Sanliurfa (often simply known as Urfa in daily language), formerly cited as Edessa or in Aramaic; Riha or Urhay, or in Armenian Urhai, Arabic; al-Raha) is located in south-eastern Turkey. Urfa is situated on a plain under big open skies, about eighty kilometres east of the Euphrates River. The climate features extremely hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. The urban population of Urfa is mainly Kurdish while the outlying regions are mixed Arabian and Turkish and to a lesser degree Zaza, Yezid, Armenian and Jewish. The history of Sanliurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back to the 12th century BC, when there is ample Mansiondence for the surrounding sites at Duru, Harran and Nevali Cori. It was one of several cities in the Euphrates-Tigris basin, the cradle of the Mesopotamian civilization. According to Turkish Muslim traditions Urfa (its name since Byzantine days) is the biblical city of Ur, due to its proximity to the biblical village of Harran. However, many historians and archaeologists claim the city of Ur in southern Iraq.
Urfa is also identified as the birthplace of Abraham, which is commemorated by a mosque in the city, and as the birthplace of Job. Urfa was conquered repeatedly throughout history, and has been dominated by many civilizations, including the Ebla, Akkadians, Sumerians, Babylonians, Hittites, Hurris, Armenians, Mittannis, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Medes, Persians, Macedonians (under Alexander the Great), Seleucids, Arameans, Osrhoenes, Romans, Sassanids, Byzantines, Crusaders. Stay at least one night here so you have time to see Dergah, the center of the religious pilgrimage area; the wondrous medieval bazaar; the Throne of Nimrod fortress with a sacred pool full of fat carp at its foot; the good little museum; and some of the fine old houses. Sanliurfa Fortress is on the northern slope of Damlacik mountain to the south of the city. The citadel built by the Romans was later enlarged. The citadel has 25 watchtowers. It has remains from the Byzantine and Islamic times. The walls were built in 812 AD by the Christians to defend the city against Arab raids. The outer fortress was enlarged and restored by the Crusaders. The palaces of Molla, Gezer Pasha and Mehmet Pasha known to exist between the citadel and the outer fortress could not survive to our times. The economy of the province depends upon agriculture and animal husbandry. Its cultivable land is used mostly to grow cereals. Wheat is the main crop followed by barley and lentil. There is also chickpea farming and pistachio culture. Its industrial crops are cotton and sesame. Upon the completion of GAP, weight will be given to textiles and dress making. Also, the number and capacity of enterprises producing feed and vegetable oil will be enhanced to meet demands from domestic and external markets.