BUTCHERY AND BAKERY IN HATAY
In Hatay, the butchery is a profession that is carried on from father to son, from master to apprentice, and the number of butchers is quite high. There are at least two or three butchers in every neighbourhood.
Its reason is that the butcheries also prepare the food in addition to slaughtering and sales of meat.
As an example of these dishes we can give the tray (sini) kebab.
The dishes mostly preferred for lunch and dinner are also served to the guests as these are both practical, natural, delicious and traditional. The butchers formed a society in form a “chamber”.
The Chamber of Butchers is located in all sub-provinces of Hatay province. The Chamber determines the single selling price.
All butchers obey the tariff about sales prices and citizens benefit equally from this service.
Every family selects a specific own butcher shop where they mostly buy meat. It is in such a way that, when a customer enters into the butcher’s shop, the butcher automatically knows what sort and how much meat he/she wants and starts preparing the order without asking the customer. The butchers in Hatay are also good gourmets. It is enough to tell what food you will cook when you get meat from the butchery.
The butcher will immediately cut and provide the meat that fits best for that specific meal.
The butcher may also advise sometimes. The butcher tells which part of the meat will suit the dish and even gives a recipe.
There are definitely bakeries next to the butcheries.
It is because the next stop of the food materials prepared in butcher’s shop is mostly the bakery. You may either take your food to the home while it is still hot or you may enjoy in dining tables prepared on a corner of the bakery. Most of the time, it is enough if you only give a call. You may just give a call to order the meat you want. The order you give to the butchery will be delivered to your address by the apprentice of the bakery. There are great ties and bonds between butchers and bakers in Hatay.
The bakers also have their society formed in form of “chamber” in Hatay. The chambers determine the weight and price of the bread each year and all the bakers remain true to this price tariff determined. Again, citizens benefit equally from this service. It is also very common for the bakeries providing cooking service for the oven dishes in addition to producing bread. Even though everyone has an oven at home, some dishes are cooked in bakeries. As the bakery ovens are made of stones and the oven adds smoke odour due to the wood burning, the dishes cooked in those bakery ovens are very delicious and indispensable for the community.
Even though it is burdensome to prepare, the dishes, cookies, pastry and breads baked in the bakery have unparalleled taste.
KÜNEFE IN HATAY
In Hatay, künefe (angel’s hair, oven shredded pastry with soft cheese filling in thick syrup) business is a profession that passes from father to son and from master to apprentice.
Künefe business is a profession that can only be learned by practising and starting form the apprenticeship. It is a dessert that has lots of knacks to prepare a good one. The shredded wheat dough (kadayif) and cheese used for künefe are specially produced in Hatay. In the past, while the shredded wheat dough (kadayıf) shops and the cheese shops were side by side; however, today these materials are sold in the same shop and even butter is sold together.
Kunafah may be prepared in households, restaurants as well as in dedicated establishments that serve only as künefe shops.
Frozen künefe is also sold online to domestic market and to abroad. Although the material used to make künefe is the same, each master has his/her unique taste and flavour. Therefore, the künefe may differ in terms of its taste. The künefe made in downtown of Antakya looks darker because of using of buttered molasses syrup while the künefe looks lighter in Harbiye as butter is used only in this part of the city.
In Künefe Makers Bazaar in Hatay, you may find ready to consume künefe frozen for transporting to domestic market or abroad in addition to raw materials needed for making künefe.
Vakıflı, the only Armenian village of Turkey, located 4 km from the town of Samandağ in Hatay, is one of the most beautiful spots in the Eastern Mediterranean with its green gardens covering the two sides and the scent of flowers of the orange trees dominating the landscape.
It is one of the first organic villages of Turkey, spreading over wide skirts of Mount Kel on one side and Mount Musa on the other.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood of our region which stands out with its historical, natural and cultural diversity. Vakıflı stands out with organic products such as organic wine, jam, olive oil, traditional raki made of fig and liquor made of myrtle fruits mostly produced by Armenian families. Thus, respective activities provide an important income source for the villagers and the region.
All the products prepared by Vakıflı Village Cooperative are prepared with the solidarity of our women and they are completely homemade and organic. Every woman in the cooperative has a code number, these numbers from 1 to 15 that you see on Vakıflı Village products show the producer of respective product.
Besides the fact that the residents of the village are entirely Armenian-born Turkish citizens, another characteristic of the village is the organic farming activities.
The village was rewarded with the Social and Sport Fair Play Award by the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TMOK) for export income of 1 million Euros to Turkey in 2004 with citrus products, mainly oranges grown via organic agriculture methods.
The church of the village “Surp Asdvadzadzin” (St. Mary) was restorated in 1997 and obtained its present status.
