An Appeal to Eyes, Hearts and Taste Buds: Kilis
Area: 1521 Km²
# of Districts: 3
Districts: Kilis, Musabeyli, Polateli, Elbeyli
Elevation: 680 Meters
Primary Resources: Tourism, Agriculture, Commerce
Handicrafts: Kerchiefs, Silver Embroidery, Quilting, Hand Weaving
Kilis has highway connections from all across Turkey.
The closest airport to Kilis is Gaziantep Airport 40 km away.
Legendary Kilis Tava
An extraordinary product of culinary talent: Kilis katmer
Gladly inherited from Aleppo: Cennet çamuru (paradise mud)
Seamless integration of ginger and nutmeg: Şıhıl mahşi
Gerebiç (a cookie) and gerebiç mold
Zahter (powdered thyme) for breakfast
Kilis olive oil
Watch olives being pressed at cisterns for the production of olive oil.
Enjoy a cup of tea in Ravanda under monumental trees.
Go shopping for souvenirs in Ravanda.
See the lights filtering through the dome of Eski Hamam. Have a feast as if you are enjoying the Turkish bath.
Watch the baking of katmer and taste them.
The number of Syrian people living in Kilis is more than citizens of Republic of Turkish, as it were Aleppo itself with its food, entertainment and lifestyle so to say.
Did you know that Kilis was a candidate of 2016 Nobel Peace Prize?
Kilis reminds of a tale with its miniature-like architectural texture, attached houses having bay windows, narrow streets. Courtyard stone houses, narrow and tortuous streets in which you would like to lose yourself, bay windows having ivy decorations, gates surrounded with flowers and children playing on the street... Yes, Kilis definitely reminds you of a tale...
Kilis has been a significant region in terms of monitoring the transitions of cultures thanks to its geographic location. In fact, researches revealed that the history of Kilis dates back to 5,500 years ago. Oylum Ruins illuminates the path to 5,500 years of history of the region, Ravanda Castle witnessed numerous wars, Grand Mosque is one of the most precious examples of stonemasonry, Tekke Mosque is believed to be built by Mimar Sinan and many other historical values authenticates that Kilis has all employ very colourful history.
Kilis still protects the traces of civilizations dwelt on its soils, becoming a common trade route and it has special arts of handcrafting. Quilting, kerchiefs, and stonemasonry can be listed among the handcrafts that are still in practice in Kilis.
It would be impossible to not mention its legendary cuisine while describing Kilis. All the foods belonging to Kilis cuisine are marvellous products that bear the traces of Aleppo. Kilis tava, obruk, kübbül müşviyye, sour maltıha, şıhılmahşe, züngül, gerebiç, and mayanalı (anise) kahke are among the first flavours of Kilis that come to mind first. Let us not forget that the olive groves are cultivated at the highest altitude of Turkey (900-1000 meters) in Kilis. We allege that you will not get enough of the taste of oil that are made of these olives.
Kilis reminds of a wonderland with its unique beauties, and it is waiting to host you as a precious visitor.
Kilis is the place where Anatolia, Mesopotamia and North Syria conjunct. Therefore, it has been a centre in which different religions and cultures co-exist, as an active place in terms of trade throughout history.
The history of Kilis dates back to 5,500 years ago. We know this thanks to Oylum Ruins in Kilis where excavation operations are still going on. The archaeological excavations here have been setting light to 5,500 years of history of the region.
A basilica has been found in 200-metres West of Oylum Ruins dating back to 6th century Early Christianity Period and restoration works have started. Havra, which is another part of multi-coloured style of Kilis, is located inside the city and is still waiting to be restored.
Mosques, fountains and Turkish baths occupy an important place among the places to be visited in Kilis. You may visit beautiful mosques of Kilis primarily Grand Mosque and Tekke Mosque which are believed to have been built by Sinan the Architect and are breath-taking examples of stonemasonry. Kuru Kastel – that is, fountain, which became the subject of the famous folk song "karanfil deste gider", is one of the places that you should definitely visit when you go to Kilis.
Ravanda Castle harboured several wars and cultures for eras, which shares with its guests all the glamour it collected with tombs of companions of the Prophet Muhammad in its narrow historical streets.