Area: 15.853 km²
Population: 1.266.995 (1990)
Traffic Code: 33
Mersin that an important harbour city at East Mediterranean shore, offers every possible activities to travellers with streets overshadowed by palms, city park, modern hotels, ruins near the city, numberless beaches. Moreover city remembered in history with the name of Saint Paul (he is from Tarsus) and with areas between Alanya and Mersin that was given from Mark Antuanious as a marriage gift to cleopatra.
Nearly 108 kilometre lengths of Mersin shores composed from naturel beaches. These beaches preferred because of their thin sands and cleanness, and their suitability for underwater hunting. Kulakköy, Taşucu, Susanoğlu, Kuruçay, Lamas, Yemişkumu, Kız Kalesi, Çeşmeli, Ören, Balıkova, İskele, Yenikaş, Ovacık, Büyük Ecelive and Anamur Beaches are some of that beaches. For whom fond of history and archaeology there is Viranşehir (Pomeipolis) which city built on area that area was continuous settlement place since Neolithic Age, and city is an roman city built at Rome Period. City was Papacy in Christianity Period, than destroyed by an earthquake at year of 525. Necropolis (graveyard), theatre, public baths, water canals, temple ruins are exist. Eski (old) Mosque is an important building remains from Ottoman Period (1870). It was restored at different times. Rome Public Bath hosts big amount of visitors with it’s interesting mosaics.
Districts: İçel (center), Anamur, Aydıncık, Bozyazı, Çamlıyayla, Erdemli, Gülnar, Mut, Silifke, Tarsus.
At the 320 kilometre length coast band of Mersin province that 108 kilometre of them is sanded shores and formed with naturel beaches, is very rich by the means of historical, cultural values. At the Mersin that is settlement place since Neolithic Period, there are lots of archaeological and historical creations remains from calceolithic, Hittite, Rome, Byzantine and Ottoman civilisations.
places of Mersin which have to be seen and visit are listed bellow:
Tarsus: St. Paul Church, St. Paul Well, Gözlü Kule (tower), Donuk Taş (stone), Ashabı Kehf Cave, Cleopatra Gate, Rome Road are important historical and cultural values of county.
Mersin: Yumuk Hill and Soli Ruins are places to be seen.
Anamur: Anamurium Ruins and Mamure Castle are important historical places.
Aydıncık: 4 columned Monument Tomb would be seen.
Bozyazı: Arsione, Nagidos and Softa castle are places to be seen.
Erdemli: Kanlıdivane Ruins, Ayaş, Korikos, Adamkaya Embossments are important historical and cultural values of county.
Gülnar: Meydancık Castle, Alahan Monastery at Mut,
Silifke: Cennet-Cehennem Caves, Silifke Castle, Tekir Ambarı, Jupiter Temple, Ayatekla, Holmi Ruin, Silifke Aphrodisia, Uzuncaburç Tower, Olba are most important ones.
How to Get
Roadway: Province has connection to all cities by roadway.
Coach Station Tel : (+90-324) 238 16 48
Railway: Mersin has connections with lots of provinces and international connections by railway.
Train Station Tel: (+90-324) 451 35 10
Maritime way: City connected more than hundred harbours by sea with Mersin International Harbour. Harbour gives international quality harbour services. Periodical sea bus voyages arranged from Taşucu harbour.
Harbour Tel: (+90-324) 233 32 72
Airway: Adana Şakirpaşa Airport is 69 kilometre away to city and 32 kilometre to Tarsus, and has periodical national and international air voyages.
Where to Visit
Mersin Museum: Museums sections made with chronological order of archaeological data’s. Upper floor of museum is servicing as ethnography Museum.
Mersin Atatürk House: Mersin Atatürk House exhibits lots of valuable items related to visit of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to Mersin and founede items related to Atatürk, moreover it servci as museum.
Region had been cradle for various civilisations, and hosted to especially Byzantine and Rome civilisations that civilisations effect Christ People and Europe Countries in different dose.
there are two important center for Religion Tourism in province. First one is house and well of Christ’s disciple St. Paul at the Tarsus that house declared to Christian pilgrimage place from Papacy. Other one which is important for both Muslim and Christianity and placed at Silifke/Başucu, is Sacred Aya Tekla (Meryemlik (mother Mary)). And that was accepted as pilgrimage place at early Christian Period. All are important religion visiting centers. Moreover Tarsus Ashabı Kehf Cave is in the borders of province too.
