Şanlıurfa’nın İngilizce Tanıtımı

Şanlıurfa’nın İngilizce Tanıtımı

Area: 18.584 km²

Population: 1.001.455 (1990)

Traffic Code: 63

The history of Sanlıurfa can be traced back around 9000 years and the atmosphere is one of living history, where traditional life, culture and even clothing is more akin to the Middle East with Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic all being spoken. Sanliurfa (often referred to as Urfa) is also a place of pilgrimage for many religions, containing what is thought to be the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. According to Jewish and Muslim scriptures, he was summonsed by God whilst living here.

The traditional and religious conservatism, combined with the ancient historical monuments, has also given it the name City of the Prophets and has made Urfa a unique place to visit. Away from the city, the ancient village and genuine living museum Harran with its famous bee-hive type houses, has been continuously inhabited for more than 6000 years.

Districts: Şanlıurfa (center), Akçakale, Birecik, Bozova, Ceylanpınar, Halfeti, Harran, Hilvan, Siandrek, Suruç, Viranşehir.

How to Get

By Road: Sanliurfa has an important highway route because of its location near Turkey’s southeastern borders with adjacent Arab countries, and it is also at the centre of GAP (the South-East Anatolia Project). From the main bus station to the west of the city centre, regular buses include Istanbul (24 hours), Malatya (7 hours), Erzurum (12 hours), Ankara (13 hours) and Diyarbakir (3 hours). There are also minibuses here.

Bus station tel: (0266) 865 2906.

By Rail: The nearest station is 50m south at Akcakale, just before the Syrian border and a few kilometres southwest of Harran.

By Air: The airport in Sanliurfa has direct flights to Ankara (daily) and Istanbul (2 weekly). There are service buses between the airport and the city.

Airport Tel: (0414) 247 02 78/247 03 43

Where to Visit


The museum contains a collection of items excavated from the sites of ancient Harran and Lidar, especially jewellery and pottery from the funerary tumuli on plains of the Euphrates. The gardens contain sculptures, and there are several mosaics depicting images of wild animals. There are artefacts from the Assyrian, Hittite and Babylonian periods, and remains from Kurban Hoyuk, an ancient settlement now submerged under the lake of Ataturk Dam. The ethnography section has intricate wooden doors from traditional Urfa houses, reliefs with Hittite inscriptions and statues from Christian churches.

Museum Tel: (0414) 313 15 88
Opening hours: 08.30 – 12.00 & 13.30 – 17.30, closed Mondays.

Ancient Cities

Şuayb city These historical ruins, now known as the village of Ozkent, are 88km east of Sanliurfa. It is thought that the remains of the city, built in a large area and surrounded with sturdy ramparts, dates back to the Roman period and there is a mosque on the site of the (supposed) home of the prophet Jethro. It is possible to explore the nearby caves.

Sogmatar This simple village, 15km north of Suayb and 73km from Sanliurfa, is famous for its cave temple which was probably constructed during the 2nd century and used to worship the god of the moon, which was a deep-seated culture of Harran. The village, now in ruins, was the cultural centre of the god Marilaha and there was an open-air temple for praying and sacrificing animals. The temple walls contain Syriac writing and reliefs of human figures. On the rocks on the hill to the west of the castle, there are more figures of gods and ancient writings.

Nevali Çori Antic settlement place named as Nevali Çori is in the borders of Kantara village depended to Hilvan county of Şanliurfa city. it take place near the Katara rivulet that is branch of Firat river and placed right side of river.

Kazane The history of the Kazane settlement (Ugurcuk) can be traced back to 5000 BC. Excavations have unearthed the remains of houses and streets from this period, built on top of a small hill and above the water. Another discovery was an alphabet that translates the Sumerian to the Akad language.


The historical settlement of Harran, 44km south of Sanliurfa, was mentioned in the Old Testament as the place where Abraham lived before going to Canaan. Islamic historians connect the area to the grandson of the prophet Noah, and also Aaron (Harran) the brother of Abraham. Har-ra-na was mentioned in ancient inscriptions found in Kultepe and Mari dating back to 2000 BC, and also stone tablets found in northern Syria.