The community continues celebrating its religious and traditional ceremonies such as Holy Birth (Christmas / Surp Dzununt) celebrated every year, Holy Resurrection (Easter / Surp Zadig) and Mother Mary’s Ascension (Surp Asdvadzadzin).
In busy work life with full of hustle and bustle, we often skip breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day. Therefore, we want to compensate those breakfasts missed during workdays and we want to have and have more enjoy breakfasts on weekends, especially on Sunday.
As we generally tend to wake up late to benefit from the only day of laziness in a week, we generally miss the breakfast time and we do not eat anything up to the lunch time. This snack, which we call “Brunch”, first appeared in upper class English families and became a meal that we can enjoy without haste even if we do not have a term for it in Turkish.
Breakfast or brunch, which the whole family performed in a ceremony on Sundays, has become a sector in areas where there are plenty of greenery and water on the slopes of Amanos mountains in our region such as Karaksi Village, Harbiye, Erzin, Dörtyol.
With its rich menu of breakfasts and local specialties, these places are one of the areas where people prefer to go as a whole family. The parents also prefer these places because they offer their children the chance to be in nature.
Hatay region satisfies people with its breakfast menus as well as its traditional cuisine. The region is appealing for the vision and taste of the people with its hot breads freshly baked in tandir oven, varieties of chees, mouldy skim-milk cheese (surk), zahter freshly picked from the high mountains, organic tomatoes and peppers of Samandag, the delicious jam varieties, olives and olive oils produced out of these olives, harnup syrup of Belen.
Teofarm, founded by Teoman family doing business in agriculture in Antakya for generations, presents regional flavours to the people under “Good Agricultural Practices” certification.
Teofarm ANTAKYA is an enterprise that produces traditional and regional flavours without harming environment, human and animal health, protecting natural resources, ensuring traceability and sustainability in agriculture and food safety.
HERBALISTS AND SPICE SELLERS
Herbalists and Spice Seller’s bazaar located in historical Long Bazaar in Antakya is a centre of attraction for both local and foreign tourists with its nostalgic atmosphere. There are more than 40 herbal shops in the bazaar where medicinal plants can be found in addition to the varieties of spices. Shopping from herbal shops where you may find all kinds and varieties of herbal products is an everlasting culture that will not disappear in years. Herbalism is a traditional profession passing from father to the son/child. The profession still survives under the name of herbalism and spice selling. The shops try to survive by selling small items such as tobacco, needle, thread, envelopes, etc.
The Amanos Mountains in the Hatay region offer a wide range of aromatic and medicinal plant varieties and natural resources in its natural flora.
Kombe spice, thyme, laurel leaf, yellow centaur, pohur seed, powder zahter for breakfast, sumac, giant fennel and natural teas as well as medicinal herbs are among the special plants and products of the region. Spice selling and herbal shops have become a very important sector in Hatay.
The city is known with its herbs and spices in Turkey and in abroad via online trading of the products in domestic and international markets. Following links are examples only for such trading:
OLD ANTIOCH HOUSES
Hosting many civilizations and cultures throughout its history and blending various cultures within it, ANTAKYA (aka ANTIOCH) has succeeded in preserving and surviving the heritage of those civilizations and cultures today.
Old Antioch Houses, mostly dated back to the 18th and 19th centuries, have a distinctive importance with their own qualities in civil architecture in terms of constituting the best examples of respective heritage.
Old Antakya houses, constituting the subject of this paper, are also very valuable in that they serve as doors opening to the social and cultural life of Antakya.
Old Antakya houses are located between the Habib-i Neccar Mountains and Asi River, especially around Kurtuluş Street.
Narrow stone-paved streets, with sidewalks on both sides, a water channel in the middle, and traditional houses covering labyrinth like streets with their mild protrusions reflect typical Street texture of Antakya and housing architecture that is identified with this texture. The street pattern reminds of Pompei Streets of Rome with its dead-end streets, publicly known as “zokmak“, and its labyrinth like structure.
Antakya houses, blended with old houses pattern, have their own characteristics and most of the houses were built according to the same plan and stylistic unity.
It is very difficult to identify houses from outside as they were developed around narrow streets. The houses do not have direct contact with the street.
Houses that are hidden by a wall of a courtyard from the street were constructed with in an inward perspective.
ANTAKYA COMMUNITY CENTER ASSOCIATION
Our association was established in 1941 in Antakya.
The purpose of our association is to develop social and cultural relations among its members and to reinforce the mutual love and respect by creating a social and cultural entity under its roof.
The founding members of our association are Besim TECER, Hüseyin GÜVEN, Hami SUNMAN, Şahap YAHYAOĞLU, and Ahmet Sırrı HOCAOĞLU.
Our association aims at serving its 726 active members under optimum conditions.