Mersin Mosques and Churches
Makam-ı Şerif Mosque and Danyal Prophet Mausoleum (Center): Makamı Şerif Mosque is constructed on 1857. At east of the mosque, there is the mausoleum of Danyal Prophet. For this reason, “Makam mosque” name is given to the mosque.
Hz. Danyal, had lived during II. Babil King Nebukadnesar (605 – 562 B. C.) period, and saved the Jewish people from Babil slavery via his sciences and predictions. According to the rumor; Nebukadnesar had learned from his dreams that a boy from İsmailoğulları will shake his throne. Thereupon, he ordered his subjects to kill all boys born from İsmailoğulları. When Hz. Danyal born, his family left him to a cavern on a mountain. In the cavern, under the guardianship of a male and female lion, Danyal had grown, and after his childhood Danyal had joined to its tribe. During a famine year, with the coming of Tarsus invited prophet Danyal to Tarsus, a plenty year is occurred, and for this reason Prophet Danyal did not let to return to Babil, and buried to the place where Makam Mosque is present now after his death. On A. H. 17, when Tarsus is conquered during Hz. Ömer period, mausoleum of Prophet Danyal is opened, and a very long corpse bandaged with a canvas, woven with golden thread, is found here within a huge tomb. As a symbol of his adventures, a ring is found, on which two lions, from one is male, and a boy licked by a female lion, figures are carved. Thus, Hz. Ömer, to protect the body of Prophet Danyal from robbery of Jewish people, had buried him to a more deep cemetery and waters of a small stream, coming from Berdan River, is passed over it. Consequently, during the final repair of the mosque, thick and smooth crenel bars are found at the entrance point at below and behind part of the mosque at very deep. Corpse of the Prophet Danyal is much more deeper than these waters, passing from these crenels.
Ashabı Kehf Cavern (Tarsus): It is 14 kilometers away from Tarsus, and near to Ulaş Village. This cavern, which is mentioned in Holy Quran, Kehf section, is deemed as holy by Moslems and Christians. You can climb down to the cavern via 15 – 20 stages.
A legend of Eshab-ı Kehf Cavern is mentioned among natives. During the periods, when belief to mythological gods is loosing power gradually, seven Christian boys (Seliha, Mekseline, Meslina, Mernuş, Sazernuş, Debernuş and Kafetatyuş), who are escaping from torture as they believe in monotheism, had taken to the attendance of the king as they are not accepting to turn back to idolatry. King gave them a few days period with saying that they should believe in idolatry otherwise they will be killed. Seven boys, with benefiting from the period, had escaped to a cavern with taking the dog named Kıtmir with them for escaping from death. They are granted with a sleep of 300 years by God. And first awakened one among them, had gone to the city for buying food, but arrested due to the old coins of him. When arresting person had come to the cavern with him, he had seen nothing other than a nest, where seven chick birds were perching. For this reason here is named as Seven Sleepers Cavern.
Ulu Mosque (Tarsus): The Mosque in Tarsus, is constructed on 1579 by İbrahim Bey, son of Piri Pasha from Ramazanoğluları on St. Pierre Church ruins. On the minaret with single balcony aside of mosque, Ottoman and Seljukian methods are reigning.
St. Paul Church (Old Mosque, Tarsus): The church at Tarsus, Bazaar entrance, is mentioned to be constructed on 1102 A. D. as St. Paul Cathedral. It is constructed with Roman style, and it is interesting with its thick, high walls, narrow, deep windows and big and thick columns. This church is repaired on 1415 A. D. by Ramazanoğlu Ahmet Bey, and turned into a mosque. Today it is used as a worship place by Moslems and visited by Christians.
St. Paul Well (Tarsus): It is at the courtyard of the house, where Tarsus born St. Paul had thought to live. Natives believe that water of the well, which remained from Roman period, is curative. Today, water of this well, which draw dense attention of tourists, is believed to be holy.
St. Paul Monumental Museum: With a square layout, the church was constructed with walls built by hewn stones in a wide garden at Tarsus in 1850.
Meryemlik (Aya Tekla, Silifke): It is on a hill approximately 1.5 kilometers south of Silifke. It is a protected holy area of Christian period. It is believed that St. Paul’s student, Aya Tekla had spent his last years within this cavern and spread Christianity among the natives, and create miracles. After his death, this place is deemed as a “Martyr Cemetery” by Christians and become a hajj center.
Within the cavern, where Aya Tekla had lived, first Christianity bassilica of the region is construed. During the periods after acceptance of Christianity, faithful natives, managers and Byzantium Emperor, Zenon had constructed vow churches to various places of protected area, of which first one is constructed on the cavern.
