Halfeti: The City Under Water

Halfeti: The City Under Water

Halfeti, where Hittite, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad, Abbasid and Mamluks settled and cultivated a rich culture on the edge of the Euphrates, joined the Ottoman lands in 1571 with the Egyptian expedition of Yavuz Sultan Selim.

Halfeti has taken the title of quiet city. Because it is very quiet. In this quiet environment, you will find the peace that you cannot find anywhere else in Turkey; And the sadness of the fact that houses, schools, trees and mosques that they see as their children have been flooded. Because what lies under the waters is a date dating back to 855 BC. The history of this place is so old. Sometimes, when the waters recede, the stone houses that say hello to the Euphrates come to light.

Halfeti Manzarasi

The reason why Halfeti is under water today is the Birecik Dam, which was started to be built in 1985 in the waters of the Euphrates River and became operational in 2000.

Girl Cave

The lake basin of the Euphrates River, which expanded with the Birecik Dam, is 100 km long. Boat tours are organized on the expanding lake basin.

Halfeti Tekne Turlari

Although it is said that the Maiden’s Cave, which is the first stop of the boat tours route, was used to hide and defend in times of war, it is also associated with a legend that the king of the period used this place to hide his daughter from the man he fell in love with. It is magnificent.


Another magnificent region that will leave you in awe is Rumkale. The castle was formed by carving the rock steeply. The peninsula-shaped Rumkale is seen where the Merzimen Stream meets the Euphrates River.

Halfeti Rumkale

Inside the castle, there is a large well, 8 meters wide, deep enough to reach the water (75 meters), which was carved to meet the need for water during the war. According to legend, St. Johannes, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, wrote the Bible here.

Savaşan Village

The most impressive part of Old Halfeti, which was submerged under the waters of the Birecik Dam and now a tourist attraction, is the submerged minaret in Savaşan Village.

Halfeti Savasan Koyu

This is one of the most beautiful spots in Halfeti, which we see all the time in photographs but cannot get the feeling of being there. There are many houses in the region that were emptied by the increase of dam waters. These people have moved to another point called New Halfeti, which is 10 kilometers away from the texture and nature of their own village. You can see that the people who do not want to break away from their past live in the houses that are not flooded. People here are trying to make a living by trading in pistachios and also by boating in the dam lake.

Halfeti Restaurant

There are also those who run restaurants. When you go to Halfeti, don’t forget to eat poppy kebab, shabut fish unique to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, and a salad with pomegranate on the side.

Halfeti Grand Mosque

Another mosque which is important in Halfeti is the Halfeti Grand Mosque. The mosque, which was completed by Armenian stonemasons in 1807, also has a symbolic meaning, symbolizing that the peoples lived in friendship. Today, the Great Mosque, whose courtyard is completely submerged, is among the abandoned structures.

Halfeti Ulu Camii

Black Rose

Halfeti also has a black rose that blooms only in Halfeti territory. Karagül, which is unique in the world, blooms in the spring seasons. It is not pitch black, but it resembles black, the shade of red.

Being Halfeti is like a love story that comes to an end. He always hopes to return one day. And it should not be forgotten that it is Hasankeyf’s turn.