Kilis is a fairy tale city where you will enjoy getting lost in its meandering narrow streets full of houses with adjacent bay windows. It has witnessed many wars for 5500 years, and at the same time has gained plenty of wealth due to being on the trade route, it is a vibrant center where different religions and cultures live together throughout history. Highly developed handicrafts, duvet work, kerchief work and stone work still exist in Kilis. And, of course, the legendary cuisine. Kilis dishes, which carry the traces of Aleppo cuisine, are delicious, but do not return without eating olive oil made from olives grown at the highest altitude in Turkey (900-1000 meters).
Watch the olives being pressed in a cellar during the olive squeezing.
Drink tea under the monumental trees in Ravanda.
Shop from Ravanda women.
See the lights filtering from the dome at the Old Hamam. Eat as if you are in a Turkish bath.
Watch the making of katmer, taste katmer!
Did You Know
More Syrian citizens than Turkish citizens live in Kilis. It is almost the real Aleppo with its food, entertainment and life culture.
Did you know that Kilis was nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize?
One of the largest mounds in Southeastern Anatolia. Due to its strategic location, it has been a stopping point for armies and caravans throughout various periods and has been inhabited in almost every period. Due to the mild climate and fertility of the Kilis Plain in prehistoric times, and its geographical location in the Bronze Age, this region, where Oylum Höyük is located, was a center. As a result of the excavations at Oylum Höyük, the history of the region as well as the history of Asia Minor is being illuminated. The excavations, which first started in 1985, continue uninterruptedly every year.
Ravanda Castle, which overlooks Mesopotamia from a hill dominating the wide horizons, is located 28 km from the city center. There is no exact information about the years in which the structure, which is referred to as er-Ravendan in Islamic sources, Ravendel, Ravandal, Ravenel in Crusader chronicles, and Areventan in Armenian records, was built. Only the citadel has survived from Ravanda Castle. The chapel, cistern and bastions in the castle are remarkable. The centuries-old plane trees at the foot of the Ravanda Castle continue to bear witness to the ages.
Great Mosque / Tekke Mosque
Built in 1334 during the Mamluk period, the Grand Mosque, the oldest and largest mosque in Kilis, has increased its historical splendor with the restoration it has recently undergone. The prominent decorations in the mosque are collected on the portal opening to the harim, on the mihrabiyas on both sides of the portal and on the mihrab.
Kuru Kastel (Kuru Fountain)
It is a work identified with Kilis and the subject of folk songs. When you come to Kilis, you can drink a sip of water from this castel and hum the legendary folk song of Kuru Kastel in the shade of the mulberry tree next to it:
"Karanfil deste gider hah hah ha nanay
Kokusu dosta gider hah hah ha nanay...
Kuru Kastel akmıyor hah hah ha nanay
Yâr yüzüme bakmıyor hah hah ha nanay"