Alahan Monastery (Mut): It is on the Mut – Karaman road, 20 kilometers north of Mut. It is thought to be constructed on 440 – 442 A. D., and have an impressive panorama. Church buildings are holding mutual architectural characteristics with Hagia Sophia.
On the adornments of the church master masonry makes itself clear. Other than St. Paul, St. Pierre figures, a garland holding Archangel Gabriel and Michael with six wings symbol, pressing the creatures, roaring lion, eagle and ox symbols, Holy Bible writers’ pictures, grape bunches, grape leaves and fish motifs are plentifully described.
Zeus Temple and Church (Silifke): At the south end of the biggest subsidence, Cennet subsidence, wall built with polygonal rocks (Peribolos) can be seen. This wall was surrounding the house of God and its holy courtyard, which was in charge during three separate historical periods. First structure was a double columned temple, which is placed between two walls in front, and established with Door structural arrangement. This basic temple, which is not covered by columns, is a kind of monument on the memory of him, as a symbol of Zeus’s victory versus giant Typon.
Names of 130 priests, who were in charge during Roman period, as well as important persons of the period are carved on polished smooth edge stones, on the narrow side facing to the east of north walls of the temple.
Temple, which is a structure from polytheism age, is fully demolished during Christianity period and a church with basilica style (structure with three main divisions) is constructed instead. It is thought to remain from IV. Century or at least from V. century.
Cennet Obruğu – Meryem Ana Church (Silifke): Cennet Obruğu, is a hollow, existed due to the collapse of the ceiling as a result of errosion, casued by an underground river in limestone layer during Miocene period of 3rd geological age at three kilometers north of Narlıkuyu. For protection from religious reactions of Romans, Christians hidden Cennet Obruğu has a depth of 60 meters. You climb down into this hollow, which is 135 meters high from sea level, via an antic stair remaining from Roman age.
A temple is constructed within Cennet hollow, as a success symbol against former religion just at the entrance of polytheism period worshipping cavern. It is understood that this temple is constructed by a benevolent person, named Paulus, as a gift to Mother Marry from the four line Greek inscription on entrance door of the church.
It is estimated that Virgin Mary Church church is remaining from the same period with temple, outside Cennet Obruğu and at south end, meaning from V. century or at least VI. century.
Lots of caves formed as a result of geological movements and corrosion in province. Cennet and Cehennem concave Cave, Narlıkuyu, Köşekbükü, Buğu Hole are important Caves of province.
Yalan Dünya Cave
The cave is located on the Yalandünya Hill locality, 1 km northwest of Sele Quarter which is at 13 km away from the Gülnar road separation on the Anamur – Silifke road.
Properties: The cave is partially horizontal, partially vertical. There are beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and pillars inside the cave. Cave pearls with large amounts could be observed. Scattered ceramic pieces are found inside the great saloon.
There are two entrance locations to the cave which is developed inside the karstic limestone. The distance between the entrance points are approximately 100 meters. One of the entrance is an opening that looks like a window of 8 x 6 m. size on a cover shaped like a dome and the descend into the cave could be managed by special ladders which are 17 meters long.
The descend is directly on an ebuly with approximate thickness of 30 meters. The slope of the ebuly is nearly 40 degrees. The great saloon here is 92 meters long ve67 meters wide. After ascending 10 meters, you enter into a small saloon. From this saloon, it is possible to reach to the bottom of a shaft with 30 meters depth.
Cennet Pit Cave
The cave is at 63 km. southwest of İçel ve22 km. away from Silifke. Reaching to the Narlıkuyu bay is possible by the asphalt road of 1800 meters on İçel – Silifke coastal road.
Properties: The Cennet Pit Cave is formed as a result of various geological movements and by the corrosion of underground waters and is one of the most interesting and attractive natural formation of İçel.
The cave has formed by the collusion of the ceiling because of the erosion of an underground creek inside the Miocene period limestone layers. The cave has approximately 275×125 m. diameter and the deepest point is 135 meters from the edge. The Cennet Pit cave descends as an inclined shaft to the direction of south and obtains the shape of a cave at the end. The temporary lake is dry in summer but the lake appears at the period when the underground water level is high.
Cennet and Cehennem Pits are two shafts formed by the collusion of the upper level of a same underground system. Descend down the pit is possible via a stair track from Roman period. There are ruins of a Byzantium church at the west edge.
Cehennem Pit Cave
The cave is at 63 km. southwest of İçel ve22 km. away from Silifke. The cave is located at 75 meters east of Cennet Pit.
