Tal Afar

Tal Afar

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Tal Afar

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Tal Afar (pronounced /ta.la.fer/) (also Tal'Afar, Tal Afar, Tall Afar, Tell Afar, Tel Afar) (in Arabic: تلعفر or تل عفر, , in Turkish: Telafer) is a city and district in northwestern Iraq in the Ninawa Governorate located approximately 30 miles west of Mosul and 120 miles north west of Kirkuk.

While no official census data exists, the city which had been assessed to have a population of approximately 200,000, had dropped to 80,000 as of 2007, nearly all of whom are Iraqi Turkmen. In Tal’Afar itself, the population is mostly Turkomen, about 75 percent of whom are Sunni Muslims, while a quarter are Shi’ites. While most residents speak Arabic, a dialect of Turkish is regularly used throughout the city.


southwest of the town of Tal Afar are the mounds of Yarim Tepe which yielded remains from the Halafian culture from the Hassuna, Halaf and Ubaid periods, between 7,000 and 4,500 BC.

Tel Afar has been thought to be a city mentioned in the Bible, Telassar or Thela'sar, mentioned in 2 Kings 19:12 and in Isaiah 37:12 as a city inhabited by...
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