Harran is reputedly one of the oldest continuously inhabited spots on earth. The Book of Genesis mentions Harran and its most famous resident, Abraham, who stayed for a few years in 1900 BC. Its ruined walls, crumbling fortress, and beehive houses give the town a feeling of deep antiquity. Traditionally locals lived by farming and smuggling, but the irrigation projects of the Atatürk Dam sees cotton fields sprouting over what was once arid desert.

On arrival buy a ticket (TL5) from the booth near the carpark. If anyone else in the castle tries to charge you, insist on being given the official ticket. Cheeky local kids can be slightly annoying, so an English-speaking guide (around TL15) is a worthwhile investment.

Harran gets very busy with domestic Turkish tourists at weekends, so try and visit on a more quiet weekday.