Dam on the Euphrates River in southeastern Turkey, the centerpiece of the Southeastern Anatolia Project. The Ataturk Dam is the largest in a series of 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric stations built on the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the 1980s and '90s in order to provide irrigation water and hydroelectricity to arid southeastern Turkey. Completed in 1990, the Ataturk Dam is one of the world's largest earth-and-rock fill dams, with an embankment 604 feet (184 m) high and 5,971 feet (1,820 m) long. Water impounded by the dam is fed to power-generating units at Sanliurfa that have a capacity of 2,400 megawatts. From there the water is gravity-fed to vast irrigation networks in the Harran Plain and elsewhere in the vicinity.

Ataturk Dam International Sports Festival
Ataturk Dam Lake is the symbol of an important geographical change which opens up new horizons for the rich cultural heritage of the region. Extending over an area of 817 square kilometers, the dam is called "sea" by local people. The dam has already started to affect people's daily life. "Ataturk Dam Water Sports Festival" which has a history of four years is an important activity expected to enhance the culture of the region in the context of sports.

The festival is organized jointly by the Turkish National Committee of Olympics, GAP Administration, General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works and the General Directorate of Youth and Sports. The objective of the festival is to promote tourism, publicize the versatile character of GAP, integrate socio-economic development with the advent of sports activities and to imbue the young people of the region with the spirit Olympics. The first of this annual festival was held on 6-7 October 1995. Then came the second (4-5 October 1996), third (3-4 October 1997), fourth (9-10 October 1998) and the fifth (24-25 September 1999) festival.

The last festival was participated by 396 athletes in the branches of sailing, rowing-canoeing, swimming and underwater sports. Among these athletes, there were 22 from Israel and Romania. Also 190 athletes were participated from Sanliurfa and Adiyaman.

The festival will take place each year in October or September.

Euphrates Rivers
The Tigris and Euphrates river basin and its drainage network. The two greatest rivers of Southwest Asia have their sources within 50 miles (80 kilometres) of each other in the mountains of eastern Turkey and travel in a southeasterly direction through northern Syria and Iraq to the head of the Persian Gulf. The lower portion of the region that they define, known as Mesopotamia (Greek: "Land Between the Rivers"), was one of the cradles of civilization. The total length of the Euphrates (Sumerian: Buranun; Akkadian: Purattu; biblical: Perath; Arabic: Furat; Turkish: Firat) is about 1,740 miles (2,800 kilometres). The total length of the Tigris (Sumerian: Idigna; Akkadian: Idiklat; biblical: Hiddekel; Arabic: Dijlah; Turkish: Dicle) is about 1,180 miles (1,890 kilometres). The rivers usually are discussed in three parts: their upper courses, restricted to the valleys and gorges of eastern Anatolia, at elevations diminishing from those of their sources at 6,000 to 10,000 feet (1,830 to 3,050 metres) above sea level; their middle courses, in the uplands of northern Syria and Iraq, at elevations varying from 1,200 feet at the foot of the so-called Kurdish Escarpment to 170 feet at the head of the delta; and the alluvial plain, which has been created jointly by the two rivers. At Al-Qurnah the rivers join to form the Shatt al-'Arab