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The History of Jewellery Making

Gold jewellery, used for centuries in Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Kilis for adornment and investment purposes, maintains its importance today. Gold jewellery is first encountered in the region in the 3rd century B.C. during the Roman period, and gold ornaments and jewellery items have been a part of the people’s lives in the region ever since.
Jewellery design and shaping have been carried out for centuries employing various methods. Today, there is rapidly increasing mechanization of metal and stone working techniques. Despite developments in the jewellery sector, and a higher rate of mechanized production, the human factor is still very important in production.


Up to the Turkish War of Independence, goldsmithing was largely carried out by the non-Muslims, and although the art declined with the emigration of these minorities, it revived from the 1920’s through the efforts of craftsmen who led the field. One of these was Sait Türkistanlı, who came to Gaziantep in 1918 and fronted developments in the sector by training many master jewellers.
Gaziantep jewellers manufacture a wide variety of gold items including: bangles, rings with rubies, emeralds, turquoise and other stones; filigree (“telkari”), snake motif, twisted (“burmalı”), nailed (“çakma”) and various other bracelet styles; and belts.


While jewellery and other types of gold items produced in the Istanbul which can be seen as the center for jewellery and in other cities are made from gold of 18 carats or less, in Gaziantep the jewellers use 22 carat, 916 mil gold in their wares.


The jewellery sector plays an important role in the region’s economy today, with close to a thousand jewellery shops, around sixty manufacturers and about two thousand workers in Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Kilis.  Investments and growth of firms in the sector continue, and increasing their importance in the country.

The contents of this publication, which has been funded through the 2010 Economic Development Financial Support Programme of the Silk Road Development Agency, does not represent the views of the Silk Road Development Agency and/or the Ministry of Development. The Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce is the sole bearer of responsibility for the contents.