Gaziantep: Unveiling the Captivating Essence of a Vibrant City


Robert Eduard Antal

Contributions and Roles of Gaziantep in the Eurocities Network

Innovation and Sustainability

Gaziantep is committed to sustainability and innovation, focusing on reducing CO2 emissions and promoting green technology. The city’s goals include the creation of eco-friendly policies and the implementation of renewable energy resources to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Goals to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Gaziantep has set ambitious targets to lower its carbon footprint through various initiatives such as:

  • Development of public transport systems to reduce reliance on private vehicles.
  • Promotion of cycling and walking as alternative modes of transport.
  • Initiatives to increase energy efficiency in buildings and municipal services.

Promotion of Green Technology

The city supports the adoption of green technologies, investing in renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and actively promoting the use of sustainable materials in construction and industry.

Smart City Initiatives

Gaziantep leverages technology to enhance urban life. The city has developed smart solutions to address challenges such as water pollution and healthcare accessibility, contributing to a higher quality of life for its citizens.

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Smart Water Management: Implementing IoT-based sensors to monitor water quality in real-time, ensuring clean waterways.
  • Healthcare Technology: Using telemedicine and digital health platforms to provide better healthcare services to underserved communities.
  • Smart Traffic Systems: Employing AI-driven traffic management systems to reduce congestion and enhance road safety.

Cultural and Social Projects

Gaziantep actively engages in cultural and social projects, supporting vulnerable groups and fostering cultural heritage preservation. The city hosts various initiatives to celebrate diversity and promote inclusivity.

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Refugee Integration Programs: Providing educational and vocational training programs for refugees to ease their integration into society.
  • Cultural Festivals: Organizing events like the International Gaziantep Opera and Ballet Festival to celebrate local and international culture.
  • Support Services for the Elderly: Offering social and healthcare services to support the aging population.

Urban Planning and Development

Gaziantep has undertaken significant urban development projects aimed at enhancing livability and addressing climate change, focusing on sustainable growth and resilient infrastructure.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Green Spaces Development: Expanding and maintaining parks and green areas to enhance the urban environment.
  • Renewable Energy Projects: Projects like solar panel installations on public buildings and homes.
  • Sustainable Housing: Building energy-efficient homes and promoting sustainable construction practices.

Youth and Education

Gaziantep creates vibrant environments for students and young professionals, fostering innovation and providing opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • Innovation Hubs: Establishing centers where young entrepreneurs can develop their startups and access resources.
  • Educational Programs: Offering scholarships and training programs in cutting-edge fields such as technology and environmental science.
  • Student Exchange Programs: Coordinating with international partners to provide cultural exchange opportunities.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

By participating in the Eurocities network, Gaziantep benefits in numerous ways, including:

  • Access to a platform for sharing best practices and innovations with other European cities.
  • Opportunities to participate in joint projects addressing common urban challenges.
  • Enhanced visibility on the European stage, leading to potential funding and collaboration opportunities.

City Name



Gaziantep is located in the southeastern region of Turkey. It is situated near the country’s border with Syria and is in close proximity to the Euphrates River. The city lies in a fertile plain, surrounded by rolling hills and notable geographic features including the Aintab Plains.


Gaziantep has a population of approximately 2 million people. The city is known for its diverse demographic composition, including a mix of various ethnic groups such as Turks, Kurds, and Arabs. The population has a significant proportion of younger individuals, with a median age of around 30 years.

Economic Overview

Gaziantep’s economy is robust and diversified. Key industries include textiles, food processing, and machinery manufacturing. The city is also a major center for the production of pistachios and is renowned for its culinary industry, particularly its unique cuisine which includes dishes like kebabs and baklava. The city’s GDP is estimated at several billion USD, reflecting its status as an economic powerhouse in the region.

Historical Significance

Gaziantep has a rich historical tapestry that dates back to ancient times. Originally known as Aintab, the city has seen the rule of various empires including the Hittites, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. Significant historical events include its role in resisting French occupation during the Turkish War of Independence. The city’s name was officially changed to Gaziantep in 1921, meaning “Victorious Antep,” in honor of its resilience during this period.

Cultural Attractions

  • Gaziantep Zeugma Mosaic Museum: Home to one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world.
  • Gaziantep Castle: A historic fortress offering panoramic views of the city.
  • Emine Göğüş Culinary Museum: Dedicated to Anatolian cuisine, showcasing the culinary heritage of the region.
  • Gaziantep Archaeology Museum: Features artifacts from various historical periods, including Roman and Byzantine times.
  • Gaziantep Zoo and Botanical Garden: One of the largest zoos in Turkey, with diverse flora and fauna.

Education System

Primary and Secondary Education

Gaziantep has a robust education system with numerous primary and secondary schools, both public and private. The city focuses on providing quality education to its young population, with an emphasis on science and technology.

Higher Education

Gaziantep is home to several higher education institutions, including Gaziantep University and Hasan Kalyoncu University. These universities offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, attracting students from across Turkey and beyond.

Transportation Infrastructure

Gaziantep boasts a well-developed transportation network. The city’s public transit includes buses and a tram system, making it convenient to navigate the city. Gaziantep Oğuzeli International Airport serves both domestic and international flights, facilitating easy travel to other regions and countries. Additionally, the city is connected by major highways and rail lines, providing efficient links to other cities in Turkey.

Urban Development Projects

Gaziantep is undergoing significant urban development projects aimed at improving sustainability and quality of life. Initiatives include the expansion of public parks, the development of new residential and commercial areas, and the implementation of smart city technologies to enhance urban management and services.

