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Şanlıurfa (the Prophets' City; also known as Urfa), is a pilgrimage town and spiritual centre. This is where the prophets Job and Abraham left their marks, and the Dergah complex of mosques and the holy Gölbaşı area is imbued with a compelling atmosphere redolent of the Middle East.

Women cloaked in black chadors elbow their way through the odorous crush of the bazaar, and moustachioed gents in şalvar (traditional baggy Arabic pants) swill tea and click-clack backgammon pieces in shady courtyards.

Fuelled by investment in the nearby Southeast Anatolia Project, combining irrigation projects and community development, a cosmopolitan sheen now complements Urfa's centuries-old heritage. The city's streets hum with an energetic buzz, and the nearby temple of Göbekli Tepe is one of eastern Turkey's unmissable destinations.

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