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Mersin Province

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Mersin Province
Mersin ili
Mersin coastline
Mersin coastline
Location of the province within Turkey
Location of the province within Turkey
 • MayorVahap Seçer[1] (CHP)
 • ValiAli Hamza Pehlivan
16,010 km2 (6,180 sq mi)
 • Density120/km2 (310/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (TRT)
Area code0324

Mersin Province (Turkish: Mersin ili), formerly İçel Province (Turkish: İçel ili), is a province and metropolitan municipality in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast between Antalya and Adana. Its area is 16,010 km2,[3] and its population is 1,916,432 (2022).[2] The provincial capital and the biggest city in the province is Mersin, which is composed of four municipalities and district governorates: Akdeniz, Mezitli, Toroslar and Yenişehir. Next largest is Tarsus, the birthplace of Paul the Apostle. The province is considered to be a part of the geographical, economical and cultural region of Çukurova, which covers the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Hatay.

The capital of the province is the city of Mersin.


The province is named after its biggest city Mersin. Mersin was named after the aromatic plant genus Myrsine (Greek: Μυρσίνη, Turkish: mersin) in the family Primulaceae, a myrtle that grows in abundance in the area. The 17th-century Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi has recorded in his Seyahatnâme that there was also a clan named Mersinoğulları in the area.[4]


Köppen map of Mersin Province and surrounding regions:[5]
  •   Csa
  •   Csb
  •   Dsa
  •   Dsb
  •   Dsc

Ninth biggest province of Turkey by land area, Mersin consists %2,02 of Turkey.[6] 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 (Göksu Calycadnus and Berdan 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 rainless in summer, mild 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, only in the mountainous areas.


Mersin from the sky

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. The Seljuks later captured it from the Byzantines and it then came under the Crusaders then the Seljuks again and finally the Ottomans captured it and it remained part of the Ottoman Empire until 1922.


The province of Mersin until 1933 didn't include the western territories of the modern province, which then constituted the separate İçel province, with Silifke as its administrative center. In 1933, the provinces of Mersin and İçel were merged. The new province was named "İçel" and the city of Mersin was made its capital.[7] The province was renamed to "Mersin" on 28 June 2002.[8]


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


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.

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 as of November 2020.(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


Mersin skyline

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


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.

Places of interest

Towns and other geographic features


Archaeological and historical




See also


  1. ^ "Belediye Başkanımız". Mersin Büyükşehir Belediyesi. Archived from the original on 2019-03-23. Retrieved 2022-05-12.
  2. ^ a b "Address-based population registration system (ADNKS) results dated 31 December 2022, Favorite Reports" (XLS). TÜİK. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  3. ^ "İl ve İlçe Yüz ölçümleri". General Directorate of Mapping. Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  4. ^ İçel: Mersin- Tarsus- Çamlıyayla- Erdemli- Silifke- Aydıncık- Bozyazı- Anamur- Gülnar- Mut (Kültür, Turizm ve Tanıtım yayınları, 1992), p. 7.
  5. ^ "Present and future Köppen-Geiger climate classification maps at 1-km resolution". Nature Scientific Data. DOI:10.1038/sdata.2018.214.
  6. ^ "Mersin - Ansiklopedika Viki" (in Turkish). 2022-03-22. Retrieved 2022-09-27.
  7. ^ T. B. M. M. ZABIT CERİDESİ Elli dördüncü inikat (PDF). TBMM. 20 May 1933. p. 198. Archived from the original on 4 July 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2022. İçel ve Mersin vilâyetleri birleştirilerek merkezi Mersin olmak üzere 'İçel' vilâyeti teşkil edilmiştir.((cite book)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "Tarih". Retrieved 30 December 2022.
  9. ^ Genel Nüfus Sayımları
  10. ^ Turkstat
  11. ^ "The Results of Address Based Population Registration System, 2020". Turkish Statistical Institute. Archived from the original on 2021-10-28. Retrieved 7 December 2021.

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

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Mersin Province
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