Tarsus (/ˈtɑrsəs/; Hittite: Tarsa; Greek: Ταρσός; Armenian: Տարսոն) is a historic city in south-central Turkey, 20 km inland from the Mediterranean. It is part of the Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Turkey with a population of 3 million people. Tarsus forms an administrative district in the eastern part of the Mersin Province and lies in the core of Çukurova region.

With a history going back over 6,000 years, Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders and a focal point of many civilisations. During the Roman Empire, Tarsus was the capital of the province of Cilicia, the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, and the birthplace of Paul the Apostle.

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  • 1. [Mersin Province] The Mersin Province (Turkish: Mersin ili) is a province in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast between Antalya and Adana. The provincial capital is the city of Mersin and the other major town is Tarsus, birthplace of St Paul. The province is part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region, that covers the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Hatay.
  • 2. [Çukurova] Çukurova (Turkish pronunciation: [tʃukuɾova]), historically known as Cilicia, is a geographic, economic and cultural region in south-central Turkey, covering the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Hatay. With a population of almost 6 million, it is one of the largest population concentrations in Turkey.
  • 3. [Cilicia] In antiquity, Cilicia (/sɪˈlɪʃiə/) or less often Kilikia (Armenian: Կիլիկիա; Greek: Κιλικία; Middle Persian: Klikiyā, Parthian: Kilikiyā, Turkish: Kilikya), was the south coastal region of Asia Minor, south of the central Anatolian plateau. It existed as a political entity from Hittite times into the Byzantine Empire. Cilicia extends inland from the southeastern coast of modern Turkey, due north and northeast of the island of Cyprus. Cilicia corresponds to the modern region of Çukurova in Turkey.
  • 4. [Mersin] Mersin is a large city and a port on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey. It is part of an interurban agglomeration – the Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area – and lies on the western part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical, and cultural region. According to the 17th-century traveler Evliya Çelebi, the city was named after the
  • 5. [Adana] Adana (pronounced [aˈda.na]) is a large city in southern Turkey and a major agricultural and commercial center. The city is situated on the Seyhan River, 30 kilometres (19 miles) inland from the Mediterranean Sea, in south-central Anatolia. It is the administrative seat of the Adana Province and has a population of 1.66 million, making it
  • 6. [Berdan River] The Berdan River, also called the Tarsus River (Latin:Cydnus), is a river in Mersin Province, south Turkey. The historical city of Tarsus is by the river.
  • 7. [Mopsuestia] Mopsuestia (Greek: Μοψουεστία Mopsou(h)estia), later Mamistra, is the ancient city of Cilicia Campestris on the Pyramus (now Ceyhan River) located approximately 20 km (12 mi) east of ancient Antiochia in Cilicia (present-day Adana, southern Turkey).
  • 8. [Al-ʿAwāṣim] The al-ʿAwāṣim (Arabic: العواصم‎, "defences, fortifications"; sing. al-ʿāṣimah, "protectress") was the Arabic term used to refer to the Muslim side of the frontier zone between the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates in Cilicia, northern Syria and Upper Mesopotamia. It was established in the early 8th century, once the first wave of the
  • 9. [Cilician Gates] The Cilician Gates or Gülek Pass is a pass through the Taurus Mountains connecting the low plains of Cilicia to the Anatolian Plateau, by way of the narrow gorge of the Gökoluk River. Its highest elevation is about 1000m.
  • 10. [Malatya] Malatya (Armenian: Մալաթիա Malat'ya; Greek: Μαλάτεια Malateia; Classical Syriac: ܡܠܝܛܝܢܐ Malīṭīná; Ottoman Turkish: مالاتيا‎) is a city in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey and the capital of Malatya Province.
  • 11. [Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia] The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (Middle Armenian: Կիլիկիոյ Հայոց Թագաւորութիւն Kilikio Hayots Tagavorutyun; French: Le Royaume arménien de Cilicie), also known as the Cilician Armenia, Kingdom of Cilician Armenia, Kingdom of Cilicia or New Armenia, was an independent principality formed during the High Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuk invasion of Armenia. Located
  • 12. [Antioch] Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient Greek city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Its ruins lie near the modern city of Antakya, Turkey, and lends the modern city its name (/ˈæntiˌɒk/; Greek: Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ, "Antioch on Daphne"; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ Μεγάλη, "Antioch the Great";
  • 13. [Yazaman al-Khadim] Yazaman or Yazman, surnamed al-Khadim ("the eunuch") was governor of Tarsus for the Abbasids and chief military leader in the Muslim borderlands with the Byzantine Empire in Cilicia (the al-thughur ash-Shamiya) from 882 to his death in 891. He is celebrated for his naval raids against the Byzantines.
