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[Icel (Mersin)]


ANAMUR      


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Anamur is a touristic county with its long coasts, its bays expecting to be discovered, its ruins, and its unique landscape.

The long history of the antique city Anemurium dates back to the Phoenicians and it lived through the sovereignty of the civilizations like the Hittite Empire, the Assyrians, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Abbasid, and today its location is 6 km. southwest to the county seat of Anamur. The city was under the sovereignty of the Seljuk Empire and the Karamanid after the 11th century. In the city which is surrounded by the city walls there are an Odeon and a public bath. The most important characteristic of the Odeon which has circular shaped sitting places is its mosaics.

Anamur (Mamure) Castle is situated 5 km southeast to the county seat, and at the seashore. The castle was built by the Romans to protect the antique city of Anamurium in the 2nd – 3rd centuries AD. Like almost all of the antique ports of the Mediterranean, this place was ruled by the pirates, too. Anatolian Seljuk, Karamanid and the Ottoman Empire also conquered the castle. The castle was restored on the order of Ibrahim II of the Karamanid in 1450. The castle, consisting of two city walls which are crowded, was built with the stone material of the neighborhood. The castle with its still standing towers (39 item), bastions, observation windows, embrasures, and the walls reached to the present day in considerably good conditions. There are a mosque, which has been built by Karamanid chief Mahmut (1300- 1308), a theatre, water arches, monuments, houses furnished with mosaics and a church.

The remains of the Kalinoren (Titiopolis) are 5 km west to the county. The remains of the city outspread to a considerably wide area are left from Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine ages. The city, surrounded with walls, has left a twisted column, spaces with mosaic basements, a bath house, basilica with three naves, and the remains of the necropolis for the present day. It was found mausoleums, and tombs which have eagle and medusa headed figures over them in the necropolis.

Anamur Houses, built with the material special to the neighborhood and classified in three types are among the important cultural assets of the county.


AYDINCIK


The county of Aydincik which is located 37 km east to Anamur, 62 km southwest to Silifke is at a beautiful bay.

The county seat of Aydincik has been developed around the historical port Kelenderis (Kilindere). Kelenderis was one of the most important ports of the Cilicia region. Its most brilliant period was like the other ports in the region the 5th and the 4th BC centuries and afterwards it lived its triumph when the Mediterranean trade route was captured by the Romans. It lived under the rule of Byzantium, Anatolian Seljuk, and the Ottoman Empire. The remains of the city to the presence day are city walls and fortress, a public bath on the harbor, a theatre, rock tombs, sarcophagus, and mausoleum with its pyramid shaped roof. Some of the remains of the walls belonging to the fortress are located in the south of the city. The remains of the public bath are in a better condition in comparison with the castle’s ones. Its theatre is lying underground. However, the mausoleum named by the folk of Aydincik as Dort Ayak (four feet) is in the county seat. The grave thought to be built in the 2nd – 3rd centuries and sitting over four feet has a square plan and it has a pyramid shape roof.


BOZYAZI


Established on the outskirts of the Taurus Mountains, the county has a well kept coastal line. With the brook of Bozyazi, the historical houses, and the good service to the yacht tourism, the county is visited everyday by more and more people.

The name of Bozyazi in the antique age was Nagidos. From the antique settlement dating back to the 5th- 4th centuries BC, only the remains of the walls on the hill has reached today. The bridge over the brook of Bozyazi is dates back to the Roman era, too.

There are also various historical buildings around the county of Bozyazi. The ruin of Kilise Burnu (Cape of Church) was one of those. The settlement is on the border of Bozyazi to the village of Akkaya. The city wall, the cistern, the church, and the graves variously built dates back to the periods of the Late Roman and the Byzantium.

Maras Hill (Arsione) is 2 km east to Bozyazi. Today we have the remains of the graves furnished with mosaics.

Softa Castle is on the road to Mersin over a hill. It was used in the periods of the Roman, the Byzantium, and Anatolian Seljuk and restored in some periods. In between the walls of the castle, there are a cistern and the ruins of a public bath.

Calti Cavern has 45 km distance to the county of Bozyazi. Having a depth of 40 m., the cave is a scenic beauty consisting of stalagmites and stalactites which are white and red.


CAMLIYAYLA


Camliyayla is situated to the North of Mersin and is one of the oldest highland settlements of Mersin. The county is famous with its forest, its fresh air, and its scenic beauties. A promenade, full of pines called Papazin Bahcesi has a distance of 15 km to the county, an area for picnic. The crater lakes in the height areas, especially Cini Lake is convenient for camping. The most important historical remaining in Camliyayla is the Namrun Castle (Lampron) over the hill north to the county.


