Set on the banks of the Euphrates, Halfeti's history dates back some 3000 years. In 1954, the town became a district of Sanliurfa province. With the completion of the Birecik Dam, much of the region was inundated by the waters of the new reservoir. Set on the opposite bank of the Euphrates, Rumkale has become the symbol of Halfeti.
Over the past century, Halfeti has experienced tremendous cultural growth, and is renowned for its beautiful houses, mansions, gardens, lifestyle, river culture and unique black roses.
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. Euphrates, 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.