Traders used to stay in Harran, which gave the region close commercial relations with Anatolia, and for many centuries it was on the flourishing trade route between Mesopotamia and Anatolia which enabled a rich and diverse culture to infiltrate the area. The ancient town was also famous as an important centre of Mesopotamian idolatry, and its followers believed the sun, moon and planets to be holy which meant that the science of astronomy was well developed here.

The beehive houses of Harran were probably designed in the 3rd century BC, and the site is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited place in the world. Today, few people actually live in the huts and those that remain were built as recently as 200 years ago. The kale (fortress) stands on the eastern side of the hill, and was originally built during the Hittite period and restored by the Crusaders. Its eastern gate still shows the carvings of chained dogs. The 4km long wall, most of it crumbling, has 187 towers and the remains of a 10-sided tower, and plenty of ruins to explore.


The nearest thermal spring is at Balikli lake. (Aynzeliha and Halil – Ür Rahman lakes) those two lakes place south west of Urfa city center known as the fall place of prophet Abraham hem thrown in fires, is the most visitor charming places of Urfa with holy fishes and surrounding historical buildings.

When Prophet Abraham start to fight against tyrannical ruler of period Nemrut and idols that people pray and start to broadcast the ideology of Monotheism, thrown in to fire from the hill of today’s castle by Nemrut. At this moment fire ordered as ” O fire, be cold and safety for Abraham” by God. By this order fire transformed to water and wood transformed to fishes. Prophet Abraham fall in rose yard with in safe. The pla prophet Abraham fall is Halil – ür Rahman lake. According to rumor Zeliha the daughter of Nemrut whom believes Prophet Abraham jump in fire after him, the place she fall is transformed to Aynzeliha Lake. Fishes of the both lakes are accepted holy, don’t eaten and protected from local people.


Mosques and Churches

Sanliurfa is one of the most important centres of religious tourism, with many places of worship to visit. The most famous ones are Ulu Mosque, Hasan Padisah Mosque, Halil-Ur Rahman Mosque, Hazreti Ibrahim’in Dogum Magarasi (Prophet Abraham’s Birth Cave), Mevlid-i Halil Mosque and Eyup Peygamber Makami (Prophet Job’s Site).

Urfa Mosques and Churches

Ulu Mosque (Center): The mosque is the most ancient of the mosques located at the city center of Urfa province. As the structure was an old synagogue, it was transformed into the St. Stephon Church by the Bishop Rabula whom had died between A.D. 435 – 436. The structure was named as the Scarlet Church as there are numerous scarlet colored pillars inside and the mosque was constructed instead of the structure between 1170 – 1175 years by Nurettin Zengi.

The mosque is inside the multi – pedestal mosques group of the Anatolia and is covered with parallel three rows of diagonal vaults at the side showing Mecca and has a rectangular construction plan. The last congregation location covered with diagonal vaults standing on the ranks and opening to a fourteen pointed arched courtyard is initially used at the Şanlıurfa Ulu Mosque in Anatolia. The octagonal bell tower of the structure serves as a minaret nowadays.

The Cave in Which Prophet İbrahim was Born and Mevlid-i Halil Mosque (Center): Prophet İbrahim was born inside a cave located to the south of the courtyard of the Mevlid-i Halil Mosque. Accrding to the rumors, the monarch of the period, Nemrut dreams. In the morning he tells his dream to his astrologers. As the astrologers tell him that „ a child who will born in this year would end your reign“, Nemrut orders to kill all of the male children that would be born during that year. The wife of Azer, the idolist of the palace gives birth to Prophet İbrahim secretly in this cave. Prophet İbrahim had lived in this cave until he reaches the age seven. The water found in the cave of prophet İbrahim is believed to be curative and that the waters cure numerous diseases.

BalıklıLake (Halil-ür Rahman and Ayn-ıZelihaLake, Center): The lake is located inside the city center and has the appearance of a natural aquarium with the fishes swimming inside the waters and with the centuries old plane trees and willow trees. The lakes are two in number; Ayn-ı Zeliha and Halil-ür Rahman. As Prophet İbrahim begins to struggle with the monarch of the period Nemrut and with the idols that his folk worships and begins to break and destroy such idols defending the idea of a single god, he was cast into fires by Nemrut from the location which is known as the Şanlıurfa Castle. As the God himself orders the fire as “O fire, be cool and secure to İbrahim.”, the fire turn into water and the stones turn into fishes. The place where Prophet İbrahim falled is named as “Halil-ür Rahman Lake”. The step daugter of Nemrut Zeliha falls in love with Prophet İbrahim. Zeliha begs and prays for Prophet İbrahim to his step father Nemrut. As she realizes that Prophet İbrahim is fallen into fire, she casts herself into the fire. The place where Zeliha falled is called as “Ayn-ı Zeliha Lake“.

