Mersin Province

The Mersin Province (Turkish: Mersin ili) is a province in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast between Antalya and Adana. The provincial capital is the city of Mersin and the other major town is Tarsus, birthplace of St Paul. The province is part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region, that covers the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Hatay.

Mersin Province

Mersin ili
Location of Mersin Province in Turkey
Location of Mersin Province in Turkey
 • Electoral districtMersin
 • Total15,853 km2 (6,121 sq mi)
 • Total1,814,468
 • Density110/km2 (300/sq mi)
Area code(s)0324
Vehicle registration33

İçel and Mersin

As of 1933, there were two separate provinces, namely İçel and Mersin, on the territory of today's Mersin Province when the Mersin Province was abolished and merged with the İçel Province but the seat of the latter was moved from Silifke to Mersin. In 2002, the province's name was changed from İçel to Mersin but the province retained the license plate number of 33, İçel having been the 33rd in the alphabetical order of Turkish province names.


87% of the land area is mountain, leading up to the rocky heights of the central Taurus Mountains, the highest peak is Medetsiz (3,584 m) in the Bolkar range, and there are a number of important passes over to central Anatolia. There are many high meadows and small plains between 700 and 1500m.

The coastal strip has many large areas of flatland, formed from soil brought down by rivers and streams running off the mountains. This is fertile land, the largest area being the plain of Tarsus. The largest rivers are the Göksu and the Berdan (aka Tarsus, Cydnus of antiquity), but there are many small streams running into lakes, reservoirs or the Mediterranean sea. Mersin has 321 km of coastline, much of it sandy beach. The climate is typical of the Mediterranean; very hot and very humid in summer, warm and wet in winter; the winter rains can be very heavy and flooding is a problem in many areas, but it never snows on the coast, although there is snow in the high mountain areas.

The city of Mersin is one of Turkey's busiest: due to the economic activity in this part of Turkey generated by the GAP Project Mersin is Turkey's biggest Mediterranean port, and now has an oil refinery and a free trade zone too; there are a number of factories along the road between Mersin and Adana, manufacturing glass, detergents, fertilisers and many more. With all this activity a modern city has grown with a university and other major amenities.

About 50% of the population of the province is younger than 24 years of age. 68% were born in Mersin. The literacy rate is 89%. About 43% of the male population and about 27% of the female population graduated from middle school. Infant mortality is 0.48%. Urban population growth rate is 2.42%. Population density is 117.


Mersin does not have the huge volume of tourists enjoyed by neighbouring Antalya or the Aegean coast, but Turkish people do come to this coast, especially now that the hotels have air-conditioning, and perhaps more to the mountain country behind where there are healing mineral water springs. In summer the hills are a popular retreat from the high humidity and extreme heat on the coast. West of Mersin includes bays, and little islands. Yacht touring is a tourism income in these areas.


In antiquity this coast was part of Cilicia, named for a Phoenician or Assyrian prince that had settled here. Trade from Syria and Mesopotamia over the mountains to central Anatolia passed through here, through the Cilician Gates. The geographer Strabo, described the region as being divided into "Rugged Cilicia" (Cilicia Trachea, Κιλικία Τραχεία in Greek) and "Flat Cilicia" (Cilicia Pedias, Κιλικία Πεδιάς). The capital of both sections of Cilicia was Tarsus and Mersin was its seaport.


Mersin districts
Districts of Mersin Province

Mersin province is divided into thirteen districts four of which are actually included within the municipality of Mersin city (shown in boldface letters).


(In the table below, the four second-level municipalities are merged within Mersin proper.)

Name of the district Population
(urban area)
(district total,
including rural area)
Mersin 842,230 888,803
Anamur 34,227 62,702
Aydıncık 8,004 11,651
Bozyazı 15,615 26,295
Çamlıyayla 2,861 9,847
Erdemli 45,241 125,391
Gülnar 8,357 19,141
Mut 28,966 63,673
Silifke 51,684 113,404
Tarsus 233,436 308,681

Places of interest

Towns and other geographic features


Archaeological and historical



See also


Mersin Yenişehir shore

Mediterranean sea shore

Refah monument from the south, Mersin

Refah monument

Mersin lighthouse from the south

Light house

Mersin harbor from the west


Soli ruins, Mersin

Soli ruins

Castle in Mamure, Anamur, Turkey from the Sea

Mamure castle

Aynalıgöl cave



Detail from the mosaic



Kadıncık HES, Mersin 01

Kadıncık dam

Kızkalesi (Maiden's castle)

Maiden's castle

Öküzlü basilica

Öküzlü basilica

Emirzeli, Church, Mersin Province, Turkey

Emirzeli church

Limonlu Mersin Province



Lake Karakız

Mut Castle, Mersin Province

Mut castle

Alahan, Mersin Province, Turkey

Alahan Monastery

Silifke Bridge Mersin Province

Silifke historical bridge

Cape Tisan, Mersin province

Cape Tisan

Boğsak Islet

Boğsak Islet


Karakabaklı ruins



Sculpture, Silifke Museum

Sculpture in Silifke Museum

Narlıkuyu, Mersin Province, Turkey


Atakent Susanoğlu Mersin Province


Mezgitkale, Mersin Province, Turkey


Berdan River, Tarsus

Berdan River

Cleopatra's Gate in Tarsus, Mersin Province

Cleopatra's Gate

Ulucami, Tarsus, Mersin Province

Grand Mosque

Yenice Meeting

Tarsus, Yenice train station
Location of İnönü-Churcill meeting


  1. ^ "Population of provinces by years - 2000-2018". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 9 March 2019.

