Gazientep is one of Turkey’s major cities that was very important along the Silk Roads. Together with Aleppo in Syria, these two cities have been a hub for trade of textiles along the Silk Roads for centuries. The city hosts many historic caravanserais as well as other commercial infrastructures. The city joined the network of UNESCO Creative Cities in 2015 and it intends to implement initiatives for promoting the Common Heritage of the Silk Roads in collaboration with other creative cities along the Silk Roads.
To study the contribution of gastronomy and food culture to the interactions and exchanges along the Silk Roads, the municipality of Gazientep organized on 5-6 December 2017 a workshop with the presence of five other cities, also Member of UNESCO Creative Cities, for Gastronomy along the Silk Roads (Chengdu and Shunde, China, Jeonju, Republic of Korea and Rasht from Iran).
The workshop brought together around twenty experts and professionals from China, the Republic of Korea, Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey. Different sessions of the workshop provided a good opportunity for discussing the status of foods, as well as similarities, which exist among gastronomic traditions of each regions. Participants reviewed also possibility for joint research projects on the Gastronomy of participating cities. Moreover, they underlined that common gastronomic heritage and the social rituals that have developed around it should be considered as an element of common cultural heritage of the Silk Roads. They also agreed that this gastronomic heritage can be a basis for implementing joint initiatives among the Creative Cities along the Silk Roads such as “Silk Roads Food Festival”. They finally agreed to inform and invite other members of the Network of UNESCO Creative Cities along the Silk Roads to join them for these Silk Roads gastronomy research as well as other respective initiatives.
Besides, participants participated in a Food Workshop in "Gazientep in the Gazientep Metropolitan Municipality Culinary Art Training Center" while they had the privilege to taste the different traditional dishes of Gazientep and Turkey. Moreover, in line with its hospitality tradition, Municipality of Gazientep organized a visit of the “Gazientep Restoration Roads” including Caravansaries, historic bazar, mosques as well as the Zegma Museum which hosts the unique collection of Roman mosaic.