Halfeti (Kurdish: Xelfêtî‎, Ottoman Turkish: روم قلعه‎, Rumkale) is a small farming district on the east bank of the river Euphrates in Şanlıurfa Province in Turkey, 120 km from the city of Şanlıurfa. Population (2000 census) 33,467 (of which 2,608 were in the town of Halfeti, the majority being in the surrounding villages).

Most of the villages were submerged in the 1990s under the waters behind the dam on the Euphrates at Birecik. The town was therefore removed to the village of Karaotlak, the building of the new town is now complete.

Halfeti was the subject of an internet urban legend wherein the town was the only location on Earth where black roses grew.


The Assyrian King Shalmaneser III (855 BC) established a settlement here named Shitamrat.[citation needed] The town was subsequently settled by a number of civilisations and known as Urima (Ώριμα in Greek),[citation needed] Qal'a Rhomayta or Hesna d-Romaye (in Aramaic),[citation needed] to the Byzantine Greeks it was known as Romaion Koula (Ρωμαίων Κούλα - Roman castle),[citation needed] and the Arab caliphate changed this name to Qal'at al-Rum appropriate for being a border castle at the time.[citation needed]

The town was fortified and was besieged by the Mameluks in 1280,[citation needed] who conquered the outlying Christian villages but were unable to break into the Rumkale fortress, which eventually fell to the Mameluk Sultan al-Ashraf in 1290.[citation needed] The Mameluks repaired the city walls and renamed the place Qal'at al-Muslimin although the names Urumgala and Rumkale persisted.[citation needed] The town was brought under Ottoman rule by Selim I.[citation needed]

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