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Mesopotamia

GAP Regional Development Administration working under the Ministry of Industry and Technology has started a long-termed project in September, 2014 in order to improve regional tourism and regenerate the promotion, branding, and infrastructure of the region. GAP Region Tourism-Oriented Promotion and Branding Project aims at turning 9 GAP provinces including Adıyaman, Batman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Şanlıurfa, Şırnak, into a sustainable and important tourism destination through uniting the region under one brand name via an integrative approach. Working towards this objective, the team has chosen MEZOPOTAMYA / MESOPOTAMIA as the brand for touristic destination. The reason why this brand was chosen is because it includes the whole region; it owns the prosperity of brand's history and region's all historical, cultural, natural, folkloric characteristics as well beliefs, language, and gastronomy; and mostly importantly it is nationally and internationally known.

The GAP region, which will be promoted and branded in a tourism-oriented manner, is historically and geographically included within the Upper Mesopotamia region. Mesopotamia is the place where the history of civilization has started. The region is brought to life thanks to the Euphrates and Tigris rising from the north of Southeast Anatolia Taurus Mountains. The Lower Mesopotamia is the place where writing was invented and thus was considered the place where the history of civilization started, however, when Göbekli Tepe, 21 km away from Şanlıurfa city center, was discovered, it was found out that Göbekli Tepe located in Upper Mesopotamia in Turkey is where the history of civilization started. Mesopotamia means ''between two rivers'' in Ancient Greek and is a historical and geographical denotation. These rivers are the Euphrates and the Tigris bringing life to Mesopotamia. In our country, many touristic regions such as Cappadocia, Lycia, Caria, Thrace and Olba are known with their historical geography names and marketed as tourism destinations. Because these names do not solely belong to a nation, state or language, but they are common property of humanity and civilization. That's why they are widely known.

Within the scope of the project, GAP Administration lists the inventory of all of the tourism attraction center in the region and their activities; digitally maps this center and its activities; and uses printed and digital promotion materials to introduce this center and its activities. On the other hand, in some tourism attraction center, infrastructural activities such as improvement and restoration are supported.

GAP Administration works towards making Mesopotamia widely recognized as a tourism destination brand like Lycia, Thrace, Cappadocia, Caria, Eastern Black Sea, and İstanbul and does not conduct any profit-oriented activities. The brand only promotes the region's history, culture, nature, beliefs and the region itself. It is not the brand name of any product or service, but the tourism destination of a region.

The negative perception of brand names such as Güneydoğu Anadolu (Southeastern Anatolia), Güneydoğu Türkiye (Southeastern Turkey) or GAP is a result of the fact that they consist of too long words, thus they are considered inconvenient. On the other hand, they cause problems for multilingual use since GAP has a different meaning in English and 'ü, ğ' letters are not found in other alphabets and they have quite a short history and are not internationally recognized; thus considered inconvenient to be a brand name. In that context, with its continuous history and cultural background starting from prehistoric times MEZOPOTAMYA / MESOPOTAMIA has been chosen as the most convenient word to brand the region.