From the flower-filled parks and palm-tree-lined walkways that stretch along its waterfront to the spirited bustle of its daily fish bazaar, MERSİN is a model example of contemporary Turkish urban planning, and living proof that modernization can flow alongside tradition. Turkey’s largest Mediterranean port, home to 1.5 million people, Mersin has thanks to rapid industrial growth and its role as an international free-trade zone become an important trade and transport hub.

Despite being inhabited since Hittite times, however, the city retains little of historical interest, and aside from its regular ferries to Cyprus there’s little to appeal to travellers. That said, the harbour city makes a pleasant stop-off along the coast, and the opening of an impressive new marina has opened up a new area of development, complete with hip bars and restaurants.

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