Yep, those are faux camels headed down the traffic median in Gaziantep, just outside the famous Zeugma mosaics museum (on which see the following post). Why are they there, you may ask? Well Gaizantep was on the spice road which came from the Middle East through Jordan up the King’s highway into Turkey and then west across Anatolia (note what the wise men brought from the east to give Jesus— spices like frankincense and myrrh). So, as one would expect when you get to Gaziantep, you need to go to the bazaar…. where you find lots and lots of spices, as well as other things. Spices for food, spices for burials, spices for burning to make something smell better etc. Mountains of spices of all sorts….
Along with the spices you see every kind of nut imaginable as Gaziantep is the nut capital of Turkey, particularly of delicious pistachios,hazelnuts, etc. and you also see a lot of turkish delight too. The Narnia kids would have gone nuts in this bazaar….(and BTW, antep means nuts, a city named for nuts!)
The artisan work is also very impressive. There are beautiful glasses…. and beautiful silver work… which can result in giant samozars or teapots, and what’s a trip to Turkey without some Turkish tea, called chai….. which is good with the most delicious cheese potato sticks ever…. I could watch the woodworkers for hours, coming as I do from furniture city USA, namely High Point N.C. and having worked in a furniture factory there. Anyone need a Pinnochio?
The metal working artisans are great to watch as well, making everything from scimitars to pots to keys ( I bought one of the keys to the Kingdom, it has a cross on the handle. Please don’t tell St. Peter I found it on markdown in Gaziantep). and then there are knives….