BALIKLI GÖL (FISH LAKE,) WHERE THE FIRE THAT WAS LIT BY NIMROD TO KILL ABRAHAM TURNED INTO WATER AND THE FIREWOOD TURNED INTO FISH, IS AN IMPORTANT CENTER WHICH IS ACCEPTED AS SACRED TODAY
Halil-ür Rahman or Balıklı Göl (Fish Lake) located in the middle of Harran Plateau’s fertile lands is among the most touristic places in Şanlıurfa.
The lake that is known as where Abraham, who is recognized by the three major religions, was thrown into fire by Nimrod, is prominent with its sacred fish and the historical works that surround it.
According to the legend, Nimrod sees a dream and the head oracle tells him that a male baby who is going to be born that year is going to end idol worshipping and then kill him. However, Azer’s wife, one of Nimrod’s soldiers, Nuna Hatun is pregnant, too. Azer hides his wife in a cave nearby and Nuna Hatun goes back to the castle after giving birth to Abraham and leaving him behind in the cave.
Fire turns into a rose garden
Abraham survives thanks to a gazelle that nurses him. After he grows up, he takes his place next to his father. When he begins to fight with wicked emperor Nimrod to end idol worshipping, Nimrod throws him into fire from the hill, which is where Urfa Castle is located today. At this moment, God commands, “O fire, become cool and safe for Abraham!” Fire turns into water, firewood turn into fish. Abraham lands in a rose garden safely.
Following Abraham, Zeliha, Nimrod’s daughter, throws herself into fire because she believes in him and the fire turns into a lake: Ayn-ı Zeliha Lake. The lake, which arises from Zeliha’s tears, takes place right behind Balıklı Göl.
Today, this lake is a large pool surrounded with carved stones and it is home to thousands of fish that are respected as sacred.
Balıklı Göl is accepted as one of the central symbols of Şanlıurfa today.