ERDEMLI


It is west to Mersin and has a distance of 37 km to the city. The county of Erdemli is famous for its antique city Kanytelis (Kanlidivane). This place is at the 50 km of the highway, 18 km southwest to Erdemli, and near to the Kiz Castle and the village of Artikli. Kanytelis, its oldest name was Neopolis, is founded by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century. Kanlidivane is the name used by the folk and the origin of this name dates back to the Roman era. In the Roman period, the criminals were torn by the animals in the deep pit in the center of the city, that’s why its name was remembered as Kanlidivane among people. The city was abandoned by the people in the 11th century.

The oldest records relating to the city which was a sacred settlement for the antique Kingdom of Olba were some tablets belonged to 3rd century BC. The Emperor of the Byzantine, Theodosius II (408- 450) has established a holy center of Christianity over the already existing Hellenistic city settlement. The important remaining related to the city dates back to the Hellenistic, the Roman, and the Byzantine eras. Basilicas, cisterns, roads, rock tombs, mausoleums, rock relief, the tower and the temple built for Zeus, lids of the sarcophagus of Semerdam are the remaining reached to present day. There are three basilicas and the best conditioned one is located on the southwest of the city. In the south of the city, there are rock tombs having figures of women and men carved to the rocks. At the top point of the necropolis in the North, there is a mausoleum built with a squared plan for the Queen Aba and her family.


GULNAR


The county of Gulnar is located at the 950 m of the Taurus Mountains is a highland settlement. In addition being famous with its scenic beauties and its grape, the county has also the city of Gilindire remained from the Roman era and Meydancik Castle. The history of the county reaches to the era of the Hittite Empire. The Turcoman came to the settlement which lived the Assyrian, the Roman, and the Byzantine sovereignty in the year of 1230. In 1461, it became a part of the Ottoman rule, and while at the beginnings of the 20th century it was a village, in 1916 it turned to a county.

Kirshu (Meydancik Castle) is located on a hill 10 km south to the Gulnar. It lived through the eras of the Hittite, Hellenistic, the Roman, and the Byzantine. The remaining of the settlement for today are some archeological like monumental door, grave frames craved to the rock and mansion.


MUT


The county of Mut in Mersin has a distance of 160 km to the city center. The city was under the rule of the Hittites, the State of Urartu, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Lydian, the Persian, the Seleukosian, and the Roman successively, after the 7th century the rulers became the Arabians, the Abbasid, the Tolunogullari from Egypt, the Seljuk, the Mongols, the Crusaders, the Mamelukes, the Ramazanogullari and the Karamanid, and finally it became a part of the Ottoman Empire.

The most important historical places in the county are Mut Castle and Alahan (Alacahan) Monastery.

Mut Castle, the origin of it, which is near to the Namazgah, dates back to the period of the Hittite Empire. It was restored during the eras of the Roma, the Seljuk, and the Ottoman Empire. The castle has a tower and four bastions and two doors being in the direction of east- west. There is written the name Klevdiyopolis in Greek at the western door. Historical resources stated that Cem Sultan accommodated in the castle for some time while escaping from his brother Yildirim Bayezid.

Alahan (Alacahan) Monastery; it is on the highway of Mut- Karamanid and 25 km north to the county. It’s located at a steep mountain side overlooking Goksu Valley. It was built through using cut stones by the Byzantines in 440 AD. Eastern and western churches, chambers carved to the rocks, the monastery and graves reached today. One of the churches was constructed as double- storied and with a dome in the rocks on the mountain side. There were St. Pierre and St. Paul, symbols of angels, and the writers of the bible portrayed. The inn and the churches are side by side.

It’s thought that the Dag Mosque belongs to the era of the Anatolian Seljuk. The mosque is 2 km southwest to Mut.

Laal Pasha Mosque: It was constructed by Laal Pasha during the reign of the Karamanid Principality in 1356-1390.It has a square plan and a dome. There are two shrines in the courtyard of the mosque.

Sartavul Inn; Alaeddin Keykubat, the sultan of the Anatolian Seljuk had it built, and it has a distance of 38 km. to Mut.

The ruins of Dagpazari (Corapissus) are 35 km northwest to Mut. The Byzantine churches, the mosaic on the floor having a scale of 15x5.50 m, and the cisterns have remained for today.

Mavga Castle; the history of the castle dating back to the first half of the 13th century, it was built by the sultan of the Anatolian Seljuk. It has a distance of 16 km to Mut, and is located nearby the highlands of Kozyayla.

Balobal Ruins; from the antique settlement situated on the highlands of Degirmenlik near to the village of Yalnizcabag having a distance of 40 km to Mut have remained many sarcophaguses and remains of walls for the present day.