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Through the Cilician Gates: Mersin and Beyond

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Learn the history of Cilicia by traveling through the region around Mersin, Turkey!
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Demirtaş Mahallesi, Soğuksu Cd. No:40, 33090 Toroslar/Mersin, Turkey
Yumuktepe is a tumulus in Mersin that dates back to 6000 B.C. There are 23 levels to the mound, though there are no existing structures visible above ground. The top of the mound, and a few places along the sides of the tell, have been excavated....
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Hal Mahallesi, Mersin BŞB Toptancılar Hali, 33110 Akdeniz/Mersin, Turkey
The Tırmıl Ruins can be found in the Tırmıl factory complex in the Akdeniz İlçe on the eastern side of Mersin. Surrounded by factories and warehouses, seeing the remains of this ancient structure peaking through the mound can be a bit surprising!...
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Korukent Mahallesi, 33230 Toroslar/Mersin, Turkey
The word “dikilitaş” in Turkish means “stone that is perpendicular,” or better, an obelisk. While most Turks (and travellers to Turkey for that matter) know of the famous obelisks in Istanbul outside of the Blue Mosque (also known as Sultanahmet...
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Turunçlu, Turunçlu Mahallesi, 33110 Yenişehir/Mersin, Turkey
If you’re looking for a good hike and a view from far above the city of Mersin and the sea, then Başnalar Castle is a trek for you! Dating back to the Middle Ages (approximately 10-12th century, this castle sits atop a 800m tall mountain with...
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suzan dogan park plaza altı no 15 zemin kat, Akdeniz Mahallesi, 39609 Mezitli/Mersin, Turkey
Sütunlu Cadde (translated as columned street) can be found in the Soli area of Mersin. Originally a 350 meter (.22 mile) street leading from the ancient city of Soloi (Greek: Ʃoloi) down to it’s port, the column lined street would have been quite...
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Toroslar Mahallesi Ataturk-8 Bulvari, Dikilitaş Mahallesi, No 17 Akdeniz, 33050 Akdeniz/Mersin, Turkey
Güdübeş (or Gudubes) Kalesi is a castle dating back to the Middle Ages. The crusaders built it, but not much else is known about its original purpose. It was later used as a prisoner holding area in the war between France and Turkey after World...
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For most of recorded history, the Cilician Gates have been the main thoroughfare of travel between Asia Minor and the lands of Syria and beyond. This pass of the Cilician Gates (Πulai Κιλικία in Greek, Gülek Boğazı -the throat of Gülek- in...
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Setting atop the mountain that overlooks the pass, at 1600 meters, is Gülek Kalesi (Castle). It was built during the middle ages and was a strategic location for both defense of the pass, and for the collection of fees from those who would pass...
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Kızkalesi Mahallesi, Silifke Mersin Blv., 33790 Erdemli/Mersin, Turkey
Kızkalesi, in ancient times known as Korykos, is known by locals as having some of the best beaches in Turkey. And while the beaches are really worth coming for, while you’re here don’t miss out on the history that awaits your discovery. In Roman...
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Karahacılı, Karahacılı Mahallesi, 33110 Yenişehir/Mersin, Turkey
If you’re in Mersin and looking for a quick getaway to some cooler temperatures, some great views of the city, and some trail hiking, head up to the City Forest (Şehir Ormanı) north of the city. The forest is situated on a “yayla,” or plateau,...
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Ayaş Mahallesi, 33740 Erdemli/Mersin, Turkey
One of the more visited stops by locals on their way to and from the beaches of Kızkalesi (ancient Korykos) is Elaiussa Sebaste. Elaiussa became the residence of the last Cappadocian king, Archelaus, who built Sebaste in honor of the then emperor,...
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Caminur Mahallesi, 0805. Sk. No:11, 33440 Tarsus/Mersin, Turkey
Gözlükule is a tumulus or mound that at one time was a thriving city at the crossroads of two of the main roads of the region, one following the coastline of the sea, and the other coming down from Anatolia through the Cilician Gates. It was a...
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Tarsus Adana 47. Km., Tarsus Merkez, Tarsus, Mersin (İçel), Caminur Mahallesi, 33440 Tarsus/Mersin, Turkey
The Kleopatra Kapısı (Gate of Cleopatra) is the only remaining entrance of the wall that once protected the city of Tarsus. It’s name comes from the fact that Cleopatra, when coming to Tarsus to meet Mark Antony (and thus spark their infamous...
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St. Paul’s Church (in Turkish, Aziz Pavlus Kilisesi) is an Orthodox church in Tarsus, the Apostle Paul’s hometown. It is also known as St. Paul’s Museum (Aziz Pavlus Müzesi), as there is not an active congregation of people who meet in it...
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Gözne Beldesi, Akdeniz, Mersin (İçel), Gözne Mahallesi, 33325 Toroslar/Mersin, Turkey
Hidden in the Bolkar Mountain range in the larger Taurus Mountains above Mersin, Gözne is a picturesque Turkish mountain town used by locals for both year round homes and summer homes. But above them all is Gözne Castle, looking down on the town...