Where to Visit in Kilis

Kilis is a city in south-central Turkey, near the border with Syria, and the administrative centre of Kilis Province.

The City is surrounded by three important cities, Gaziantep, Antakya, and Aleppo, and located at the crossroads of Anatolia and Syria. As a result of its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in a region where the climate transitions from a Mediterranean to a continental character. It is also located on the Fertile Crescent, which has been home to settlements since the very beginning of history. The Öncüpınar Syrian border crossing is 5 km (3 mi) to the south and the large city of Gaziantep is 60 km (37 mi) to the north. Indeed, until 1996 the city was a district of Gaziantep Province, being made into a province by Tansu Çiller following an open vote-winning gambit in the 1995 general election.

Zakariya al-Qazwini mentioned the city as a Turkic village in Athar al-Bilad. In his magazine from 1844, William Harrison Ainsworth included Kilis as a settlement of 12 thousand people, mostly composed of Turkomans and some Armenians, Kurds, and Osmanlis. In 1850, Francis Rawdon Chesney mentioned that Kilis was chiefly inhabited by Turkomans, who were agriculturists and carriers, and also Armenians, Turks, and Kurds, totaling to 12 thousand people. In 1869, American missionaries noted that the prevalent language in the city was Turkish unlike Aleppo, while Arabic was mostly spoken by the Greeks of the town, who also understood Turkish but didn’t prefer the language. In Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition from 1911, Kilis was included as a town of 20 thousand inhabitants, mainly composed of Circassians, Turkomans, and Arabs. In 1914, the kaza of the city consisted of 78,905 Muslims, 434 Greeks, 3,934 Armenians, 775 Jews, 376 Armenian Catholics, and 390 Protestants.

The local kebab known as Kilis Tava is renowned, and also the breads, baklava, künefe and stuffed vegetables.

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