The rich architecture in Gaziantep is very historic, and this can be seen in many buildings throughout the city, such as houses, mosques, shopping centers and baths. It is possible to see the influence of the climate, topographic characteristics, plantation and social life on these structures.
This architecture of this city is suitable to the Northern Mesopotamian tradition as a typical Islamic city. Other buildings take place around the religious ones and are developed as integrated buildings.
Because of the steep climate and hot summers, the concept of having a yard is very important in architecture. The yards are called "Hayat" as most of one’s life is spent there.
In Gaziantep manufacturing and trading have gained more importance than agriculture.
Many shopping centers were built in the settlements towards to Kozluca and around the castle. Tuz Han, İki Kapılı Han, Hişva Hanı, Yüzükçü Hanı, Millet Hanı were very busy shopping centers in the 16th Century.
Streets are very narrow and shady. There are some places called "kabaltı" which are houses with a road beneath. There are only six "kabaltı''s nowadays. There are also blocked streets called "dehliz".
Gaziantep houses are made of soft calcareous stones called "havara" or "keyrnik" and have thick walls. Generally, they are one or two-stories, but there are some three-story ones as well.
The traditional Gaziantep houses displaying these features are situated mainly in the town center, in the Eyüpoğlu, Türktepe, Tepebaşı, Bostancı and Şehreküstü Quarters, and also near the Gaziantep Fortress.
The baths, which were always a symbol of cleanliness, constituted an essential element of the social life of early times.The ones which have survived to present times are Seyh Fethullah Hamami, Huseyin Pasa Hamami, Pasa Hamami, Keyvanbey Hamami, lki Kapili Hamam, Naip Hamami, Nakipoglu Hamami, Tabak Hamami, Eski Hamam and Pazar Hamami.
The city of Gaziantep had poor water resources. In order to prevent the evaporation or loss of water, water was brought to the city through underground canals. In some parts of the canals water was saved by the building of large rooms (or underground reservoirs), which could be reached by long stairways. Of these facilities called "Kastels", only lhsan Bey, Pişirici, lrnarn Gazali and Kozluca kastels remain.
COVERED MARKETS (BEDESTEN)
Bedestens are long bazaars or markets, with a covered ceiling. The most important ones are Huseyin Pasa Bedesteni, Kemikli Bedesten and Zincirli Bedesten.