The Ataturk Dam is located on the Euphrates River, it lies in the southeast of Turkey’s Anatolia region, between the provinces of Adiyaman and Sanliurfa and 23 kilometres northwest of Bozova. The Ataturk Dam is as a rock-fill dam with a central core, completed in 1990, it took 7 years to construct and is now the centrepiece of the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP).
The Ataturk Dam is the largest of the 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric power stations along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and ranks as the 5th largest in the world with an impressive length of 1,820 meters and height of 184 meters. The Ataturk Dam towers over the flat planes and is certainly a remarkable sight.
The Ataturk Dam was originally built to generate energy and irrigate water to the dry Harran plane as well as other arid planes in the region.
The Ataturk Dam was first named Karababa Dam but the name was changed to honour the founder of the Republic of Turkey.
Behind the dam sits Turkey’s 3rd largest reservoir, the Ataturk Dam Lake is more like a sea than a lake as its body stretches across 817 square kilometres. The reservoir is now a popular spot for watersports and each year in September/October it hosts the Ataturk Dam Watersports Festival. The event is organised by the Turkish National Committee of Olympics along with other major organisations and activities include underwater sports, rowing, canoeing, swimming and sailing.
Ataturk Dam is a dramatic sight listed on many package tour itineraries.