Environmental Initiatives

Gaziantep is committed to environmental sustainability. The city has undertaken several initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote green living. These include:

  • Development of sustainable public transportation options, such as electric buses.
  • Promotion of renewable energy sources, including solar and wind power.
  • Implementation of waste management and recycling programs.
  • Conservation efforts to protect natural habitats and biodiversity.

Quality of Living

Gaziantep offers a high quality of living, thanks to its modern healthcare facilities, safe neighborhoods, and extensive recreational options. The city’s healthcare system is well-developed, providing residents with access to a wide range of medical services. Public safety is a priority, with low crime rates contributing to a secure living environment. Additionally, the city’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant culinary scene add to its allure.

Quality of Life Indexes

Gaziantep ranks favorably in various quality of life indexes:

  • Livability Rankings: Gaziantep is often highlighted for its livability, with excellent amenities, healthcare, and education systems.
  • Health Index: The city boasts a high health index, reflecting its robust healthcare infrastructure and services.
  • Environmental Quality Scores: Initiatives to enhance environmental sustainability have improved the city’s environmental quality scores.

Mayor Profile: Fatma Şahin


Fatma Şahin

Current Position

Mayor of Gaziantep, Turkey

Political Affiliation

Justice and Development Party (AKP)


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University

Professional Background

Prior to becoming the mayor of Gaziantep, Fatma Şahin held several significant positions both in local government and the private sector:

  • Minister of Family and Social Policies (2011-2013)
  • Member of Parliament for the Justice and Development Party (AKP)
  • Engineer and Manager at a private sector company before her political career

Achievements as Mayor

  • Urban Development: Spearheaded the development and renovation of public spaces, including the creation of parks, recreational areas, and improvement of city infrastructure.
  • Sustainability Initiatives: Implemented several green projects, such as increasing green spaces, promoting recycling programs, and enhancing public transportation to reduce carbon footprint.
  • Technological Advancements: Launched smart city projects to improve urban services, including smart traffic management systems, and the introduction of free Wi-Fi zones in key areas of the city.

Vision for the Future

Fatma Şahin envisions a future for Gaziantep that integrates technological advancements with sustainable practices to foster a more livable and inclusive city. Key goals include:

  • Smart City Initiatives: Enhance the utility of data and connectivity to streamline city services and improve resident engagement.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Strengthening renewable energy projects, expanding green urban areas, and enhancing waste management systems.
  • Community Engagement: Foster a participative governance model where citizens are active stakeholders in decision-making processes.

Personal Life

Fatma Şahin is known for her dedication not only to her professional roles but also to her personal interests and commitments:

  • Hobbies and Interests: Enjoys reading, engaging in community service, and promoting social welfare activities.
  • Community Activities: Actively participates in local charitable events and environmental clean-up drives.

Awards and Honors

Fatma Şahin’s leadership and contributions have been recognized with several awards and honors:

  • Recipient of the “Best Mayor” award in Turkey for her outstanding public service and urban development initiatives.
  • Recognized by various international bodies for her contributions to social policy and sustainable urban growth.

Gaziantep: Quality of Life and Cost of Living

Quality of Life


Gaziantep features a safety index of 54.26, indicating a moderate sense of security. While the city has seen improvements in policing and community safety initiatives, residents and visitors should remain vigilant and mindful of their surroundings.


The healthcare quality index in Gaziantep stands at 59.87, suggesting reasonably efficient healthcare services. The city offers a range of public and private healthcare facilities, including Gaziantep University Hospital, which is known for its diverse medical services and competent staff.


With a pollution index of 66.95, Gaziantep faces some environmental challenges related to air quality and waste management. Efforts are underway to improve urban cleanliness and promote sustainability initiatives, although there is room for significant improvement.


Gaziantep has a transport index of 27.04, reflecting a developing transportation system. The city’s primary mode of public transport is buses, complemented by a tram system. The local government is actively working on expanding the transport network to better connect various parts of the city.


Gaziantep boasts several reputable educational institutions, most notably Gaziantep University, which is renowned for offering high-quality education in various disciplines. The university is a significant educational hub in the region, contributing to the city’s intellectual and cultural landscape.

Cost of Living


Housing in Gaziantep is relatively affordable. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately 842.25 TRY. This makes it an attractive option for individuals and families looking for budget-friendly accommodation.

Groceries and Dining

  • Monthly grocery costs for a single person amount to roughly 352.02 TRY.
  • The average cost of dining out at an inexpensive restaurant is about 20 TRY.

These figures highlight the affordability of food and dining in Gaziantep, making it easier for residents to maintain a balanced diet and enjoy local cuisine.


The monthly utility costs for an 85m² apartment in Gaziantep average around 423.57 TRY. This includes electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage disposal, which are essential for comfortable living.


A monthly public transport pass costs approximately 180 TRY, providing access to the city’s bus and tram services. This relatively low cost contributes to the overall affordability of living in Gaziantep and facilitates easy commuting.


  • Fitness club membership averages 98.57 TRY per month.
  • A cinema ticket costs around 15 TRY.

Entertainment options in Gaziantep are reasonably priced, allowing residents to enjoy various leisure activities without straining their budget.


Gaziantep offers a unique blend of an enriching cultural experience and affordable living. While the city faces challenges in environmental cleanliness and healthcare services, it maintains a moderate level of safety and continues to develop its transportation infrastructure. Importantly, the cost of living remains low, making Gaziantep an attractive destination for those seeking a vibrant yet economical lifestyle. As part of the Eurocities network, Gaziantep plays a crucial role in fostering urban innovation and cultural exchange within Europe.

Data Source: This information is based on statistics provided by Numbeo as of 2023.

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