Sanli Urfa (Glorious Urfa)  is a city in Eastern Turkey located on the plains of Upper Mesopotamia. Inhabited from ancient times it has been a home to Greeks, Romans, Persians, Urartians, Hurrians, and was annexed by the Ottomon Empire in 1637.

Sanli Urfa is also called the City of the Prophets. It is closely associated with the Biblical Abraham and attached to one of the Mosques is a cave which is reputed to be the birthplace of Abraham. Men and women enter separately and modest dress is required. Close by is the sacred fish pool. It is a large and beautiful pool filled with carp. The story is that Abraham having angered the local king by cutting off the heads of the idols was tossed into a firey furnace. Then a miracle occurred and the wood was transformed into carp and the fire into water. You can feed the carp (there are vendors of food next to the pool) but do not touch them please. Also they cannot be caught or eaten. It is said anyone eating these particular carp which are the descendents of Abraham's carp will go blind.

Attached to Mosque is a wonderful market, full of twists and turns and goods of all kinds. You will find jewlery based on ancient designs and the beautifully sequinned caftans . At the center of the market, you can sit down in a lovely spot and have tea. If you are an American woman, you could attract a certain amount of friendly attention.

Nearby you can see the old inns (hans) and the fortress and crusader castle. What a marvelous engineering feat to hoist those large stones many stories up. If you have lunch, try the local speciality of Cig Kofte (raw meatballs), very delicious. Other choices are available for those who are faint-hearted.

After lunch, head out to Hurran (about 20 miles away). Hurran was the home of Abraham until G-d told him to go to the promised land. The conical houses are so unique, constructed so that they are cool in summer and warm in winter. Even though it can be hot putide, you will find it cool inside; have some tea. Across from the houses are ruins of ancient Hurran. You can see where the Islamic University was and also the pilgrimage site for the Urartian moon goddess Sin. The walls of Hurran still stand.

It's possible to do a 2-day trip from Cappadocia, taking in Mount Nemrod and the beehive houses at Harran and Sanliurfa. You can fly direclty back to Istanbul from Urfa or return to Cappadocia.

Sanliurfa can be hideously hot in summer, though!