the ancient Korykant, is a small holiday
resort. The Fortress of Korykos
faces the Fortress of Kızkalesi
(Maiden's Castle) built by Armenian
kings on a small island 200 m off shore.
Formely, they were connected to each
other by a sea wall.
At Narlıkuyu, a pretty fishing village located
in a small bay with lots of nice fish restaurants,
the tiny museum displays
a beautiful Roman mosaic. It depicts the
Three Graces Hera, Athena
and Aphrodite to whom the
following Myth of the Apple of Discord is
related: Zeus was preparing a wedding banquet
for Peleus and Thetis and did not want to
invite the goddess Eris - later called Discordia
by the Romans - because she took pleasure
stirring up disputes among mortals and immortals
alike. This made Eris angry and she, who
was terrible in appearance, fashioned a
golden apple and inscribed upon it KALLISTI
("To The Prettiest One"). On the
wedding day, she managed to roll the apple
across the floor of the banquet hall. Three
of the invited goddesses, Athena, Hera,
and Aphrodite, each laid claim to it because
of the inscription, and they started to
fight. Zeus, to calm things down, chose
Trojan Paris as arbitrator,
but each of the goddesses offered him a
tempting bribe. Athena offered him heroic
war victories and Hera offered him great
wealth, but Paris chose Aphrodite who offered
to help him seduce and abduct the most beautiful
woman on earth: Helen
the wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta who
led an army to Troy
to get her back. Such is the origin of the
chasm called Cennet (Paradise) with
a 5C chapel, and the very deep chasm called
Cehennem (Hell) are located in the
region of Narlıkuyu. The humid air of Narlıkuyu
Caves, which are full of stalactites and stalagmites,
is believed to be beneficial to respiratory
Mersin is the most important Turkish free
zone port on the Mediterranean Sea. Totally
artificial, it is a very active industrial
center (refineries) of recent development,
located at the bottom of a large gulf. It
is the crossroad of important roads and railroads.
The town is modern and pleasant with its broad
avenues lined with palm-trees.
The Mersin International Fair takes palce
every year in September, and the Mersin Art
and Culture Festival in September-October.
12 kms / 7.5 miles west of Mersin, at Viranşehir
stands the ancient city of Soloi (the
sun) founded in 700 BC by Rhodians. After
it was ruled by the Persians
and the Greeks, pirates became the new colonists
of the city. These people had, between others,
the bad reputation to speak an awful Greek.
Today the word "solecism", which
comes from Soloi, is still in use. In the
middle of the 1C BC, Roman general Pompey
took over, and the city was rebuilt under
the name of Pompeiopolis. A beautiful
row of columns with Corinthian
capitals that once lined the main street
of the city and the port, have remained.
is located on the Tarsus river, the
antique Cydnus. Originally Tarsus was a
sea port, but because of the silting up,
today it is located some 15 km / 9.3 miles
Probably of Hittite
origin, like all other Cilician
cities, Tarsus came in turn under the Assyrian,
arrived to Tarsus in a beautifully adorned
ship, seated on her throne, for her meeting
with Mark Antony), Byzantine,
Arab, Armenian and finally Turkish domination.
Tarsus was an important stoic philosophy
center and later it was the home to one
of the first Christian
churches in Asia Minor. Tarsus is the
birthplace of Paul who, at the time,
was a Jew called Saul, and a Roman citizen.
Paul went to Jerusalem for further studying
as a strict Pharisee. There, he participated
to the stoning of St Stephen who was the
first Christian martyr. After his sudden
conversion on his way to Damascus that he
had to flee, he came back to Tarsus proclaiming
that Jesus was the Messiah. Then he became
the assistant of Barnabas who brought him
to Antioch (Antakya).
Paul made three missionary journeys to Asia
Minor. He finally was arrested in Jerusalem
in 58. Waiting for his trial, he was first
sent to Ceasarea and later to Rome where,
according to the tradition, he was killed
as a martyr under the rule of Nero. St Paul
was known as the Apostle to the Gentiles.Tarsus
was a prosperous city during the Roman period,
and it was a reputed (tent - making) cloth
weaving center (Paul was a cloth-weaver).
Three ecumenical councils were held in Tarsus
in 431, 435 and 1177.
Tarsus was taken from the hands of the Seljuks
by the Crusaders in 1097, and by the Armenians
in 1173. Leo III was crowned king of Armenia
in 1199 in the cathedral of Tarsus. In 1359,
it was conquired by the Mamelukes of Egypt
and finally by the Ottomans
In spite of a long and brillant past, Tarsus
has few ancient monuments remaining:
Gate of Cleopatra that the Egyptian queen
crossed with Mark Antony when they met in
Tarsus in 41 AD.
St Paul's Well
is located in St Paul's house. Here, visitors
can drink the blessed water.
an early Christian church transformed into
is an Ottoman mosque built in 1579.
Gözlü Kule is a site where Hittite
vestiges have been excavated (findings are
displayed in the Museum of Adana).
the fourth largest city in Turkey, is located
on the right bank of the Seyhan
Adana is a modern city and the most important
industrial (textile industry) and agricultural
place in the plain of Çukurova (Cilicia),
located among cotton fields and citrus groves
where oranges, tangerines and lemons are grown.
The people of the region eat very spicy hot
food, and Adana is famous for its spicy meat
speciality, the "Adana
kebabı" grilled on a "mangal"
which is the Turkish barbecue. The local beverage
is the "shalgam" made from beetroots.
The city has very old origins, but due to
a very eventful past, almost nothing
has survived. The places of interest
is a 310 m long
stone bridge that spans the Seyhan
River. It was built in the 2C AD by
Roman Emperor Hadrian and restored
in the 6C. Today only 14 arches out
of its 21 original arches are still
the great mosque from the 16C, is
made of black and white marble.
Ramazanoğlu Camii, also called
Eski Yağ mosque, is located in the
heart of the bazaar.
The Archaeoligical and Ethnographical
Museum: ceramics from the Bronze
Age, Hittite seals and cylinders,
Roman sarcophagi, Hellenistic and
Roman coins... a reconstitution of
nomadic Turkmen (Turcoman) house life
and costumes as well as a collection
of folkloric costumes can be seen.
north of Adana , Seyhan Dam and
Lake is a nice place to take a
refreshing walk in the shady paths.
There, tea gardens and restaurants
await people who, escaping the heat
of Adana, remain until late to view
the sunset over the glittering river
the region of Adana, Incirlik
hosts the NATO air base.
In the north-east of Adana, on the
pictureque road to Kadirli past the
remains of the ancient Roman city
and the citadel of Hieropolis-Kastabala,
the National Park of Karatepe
houses a 8C BC Neo-Hittite
site which is a beautiful open-air
museum that has been left intact after
the excavations. The Azatiwadaya citadel,
named after Azatiwatas, the ruler
of the plains of Adanawa (Adana),
was built near the Ceyhan river (now
Aslantaş Dam) and a main caravan road,
to control the region . The citadel
was destroyed by the Assyrians around
Two monumental T-shaped gate-houses
gave access to the citadel. There
stands the imposing statue of the
Thunderstorm-God Baal or Tarhunzas.
The inner walls were adorned with
sculptures of lions and sphinxes,
inscriptions and reliefs depicting
cultual, mythological and daily-life
scenes carved on blocks of basalt.
The longest Hittite hieroglyphic text
known until now, as well as its translation
in Phoenician, were inscribed on slabs
of each gate. A third inscription
in Phoenician was on the Divine Statue,
constituing the key for the final
deciphering of the hieroglyphs ( being
thus reminiscent of the famous Rosetta