  • 14. [Tarsus American College] Tarsus American College or Tarsus American School (official Turkish name: Özel Tarsus Amerikan Lisesi, also known as Tarsus Amerikan Koleji) is a private coeducational high school located in Tarsus, Province of Mersin, Turkey. It is known for the success of its alumni throughout the world. The Economist (1994) noted that Tarsus American School is in
  • 15. [Tulunids] The Tulunids were a dynasty of Turkic origin and were the first independent dynasty to rule Islamic Egypt, as well as much of Syria. They remained independent from 868, when they broke away from the central authority of the Abbasid dynasty that ruled the Islamic Caliphate, until 905, when the Abbasids restored the Tulunid domains to their control.
  • 16. [Karabucak Forest] Karabucak Forest is a forest plantation in Turkey
  • 17. [Grand Mosque of Tarsus] Tarsus Grand Mosque (Turkish: Tarsus Ulu Cami) is a mosque in Tarsus, Mersin Province, Turkey.
  • 18. [Gözlükule] Gözlükule is a tumulus within the borders of Tarsus city, Mersin Province, Turkey. It is now a park with an altitude of 22 metres (72 ft) with respect to surrounding area.
  • 19. [Ramadanids] The Ramadanids, also known as the Ramadanid dynasty, Emirate of Ramadan, Beylik of Adana, and Ramadanid principality (Modern Turkish: Ramazanoğulları, Ramazan and Ramazanoğulları Beyliği), was one of the Anatolian beyliks. Its capital was in Adana. It was one of the frontier emirates established by Oghuz Turkish clans after the decline of Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.
  • 20. [Saint Paul's Church, Tarsus] Saint Paul's Church is a former Greek Orthodox church in Tarsus, Mersin Province, Turkey.
  • 21. [Hamdanid dynasty] The Hamdanid dynasty (Arabic: حمدانيونḤamdānyūn) was a Shi'a Muslim Arab dynasty of northern Iraq (Al-Jazirah) and Syria (890-1004). They descended from the ancient Banu Taghlib Christian tribe of Mesopotamia and east Arabia. The Hamdanid dynasty was founded by Hamdan ibn Hamdun (after whom it is named), when he was appointed governor of Mardin in SE Anatolia by the Abbasid Caliphs in 890.
  • 22. [Roman road in Cilicia] The Roman road in Cilicia (Turkish: Roma yolu) is a part of a Roman road in Mersin Province, Turkey.
  • 23. [Nikephoros II Phokas] Nikephoros II Phokas (Latinized: Nicephorus II Phocas) (Νικηφόρος Β΄ Φωκᾶς, Nikēphoros II Phōkas) (c. 912 – 10–11 December 969) was Byzantine Emperor from 963 to 969. His brilliant military exploits contributed to the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire during the 10th century.
  • 24. [Cilicia (Roman province)] Cilicia was an early Roman province, located on what is today the southern (Mediterranean) coast of Turkey. Cilicia was annexed to the Roman Republic in 64 BC by Pompey, as a consequence of his military presence in the east, after pursuing victory in the Third Mithridatic War. It was subdivided by Diocletian in around 297, and it remained under Roman, and subsequently Byzantine, rule for several centuries, until falling to the Islamic conquests.
  • 25. [Cleopatra's Gate] Cleoptra's Gate is a city gate of Tarsus, in Mersin Province, Turkey, named after the Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII.
  • 26. [Sayf al-Dawla] Ali ibn Abu'l-Hayja 'Abdallah ibn Hamdan ibn al-Harith Sayf al-Dawla al-Taghlibi (Arabic: سيف الدولة أبو الحسن ابن حمدان‎), more commonly known simply by his laqab (honorific epithet) of Sayf al-Dawla ("Sword of the Dynasty"), was the founder of the Emirate of Aleppo, encompassing most of northern Syria and parts of western Jazira, and the brother of al-Hasan ibn Abdallah ibn Hamdan (better known as Nasir al-Dawla).
