Today’s opportunities and awareness; requires efforts to protect our historical and cultural assets that enable us to connect with our past. The contribution of institutional structures in the world, especially in the last twenty-five years; is important in ensuring the continuity of cultural assets, which are the corner stones of urban identity in addition to keeping the historical and cultural accumulation of societies alive and transferring them to the future. In this context, this study focuses on the important steps in the development process of conservation awareness on an international and local scale and conservation practices in the city of Gaziantep. Aiming to examine the steps taken to protect the cultural heritage in the city, the study focuses on the conservation practices in the historical city center consisting of Gaziantep Castle and its surroundings, where projects are implemented and are in use for a certain period of time. Within the context of the study, face to face interviews are undertaken with 30 people comprised of local residents, local craftsman and turists. The study revealed that conservation practices were perceived as successful in terms of rehabilitation of the physical environment, enhancement in the value and quality of the historical city centre, creating awareness and contribution made to the local economy through investments in tourism, whereas improvements in traffic management and infrastructure are noted to be problematic. It has to be noted that problems considering the vehicular traffic and inadequate capacity of car parks were emphasized more by local residents and craftsman compared to tourists. As a result of this study, it is possible to argue that more determined steps should be taken in traffic management and car park planning in towns where tourism has become a major financial input as a result of successful conservation practices.
Historical environment, conservation, cultural heritage, Gaziantep