Symposium on “Şanlıurfa City of Art and Culture” organized within the framework of “Şanlıurfa the OIC City of Tourism for 2023”


Within the framework of the designation of Şanlıurfa (Türkiye) as the “OIC City of Tourism for 2023” by the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers on its11th Session (Baku, Azerbaijan, June 2022), a symposium on “Şanlıurfa City of Art and Culture” was organized by IRCICA, the Governorate of Şanlıurfa and Harran University (Şanlıurfa), at the University’s Osmanbey Campus on 11-12 December 2023. In his opening address delivered on behalf of the Director General of IRCICA Prof. Mahmud Erol Kılıç, Assistant Director General Prof. Aboubacar Abdullah Senghore underlined the salient features of the historical and cultural heritage of Şanlıurfa; Prof. Senghore briefed the audience on the selection process and criteria applied by the OIC in its annual City of Tourism program and cited the cities precedingly celebrated in this context, namely al-Quds al-Sharif (Palestine, 2015), Konya (Türkiye, 2016), Madina al-Munawwara (Saudi Arabia, 2017), Tabriz (Iran, 2018), Dhaka (Bangladesh, 2019) and Gabala (Azerbaijan, 2020), adding that the OIC City of Tourism designated for 2024 is Khiva in Uzbekistan. The opening session was also addressed by the Rector of Harran University, Prof. Mehmet Tahir Güllüoğlu and the Governor of Şanlıurfa Mr. Hasan Şıldak. The working sessions heard presentations by scholars and specialists from various universities and research institutes, under the following titles which reflect the city’s characteristics: “Prophet Abraham and Şanlıurfa” (Assoc. Prof. Ahmet Gündüz), “Urfa from the Muslim Conquest Until the Seljuks” (Prof. Adnan Çevik), “Urfa During the Crusaders’ Period” (Prof. Birsel Küçüksipahioğlu), “Urfa During the Ottoman Period” (Prof. Mehmet Emin Üner), “Transfer of Philosophy from Ancient Greek Philosophy to the Islamic Civilization Sphere – the Historic Role of Urfa-Harran” (Prof. Kenan Gürsoy), “Waqf Culture and Religious Life in Urfa” (Assoc. Prof. Yasin Taş), “Religious Beliefs and Locations in Urfa” (Dr. Fatma Çakmak), “Prophet Abraham in Classical Divan Poetry” (Prof. Hikmet Atik), “Religious Music in Şanlıurfa: Important Personalities” (Prof. Hüseyin Akpınar), “Gastronomy in Traditional Urfa Culture” (Assoc. Prof. Mahmut Barakazı), “The Inner World of Urfa Songs” (Mehmet Veysi Dörtbudak), “Urfa the Prophets’ City and Evliya Çelebi’s Description of the City” (Prof. İlhami Yurdakul), “Urfa Old City Center” (Prof. Bahattin Çelik), “Religious Structures and Places around Halil er-Rahman Lake” (Assoc. Prof. Mustafa Güler). In conclusion, Assoc. Prof. Alidost Ertuğrul, Chief of IRCICA Architectural Section, made a comprehensive presentation on “Urfa the OIC City of Tourism – Strategies to Tourism and Conservation”. An outline of the symposium will be presented to the next session of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers which will take place in 2024 in Uzbekistan.

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