Properties: The cave has formed by the collusion of the ceiling because of the erosion of an underground creek inside the Miocene period limestone layers. The cave is elliptical with the dimensions of 50×75 meters. It is steeper and more narrow when compared with the Cennet Pit. The debris massed at the floor of the pit caused by the collapsed ceiling descends towards west to east with an approximate slope of 30 degrees.
Cennet and Cehennem Pits are two shafts formed by the collusion of the upper level of a same underground system.
Reaching to the Narlıkuyu Cave is possible by the asphalt road branching from İçel – Silifke road inside Narlıkuyu village.
Properties: The cave has developed inside the Miocene limestone. The cave is located at 300 meters west of Cennet cave and the entrance is 160 meters higher than sea level. After a narrow entrance followed by steep parts about 20 meters, the cave expands in the direction of east – west as wide saloons. There are numerous stalactite and stalagmites and pillars inside these saloons.
There is a car park and guard cabins outside the cave. The cave receives visitors since 1987.
A Marina project that fits on international standards, developing with aim of carrying yacht tourism to East Mediterranean Sea. For these aim 500 yacht capacity Main Yacht Marina still building that project adjudicated at the year 1994.
Yacht Base at Çamlibel, Mersin with 300 – 500 yacht capacity, giving services of drinking water for yachts, electricity, cleaning and security. For being frontier at caring yacht tourism to east Mediterranean Sea, traditional East Mediterranean Yacht Rally arranged since 11 years, last three years route ended at the Mersin Yacht Base.
At the Mersin Yacht Base; mavi tour, Daily tours and mehtap (night) tours are arranged.
Characteristics: A 620 years old and 40 meters tall cedar tree that have a diameter of 2.34 meters and circumference length of 7.40 meters.
Foundation Date: 27.09.1994
Mother Juniper (Ana Ardıç)
Place: Mersin, Tarsus
Characteristics: A 840 years old and 21 meters tall juniper tree that have a diameter of 2.75 meters and circumference length of 7.20 meters.
Foundation Date: 29.09.1994
At Mersin province there are plentiful curative waters. Some of them are Mersin – Güneysu, Güneyyolu, Tarsus Akçakoca, Tarsus Keşbükü Mineral waters, Silifke Saparca hot spring, Mut -Hocantı thermal spring.
Local people go to various plateaus on Toros Mountains at summers. At Mersin center county Gözne, Ayvagediği, Kızılbağ, Soğucak, Bekiralanı, Fındıkpınarı, Mihrican, Çamlıyayla, Namrun, Sebil, at Tarsus county, Gülek, at Erdemli county, Sorgun, Güzeloluk, Küçükfındık, at Silifke county, Balandız, Gökbelen, Kırobası, at Gülnar county Bardat, Tersakan and Kozağaç plateaus, are places that majority of Mersin population live at summer months.
Çamlıyayla (Namrun) District
Transportation: At specified times there are minibuses from Mersin (90 km).
Description: Situated at the foot of Külpet Mountain and at an elevation of 1430 m., Çamlıyayla is a spacious mountain plateau near Namrun Castle and has a rich natural and historical heritage. The infrastructure of the village has been completed and there are many summer homes found here.
The area around Cehennemderesi, which has abundant wildlife, serves as a mountain goat game preserve with limited hunting. Four kilometers away is the Cehennemderesi Canyon, which is a delightful excursion. Here one can go fishing and explore Namrun Castle and the Papaz Gardens.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Those who want to camp should bring their own tents and other basic supplies.
Transportation: There are minibuses from Mersin that make the 27 km. trip at certain times of the day.
Description: This highland village, situated in the north of the province of in the Taurus Mountains at an elevation of 1200 m., is covered with oaks, pine, juniper and some scrub vegetation. There are apple, cherry, sour cherry and quince orchards. The village has a post office, police station and a health clinic.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Gözne Castle and the surrounding area is ideal for camping and picnicking. There is a tea house, a small market and a restaurant.
Soğucak (Bekiralanı) Highland
Transportation: This highland village 24 km north of Mersin can be reached by taking the Gözne road and turning left after 23 km. The village is just 1 km down this gravel road. There are minibuses from Mersin at certain times of the day.
Description: There are many summer homes belonging to residents of Mersin in the little village of Soğucak. It has excellent infrastructure with a post office and a health clinic.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: There is a country tea house, a small market and a restaurant.
Aslanköy Village (Highland)
Transportation: The 52 km drive from Mersin along the asphalt road is very scenic.
