Religion and Secularity: 99% of the Turkish population is Moslem. However, everyone in Turkey has freedom of religion and beliefs. The first phases in the introduction of secularism were the abolition of the Caliphate and the Ministry of Sheria and Pious Foundations on March 4th, 1924, followed by the introduction of separate educational and judicial systems, the hat reform, the closure of dervish retreats and religious sects, the acceptance of a Sunday weekend holiday rather than the Moslem Friday and finally the adoption of the principle of secularism in the constitution on 1937. In secular Turkey, all religious affairs are carried out by a central government organisation affiliated to the Prime Ministry, namely the Department of Religious Affairs.
Urfa city is an important stage from very early times. An important stage on the Fertile Crescent way from the Mediterranean shore to Upper Mesopotamia. Years ago, Christians St Paul, St Peter, and Jewish patriarchs Abraham are just a few of the names that made their mark in easthern Turkey. It is in many ways the northern rim of the Holy Land. According to legend, in Sanliurfa, in the southeastern corner of Turkey, is the cave where Abraham was born 4,000 years ago. Today a mosque complex is there with a vast maze of canals, fed by a spring from Abrahams Cave. Also must seen The Mosque of Halil-Rahman with its sacred pool. . According to both the Bible and Quran it is the birthplace of Abraham before his migration to Canaan, now Palestine. Local Muslim legend differs from that of the other great monotheistic faiths by the intervention of one vicious and cruel King Nimrod, who had launched from a catapult from the city's citadel to fall into a pile of burning wood. Happily, God intervened, and turned the fire to water and the faggots to fish, and today, the visitor to the town can visit the mosque complex surrounding Abraham's Cave and The Pool of Sacred Fish (Balikligol) surrounding it. The cruel ruler's giant slingshot is represented by two Corinthian columns still standing atop the citadel. This is an Anatolian city which has figured in all the religions of the book. Old Testament prophets such as Jethro (Hz. Suayp), Job (Hz. Eyup), Elijah (Hz. Elyasa) and Abraham (Hz. Ibrahim) lived in this city, which in ancient times known as Edessa, and Moses (Hz. Musa) lived in the region for seven years working as a shepherd before returning to Egypt with his staff. It was in Sanliurfa that early Christians were first permitted to worship freely, and where the first churches were constructed openly. Pagan temples were converted to synagogues, synagogues to churches and churches to mosques, resulting in a uniquely eclectic architecture. Today, Urfa is a surprising mix of the old and new, with Turkish, Arab and Kurdish peasants who come from the countryside haggling in the traditional bazaar, while young technocrats and engineers hustle between offices and shops lining the modern downtown section. A city of some 1,300,000 (1997), Urfa is earmarked to be one of Turkey's largest metropolitan areas after the nearby Ataturk Dam 50 miles (75 km) north of town comes onstream in the 1990s. Already the city has the single highest growth rate in the country, with many indigent farmers and absentee landlords from the nearby Harran plain returning with the promise of making the city the center of Turkey's new Fertile Crescent. Restaurants are packed with locals and foreigners dining on the famed Urfa kebab of Turkish Cuisine and other delights of the area.
We never get such a beautifull Blue Cruise (Wooden yacht) as we travelled all over the world.
Captain and his wife (cooker) Turkish Dolmas unforgettable in my life. I get this meal receipe and will use in my kitchen at home.
Again respectfully her affort.
We wish you well and much happiness.
If you, ever get to the Ohio area in the USA, we hope you would call us so we could return your hospitality.
Alinda Breukhuisen / Thomas Everglades