The Murat River, also called Eastern Euphrates (Turkish: Murat Nehri, Kurdish: Çemê Muradê, Armenian: Արածանի, romanizedAratsani), is a major source of the Euphrates River. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used to call the river Arsanias (Greek: Ἀρσανίας). It originates near Mount Ararat north of Lake Van, in Eastern Turkey, and flows westward for 722 km (449 mi) through mountainous area. Before the construction of the Keban Dam, the Murat River joined the Karasu River or Western Euphrates 10 km (6.2 mi) north of the dam site and 13 km (8.1 mi) north of the town of Keban.[1]

Murat River
Eastern Euphrates
Murat 07.jpg
Murat River
Geographical regionArmenian highlands
Political regionEastern Anatolia Region
Physical characteristics
 • locationnear Mount Ararat north of Lake Van
 • elevation2,720 m (8,920 ft)
 • location
Karasu near Keban, Elazığ Province
 • elevation
820 m (2,690 ft)
Length722 km (449 mi)
Basin features
River systemEuphrates
Murat River is located in Turkey
Location of Murat River's source and mouth.

In Muş Province, the river is interrupted by the Alpaslan-1 Dam, which was completed in 2009. The Alpaslan-2 Dam was completed in 2021[2] and is located downstream of Alpaslan-1. The river merges into the reservoir of the Keban Dam, at one time Turkey's largest dam, which was completed in 1974 and provides electrical power.[3]

In Bingöl and Elazığ provinces, Kalehan Energy has four dams planned for the river: from upstream to downstream, the Upper Kaleköy Dam, Lower Kaleköy Dam, Beyhan I Dam, and Beyhan II Dam. The Beyhan I and Upper Kaleköy dams are already completed. Once completed, all four dams will have a combined installed capacity of 1,855 MW.[4]

Origin of the river nameEdit

The present name is usually connected with the Turkish Murat or its appellative murat "purpose, intention, desire". But this may be folk etymology, so Hrach Martirosyan tentatively proposes derivation from Old Armenian mōrat, murat “mud, marsh”.[5]

The river was called Arșania in sources of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and Arsanias in Classical Greek and Roman times. Those forms may be derived from an Armenian original (Արածանի Aratsani), itself from an Indo-European root for 'white, bright'.[6][7]


  1. ^ "Soccer On Frozen River". Turkish Daily News. 2004-12-31.
  2. ^ "ENERGO-PRO commissions 280-MW Alpaslan 2 hydropower plant in Turkey". 28 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Marat River". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  4. ^ "Murat Hydropower Cascade" (PDF). Poyry. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ Hrach Martirosyan, Armenian mawr ‘mud, marsh’ and its hydronimical value, Aramazd: Armenian journal of Near Eastern studies, vol. 4.1, pp. 73–85 and 179–180 (Summary in Armenian) (2009)
  6. ^ Journal of the Society for Armenian Studies. The Society. 2005. p. 33.
  7. ^ Mario Liverani (1995). Neo-Assyrian geography. Università di Roma, Dipartimento di scienze storiche, archeologiche e antropologiche dell'Antichità. p. 57.

Coordinates: 39°24′N 43°45′E / 39.400°N 43.750°E / 39.400; 43.750