Şanlıurfa shän˝ləo͞or´fä [key], formerly Urfao͞or´fä [key], city (1990 pop. 278,516), capital of Şanlıurfa prov., SE Turkey. It is the trade center for a productive agricultural region and one of the most rapidly growing cities in Turkey due to its position in the midst of a large-scale irrigation development, with significant textile-related industries. The city was called Edessa until its incorporation in the Ottoman Empire in 1637. Its once large Christian population—mostly Armenian—suffered severe massacres in the late 19th cent. Göbekli Tepe, a Neolithic archaeological site, is to the northeast.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Turkey Political Geography