Şanlıurfa, aften simply kent as Urfa in daily leid (Syriac ܐܘܪܗܝ Urhoy, Kurdish رها Riha, Armenian Ուռհա Owr'ha, Arabic الرها ar-Ruhā), in auncient times Edessa, is a ceity wi 482,323 indwallers (2009 estimate[2] in sooth-eastren Turkey, an the caipital o Şanlıurfa Province. Urfa is situatit on a plain unner big open skies, aboot eighty kilometres east o the Euphrates River. The climate features extremely het, dry summers an ceul, moist winters.

The mosque built on the steid whaur prophet Aubraham is believit tae hae been born.
The mosque built on the steid whaur prophet Aubraham is believit tae hae been born.
Şanlıurfa is located in Turkey
Location o Şanlıurfa athin Turkey.
Coordinates: 37°09′N 38°48′E / 37.150°N 38.800°E / 37.150; 38.800
Kintra Turkey
RegionSoutheastren Anatolie
 • MayorAhmet Eşref Fakıbaba (SP)
 • GovrenorNuri Okutan
518 m (1,699 ft)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
63x xx
Area code(s)0414
Licence plate63
Costumes o the rich weemen o Urfa in the early 20t Century.

The ceity haes been kent bi mony names in history: Ուռհա Owr'ha in Armenian, ܐܘܪܗܝ Urhai in Siriac, رها Riha in Kurdish, الرها, ar-Ruhā in Arabic, Ορρα, Orrha in Greek (Ορροα, Orrhoa an aw). For a while it wis named Callirrhoe or Antiochia on the Callirhoe (Ancient Greek: Αντιόχεια η επί Καλλιρρόης). Durin Byzantine rule it wis named Justinopolis. Prior tae Turkis rule, it wis aften best kent bi the name gien it bi the Seleucids, Εδεσσα, Edessa.

Şanlı (frae Arabic shan (شأن) "dignity" + Turkis adjectival suffix -lı) means "great, glorious, dignifee'd" in Turkis, an Urfa wis offeecially renamed Şanlıurfa (Urfa the Glorious) bi the Turkis Grand Naitional Assembly in 1984, in recognition o the local resistance in the Turkis War o Unthirldom. The title wis achieved follaein repeatit requests bi the ceity's members o parliament, desirous tae earn a title seemilar tae those o neighbourin rival ceities 'Gazi' (veteran) Antep an 'Kahraman' (Heroic) Maraş.



The history o Şanlıurfa is recordit frae the 4t century BC, but mey date back tae 9000 BC, when thare is ample evidence for the surroondin steids at Duru, Harran an Nevali Cori.[3] It wis ane o several ceities in the Euphrates-Tigris basin, the cradle o the Mesopotamian ceevilization. Accordin tae Turkish Muslim tradeetions Urfa (its name syne Byzantine days) is the biblical ceity o Ur, due tae its proximity tae the biblical veelage o Harran. Housomeivver, some historians an airchaeologists claim the ceity o Ur is in soothren Iraq. Urfa is kent as the birthplace o Job an aw.

The puil o sacred fish remains tae this day.

Urfa wis conquered repeatedly throughoot history, an haes been dominatit bi mony ceevilizations, includin the Ebla, Akkadians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Hittites, Hurri-Mitannis (Armeno-Aryans), Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Macedonians (unner Alexander the Great), Seleucids, Arameans, Osrhoenes, Romans, Sassanids, Byzantines, an Crusaders.

The ceity o Edessa


In the Byzantine period Edessa wis a pouerful regional centre wi kirks, schuils an monasteries.

The age o Islam


Islam first arrived aroond 638 C.E., when the Rashidun airmy conquered the region athoot a fecht. Islam wis then established permanently in Urfa bi the empires o the Ayyubids (see: Saladin Ayubbi the Kurdish warrior), Seljuks an Ottoman Turks. In the eftermath o the First Crusade, the ceity wis the centre o the Crusader Coonty o Edessa, till 1144, when it wis again captured bi the Turk Zengui, an maist of its indwallers war slaughtered thegither wi the Laitin airchbishop (see Siege o Edessa). For the ten years follaein the Turkis captur, Urfa wis at the centre o European history, syne the vera reason for which the Seicont Crusade wis launched wis the ceity's recapture. While it began wi an enthusiastic massacre o Jews in Wastren Europe an the presence o an Emperor an a King o Fraunce gae it much lustre, it wis a disaster, its anerlie success recordit resultin frae auxiliary operation when an Inglis fleet teuk frae the Arabs an passed intae the haunds o the future King o Portugal the ceity o Lisbon.[4]

