A city of southeast Turkey near the Syrian border. Founded as Edessa in ancient times, it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire in 1637 and renamed Urfa. It is a trade center in a rich agricultural region.
This was the Apamea-Zeugma, where the high road from east to west crossed the river, and it is still one of the most frequented of all the passages into Mesopotamia.
Here the Belikh (Bilechas) joins the Euphrates, flowing southward through the biblical Aram Naharaim from Urfa (Edessa) and Harran (Carrhae); and from this point to el-IKaim four days' below Deir, the course of the river is south-easterly.
The following towns have over 50,000 inhabitants each: Constantinople, 1,150,000; Smyrna, 250,000; Bagdad, 145,000; Damascus, 145,000; Aleppo, 122,000; Beirut, 118,000; Adrianople, 81,000; Brusa, 76,000; Jerusalem, 56,000; Caesarea Mazaca (Kaisarieh), 72,000; Kerbela, 65,000; Monastir, 53,000; Mosul, 61,000; Mecca, 60,000; Homs, 60,000; Sana, 58,000; Urfa, 55,000; and Marash, 52,000.
Urhai, modern Urfa), where, in all probability, the chief Syriac versions of the Bible were made.
The plain extending from Urfa to a dozen miles below Harran has a rich red-brown humus derived from the Nimrud Dagh east of Edessa.
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