|TL Exchange Rates|
Mersin is a large city and a busy port on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey and is the capital of the Mersin Province. It is part of Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area and lies on the west part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region.
This coast has been inhabited since the 9th millennium BC. Excavations by John Garstang of the hill of Yümüktepe have revealed 23 levels of occupation, the earliest dating from ca. 6300 BC. A fortification was put up around 4500 BC, but the site appears to have been abandoned between 3200 BC and 1200 BC.
In the following centuries the city became a part of many states and civilizations including the Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, the Macedonians of Alexander the Great, Seleucids, Lagids. During the Ancient Greek period, the city bore the name Zephyrion (Greek: Ζεφύριον) and was mentioned by numerous ancient authors. Apart from its natural harbor and its strategic position along the trade routes of southern Anatolia, the city profited from trade in molybdenum (white lead) from the neighbouring mines of Coreyra. Ancient sources attributed the best molybdenum to the city, which also minted its own coins.
In 395 the Roman Empire was split in two and this area fell into the half ruled by Byzantium (later Constantinople), which became the centre of trade in this part of the world, drawing investments and trade, and causing Mersin to lose its attractiveness.
The city was Christianized early; and was the see of a bishop.
Then came the Arabs, Egyptian Tulunids, Seljuk Turks, Mongols, Crusaders, Armenians, Mamluks, Anatolian beyliks, and finally the city was conquered by the Ottomans from the Principality of Ramazanoğlu in 1473 and formally annexed by Selim I in 1517.
During the American Civil War, the region became a major supplier of cotton to make up for the high demand due to shortage. Railroads were extended to Mersin in 1866 from where cotton was exported by sea, and the city developed into a major trade center.
In 1918 Mersin was occupied by French and British troops in accord with the Treaty of Sevrès. It was liberated by the Turkish army in 1920. In 1924, Mersin was made a province, and in 1933, Mersin and İçel provinces were joined to form the (greater Mersin) İçel province.
Today, Mersin is a large city spreading out along the coast, with Turkey's second tallest skyscraper, huge hotels, an opera house, expensive real estate near the sea or up in the hills, and many other modern urban amenities.