The city of Urfa is filled with an enthralling atmosphere reminiscent of the historical region of Lower Mesopotamia. The dusty atmosphere, the rustic streets, and the culture of local life all come together to make you feel like you’re in a different country all together. What’s more, as it’s one of the oldest inhabited regions on earth, the city of Sanliurfa is increasingly becoming a place for pilgrimage for the Turkish.
The entire region of Southeast Turkey is a must see and definitely a region sadly seldom visited. But people who don’t visit, have absolutely no idea what they’re missing! The further east you head from the tourist spots like Istanbul, Cappadocia, Izmir and Antalya, the more the country begins to unravel itself.
The city is believed to be home to the famous lake where Nimrod launched the Prophet Ibrahim A.S. from a catapult into a fire, which miraculously transformed into water. The water in the lake which is still there today, is believed to be blessed with healing properties, with taps set up for visitors in and around the site. The two pillars from which the Prophet Ibrahim A.S. was thrown is still visible today from the Sanliurfa Castle just opposite the lake.
After taking a one minute walk from Balıklıgöl, you will arrive at the 16th century Mevlid-i Halil Mosque. The Mosque is also known by the names Mevlid-I Halil Magarasi or Dergah Camii meaning the mosque of the birth place of God’s friend (referring to Prophet Ibrahim A.S). What’s more, some historians believe that the cave within the complex of the Mosque is believed to be where the mother of Prophet Ibrahim A.S. gave birth to him.
The Mosque was initially a synagogue, which then transformed into a church and soon became a Mosque in the 16th century. Therefore, it is fair to say that walking in this place, is like walking through centuries worth of history and religion. Five times a day, the mesmerising Adhan calls out which echoes its way through the area and brings the history and place to life.
With the historic castle looming over the city, it acts as a great place to get picturesque views. If you’re unable to visit the castle, another spot from where you can get breath-taking views is the Eyyubiye vantage point which is located behind the Mevlid-i Halil Mosque.
By Juber Ahmed
Main Image Credit – Enes Altas Upsplash