was conquered severel time by Byzantines in 969, the Seljuks 1084, the Crusaders in 1098, the mamluks in 1268 and eventually the Ottomans in 1517 who would integrate it to the Aleppo Eyalet. The city joined the Hatay State under the French Mandate before joining the Turkish Republic (1939)


Previously and still informally called Aintab or Antep is a major city in the westernmost part of Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolia Region and partially in the Mediterranean Region. It is thought to be located on the site of ancient Antiochia ad Taurum and is near ancient Zeugma.

The Ottomans captured Gaziantep after the Battle of Marj Dabiq in 1516 and under the Ottoman reign Aintab was a sanjak.

Gaziantep is largely regarded as the city with the richest cuisine in Turkey. It was the first city in Turkey to be designated as a city of gastrnomy by Unesco in 2015. In 2013, Gaziantep baklava became the first Turkish product with a European protected designation of origin and geopraphical indication.


Urfa, officially known as Şanlıurfa and in ancient times as Edessa, is a city in southeastern Turkey. Urfa is situated on a plain about 80 KM east of the Euphrates River. About 12 northeast of the city is famous Neolithic site of Göbekli Tepe, the world’s oldets known temple, which was founded in the 10th millennium BC. The area was part of a network of the first human settlemnets where the agricultural revolution took place. As of its association with Jewish, Christian and Islamic history and a legend according to which it was the hometown of Abraham, Urfa is nicknamed the City of Prophets.

Urfa is deeply rooted in history, so its unique cuisine is an amalgamation of the cuisines of the many civilizations that have ruled in Urfa. It is believed that Urfa is the birthplace of many dishes, including Raw Kibbe (Çiğ Köfte) that according to legend, was crafted by the Prophet Abraham from ingredients he had at hand.


Mardin is a city in southeastern Turkey. It is know fort he Artuqid architecture of its old cit and for its strategic location on a rocky hill bear the Tigris River that rises steeply over the flat plains. The old town of the city is under the protection of UNESCO which forbids new constructions to preserve its facade.

The city is located near the Syrian border and is the center of Mardin province. The old city is built mostly on the southern slope of a long hill topped by a rocky ridge. The slope descends towards the Mesopotamian plain. The top of the ridge is occupied by the city’s historic citadel. The newer parts of the city are located on lower ground to the northwest and in the surrounding area and feature modern amenities and institutions.

Mardin has often been considered an open air museum due to its historical architecture. Most buildings use the beige colored limestone rock which has been mined for centuries in quarries around the area.


Diyarbakır, situated around a high plateau by the banks of Tigris river on which stands the historic Diybarkır fortress. It is the second-largest city in the Southeast Anatolia Region

The name Diyarbakır derives from the Arabic, The abode of Bakr which was named after the Arab tribe of Banu Bakr who settled the wider region of Diyar Bakr during the 6th century. The name Amit is found in Empire of Trebizond offical from 1358.

Later on, the city became known as the Diyar Bakr. In November 1937, President Ataturk visited the city and after expressing uncertainty on the exact etymology of the city, in december same year ordered that it tbe renamed ‘’Diyarbakır’’ which means ‘’land of copper’’ in Turkish after the abundany resources of copper around the city.


Mount Nemrut or Nemrud is a 2.134 –metre-high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb the 1st century BC. It is one of the highest peaks in the east of the Taurus Mountains. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The mausoleum of Antiochus I who reigned over Commagene a kingdom founded North of Syria and the Euphrates after Alexander’s empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings which can be traced back to through two sets of legend, Greek and Persian is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom’s culture.

The religious sanctuary estanlished in Mount Nemrut was part of Antiochus’ political program to revive the Persian traditions of Commagene. In order to do so, he merged and adjusted the political and religious traditions of Cappadocia, Pontus and Armenia. Following the practice of the Mithridatic rulers of Pontus, Antiochus stressed his descent from the Achaemenids and Seleucids and also claimed the royal legacy of Armenia. One of the essential parts of this identity was the then newly established Greco – Iranian pantheon which was worshipped at specific sanctuaries in Commagene.

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Visa Requirements
Visa in not needed for EU. Everyone else needs a visa.
Languages spoken
Currency used
Area (km2)
18,274 km2