Eastern Turkey: Osmaniye & Gaziantep


From the small town, Osmaniye to the metropolitan and historical Gaziantep – these two towns in Eastern Turkey have totally opposite vibes, the former being Middle Eastern-ish and the latter a bit European.

We arrived early morning and Osmaniye was sunny, dry and charmingly simple. Roads were covered with dust, yet the weather was interestingly cold. It’s similar to a small town in the Philippines’ municipality or a barrio with only a few infrastructures. Some roads remain unpaved, old markets remain busy, house doors remain unlocked, and everyone a family member in whatever degree.

There was nothing much to see in Osmaniye, but the welcoming attitudes of the people are worth to experience. The people don’t speak English, but it’s surprisingly magical when they have expressed their feelings not on words but by warm gestures and genuine smiles.

Our host, a businessman who never spoke English to us, while driving us around, we burst out laughing when he would randomly sing us funny Turkish songs. I also managed to meet a new friend through the Google Translate. I was listening to boom boom music while waiting for my friends to come back, when suddenly Latif, smiling, approached me without a word. His gesture asked me to follow him to his desktop. He started typing words into the Google Translate – he said, he liked my music and wanted to know more about the latest international clubbing music. We talked for an hour through the Google Translate about music.

It’s amazing how friendship and laughter need no common language and translation.

Gaziantep, despite being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world since 3650 BC (thank you, Wikipedia) is more modern, and is European-looking. People commuting modern railways, shopping in megamalls, studying in huge universities, they have hotels, zoos and a lot of things to do and to see around. I’ve seen people sitting, sipping frappes and coffees along the streets. Also, I’ve seen many Syrian women in abaya (long dress) and hijab shopping in Gaziantep malls. The great city of Aleppo in Syria, is only less an hour drive.

We stayed in a private university dormitory, and god! It was considerably a 5-star hotel; the student cafeteria was even looking better than expensive restaurants in the Philippines. To our surprised, these lucky students have their own exclusive cinema house inside the dormitory building. They also got an Apple store inside the campus, because all university students enrolled are automatically given a MacBook.

The road trip from Osmaniye to Gaziantep was a bit luxurious, seating in a Mercedes Benz limousine, and funnier when we had a clueless 9-year old Turkish boy seating around five useless Filipino childish men, and a funny driver who was driving his own car and the only Filipino he knew was Manny Pacquiao; he thought all Filipino men were boxers.

The trip took us over the mountains, driving through unbelievably huge tunnels and sky bridges connecting the mountains. The view was spectacular, imagining I was James Bond chased by the bad guys – flying cars over the sky bridges, suddenly shifted to being Indiana Jones jumping from a running horse to the old train’s roof – still chased by the bad guys. It was such dreamy scenery looking over the beautiful lakes, mystical rivers and misty mountains.

Sorry, I wasn’t able to take good photos. I found few photos from my old phone’s memory card.

221842_1844238897985_4143965_n-1 mountain view of Osmaniye224153_1844239337996_7509485_n-1 Amazing how we get along without expressing our thoughts in English (white guy, our funny host)

603573_4548300185348_1992066540_n-1 a school fence in Osmaniye225975_1844235897910_3838459_n-1 The whole road trip was about food – lamb meat overload390955_4551041853888_1553363295_n Inside the limousine, this photo doesn’t do it justice at all226363_1844236457924_7813552_n-1 lunch time, and look at the food – too much!582561_4551042373901_1082332887_n Our way to Gaziantep229273_1844228657729_3687100_n 527953_4548294785213_789887453_n-1 Old trains are a regular sightings on our way to Gaziantep551877_4551044053943_1428832209_n The Gaziantep University’s gate204431_1809400827055_1962794_o Gaziantep’s metro railway system204431_1809400947058_6367478_o 220506_1809403867131_3191675_o Random photo at Gaziantep Zoo.228266_1844229617753_4449857_n Crossing the railway @Gaziantep220506_1809403827130_4767246_o 220506_1809403907132_7324735_o 225270_1844229257744_3801354_n


2 thoughts on “Eastern Turkey: Osmaniye & Gaziantep

  1. ang cute naman po ng story nio.. ask ko lang po sana if kung safe po ba mag travel mag isa sa gazaintep…panagarap ko rin po kasing pmunta sa gazaintep.. safe po ba para sakin ang mag travel jan..balita ko po kasi malapit n po iyan sa syria.. reply po sana ..marami pong salamat. godbless


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s