St. Eyyüp Prophet and His Position (Center): It is rumored that St. Eyyüp prophet was born in the desniye village of the country called as the upper land located between Şam and Ramla in Syria in B.C. 2100. Prophet Eyüp who was infected with the leprosy disease continues to suffer in a cave with his wife named Rahime and never gives up to worship and pray God. İn spite of all of his sufferings, he never betrays or rebels to his God. At last, Prophet Eyyüp passes the exam, he cures his disease with the curative water stated to him by the God, he continues to live for a long time with his wife and children granted to himself. The cave in which Prophet Eyyüp had suffered in the name of God is visited as the position of the Prophet Eyyüp.

Old Ömeriye Mosque (Center): The mosque is located at the city center of Şanlıurfa and as the present epitaphs and inscriptions state to the period of restoration, the exact construction date is unclear. According to the rumors of the folk, it was stated that the mosque was constructed by St. Ömer. According to the inscription located at the eastern wall of the final congregation location, the mosque was repaired in 1301 by Muhammed Ağa. The date stated in this inscription proves that the Ömeriye mosque is the one of the oldest mosque of Urfa.

Halil-ür Rahman Mosque (Döşeme Mosque- Makam Mosque-Center): The mosque is located at the southwest corner of the Halil-ür Rahman lake and is in the form of a Külliye composed of a mosque, a theological school, a graveyard and the position where Prophet İbrahim falled when he was cast into fire. The mosque was constructed on the area where the Mother Mary Church was constructed in A.D. 504 (Byzantine period) by the financial assistance of Urbisius in the name of monophists in the 13th century during the period of Eyyübi civilization. At the inscription located at the western side of the stone minaret adjasent to the southeast corner of the mosque, it was stated that the mosque was constructed in 1211 by the order of Melik Eşref Muzafferiddin Musa of the Eyyubi reign.

Rızvaniye Mosque (Zulumiye Mosque-Center): The mosque is located at the northern side of the Halil-ür Rahman lake and was constructed instead of the St. Thomas Church of the Byzantine Period by the Governor of Rakka of the Ottoman Empire Rızvan Ahmet Pasha in 1716.

St. Eyyüp, St. Elyasa and Rahime Hatun Mausoleums (Eyyüp Nebi Village-Viranşehir): It is rumored that the burial location of the Prophet Eyyüp is located at the Eyyüp Nebi Village whivh is 12 kilometers away from the Viranşehir district. Prophet Eyyüp is saved from his woulds after a seven year sufferage as he baths with the curative waters granted by the God. After that, he lives in Eyyüp Nebi Village with his wife, Rahime Hatun. Mausoleums of the both persons are located inside this village.
The grave of St. Elyasa whom had walked for three months in order to see Prophet Eyyüp and died before seeing him although he was so close is also located in this village. According to the rumors, when IV. Murat is on his military campaign to Baghdath, he had a break in Eyyüp Nebi Village and stays for one night. He dreams that “ the place where you rest is the position of Prophet Eyyüp. Build a mosque and a mausoleum to the location where your horse whinns and hits his leg three times to the ground when you awoke”.
Again according to another rumor told by the local folk, there is a holy and sacred rock mass located inside the borders of the village to which Prophet Eyyüp had applied his back. The visitors of Prophet Eyyüp initially visit the mausoleum of St. Elyasa (Prophet Eyyüp had told that, “The ones that are coming to visit my mausoleum would visit the mausoleum of St. Elyasa first.”) , later they visit the mausoleum of Prophet Eyyüp, later on the mausoleum of Rahime Hatun and finally the holy stone to which Prophet Eyyüp had applied his back.

