Gaziantep, a booming modern city, is the largest in the region, with a population in excess of a million. It's one of the main beneficiaries of the GAP dams project and has a prosperous air. Progressive local government has overseen the construction of an industrial quarter separated from the city by a belt of forest and the various town-planning strategies and investment incentives have been a palpable success. Gaziantep looks set to become a major tourist destination with the revitalization of its archeological museum, which now houses more than 800 square metres of mosaic rescued from the dam waters which flooded nearby Zeugma. The city boasts some fine domestic architecture in the Christian/Jewish quarter, as well as several mosques and a ruined castle, and is also famed for its incredible pistachio nuts – properly am fıstığı but often referred to as Antep fıstıgı – some of the best you'll taste anywhere in Turkey. Geographically, it's a handy staging post on a journey to more exotic destinations to the north or further east.
The city is known by local people (and, significantly for visitors, by most bus companies) as "Antep", a corruption of the Arab ayn teb ("good spring"); the prefix "Gazi" ("warrior for Islam") was only added in 1920 after Nationalist forces defending the city withstood a ten-month siege by the French, who had advanced up from their Syrian protectorate in an attempt to seize a portion of defeated Turkey.