10 Facts About Urfa


Carsten Niebuhr observed that Turks called the city El-Rohha in the 18th century, although James Silk Buckingham, who later visited Urfa, disagreed and noted that all Turks, and most Arabs and Kurds in the surrounding countryside called it Urfa, while a small portion of the Christians called it as the former.

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Sanli means "great, glorious, dignified" in Turkish, and Urfa was officially renamed Sanliurfa by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1984, in recognition of the local resistance in the Turkish War of Independence.

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Urfa was founded as a city under the name Edessa by the Seleucid king Seleucus I Nicator in 303 or 302 BC.

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The Urfa Man resembles both carvings at nearby Gobekli Tepe and statues found at 'Ain Ghazal.

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Subsequently, Urfa was ruled by Zengids, Ayyubids, Sultanate of Rum, Ilkhanids, Memluks, Akkoyunlu and Safavids before Ottoman conquest in 1516.

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Under the Ottomans Urfa was initially made centre of Raqqa Eyalet, laterly part Urfa of the Aleppo Vilayet.

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British occupation of the city of Urfa started de facto on 7 March 1919 and officially de jure as of 24 March 1919, and lasted until 30 October 1919.

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French retreat from the city of Urfa was conducted under an agreement reached between the occupying forces and the representatives of the local forces, commanded by Captain Ali Saip Bey assigned from Ankara.

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Urfa is one of several cities that have traditions associated with Job.

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Armenians, Urfa is considered a holy place since it is believed that the Armenian alphabet was invented there.

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