Description: The Halys ("salty river") or Kizilirmak ("red river"), east of Ankara, the longest river of Asia Minor. Its length 1150 kilometers and it is first mentioned in our sources by the Greek playwright Aeschylus. According to a famous story told by Herodotus of Halicarnassus, in 547 BCE, the Greek scientist and philosopher Thales of Miletus changed the course of the river in order to facilitate the crossing of an army of the Lydian king Croesus.
The Halys at Kirikkale. When Croesus crossed this river, it meant war with the Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great. In 585, Croesus' father Alyattes had concluded a peace treaty with the Median leader Astyages, and they had agreed that the river was the border between the two zones of influence. Cyrus thought he was the successor of the Median empire.
The valley of the Halys, at Gülsehir. The river has its source in Armenia in the Kizil Dagi, and flows in a wide arc to the southwest. Turning to the north, it seperates Cilicia and Phrygia from Cappadocia; finally flowing to the northwest, it empties itself in the Black Sea in Paphlagonia, where it forms a large delta. The Greek name Halys is probably derived from the salt deposits in Ximene.