The Hittites began ruling the area of Sanliurfa in 1370 BC. Alexander the Great conquered and named it Edessa. Eventually, the Romans came into the picture and conquered the region. This city was fought over many times, mostly due to its location which was at that time on the border of the Persian and Roman Empires. The Arabs took over in 637 and there was peace for 300 years. The Turks, Armenians, Arabs, and Byzantines all fought over the city until the successful Crusade of Count Baldwin established the Latin County of Edessa. The Seljuk Turks conquered in 1144 and reigned here until the Ottomans took it. The ottomans named the city Urfa (coming from the original Aramaic name Urhai) in 1637. In 1984 "Sanli" ("glorious" in Turkish) was added to the province's name. Glorious Urfa, constantly fought over, was an ever-important city along the ancient road leading from Anatolia to Mesopotamia. Naturally, it's full of historical sites and ancient ruins.
Perhaps the most famous of all sites in Eastern Turkey lies in Sanliurfa-- Gobekli Tepe. Experts believe this ancient temple dates back 10,000 years making it the oldest known temple on earth. This site is 50 times larger than Stonehenge and 7,000 years older.
Famous Local Sites: Gobekli Tepe (Belly Hill), Ancient Citadel, Old City Walls, Madrassah, Abd Al-Rahman Mosque, Fish Lake, Abraham's Birthplace, Job's Cave, Sanliurfa Archeology and Mosaic Museum
Must Try Local Eats: Urfa Kebap