Eastern MEDITERRANEAN Coast
Mark Antony (Markus Antonius) gave the lovely Cilician shores, the land between
Alanya and the Syrian Border to Cleopatra, as a wedding present.
Also associated with the region's past is St. Paul, a native of
Tarsus. Today the region is known for its fertile soil which produces
abundant crops, and for the hospitality of the region's denizens.
Surrounded by densely cultivated market gardens, Mersin, the provincial
center of Icel, lies midway on the eastern Mediterranean coast
of Turkey. Its shady palmlined avenues, city park and modern hotels
create a pleasant ambience from which to visit the nearby historical
sites and numerous beaches. A rapidly developing city and the
largest free- zone port on the Turkish Mediterranean; Mersin has
a regular car ferry service to Gazimagosa (Famagusta) in the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus. In the fish market sample the fresh
catch in one of the several inexpensive restaurants Other local
delicacies include cezire, a local confection of carrots rolled
around a walnut center, and biberli ekmek, a small pizza topped
with a spicy meat less sauce. Despite its very modern appearance,
Mersin occupies the site of an extremely ancient city. At the
Yumuktepe tumulus, three kilometers west of town, excavations
have unearthed several successive settlements dating back to the
Neolithic Age .