Description: Situated right in the middle of the Taurus Mountains, Aslanköy is a quiet village full of fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. Its infrastructure is totally complete.
To the north of the village about 500 m. near Şekersu Kayası, there is an underground cave. Camp can be set up along the road between Aslanköy and Gözne or on the edge of the forest and is a excellent place for day hikes and bird-watching for those interested in ornithology.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Those who plan on camping should bring their own tents and other basic supplies.
Fındıkpınarı Village (Highland)
Transportation: After taking the Mersin-Antalya highway out 12 km. turn north at Mezitli and head for the Taurus Mountains. It is a 32 km drive on an asphalt road and there are municipal minibuses at certain times from Mersin and Mezitli.
Description: This pristine highland with its oxygen-rich fresh mountain air is surrounded by low hills covered with pine, juniper and scrub but the meadow is completely devoted to gardens and fruit orchards. The village infrastructure is complete. There is a health clinic and the local rural police are available should there be any need.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: The village has a bakery, restaurant, small markets and a tea house.
Erdemli – Sorgun Village (Highland)
Transportation: The road leading to this highland village situated in the middle of the Taurus Mountains is asphalt (41 km) and gravel (4 km).
Description: Located in a small valley surrounded by hills, this highland village is surrounded by apple orchards. Very popular with the people living in Erdemli, Tömük and the nearby villages, it has a number of typical highland houses. To the south, 1.5 km from the road is an ancient observation tower open to visitors.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: One may camp here or choose to rent one of the highland houses.
Erdemli Küçük Sorgun Highland
Transportation: Take the road to Sorgun Village (49 km to the north) and 41 km down this gravel road turn left (northwest) and continue on to the village (8 km.) In the summer months there are minibuses from Erdemli at certain times.
Description: This highland village’s infrastructure has been completed. The houses are typical highland houses with fruit trees and vegetable gardens. There is a small tea house, restaurants specializing in meat dishes and some small markets.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: It is possible to camp at the springs located 2 km. east of the village.
Silifke – Balandız (Gümüşlü Village) Highland
Transportation: It is situated 21 km out of Silifke.
Description: Vegetable gardens, pistachio, walnut and fruit orchards abound in this winsome little village surrounded with pine and scrub trees and life continues on as it as for centuries.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Those who would like to camp should bring their own tents and other basic supplies.
Silifke – Gökbelen Village (Highland)
Transportation: It is located 30 km out of Silifke.
Description: This highland village, which is heavily used by the residents of Mersin and Silifke, is surrounded with pine and scrub trees. The highland houses seem to be lost among the vegetable gardens and fruit orchards.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Tents can be set up along the edge of the forest on the outskirts of the village. Those who would like to camp should bring their own tents and other basic supplies.
Silifke – Uzuncaburç Village (Highland)
Transportation: There are buses from Silifke that make the 27 km trip. It is situated north of Silifke and the road is asphalt.
Description: The little town is founded upon the site of the ancient city of Olba Diokayzerim and so enjoys a rich historical setting. Country tea houses, restaurants and small markets along with a post office, health clinic and rural police are at the service of visitors.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: It is possible to get just about any basic necessity here in the town.
Silifke – Kırobası (Mara) Village (Highland)
Transportation: The village, which is situated in the middle of the Taurus Mountains north of Silifke, can be reached by means of an asphalt road (46 km). At certain times of the day there are minibuses from Silifke.
Description: The oldest highland village in the vicinity of Silifke, Kırobası was inhabited in the Roman and Byzantine eras. Proof of this comes in the form of water canals built in ancient times but which are still in use today. The village and its environs are covered with juniper trees and a bush called Karamuk which is native to the area. In the village are tea houses, restaurants, small markets, a post office and a health clinic. The rural police are available should they be needed.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: It is possible to get just about any basic necessity in town.
Mut – Kozlar Highland
Transportation: It is situated 19 km north of Mut.
Description: This charming highland village founded on the mountain slopes is not only rich in history, but is also situated very near a fossil bed and 3 canyons, one of which is very long.
Besides camping beside the springs, hikes up the canyon make for great excursions. The ancient graves carved into the sides of the mountain and the watch towers along with fossil remains that are millions of years old make this a place worth visiting.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Campers should bring their own tents and other basic supplies.
Mut – Dağpazarı Village (Highland)
Transportation: The road leading to this highland village situated 36 km north of Mut is asphalt for 15 km and the remainder is gravel.
