Halfeti, referred to as Halpa in Urartian inscriptions, is one of the oldest districts in Sanliurfa. Many civilizations have settled there. This remarkable area is famous with its black rose, perhaps the only lush zone in the region. Firat River, the source of all this life. As part of the Southeastern Anatolia Project, the waters of the lake created by the Birecik Dam have devoured Halfeti. A major portion of this city is now underwater. To be honest, a total of 150 homes from the two neighborhoods once located in the center of the district are submerged. Halfetians who lost their homes and shops to the rising waters were given different options. A new settlement, called New Halfeti, was set up 8 km to the north. People are trying to adapt to this new settlement.
The earliest available records regarding the history of Halfeti reveal that the city was conquered, in 855 BC, by the Assyrian King Salmanasar III. The city, which was known as Shitamrat, then passed into Greek hands. After the Arab conquest, the city was renamed Kal'atul Rum, also known as Rumkale today. But later, in the 9th century, the Byzantines reconquered the city. The city, after being an important settlement for Christians, became acquainted with Islamic culture with its conquest by the Mamelukes. Later, when Sultan Selim I brought the city under Ottoman control.
Halfeti has established by Romans to the east of Firat River. Halfeti has many caves which reflects its history. The houses of Halfeti have a unique architecture, which implies a spectacular wealth and prosperity. The stone architectural samples are rare and unique in this part of Anatolia. Terraces are integral parts of Halfeti houses.
Halfeti, located in Sanliurfa province of the Southeastern Anatolia Region in Turkey was designated a slow city of Turkey by the Cittaslow International in 2013. Halfeti is the first cittaslow in the Southeastern Anatolia of Turkey.
Halfeti has the potential to become one of the world's most interesting slow cities with its historical heritage and unique culture. Rumkale and the other cultural treasures at Halfeti take visitors on a journey to the splendor of the past. In addition, it is great experince to see the specific black rose of Halfeti. As for Halfeti cuisine, traditional kebabs, appetizers and desserts are offered to people in restaurants at the side of the Firat River. Also do not miss to taste Halfeti's famous peanuts.