Sanliurfa (often simply known as Urfa in daily language), formerly cited as Edessa or in Aramaic; Riha or Urhay, or in Armenian Urhai, Arabic; al-Raha) is located in south-eastern Turkey. Urfa is situated on a plain under big open skies, about eighty kilometres east of the Euphrates River. The climate features extremely hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. The urban population of Urfa is mainly Kurdish while the outlying regions are mixed Arabian and Turkish and to a lesser degree Zaza, Yezid, Armenian and Jewish. The history of Sanliurfa is recorded from the 4th century BC, but may date back to the 12th century BC, when there is ample Mansiondence for the surrounding sites at Duru, Harran and Nevali Cori. It was one of several cities in the Euphrates-Tigris basin, the cradle of the Mesopotamian civilization. According to Turkish Muslim traditions Urfa (its name since Byzantine days) is the biblical city of Ur, due to its proximity to the biblical village of Harran. However, many historians and archaeologists claim the city of Ur in southern Iraq.