Description: Built on the remains of an ancient city, this highland village has tea houses, markets and a health clinic. There are local police should they be needed. The church found in the center of the village and the mosaics in the garden of one of the houses are priceless parts of the area’s history. Surrounded by juniper and scrub trees, the village raises vegetables and fruit in the fields surrounding the village.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Those who plan on camping should bring their own tents and other basic supplies.
Mut – Sartavul Highland
Transportation: Located 36 km. out on the Mut – Karaman – Konya highway, the highland village was founded at Sartavul Pass, which links the Mediterranean to Central Anatolia.
Description: Surrounded by pine and juniper forests, the interior of the village is filled with fruit orchards, wild flowers and mountain meadows. Very popular with the residents of Mut, Silifke and Karaman, it is also used by nomadic herders as summer pasture. One of the places worth visiting is the Atahan monastery, which can be reached by turning right on a dirt road at the 21 kilometer mark on the Mut – Sartavul highway and continuing on for 1.5 km. Wild mountain goats can be seen at The Mountain Goat Hunting and Game Preserve on nearby Kestel Mountain. The nearby Kestel (Kapuzu) Canyon makes an excellent nature excursion.
The village infrastructure has been completed and there are small markets, a post office, a gas station and restaurants serving fish and meat dishes. The rural police patrol the area.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Most basic necessities can be purchased here.
Anamur – Kaş Highland
Transportation: It is located 40 km. out on the Anamur – Ermenek – Karaman highway.
Description: Situated between two hills, the highland village is surrounded by a forest of juniper, pine and fir. Used by the residents of Anamur, there are tea houses, small markets and restaurants which are open during the summer.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Most basic necessities can be purchased here.
Anamur – Abanoz Highland
Transportation: Located 50 km out on the Anamur – Ermenek – Karaman highway, it is possible to get a minibus from Anamur.
Description: In this mountains village situated on the slope of two hills with a small stream running through the center, there are highland houses made of wood and stone as well as newer summer homes. Used heavily by the residents of Anamur, there are tea houses, small markets and restaurants which are open during the summer.
Places to visit in this mountain village surrounded with century-old fir and juniper trees include Bicikli cave and the ruins of a castle at Kaletepe.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Most basic necessities can be purchased here.
Skiing: There is a skiing establishment on the north slopes of Mount Bolkar that is on the way between Niğde and Mersin.
Bolkar Skiing Center
Mersin – Bolkar Mountains
The Bolkar mountains, which form the Turkish extension of the Alps, begin in Resadiye in the southwest and run along the southern coast of Turkey until they connect to the Zaganos Mountains in Iran.
There are many peaks over 3000m in this range. Medeksiz (3524 m.) is the highest peak in the range, and Meydan has a very good campsite. About 45 minutes southwest of Meydan is Karagol (2650m), another good camping spot, and in June the lake is surrounded on all sides by beautiful wild-flowers. The nomadic Yoruk people, who originate from Central Asia, still live in this area with traditions and roots unchanged for thousands of years.
Height: 3524 m.
Location: An extension of the Central Taurus Mountains, in the provinces of Mersin and Nigde. The best time for summer climbs are between 15 May -15 August, and for winter climbs between the end of December and early March.
Characteristics: In this range made up mostly of limestone, it is possible to see scattered snow banks even in the summer. It has a wide variety of forest and meadow plants.
Transport: Climbing Medeksiz, the highest peak, can be done from either Ulukisla – Ciftehan or Pozanti – Camalan, both of which are on the highway between Ankara and Adana.
Climbing: Medeksiz should be started from the village of Maden via Ciftehan. During the summer months, it is recommended to camp at the Meydan plateau, which is accessible by jeep or other off-road vehicle. If Camalan is the chosen starting point, you can get as far as Elmalipinari by car. From here, every climber can choose an ascent that fits his skill level.
Mountaineering: Aladağlar (Çamardı) Mountains that 50 kilometre away east from Pozantı, Demirkazık, Alaca, Güveller and Cebel Lake are like a heaven for mountaineering.
Air Sports: THK (Türkiye Air Association), gives slope parachute and sail wing education. There are Gelicik Hill 267 meter hight for master slope parachutists at Emirler Village, A hill 150 meter hight inside the Mersin University Çiftlik Village Campus for beginners. Karatepe Hill north of waterfall at Tarsus and Çanaktepe hill are suitable for slope parachute too.
Water Sports: It is possible to make water sports like rafting at rivers of Mersin (Göksu River), windsurfing, surfing, boating, parachute, water skiing at beaches.