Unner the Ottomans Urfa wis a centre o tred in cotton, laither, an jewellery. Thare wur three Christian communities: Sirian, Armenian, an Latin. Accordin tae Lord Kinross,[5] 8,000 Armenians wur massacred in Urfa in 1895. The last Sirian Christians left in 1924 an went tae Aleppo (whaur thay settled doun in a place that wis later cawed Hay al-Suryan "The Syriac Quarter").[6]

The First Warld War an efter


In 1914 Urfa wis estimatit tae hae 75,000 indwallers: 15,000 Kurds an 30,000 Turks, 25,000 Armenians an 5,000 Sirian Christians. Thare wis a Jewish presence in the toun an aw, maist o whom fled tae Istanbul, Egyp an ither kintras due tae antisemitism.

At the end o Warld War I, wi the Ottoman Empire defeatit, an European airmies attemptin tae grab pairts o Anatolie, first the Breetish an then the French occupee'd Urfa. The Breetish occupation o the ceity o Urfa stairtit de facto on 7 Mairch 1919 an offeecially on 24 Mairch 1919, an lastit till 30 October 1919. French forces teuk ower the next day an thair uncomfortable presence, met bi ootbursts o resistance, lastit till 11 Aprile 1920, when thay wur defeatit bi local resistance forces (the new Turkis govrenment in Ankara no bein established, wi the Naitional Assembly declared on 23 Aprile 1920.

The French retreat frae the ceity o Urfa wis conductit unner an agreement reached atween the occupeein forces an the representatives o the local forces, commandit bi Caiptain Ali Saip Bey assigned frae Ankara. The athdrawal wis meant tae tak place peacefully, but wis disruptit bi an ambush on the French bi irregular forces at the Şebeke Pass on the wey tae Sirie, leadin tae 296 casualties amang the French, an mair amang the ambushers.



Şanlıurfa haes a semi-arid climate. Şanlıurfa is vera het durin the simmer months. Temperatures in the heicht o simmer uisually reach 41.5 °C (108 °F). Rainfaw is amaist non-existant durin the simmer months. Winters are ceul an wet. Ware an Hairst are mild an wet an aw.

Climate data for Şanlıurfa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average heich °C (°F) 10.1
Average law °C (°F) 2.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 73.0
Average rainy days 12.0 11.2 10.7 9.5 6.7 1.5 0 0 0.9 5.3 8.6 11.2 77.6
Average relative humidity (%) 74 72 61 51 43 27 22 24 28 43 57 72 48
Mean monthly sunshine oors 124 137.2 195.3 225 303.8 363 378.2 350.3 300 235.6 171 120.9 2,904.3
Source #1: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü [7]
Source #2: Weatherbase [8]

Şanlıurfa the day

Şanlıurfa's auld toun.
The skyline o Şanlıurfa as viewed frae the Castle which dominates the Ceity Centre.

Modren Şanlıurfa presents stairk contrasts atween its auld an new quarters. The auld toun is ane o the maist evocative an romantic in Turkey, wi an auncient bazaar still visitit bi local fowk tae buy fruit an vegetables, whaur tradeetionally dressed an scarfed Arab an Turkis veelagers arrive in the early forenicht tae sell thair produce. Hintle o the auld toun consists o traditional Middle Eastren hooses biggit aroond courtyards, invisible frae the dusty streets, mony o which are impassable tae motor vehicles. In the narrae streets o the bazaar, fowk scurry tae an frae carryin trays o fuid, which is eaten on newspapers spread on law tables in a corner o the little shops, mony fowk drinkin watter frae the same cup. This vera oriental atmosphere is bewitchin but belaw the surface pairts o the auld ceity are vera poor indeed, wi fowk still livin in cave hooses (biggit intae the side o the rock).

Şanlıurfa's newer districts meanwhile, are a sprawl o modren concrete apairtment blocks, wi mony surprisingly tidy leafy avenues, containin modren restaurants, sports facilities an ither amenities wi air-conditionin, a refuge frae the roastin simmer heat.