  • 27. [Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area] The Adana-Mersin metropolitan area lies in the core area of Çukurova and, with a population of 3 million, is one of Turkey's major business and cultural centres. The metropolitan area stretches over 100 km from east to west and 25 km from north to south and includes the cities of Mersin, Tarsus, Adana and Ceyhan.
  • 28. [Khumarawayh ibn Ahmad ibn Tulun] Abu 'l-Jaysh Khumarawayh ibn Ahmad ibn Tulun (died 282 AH/896 AD) was the Tulunid ruler of Egypt and Syria between 270-282 AH/884-896 AD. He married his daughter Qatr al-Nada to the Abbasid Caliph al-Mu'tadid. Khumarawayh's authority expanded from the Euphrates to Nubia. He was succeeded by his son Jaysh.
  • 29. [Al-Ma'mun] Abū Jaʿfar Abdullāh al-Maʾmūn ibn Harūn (also spelled Almamon, Al-Maymun, Al-Ma’moon,, Mahmoun and el-Mâmoûn (Arabic: ابوجعفر عبدالله المأمون‎, Persian: ابوجعفر عبدالله مامون‎) ( September 786 – 9 August 833) was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833. He succeeded his brother al-Amin who was killed during the siege of Baghdad (813).
  • 30. [Ahmad ibn Tulun] Ahmad ibn Ṭūlūn (September 835 – March 884) was the founder of the Tulunid dynasty that ruled Egypt between 868 and 905 AD. Originally sent by the Abbasid caliph as governor to Egypt, ibn Ṭūlūn established himself as an independent ruler.
  • 31. [Diodorus of Tarsus] Diodore of Tarsus (Greek Διόδωρος; died c. 390) was a Christian bishop, a monastic reformer, and a theologian. A strong supporter of the orthodoxy of Nicaea, Diodore played a pivotal role in the Council of Constantinople and opposed the anti-Christian policies of Julian the Apostate. Diodore founded one of the most influential centers of Christian thought in the early church, and many of his students became notable theologians in their own right.
  • 32. [Al-Mu'tadid] Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad ibn Talha al-Muwaffaq (854 or 861 – 5 April 902), better known by his regnal name al-Mu'tadid bi-llah (Arabic: المعتضد بالله‎, "Seeking Support in God") was the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad from 892 until his death in 902.
  • 33. [Sandon (god)] Sandon (sometimes spelled Sandes, Sandan or Sanda) was a god in ancient Tarsus, visually represented as a mitre-wearing human form carrying a sword, a flower or (commonly) an axe who stands on the back of a horned and winged lion. Associated primarily with war and weather, Sandon was the chief god in the Cilician pantheon
  • 34. [Seljuq dynasty] The Seljuq dynasty (Persian: سلجوقيانSaljūqiyān; Turkish: Selçuklular; Turkmen: Selçuklar) was a Turkish Sunni Muslim dynasty that gradually adopted Persian culture and contributed to the Turko-Persian tradition in the medieval West and Central Asia. The Seljuqs established both the Seljuq Empire and Sultanate of Rum, which at their total height stretched from Anatolia through Persia, and were targets of the First Crusade.
  • 35. [Ikhshidid dynasty] The Ikhshidid dynasty of Egypt ruled from 935 to 969. Muhammad ibn Tughj al-Ikhshid, a Turkic slave soldier, was appointed governor by the Abbasid Caliph. The dynasty carried the Arabic title "Wāli" reflecting their position as governors on behalf of the Abbasids. The Ikhshidids came to an end when the Fatimid army conquered Fustat in 969.
  • 36. [Abbasid Caliphate] The Abbasid Caliphate (Arabic: الخلافة العباسيةal-Khilāfah al-‘Abbāsīyah) was the third of the Islamic caliphates to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Abbasid dynasty descended from Muhammad's youngest uncle, Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib (566–653 CE), whose name was the derivation of the caliphate. They ruled as caliphs, for most of their period from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after taking back authority of the Muslim empire from the Umayyads in 750 CE (132 AH).
  • 37. [Athenodorus Cananites] Athenodorus Cananites (Greek: Ἀθηνόδωρος Κανανίτης, Athenodoros Kananites; c. 74 BC – 7 AD) was a Stoic philosopher.
