Founded in 1898, the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce (GCC) is one of the oldest professional organizations in Turkey. With its wide range of services and regional activities, it is today one of the largest chambers of commerce in Turkey, with nearly 25,000 members.
In addition to serving its members, the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce runs a number of projects and programs aimed at supporting the socio-economic development of Gaziantep. These include a number of EU-sponsored projects, which have gained increasing importance since 1996. Important departments such as the EU Information Relay Office, EU-Turkey Business Center Gaziantep (ABİGEM) and European Union Information Center have been established within the chamber of commerce, and many social and economic projects have been achieved.
One of these activities is the "Cultural Heritage Development Programme of the GAP Region", which includes two projects launched by the chamber of commerce.
Financed by the European Union, and realized in partnership with the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration, the program was initiated in March 2003. Within this framework, the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce launched the "Southeastern Anatolia Promotion Project" and the "Enhancing the Tourism Potential of Gaziantep (Zeugma), Halfeti and Rumkale" project in 2006 and 2007.
Achieved in partnership with the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the "Southeastern Anatolia Promotion Project" aims to promote the historic and cultural tourist attractions of Southeastern Anatolia in a systematic and comprehensive manner, thereby increasing the number of visitors to the region and stimulating the local economy.
Since prehistoric times, Southeastern Anatolia has witnessed every stage of human history. Its status as a bridge between Anatolia and Mesopotamia throughout history has endowed the region with a unique atmosphere and character.
With its stunning monuments, ancient culture and beautiful geography, Southeastern Anatolia is a unique and attractive destination for visitors.
The driving force behind the Gaziantep Chamber of Commerces support for the "Southeastern Anatolia Promotion Project" is a desire to share the cultural heritage of this hitherto neglected region with the rest of the world.
To this end, this project included the preparation of a variety of materials to promote the region, which is often described as the cradle of cultural tourism.
The projects promotional tools consist of a guidebook and CD to the nine administrative provinces in Southeastern Anatolia, a promotional film, and an album of regional music.
The guidebook and interactive CD are targeted at domestic and foreign tourists, and have been prepared as an important source of information for visitors to the region during their travels. The main topics covered by the guidebook include the history of Southeastern Anatolia, its handcrafts, music, cuisine, customs and traditions, historic and tourist sights, transportation, hotels and restaurants. This, the first-ever guide to the region, has been carefully prepared by local and international consultants, researchers and projects leaders who are all experts in their fields, and contains important information about the matchless wonders of Southeastern Anatolia.
We believe that this project will help Southeastern Anatolia to become a major center of cultural tourism. We would like to thank the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey, the GAP Regional Development Administration, our partner in the project the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the project team, and everyone who contributed to the project for their valuable efforts. We look forward to welcoming you to our region to experience its wonders firsthand.
Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce
President of the Board of Directors