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Treasures of Karun


On the great plain of High Mesopotamia, Sanli Urfa, known in ancient times first as Ur and later as Edessa, proudly exhibits the legacy of all the civilizations that have prospered in this region. In the second millennium B.C., it was a city of a Hurrite state. Tradition relates that Abraham was born in a cave near the area where the Mevlid Halil Mosque now stands. Today the cave is a pilgrimage site and flocks at pigeons don't seem to disturb the elderly men praying around the entrance. The remains of a castle with two lane Corinthian columns rising above the ruined walls, stands a tob a small crest. At the foot of the hills, the lovely Halil Rahman Mosque is built around a quiet pool in which sacred carp swim.

The 17th century Ottoman Ridvaniye Mosque aria the Firfirli Mosque, formerly the Church of the Apostles, are worth a detour. The archaeology and ethnography museum, one of the best in Turkey houses important Neolithic and Chalcolithic finds from the Lower Firat region. To capture the spirit of Sanli Urfa, wander through the vaulted eastern bazaar and linger in the courtyards of the old hans (inns); try to find Gumruk Hani and Barutcu Hani-they are the the most interesting.

Believed to be the ancient city of the same name mentioned in the Old Testament, Harran is known more now for its unusual beehive dwellings than as the place where Abraham spent several years of his life. The archaeological remains include those of the largest ancient Islamic University,city walls dating from the eighth century, four gates and a citadel. The GAP project will transform Harran into one of the most fertile areas in Turkey.
Birecik, 80 Km west of Sanli Urfa, straddles the Firat river, its skyline dominated by the town's citadel. A nice place to take a break,there are good accommodations and camping facilities here.
Harran Ruins
Harran ruins
Halil Rahman Mosque
Halil-Rahman Mosque


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
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