Awtho maist o the residents are frae ethnically different backgrunds, sic as Arab or Kurdish, wi Arabic an Kurdis leids bein widely spoken alang wi the Urfa dialect o Turkis, the local population feels lairgely assimilatit intae Turkis society, wi vera little open poleetical support for Arab or Kurdish naitionalism. Thare is a muckle Turkmen population an aw, mainly consistin o the Baraks. Urfa is regardit in Turkis popular sentiment as bein, seicont anerlie tae Konya, the maist devout in Turkey an it is a stranghauld o the govrenin Juistice an Development Pairty.



The climate o the region bein maistly arid, the plains o Urfa an Harran are het an dry. Housomeivver, syne the early 1990s Şanlıurfa haes made huge leaps o development thanks tae the Southeastern Anatolia Project, that providit a reliable supply o watter for local fermers an fostered a real agricultural boom in ivery cultivar, but especially organic cotton production. This in turn is drivin significant development o medium an licht industry in the ceity itsel. Hence, unemployment an poverty are present on a wey smawer scale than in ither Eastren Turkis ceities, an mony luxury caurs can be spottit on the streets o Urfa. The huge reservoir is an' a' a spectacular sicht, hostin regular watter-sports tournaments, offerin the commodity o mony waterfront restaurants an aw.



As the ceity o Urfa is vera deeply rootit in history, sae is its unique Cuisine, a amalgamation o the cuisines o mony ceevilizations that hae ruled in Urfa, syne the Prophet Aubraham an the Sumerian times an mony dishes cairy names in Arabic, Siriac, Turkmen, an even Armenian. At the first glance, it cairies the staple o the Eyalet o Aleppo in a vera classic, albeit in a vera spicier manner;

Thare are vera important pieces o wirk done on the Urfa cuisine as it is widely believed that Urfa is the birthplace o mony dishes, includin Raw Kibbé (Çiğ Köfte), that accordin tae the legend, wis craftit bi nae-ane else but the Prophet Aubraham hissel frae the ingredients he haed in haund.[9]

Urfa is kent throughoot Turkey an the borderin Sirie for its vera rich kebab cultur an aw, makin muckle uise o lamb meat, fat an offal.

The offal haes a primordial place in the regular Urfa Cuisine an aw, bein prepared in mair nor twa hunder different ways.

Urfa's meze menu is vera rich an aw, an cairies a great variety, maistly unkent in ither pairts o Turkey, sic as the "Ağzı Yumuk" or the "Semsek".

Ane will note, frae the vegetables uised in the Urfa cuisine, a lot o endemic varieties lik the "'Ecır" or the "Kenger", an o course, the "İsot", the legendary local reid capsicum that is a smawer an daurker cultivar o the Aleppo pepper that takes a purplish black hue when dried an cured, uised tae flavor a lot o dishes, even a variety o ice cream.

The cuisine maks a lot o extensive uise o the eggplant an attributes mair nor a hunder recipes tae that item anerlie an aw.

Unlik maist o the Turkis ceities that uise different versions o regular butter in thair regional cuisine, Urfa is, thegither wi Antep, Mardin an Siirt a big uiser o clarified butter, made exclusively frae sheep's milk, cried locally "Urfayağı" ("Urfabutter"). Ither than that, Urfa is a hivy consumer o quality Olive oil, that maistly arrives intae the ceity frae nearbi Sirie.

Amang Urfa's classic sweets, ane shoud definitively coont the "Şıllık", that is a coarse walnut grund covered in sweet pastry, the Kahke, flavored wi aniseed an baked in a steamer, an the "Külünçe", that is a masonry oven baked pastry item in a wey seemilar tae the Iraqi Kleyça.

The bitter Arab coffee "Mırra" an the coffee substitute drink made frae wild terebinth "Menengiç kahvesi" are amang the maist common het beverages o Urfa.

Cultural Notes


-The legend o the "isot" goes that durin the French invasion an subsequent occupation o the early 1920s, the fowk o Urfa wur at first no hintle concerned aboot thair ceity bein invadit an thair hames luitit. Thay apparently anerlie began the armed resistance when thay heard the French war marching in thair capsiucum fields.

-Awtho well connectit tae the Turkey's heich-gates an wi a decent industrial production, Urfa is no a huge metropolis, but still a muckle ceity. Kent for its relative conservatism (maist restaurants dae no serve Alcohol), mony coffee-hooses hae separate sections for families or groups o single-men (unlik the maist o Turkey).