Göksu River (Rafting)
IÇEL GÖKSU RIVER
The River Goksu is the most important river in the province of Icel, originating from two branches from the Central Toros (Taurus) mountain range. The southern branch starts at Geyik Mountains, and the other at Haydar Mountains, and unite to the south of Mut to form the Goksu. The 260 km long river forms a delta between Tasucu and Silifke as it flows into the Mediterranean.
The river forms lagoons at Akgol and Paradeniz on the coast between Silifke and Tasucu. The Goksu Delta is regarded by the International Council for Bird Protection (ICBP) as a major bird refuge in Europe and the Middle East, with more than 300 bird species. It is the primary reproduction area in Turkey for reed rooster, summer duck, flamingo, heron, pelican, spurred pewit, long-legged marsh swallow, Izmir kingfisher, bee eater, moustached reed nightingale and the white throat warbler.
The Goksu Delta has also a special significance for being one of the few remaining areas in the world where sea turtles (caretta caretta, chelonias mydas) and blue crabs (callinectes sapidus) lay their eggs. The Environmental Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment has declared the Goksu delta as a Special Environmental Protection Zone to protect the area against pollution and exploitation, and to ensure that natural resources and cultural assets have a future.
As one of the best preserved wetlands in the world, the Delta is expected to be included in the list of the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance, signed by 45 countries, including Turkey. Wild goat, wild boar, partridge and rabbit inhabit the mountains in the Goksu basin. Their lower slopes are covered with laurel bushes, oleanders and brushwood. Sandalwood, mastic, Margosa, furze and holly oak trees start at 500 m and red-pine forests above 1000 m.
The wide river bed of the Goksu is suitable for all types of river sports, with class 1-2 waters, and its calm waters are recommended for beginners. The 90km section between Derincay and Degirmendere is the best place for rafting and canoeing. Derincay is reached by the road heading west 3 km north of Mut on the Karaman-Silifke highway. The 14 km section between the bridges near the villages of Kislakoy and Kargicak has short canyons and an interesting landscape. After passing this section, the course may be completed near Degirmendere.
The clear waters of Mersin have many interesting dive sites including the sunken cargo ship at the western cape of Dana island. There is a submerged island northwest of Sancak bay, with large ancient oil jars.
Youth Tourism: Akkum Youth Camp that depended to Minister of Youth and Sport province directorate, is at the 65th kilometre point of Mersin – Silifke roadway, near the Akkum locality. This institution that has activities as Youth and Scout Camp and 192 beds, gives services between 1 June – 30 September dates. In these place students whom chosen from their schools, takes duties and have chance to make holiday.
Moreover, youths can make camp with suitable prices at play – camps like Erdemli Çamlığı, Limonlu Çay Delta, Kızkalesi, Susanoğlu, Akkum, Boğsak, Anamur/Pullu and Anamur/İskele places.
Mersin Youth Camps
İçel – Silifke Youth Camp
Camp Tel: (+90-324) 723 33 68 / 723 30 26 / 723 31 02
Fax: (+90-324) 723 30 04
Administrative Office Tel: (+90-324) 325 33 34 / 325 33 36
Administrative Office Fax:: (+90-324) 325 25 03
There are 30 rooms with 6 beds, a bathroom and toilet in each room. The facilities have a swimming pool as well as basketball and volleyball courts.
Distance from provincial headquarters to camp: 150 km, 2 hours.
Distance from Silifke to Camp: 25 km, 15-20 minutes
Mersin Forest Camps
Pullu Forest Camp
Location: Silifke-Anamur road.
Facilities: Lots of shade, public telephone, food stand/market, restaurant, beach, laundry area, bathrooms, facility for washing dishes, toilets, showers, drinking water, water hook-up for motor homes.
Open: 1 April-31 October
Tel: (0324) 814 28 16 – 827 11 51
Erdemli (Talat Göktepe)
Location: Anamur, on the Mersin-Silifke road
Facilities: Lots of shade, public telephone, food stand/market, restaurant, beach, laundry area, bathrooms, kitchen, facility for washing dishes, toilets showers, water hook-up for motor homes.
Tel: (0324) 516 02 65
Hunting: only Çamlıyayla / Cocak – Cehennem river Mountain goat protection place is open to hunting tourism from nature life protection ares in province. In this place mountain goat hunting made between 1 August – 31 December, 1 March – 31 March Dates.
Göksu Delta is second degree reserve place for nomad birds in Türkiye. Formed as protection from hunting and breeding place by National Parks, Hunt and Wild Life Protection Directorate.
