Rodger Randle: Urfa, Turkey Sanliurfa
Boys in Urfa posing for the camera.
People of Sanlıurfa
Images from Before the Earthquakes
"Urfa", as Sanliura is commonly known, was one the most affected cities in Turkey during the January 2023 earthquakes. These photo take us back to a happier time in the life of the city.

The photos in this group were all taken near the lovely park area in center of Urfa, or in the market nearby.
Further notes about Urfa are at the bottom of the page.
Older ladies often dress with a mix of floral patterns that is very rich in its effect.
A tailor takes time to visit with friends. The pace of life allows time for human relations.
A family pauses for a rest on the stairs in the corner of the city plaza.
These boys appear to be from the same family.
The grandmother helps her granddaughter ready for an outing.
Father and son.
A young sales clerk is visited by a friend.
Three generations walking together as the evening sun goes down.
A lady pauses for a rest.
A gentleman pauses to rest and contemplate.
This is a close-up of one of the tailor's friends seen in an earlier photo.
Turkey is a place where craftsmen still do skilled hand word.
Is this gossip time?
This boy has a big and open smile.
This man looks like fromone from northern Europe, but he is a native born Turkish Kurd.
On the left, we see a boy who appears to be try to look inside the camera.
The ladies in burkas on the right demonstrate the variety of clothing that can be seen on the streets of the city,
Here are two more young Turks.
Like people everywhere in the world, the boy on the left looks out at the water and imagines a world beyond. The boy on the right shows another friendly face.
This is a larger version from which the crop was taken at the top of the page. My favorite is the expression of the boy at the top.
Lastly, a look at some fabrics available for sale in the market. Local tastes in fabric designs and colors offer us insights into local cultures.
A note about Urfa...

When we follow news of the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, it is easy to think of the people in the tragic scenes as simply inhabitants of a place that is distant and unrelated to us, a place of faceless "victims" of a horrible event.

In fact, they are people just like us. Yes, they dress differently, they speak a different language, and they eat different food than we do, but they are people like us: they have the same hopes, the same dreams, and we all share the same common humanity.

15 years ago, in a happier time for Urfa, I visited the city. It is one of the nicest places I have been ...the kind of city where I would enjoy living.

The young people in these photos are now adults, perhaps with children of their own. Many of the older people have probably passed on since then. It is sad to imagine their situation today.

These notes were written in January 2023 following the earthquakes that devastated the region of Turkey where Urfa is located. This page was created at that time as well.

Rodger Randle
The photos on this page are © Rodger Randle .

OU Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture

Prof. Rodger A. Randle, Director
The University of Oklahoma Tulsa
4502 East 41st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135