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Southeastern Region

This region is characterized by higher elevations and a semiarid continental climate (cold winters and hot and dry summers). Fish is replaced by meat (lamb and beef, mainly). Grilled and seasoned meats (known as kebab) are famous all over the world. The meat is often marinated with different mixtures of olive oil, pepper paste, and spices. Spices are perhaps the defining gastronomic feature of the region. Among the most frequently used are the red pepper flakes, paprika, dried sumac, and mint. The local cuisines also include grains, beans, lentils, vegetables (especially eggplant), and a variety of herbs.

Variations of the Adana kebab are also found in this region, as well as in Syria and Iraq. Among these, perhaps the closest is the Hashas kebab, famous in ┬žanliurfa. Buryan kebabi is another type of kebab-based lamb cooked underground and specific to the province of Siirt.

?ig kofte refers to a type of meatball originally made of raw meat, which originated from ┬žanliurfa. Today, due to health regulations, in most restaurants, the raw ground meat is replaced with ground walnuts, hazelnuts, and potatoes (Guducu 2015).

Other regional specialties are the ezogelin soup (main ingredients: bulgur, red lentils, and rice) from Gaziantep, perde pilavi, specific to Siirt, and lahmacun. The latter consists of thin dough topped with a thin layer of minced lamb or beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and parsley and is a popular dish not only in Turkey, but also in Syria and Armenia. Also specific to the region are numerous types of nuts (especially pistachio) and dried fruits. In terms of desserts, Gaziantep is famous for baklava (especially pistachio-based).

 
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