External links

Coordinates: 36°40′43″N 33°48′19″E / 36.67861°N 33.80528°E

Antiochia Lamotis

Antiochia Lamotis (Greek: Αντιόχεια η Λαμωτίς) or Antiochia in Isauria (Αντιόχεια της Ισαυρίας) is a Hellenistic city in ancient Cilicia, Anatolia at the mouth of Lamos (or Lamus) river. The site is on the coast a few km southwest of Erdemli, Mersin Province, Turkey. During Roman times, it was capital of the Lamotis Region, Cilicia. The town also bore the name Lamus or Lamos (Λάμος). The river is mentioned by Stephanus of Byzantium, and both the river and the town by Strabo and Ptolemy. The river, which is otherwise of no importance, formed the boundary between Cilicia Aspera and Cilicia Propria. The town later became the seat of a bishop; no longer a residential bishopric, it remains a titular see in the Roman Catholic Church under the name of Lamus.

Arsinoe (Cilicia)

Arsinoe (Ancient Greek: Ἀρσινόη) was a city on the coast of ancient Cilicia between Anemurium and Kelenderis; the site is near the modern city of Bozyazı, Mersin Province, Turkey. Strabo mentions Arsinoe as having a port. In the 19th century, William Martin Leake placed it at or near the ruined modern castle, called Softa Kalesi (Sokhta Kálesi), just west of Bozyazı, below which is a port, such as Strabo describes at Arsinoe, and a peninsula on the east side of the harbor covered with ruins. This modern site is east of Anemurium, and west of, and near to, Kızil Burnu (Cape Kizliman). The city was founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus and named for Arsinoe II of Egypt, his sister and wife.

The site of Arsinoe is located near modern an archaeological site named Maraş Harabeleri about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) east of Bozyazı in Anatolia.

Corycium Antrum

Corycium Antrum was an inland town of ancient Cilicia, above Arima, inhabited during the Byzantine era.Its site is tentatively located near Cennet Obruğu in Asiatic Turkey.


Emirzeli (İmirzeli) is a group of ruins in Mersin Province, Turkey

Flaviopolis (Cilicia)

Flaviopolis (Ancient Greek: Φλαβιόπολις or Φλαοϋιόπολις), or Phlaouiopolis, or Flavias, was a town of ancient Cilicia. Respecting its history scarcely anything is known, and it cannot be ascertained whether it owed its name to the emperor Vespasian, or to some member of the family of Constantine. In later times it was the see of a Christian bishop.

Its site is located near Kadirli in Asiatic Turkey.


Holmi or Holmoi (Ancient Greek: Ὅλμοι), or Holmia, also possibly called Hermia, was a town of Cilicia Tracheia, a little to the south-west of Seleucia ad Calycadnum; during the period after Alexander the Great its inhabitants were transferred to form the population of the neighbouring Seleuceia. The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax (c. 340-330 BCE) describes it as deserted.

Its site is located near Taşucu in Asiatic Turkey.


Kalanthia was a coastal town of ancient Cilicia, inhabited during the Roman and Byzantine eras.Its site is located near Erdemli in Asiatic Turkey.


Kanytelis was an inland town of ancient Cilicia, inhabited during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras. Its name does not appear among ancient authors but is inferred from epigraphic and other evidence.Its site is located near Kanlıdivane in Asiatic Turkey.


Karakabaklı is an archaeological site in Mersin Province, Turkey.


Kiphisos was a town on the coast of ancient Cilicia, inhabited during Roman and Byzantine times.Its site is located near Yeşilovacık in Asiatic Turkey.


Korasion, also called Kalon Korakesion, was a town of ancient Cilicia, on the coast a little to the east of Seleucia ad Calycadnum, inhabited during the Roman and Byzantine eras.Its site is tentatively located near Susanoğlu in Asiatic Turkey.

Mamure Castle

Mamure Castle (Turkish: Mamure kalesi) is a medieval castle in the Anamur District of Mersin Province, Turkey.

Mylae (Cilicia)

Mylae or Mylai (Ancient Greek: Μυλαί), also called Mylas (Μύλας) or Myle, was a town of ancient Cilicia, located on a promontory of the same name, between Aphrodisias and Cape Sarpedon (modern Incekum Burnu).Its site is located near Manastır in Asiatic Turkey.


Philaea or Philaia (Ancient Greek: Φιλαία), also called Palaeae or Palaiai and Palaea or Palaia, was a town on the coast of ancient Cilicia mentioned in the Stadiasmus Maris Magni.Its site is located near Tahta Limanı (on Eğribük bay) in Asiatic Turkey. Although there are very few ruins, an underwater survey reveals that most of the ruins are submerged in the water. There is also a necropolis. Judging from the grave types it is believed that Philaea was a Roman town.


Pisurgia or Pisourgia (Ancient Greek: τὰ Πισούργια) was a town on the coast of ancient Cilicia, between Celenderis and Seleucia ad Calycadnum, 45 stadia to the west of Cape Crauni (modern Silisalma Burnu or Ada Burnu), and to the right of the island of Crambusa.Its site is located near Sipahili (Babadil) in Asiatic Turkey.


Pseudokorasion was a town of ancient Cilicia, on the coast a little to the east of Seleucia ad Calycadnum, inhabited during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.Its site is tentatively located near Devle Çiftliği in Asiatic Turkey.


Syce or Syke (Ancient Greek: Σύκη), also called Sycae or Sykai (Συκαί), possibly also called Setos, was a town of ancient Cilicia, between Arsinoë and Celenderis.Syce is located near Softa Kalesi in Asiatic Turkey.

Tapureli ruins

Tapureli ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.


Yanıkhan is an archaeological site in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Mersin Province of Turkey
Turkey Mersin Province


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