Harran

In the southeast of Turkey, 45km south from the city of Urfa, near the Syrian border, lies the city of Harran. It is located at the center of a large arid plain which is also known with the same name: the Harran Plain. Some believe that Harran’s name comes from a cognate Arabic word harr, which means “hot”. The sun shines during most of the year and the land displays all the colors of terracotta. Children are tanned due to being under the sun while harvesting cotton. Cotton farming is the major source of income for the families here. Most of the people are of Arabic or Syrian origin. Polygamy is common and the women bear many children. The elders still dress in a traditional fashion. The land is quite fertile, but that is something new.

Since 1995, through a state-initiated project that aims to double Turkey’s farmland, these fields are irrigated with water from a new dam built in the Euphrates river. This encouraged the locals to experiment with new varieties of crops that did not previously exist in the region, such as cotton. You still cannot see many trees. Natural vegetation has always been scarce in these barren lands.

This is an on-going project, where I explore the local farming areas in order to document the culture and living conditions of the people of this region.