The Province of Sanliurfa

Sanliurfa is the homecity of Harran University. It is one of the oldest settlements in the world with its history going back to 11000 years before now. The city is situated on a plain under big open skies, about eighty kilometres east of the Euphrates River. This region is known as Upper Mesopotamia or "The Fertile Crescent" and has a vast cultur heritage that combines the rich Anatolian culture with that of the Mesopotamia. The provinces pans an area of 18,584 km (7,173 sq. miles), the largest province of Southeast Anatolia with yaman to the north; Syria to the south; Mardin and Diyarbakar to the east; Gaziantep to the west. The population is about 1.7 million (2006 est).
The City of Harran
The historical city of Harran is located 44 kilometers south east of Sanliurfa and was a commercial, cultural, andre ligious center that witnessed important events in the history. Although Harran was once the capital of the Islam's Umayyad  Dynasty, its main importance comes from being a center of attraction for renowned scientists since thenon-Islamicera. Today, Harran is a valuable archaeological site. The ruins of the ancient school along with the conical- shaped local residences attract tourists from all over  the world.
Harran School in History
At the School of Harran, which was regarded as the university of its time, there were important studies carried out in theology, astronomy, medicine, mathematics and philosophy. During the late 8th and 9th centuries Harran was a center for translating works of astronomy, philosophy, natural sciences, and medicine from Greek to Syriac by Assyrians, and thence to Arabic, bringing the knowledge of the classical world to the emerging Arabic-speaking civilization in the south. Baghdad came to this work later than Harran. Many important scholars of natural science, astronomy, and medicine originate from Harran.
GAP Project
Sanliurfa's current significance comes from its characteristic that it houses one of the largest in the rated regional development projects in the world, namely The South eastern Anatolian Project (abbreviated as GAP in Turkish). This state-sponsored development project involves several major components that are designed to exploit the hydro power potential of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; dramatically expand irrigation for agriculture; and develop the economy of the region. The GAP project includes 22 dams and hundreds of kilometers of irrigation works. The Sanliurfa and Harran Plains extend over an area of about 1,500 km. Irrigating these plains, which form the largest share of cultivated and cultivable land in the GAP region, is one of the most important components of GAP. Thanks to the implementation of this project, the city and its surrounding are experiencing importat developments.