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Impressions from the Free Day

There was an excursion on the free day, where the antic city of Zeugme was not included due to extremely hot weather  but the citadel of Gaziantep, most of the old town with bazaars and inns, an antic art gallery and an archeology museum was the part of the schedule. Impressions by press officer of TCF Özgür Akman below.


Citadel of Gaziantep is introduced.

The first destination of the excursion during the free day was the citadel of Gaziantep. As opposed to many castles and citadels, the actual history of the citadel is not well-known. However, it is supposed to be built on sites which are prehistoric (6000 year before). It was mainly used during the Roman time and revised during the Byzantine rule. Dulkarir and Ottomans also used the castle occasionally as a keeper. There are many archeological artifacts found inside the citadel and the inspections still continue together with the ongoing restoration.

A myth about the foundation of the citade is available at the website of Gaziantep Culture and Tourism Directorate (only in Turkish):

The citadel was built by a rich women who met a funeral one day when she was walking in the street. She asked her servant to find out what the funeral was. The servant replied "Your majesty, people also die one day and carried by coffins to the place where they are going to be buried under the soil. There is a dead human being inside the coffin..." The woman turns back to the citadel and the called the builders to say "I have never thought of death. Leave the citadel, you may not finish building it". However, the story of the citadel historically is far from being clear.


Hou Yifan, having many fans in Turkey with her usual sympathetic way were introduced heavily during the Atatürk Women Masters Tournament as she is with her mother all the time. Young Yifan is aware of learning an English in order to communicate easily as every international sports star. She was taking notes of the new vocabulary throughout the trip. When we first met in Aeroflot Open 2008, where she achieved her first GM norm, she could barely speak.

The second place to visit was the Gaziantep Medusa Glass Arts Museum which is a private on with a sufflated glass show where the glass equipment is prepared in hot oven and the shape of the glass is given by shaping the glass by sufflating.


The glass material is prepared by a master at the stove by sufflating the piece of glass and shaping it. The show was watched by many participants including Zoltan Ribli, the legendary Hungarian grandmaster who is working with the Austrian team.

The master working on against the fervently hot oven.


Marcel Efroimski fascinated after the glass show, by the Turkish Artistic Music song played by the gramophone.

Zoltan Ribli, inspecting the work produced.

From the meticulously prepared silver necklace and bracelets

Adriana Nikolova and Ivajlo Enchev

The next stop of the excursion was the Copper Bazaar of the old town. There were various guild bazaars around the old town such as carpet sellers (70% of carpets of Turkey are exported from Gaziantep) and those copper sellers work in family shops prepared by the sellers themselves. The most abundant mine in Turkey is  copper.

The final place that the groups visited was the Gaziantep Archeology Museum since the antic city of Zeugme was not open for visitors and much to see yet. The other reason was that the weather was extremely hot. Anyway, the visitors had a chance to see the history of Gaziantep even before the historical ages. The mosaics from the huge city of Zeugma which was built at the times of the Emperer Alexander the Great could also be seen. The actual outdoor museum where the huge antique city is rebuilt will be available next year and a huge work is going on in the museum which is going to be the largest outdoor museum in Europe after it is completed. The participants watched a video about the Zeugma.

Eduardo Iturrizaga also among the amazed visitors of mosaics.



The symbol of antic mosaic city of Zeguma, the gypsy girl.  The outdoor museum of Zeugma is not open for visitors yet but when it inaugurates, it will be one of the biggest in Europe.

One of the biggest statues of Mars, god of war

A heaven for the numismatic lovers...Many coins from the age of Hittites, Persians, Alexander the Great,  Romans and Ottomans...

Just before watching the video for Zeugma.

 Turkish Chess Federation 2008