  • 38. [Maximinus II] Maximinus II (Latin: Gaius Valerius Galerius Maximinus Daia Augustus; c. 20 November 270 – July or August 313), also known as Maximinus Daia or Maximinus Daza, was Roman Emperor from 308 to 313. He became embroiled in the Civil wars of the Tetrarchy between rival claimants for control of the empire, in which he was defeated by Licinius. A committed pagan, he engaged in one of the last persecutions of Christians.
  • 39. [Şalgam] Şalgam is a popular beverage from southern Turkey's cities of Adana and Mersin. Although the Turkish word şalgam literally means "turnip", şalgam is actually made with the juice of red carrot pickles, salted, spiced, and flavoured with aromatic turnip (çelem) fermented in barrels with the addition of ground bulgur. It is traditionally served cold in
  • 40. [Julian (emperor)] Julian (Latin: Flavius Claudius Iulianus Augustus, Greek: Φλάβιος Κλαύδιος Ἰουλιανὸς Αὔγουστος; 331/332  – 26 June 363), also known as Julian the Apostate, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363, as well as a notable philosopher and author in Greek.
  • 41. [Barnabas] Barnabas (Greek: Βαρνάβας), born Joseph, was an early Christian, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36 Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in (Acts 14:14), he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts (c
  • 42. [Heraclius] Heraclius (Latin: Flavius Heraclius Augustus, Greek: Φλάβιος Ἡράκλειος, Armenian: Հերակլես Փլավիոս, c. 575 – February 11, 641) was Byzantine Emperor from 610 to 641.
  • 43. [Patriarch of Antioch] Patriarch of Antioch is a traditional title held by the Bishop of Antioch. As the traditional "overseer" (ἐπίσκοπος, episkopos, from which the word bishop is derived) of the first gentile Christian community, the position has been of prime importance in the church from its earliest period. This diocese is one of the few for which
  • 44. [Zeno of Tarsus] Zeno of Tarsus (Greek: Ζήνων, Zenon; fl. 200 BC) was a Stoic philosopher and the son of Dioscorides.
    He was a pupil of Chrysippus, and when Chrysippus died c. 206 BC, he succeeded him to become the fourth scholarch of the Stoic school in Athens.
  • 45. [Harun ar-Rashid] Harun al-Rashid (Arabic: هَارُون الرَشِيد‎, Hārūn Ar-Rašīd; 17 March 763 or February 766 — 24 March 809) was the fifth Abbasid Caliph. His birth date is debated, with various sources giving dates from 763 to 766. His surname translates to "the Just", "the Upright", or "the Rightly-Guided"; fully translated, his name means "Aaron the Just."
  • 46. [Marcus Claudius Tacitus] Tacitus (/ˈtæsɨtəs/; Latin: Marcus Claudius Tacitus Augustus; c. 200 – June 276), was Roman Emperor from 275 to 276. During his short reign he campaigned against the Goths and the Heruli, for which he received the title Gothicus Maximus.
  • 47. [Helladius of Tarsus] Helladius of Tarsus was a Christian bishop of Tarsus. He was condemned at the First Council of Ephesus (431) and appealed to the pope in 433.
  • 48. [Theodore of Mopsuestia] Theodore the Interpreter (ca. 350 – 428) was bishop of Mopsuestia (as Theodore II) from 392 to 428 AD. He is also known as Theodore of Antioch, from the place of his birth and presbyterate. He is the best known representative of the middle School of Antioch of hermeneutics.
  • 49. [Fourth Fitna] The Fourth Fitna or Great Abbasid Civil War was a conflict between the brothers al-Amin and al-Ma'mun over the succession to the Abbasid Caliphate's throne. Their father, Harun al-Rashid, had named al-Amin as the first successor, but had also named al-Ma'mun as the second, with Khurasan granted to him as an appanage, while a third
  • 50. [Cezerye] Cezerye is a semi-gelatinous Turkish confectionery made from caramelised carrots, packed with nuts or pistachios and sprinkled with shredded coconut. Cut into roughly 1" x 1.5" rectangular chips and served on special occasions, it is somewhat akin to Turkish Delights and the Chinese walnut candy known as hetao tang. The name is derived from the word "cezer", which means "carrot" in Arabic.
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