Located on the shores of the Euphrates, Birecik in southeastern Turkey’s Sanliurfa draws numerous tourists thanks to its historical fortress, delicious food, and its population of endangered bald ibises.

Birecik, often described as the “Pearl of the Euphrates,” mostly welcomes tourists who travel from the direction of Gaziantep to Sanliurfa, one of Turkey’s most important religious and cultural tourism centers.

Tourists visiting the district center on the shores of the Euphrates often feel as if they were in a coastal town. Crossing the Birecik Bridge, visitors can taste many local dishes, including kebab prepared with Birecik eggplants, hashsş kebab (kebab prepared with poppy seeds) and freshly caught fish from the river.

After a meal, they can visit the Bald Ibis Breeding Station, which has a colony of the endangered bald ibises.

The district receives a stream of tourists during the weekend. Its historical fortress, which bears traces of the Assyrian civilization, as well as its natural beauty, the riverside and food, can all become major tourist attractions.

Birecik District Governor Kadir Perci said: “We have proposed to announce the old Birecik basin as a tourism area. We want to develop this region in the best possible way. Our district is also an important center of gastronomy. The municipality holds the rights to dishes like hashas kebab and kebabs that are prepared with eggplants. We believe there is a great potential for tourism in the region.”

President of the Regional Tourist Guides Chamber, Muslum Coban said that the districts of Birecik and Halfeti have huge potential for tourism.

He said many local and foreign tourists visit the region because of its cuisine. “Birecik an important stop in the Mesopotamia tours. The bald ibises here are worth a look. You can also go for an enjoyable walk along the banks of the Euphrates.”

“Dishes authentic to this region is also among the reasons why this place is on the tourists’ list. We believe tourism here can be further developed with the recent works,” he said.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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