City of Şuayb (Harran): The city is located 45 kilometers away from Harran and the preent ruins belong to the Roman Period. Numerous structures was constructed from shear stone blocks over hundreds of rock mausoleums. Only some wall sections and the foundation ruins of the structures managed to withstand the destruction of the passing time and reached to the present day. A cave located among the ruins of the Şuayb city is known as the position of the Prophet Şuayb .

Ulu Mosque (Harran): The Ulu Mosque is located at the northeast side of the Harran Tumulus and was constructed between 744 – 750 years by the Emevi Monarch II. Mervan. It is assumed to be in the form of a Külliye with its famous theological school, bathhouse and hospital. The mosque is one of the oldest and largest mosques of Anatolia and therefore it is an important creation. The mosque was restored and repaired during the Seljukian Period and displays beautiful samples of stone masonry and stone decoration arts.

Der – YakupChurch (The Throne of Nemrut – Center): This structure was constructed at the west part of the Urfa Castle at the Damlacık ridge and it is a known fact that the structure is one of the first churches constructed in Anatolia after the birth of Christianity. The church was assumed to be constructed by the Süryani folk whom had accepted to become Christians in A.D. 38 year. The place is also called as the Throne of Nemrut as well as the tomb of Nemrut. The folk names the place as the Apgarın Mountain. The Süryani folk used the call the place as Deyro D’Nalşotho (Monastery of the Spirits).

Deyr-i Mesih (Church of Jesus – Center): This church is located in the Tılfındır Quarter. The church is one of the first churches constructed in the history of Christianity and was constructed by Süryani folk in A.D. 38. Famous Turkish wanderer Evliya Çelebi had written that Prophet Jesus had come to Urfa and visited this church and therefore the place is called as Deyr-i Mesih (Church of Jesus).


The Hebrews are counted as one of the most ancient nations on the world with their religious beliefs and languages and this nation is also the first nation to understand and apply the belief of single god. The Jewish nation originated from the Sami nation is told in the Holy Book. According to the Pentateuch, Prophet İbrahim who was leading the Yehova Hebrews was told as ” Take your tribe and leave your father land (The cityof Ur, Urfa in the present day), travel to the country that I will show you. There, Iwill make your tribe a great nation.” By the God. Again in the Pentateuch, it is told as ” Abram was 75 years old when he left Harran.”. The scientific authorities claim that the house of Prophet İbrahim was located among the ruins which are at the northern ridge of the tumulus standing in the middle of the city.


Firuz Bey Fountain: Fountain placed on the wall of Eyyübi theology school contiguous to east of Ulu Mosque is built by Firuz Bey at the date of 1781. Only inscription dated to 1191 remained today from theology school. In the same place today seen one liwaned theology school, built on the place of Eyyübi’s period theology school by Nakibzade Haci Ibrahim Efendi at the year of 1781.

Karakoyun Rivulet: Karakoyun rivulets historical name was Deysan river. This rivulet spring from west of Urfa, by passing trough in side the city and combine with Cüllap river in Harran plain, today dried state. On the Karakoyun rivulet there are starting from west through east; Hizmali bridge, Millet bridge, Jünstinyen aqueduct, Samsat bridge (Eski (old) bridge), Haci Kamil bridge, Beg gate bridge (Kisas bridge) and Demir bridge can be found.

Karakoyun: Aqueduct it is between the Millet bridge and Samsat bridge. It is estimated that bridge built by Byzantine Empire Jünstinyen at the year of 525.

UrfaCastle: it is on the Mount Damlacık south of Halil – ür Rahman and Ayn-i Zeliha lakes at south west site of the city. it is east, west and south sides surrounded with deep defense moat engraved in rocks, north side is consist of precipitous rocks.


Urfa houses generally consist of two sections named haremlik (people call harem) and “oda” (room) selamlık (area preserved for males). Some times these two sections separated with wall and have two separate entrance giving appearance of two separate houses, in some examples they show plans like first entered to selamlık with one main door than a second door connects to harem from selamlık.

Haci Hafizlar House: It is at Kara Meydan quarter. This house contiguous to south of post office, been two harem and selamlik sectioned, keeps most of the traditional Urfa ouse properties. This historical house built at the year of 1888, restored by Culture Ministry and converted to government fine arts gallery.