-An important local tradeetion uisually associatit wi Urfa an Mardin is the "Sıra Gecesi", whaur groups o young men gather at each ithers hame follaein a preestablished sequence, especially in winter forenichts, tae play Ottoman Instruments sic as Kanun Ud an Bağlama, sing regional classics an tae eat thegither. Kebabs, Rakı an Çiğ Köfte are the indispensable staples o thir forenichts.

Places o interest

  • The allegit birthplace o the prophet Aubraham – a cave tae the sooth o the lake
  • Urfa castle – biggit in antiquity, the current waws wur constructit bi the Abbasids in 814AD.
  • The legendary Puil o Sacred Fish (Balıklıgöl) whaur Aubraham wis thrown intae the fire bi Nimrod. The puil is in the courtyard o the mosque o Halil-ur-Rahman, biggit bi the Ayyubids in 1211 an nou surroondit bi attractive gardens designed bi airchitect Merih Karaaslan. The courtyard is whaur the fishes thrive. A local legend says seein a white fish will open the door tae the heavens.
  • Rızvaniye Mosque – a mair recent (1716) Ottoman mosque, adjoinin the Balıkligöl complex.
  • 'Ayn Zelîha – A soorce nearbi the historical centre, named efter Zulaykha, a follaer o Aubraham.
  • The Great Mosque o Urfa wis biggit in 1170, on the steid o a Christian kirk the Arabs cawed the "red kirk," probably incorporatin some Roman masonry. Contemporary tradeetion at the steid identifees the well o the mosque as that intae which the touel or burial cloth (mendil) o Jesus wis thrown (see Image o Edessa an Shroud of Turin). In the sooth waw o the medrese adjoinin the mosque is the funtain o Firuz Bey (1781).
  • Ruins o the auncient ceity waws.
  • Aicht Turkis baths biggit in the Ottoman period.
  • The traditional Urfa hooses wur split intae sections for faimily (harem) an visitors (selâm). Thare is an example open tae the public next tae the post office in the destrict o Kara Meydan.
  • The Temple o Nevali Çori – Neolithic dounset datin back tae 8000BC, nou buried unner the waters ahint the Atatürk Dam, wi some airtifacts relocatit abuin the waterline.
  • Göbekli Tepe – The warld's auldest kent temple, datit 10t millennium BC (ca 11,500 years ago).[10]
  • Hae breakfast at the wonderful "Zahter Kahvalti" in Köprübasi Caddesi opposite tae the entrance o "Otel Ipek Palace"

Relatit pages



  1. [1] Archived 2015-09-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. [2]
  3. Segal, J. B. (2001) [1970]. "I. The Beginnings". Edessa:'The Blessed City' (2 ed.). Piscataway, New Jersey, United States: Gorgias Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-9713097-1-X. It is certainly surprising that no obvious reference to Orhay haes been found so far in the early historical texts dealing with the region, and that, unlike Harran, its name does not occur in cuneiform itineraries. This may be accidental, or Orhay may be alluded to under a different name which has not been identified. Perhaps it was not fortified, and therefore at this time a place of no great military significance. With the Seleucid period, however, we are on firm historical ground. Seleucus I founded—or rather re-founded—a number of cities in the region. Among them, probably in 303 or 302 B.C., was Orhay.
  4. Roberts, J. M. "II/4. Frontiers and neighbours". The Penguin History of Europe. London: Penguin Books. pp. 162–163. ISBN 978-0-140-26561-3.
  5. Kinross, Lord (1977). The Ottoman Centuries, The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. United States: Harper Perennial. p. 560. ISBN 0688080936.
  6. Joseph, John (1983). Muslim-Christian Relations and Inter-Christian Rivalries in the Middle East: The Case of the Jacobites in an Age of Transition. United States: State University of New York Press. pp. 150. ISBN 0873956125. Cite has empty unkent parameters: |origmonth=, |month=, |origdate=, and |coauthors= (help)
  7. http://www.dmi.gov.tr/veridegerlendirme/il-ve-ilceler-istatistik.aspx?m=SANLIURFA
  8. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=7271&refer=&units=us&cityname=Urfa-Turkey
  9. From Kâtib el Bağdadî in p.196Urfa'da Pişer Bize de Düşer, Halil & Munise Yetkin Soran, Alfa Yayın, 2009, Istanbul ISBN 9786051060651
  10. http://sanliurfa.meteor.gov.tr/ortasayfa/sanliurfa/sanliurfaorta.htm[deid airtin]

Freemit airtins


Coordinates: 37°09′N 38°48′E / 37.150°N 38.800°E / 37.150; 38.800