Typical Mediterranean hot and temperate climate dominate at Mersin and surroundings. Summers pass with hot and excessive moisture, winters pass with temperate and rainy.
Known history of this region is connected from inside to Luvi, Kizzuwatna, Hittite, Asur and Babylon Kingdoms histories. Than region dominated by Hittite, Urartu, Asur, Babylon, Lydia, Persian, Seleukos and Rome Empire, names mentioned with dominance order. Until the Ottoman’s conquer of region at 17th century, Arabians, Abbasi, Egyptian Tulunoğulları, Seljuklians, Mogols, the crusaders, Memluks, Ramzanoğulları and Karamanoğulları take control, since the 16th century this region added to Ottoman land.
Where to Eat
There is possibility of eating water products, meat meals and special kebab various in developed restaurant models at Mersin province. Grilled fish, tantuni, cezerye, kuş gözü, humus, telatür, eya dolması, şırdan, bandırma, yüzük soup, övelemeç are local meals original to region.
Where to Buy
Mersin province is very rich by the means of shopping malls. Various gift items and cookies that show local properties of Mersin and Mersin counties, can be bought. Sample for beautiful hand made creations can be seen in rugs, pile-less carpets and multi coloured kerchief.
Don’t Leave Without
– Seeing Cennet – Cehennem Caves at Silifke,
– Seeing ‘ta St. Paul Church and other historical values at Tarsus,
– Visiting Anamuryum Ruins at Abamur, Kanlıdivane Ruins at Erdemli,
– Rafting at Göksu, tracking at Boklar, diving ad bays,
– Swimming at beaches,
– Tasting famous cookie of province Cezerye, tasting special kebab variety tantuni,
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in İçel
Archaeological Sites: 164
Urban Sites: 2
Natural Sites: 28
Historical Sites: 1
Archaeological and Natural Sites: 24
Historical and Natural Sites: 1
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural Heritages: 817
Governorship : (+90-324) 231 1155
Municpality : (+90-324) 231 88 80
Hospital : (+90-324) 336 02 50
Police : (+90-324) 891 02 60
Gendarme : (+90-324) 238 82 70
Provincial Directorate : (+90-324) 238 32 71 – 238 32 73
Tourism Information Offices : (+90-324) 714 11 51 – 714 53 28
Harbour : (+90-324) 233 32 72
Tel: (324) 827 11 51
Tel: (324) 714 65 81
Tel: (324) 796 01 02
Erdemli / Talat
Tel: (324) 515 21 40
Tel: (324) 481 34 81
Gözne Kale Çamlık
Genç.ve Spor Md. Akkum / Gen. Kampı
Tel: (324) 723 30 26
Silifke Erdemli Yolu Üzeri
Kervansaray Kızkalesi / Erdemli
Tel: (324) 233 15 41
National Parks And Forest Campsites
Erdemli Sahil Çamlığı
Erdemli / Mersin
Tel: (324) 515 12 19
Anamur Silifke Karayolu 7. km.
Tel: (324) 814 11 05
Tel: (324) 814 11 05
Tel: (324) 237 22 52
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (324) 231 96 29
Fax: (324) 233 49 28
A hall with 600 seating capacity for opera, ballet, theater, etc.
Contact Address: Atatürk Cad. Cumhuriyet Alanı 33070 – Mersin
Tel: (324) 237 19 02 – 03 – 04
A hall with 500 spectator capacaity for activities such as opera, ballet and theater 400 m² Exhibition Hall Library 4 Art Workshops
Contact Address: Muvaffak Uygur Cad. Tarsus – İçel
Tel: (324) 614 10 44
Fax: (324) 613 13 52
State Fine Arts Gallery Directorate
Uray Cad. No:38 MERSİN
Tel: (0 324) 231 56 21
Fax: 233 49 28
İçel (Mersin) Museum
Address: Atatürk Cad. Kültür Merkezi – İçel
Tel: (324) 231 96 18
Silifke Ataturk Museum
Address: Taşucu Cad. No: 111 Silifke – İçel
Tel: (324) 714 10 19
Fax: (324) 714 28 52
Address: Yalıevleri Mah. Fahri Görgülü Cad. No: 8 Anamur – İçel
Tel: (324) 814 16 77
Address: Tarsus – İçel
Tel: (324) 613 06 25
Mersin Ataturk Museum
Mersin Governorship http://www.icel.gov.tr/
Toroslar Municipality http://www.toroslar-bld.gov.tr/
Göksu Municipality http://www.toroslar-bld.gov.tr/
Mersin University http://www.mersin.edu.tr/