SakibinMansion: This mansion built by Şair Sakip Efendi whom lived between the 1796 – 1876 years is placed in the Halepli Bahçe. Similar to Nedim Efendi Mansion it lies on large area with harem and selâmlik sections. It is restored by Şanli Urfa municipality at the year of 1985.

KüçükHaciMustafaHacikamilogluMansion (city visitor house): It is at Şanli Urfa city center, on Vali Fuat Caddesi (Büyükyol) the near of Balikligöl side, west of Selahattin Eyyubi Mosque. This historical Mansion built on the second half of 19th century (near the 1890 year). It has harem and selamlik sections. Famous Urfa stone used as construction material in mansion.


There are eight hamams which date back to the Ottoman period: Cincikli, Vezir, Saban, Velibey, Eski Arasa, Serce and Sultan Hamami. Most are tucked away in the alleyways near the Kapali Carsi, and usually open to men in the morning and evenings, and women in the afternoons.

Urfa also contains some of the most beautiful examples of Ottoman hans, including Gumruk, Haci Kamil, Mencek, Topcu, Bican Aga, Millet and Barutcu Hans.


Şanlıurfa’s old trade centre consists of shopping areas and bazaars dating from the Ottoman period, most of which are concentrated around Gumruk Han and Hasan Pasa Cami, and have preserved many of their traditional features. Kapali Carsi, the covered market, is to the left of the caravanserai courtyard of Gumruk Hani. Kazaz Bazaar is the old bedestan, an ancient caravanserai selling carpets, second-hand kilims and silk headscarves.


Kelaynak Birds: Kelaynak birds their specie come to an extinction on earth and they only live in Birecik in Turkey, is the most interesting animal specie lives in Şanliurfa region. Kelaynak birds belongs to Ibidae lineage, their heads and necks are bold so they called with this name (it means bold aynak). Kelaynak birds other than Birecik live at Fas and Cezayir, in winters months they migrate to Ethiopia and Madagascar start to migrate from Birecik near the February middle . They make nest on rocky slopes, they back after laying egg period near the July middles. Every year Kelaynak festival assembled in Birecik.


The region has extremely hot and dry summers, with temperatures often reaching the mid-40s°C. The winters can be very wet, and the nights sometimes plummet to -12°C. This area has the lowest humidity level in the country, and the best time to visit for a comfortable climate spring and autumn.


Şanlıurfa’s history can be traced back thousands of years. The first known settlers were the Hurrites who built a fortress on the hill, now occupied by the Citadel, in approximately 3500 BC. They were later followed by the Hittites and the Assyrians. Alexander the Great arrived and renamed the city Edessa, using it as an outpost for the Romans against the Persians, and it remained the capital of a Seleucid province until 132 BC. After that it became an independent kingdom, and then was taken over by the Romans and evolved as a significant centre of Christianity from the 2nd century AD, even having its own patriarch.

During the 6th century, the city was caught in the middle of the power struggle between the Romans and Persians, until a peace treaty was signed. It lasted only seven years, when the Arabs entered and ruled Edessa for the next three centuries, then the First Crusade established the county of Edessa, which lasted until the mid 12th century. It was then ruled by the Seljuk Turks and in the early 17th century was renamed Urfa when the Ottomans finally took over. The addition of San (great) to its name was as recent as the late 20th century.

Where to Eat

The traditional food of Şanlıurfa is very distinctive. The lahmacun, (hot, thin bread topped with spicy lamb) which is now popular throughout Turkey, originated here. Another speciality of the city is cig kofte (raw minced meat with cracked wheat), and Urfa kebap (spicy minced lamb on a skewer and served with tomatoes and hot peppers). The food in this area is spicy, and care should be taken when eating raw meat especially in the hot summers.

What to Buy

The vast area of bazaars in the city specialise in traditional crafts, and sells a wide range of goods including hand-woven handicrafts, hand-made leather saddles, carpets with distinctive zigzag designs, hand-beaten copperware, carved wooden crafts, jewellery and textiles.

Don’t Leave Without

– Dining on Cig kofte,

– Seeing the bee-hive houses of Harran,

– Sipping the special Urfa coffee (mirra),

– Visiting Atatürk Dam,

– Feeding the carp at Balikli lake,

– Spotting the bald ibis (kelaynak) at Birecik.

– Shopping in the Kapali çarşi (bazaar).

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