The success of Gaziantep, which is included in the gastronomy category of the "World of Creative Cities Network" which includes 47 cities from 33 countries by UNESCO, is celebrated with a private protocol dinner hosted at İstanbul Çırağan Kempinski attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Gaziantep Governor Ali Yerlikaya, Gaziantep Metropolitan Mayor Fatma Şahin and UNESCO representative Timothy Curtis.


Fatma Şahin and Governor Yerlikaya mentioned the importance of Gaziantep’s inclusion in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) "Creative Cities Network" in the gastronomy category and the activities to be realized in the future.



The president of our foundation, Governor Yerlikaya, stated that it is the task of everyone to protect and sustain the traditional culinary culture and said:


"Gaziantep was one of the 18 cities included in the Creative Cities Network for gastronomy. The number of tourists traveling in the world has exceeded 1 billion people. Surveys show that catering have a decisive influence on their travel plans by 88 percent. When tourists' preferences are taken into consideration, we are now one step ahead among the world cities we have competed with this title we have earned. The cuisine of Gaziantep, which was a sanjak connected to Aleppo during the Ottoman Empire period, is also a cuisine of Aleppo at the same time. Gaziantep is the dining table of the Aleppo. Gazinatep cuisine is the cuisine of Turks, Turcomans, Arabs, Kurds, Ezidis, Muslims, Christians, Jews. Gaziantep cuisine is not just a city cuisine, but it is a humanitarian coexistence. In our culture cuisine is reason and result of peace and sharing source of peace and result. Our tables are laid with the understanding of where to people satisfied, this person can also be satisfied. The plentifullness is increased with sharing. We see our foods as art works. No artist makes his art for himself/herself. Because an artwork that is not shared does not have a meeting. The more we share these artworks, the more meaning our works will gain. We are not only wasn’t to be a gastronomic city for being a gastronomic city but also for sharing our art of living with the world "


UNESCO representative Timothy Curtis said that this year 47 cities from 33 countries were identified as new members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and that one of them was Gaziantep. "The UNESCO Creative Cities Network is a structure with spirit. This year Gaziantep has also entered the gastronomy list with its cuisine and its history reflected upon its cuisine. I congratulate this success of Gaziantep, ".




Gaziantep Metropolitan Mayor Fatma Sahin said:

“Gaziantep cuisine has a privileged place among Turkish and world cuisines. The dishes taught from grandmother to grandchildren and the rigor in selection of ingredients used in the making of dishes and desserts, skill in preparing the dishes, spices that are used in cooking and that give a special taste to foods, pastes, sauces and mixtures make the dishes and desserts of Gaziantep famous and specific. In this wealthy cuisine made up of unique flavors there are more than 500 kinds of dishes are present. The Metropolitan Municipality of Gaziantep has applied to UNESCO's Creative Cities Network in the field of gastronomy to introduce this culture heritage to the world as it deserves for transmitting this culture to future generations. As a result of intensive lobbying and promotional activities, Gaziantep became a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of gastronomy, as of December 11, 2015. Gaziantep also earned the Turkey's leading city title in this field. Registered as "World Gastronomy City", Gaziantep will be the rising star of gastronomy tourism with this new identity and title. ”




President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who attended the celebration dinner with his wife Emine Erdogan, said "I congratulate Gaziantep and our brothers and sisters from Gaziantep. I am pleased that UNESCO has chosen Gaziantep, " and then he continued:


“. Gaziantep won this achievement by deserving it. Think of a city having 500 different specific dishes. This figure is a figure that will compete with the countries, not the cities in the world. In Gaziantep, besides the variety of the dishes, the cooking of the dishes is also unique. For example, lots of dishes such as yuvarlama, salca are cooked by women together. In other words, cooking in Gaziantep is also a matter that enhances unity at the same time. Culinary culture of Gaziantep is only a part of the wealth of the city. Gaziantep is sitting on the wealth of the accumulations of all the civilizations and states established in the region since the ancient times.


In Gaziantep, I present my gratitude to housewives who make beautiful meals because they sustain these local culinary cultures that are transmitted from generation to generation. I congratulate all of our striving institutions and non-governmental organizations which strive for winning this title.


” There are rich cuisines in every part of our country, in many cities. Moreover, none are imitations, not copies. All of them are unique with their material, taste, presentation. There are a lot of contest programs on TV. Some of these may be useful, but we see that some of them are pointless. I believe that if cooking programs that teach and Show traditional cuisine, especially Gaziantep, instead of present programs, I believe that they will be much more interesting and useful. "


Noting that there are other categories like crafts, cinema, literature, music besides gastronomy in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, Erdoğan said, “I believe that, besides the gastronomy Gaziantep is also successful in other areas such as handicrafts and music. Gaziantep proved its worth with this title in gastronomy area. I would especially like to say that I expect similar successes from our other cities, ".


The most distinguished examples of Gaziantep cuisine were prepared by Gaziantep chefs in Istanbul and served with special presentations of the Çıragan Hotel kitchen staff. On behalf of Gaziantep Development Foundation GAGEV the event was hosted by Gaziantep Governor Ali Yerlikaya and Gaziantep Metropolitan Mayor Fatma Şahin. Participants in the evening include internationally renowned journalists and researchers in gastronomy such as Claudia Roden, Faye Levy and Charles Perry, representatives of other cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, local and foreign chefs, academicians, Bülent Ersoy, Ibrahim Tatlıses, Gülben Ergen, Murat Dalkılıç, Engin Altan Düzyatan, opinion leaders and NGO representatives in the field of gastronomy.


Among the local meals that were presented to the invitees at the protocol dinner and which included the most precious meals of Gaziantep gastronomy culture were Arab meatballs, rustling, squeezed scallops, spicy firik rice, baklava and rice pudding.