Regions of the Turkish Mediterranean
On the Southern Shore of Turkey lays an area so beautiful, it must be seen to be believed. Stunning white sand beaches that stretch for miles are engulfed by translucent waters that sparkle in the sun, with each little wave glimmering and glistening as it dances towards the shoreline. It is no wonder that Mark Antony himself would deem such an exquisite coast worthy of being presented as a wedding gift to none other than the queen of Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra.
Mark Antony was a Roman consul, elected into the highest political office of the Roman Republic. Having supposedly fallen for Cleopatra from their first meeting when she was a mere 14 years young, Antony’s ambitions and sights were set on her. Even after marrying another and starting his own family, thoughts of Cleopatra could not escape his mind. Giving her the Turkish Riviera was a memento of his love for her, and probably one of the greatest gifts for anyone to ever receive.
The Turkish Riviera, positioned against the stunning backdrop of the frequently snow-topped peaks of the Taurus Mountains, can be broken down into five provinces: Antalya, Mugla, Aydin, southern Izmir and western Mersin.
Antalya Province is the most popular tourist destination in Turkey, and is also the biggest international sea resort in the country. With a 408 mile long shoreline, an array of picturesque beaches, water sports, ancient cities, historical ruins, and the World Heritage Site of Xanthos, it is clear to see why it was named the world’s third most visited city in 2011, and today remains an excessively desirable destination to set foot on.
Next to Antalya lies the Province of Mersin, which contains the town of Tarsus, where St Paul was born. St Paul, originally named Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle who taught the gospel of Christ. Along with strong cultural and historical links, the Mersin Province includes little islands to its west and bays that are popular for yacht touring.
The Mugla Province is situated in the southwestern corner of Turkey, right next to the dazzling Aegean Sea. Named after Aegea, the queen of the Amazons, this mass of water is striking, with diverse shades of blue and green combining together to create a truly magnificent sight. Displaying one of the longest coastlines in all of Turkey, the area was settled by Ancient Greek colonists, giving it a rich culture and history.
A range of ancient ruins are left there today, showcasing over 100 excavated sites with the inclusion of the World Heritage Site of Letoon, a sanctuary which was considered one of the most important religious centres in the area. Foundations of ancient temples can be found in this region. Similarly, the Aydin Province is located in the southwest, and was also a part of the ancient Ottoman Empire – one of the most powerful states in the world during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Settled in snugly nearby is Izmir Province. The west coast of the Province encompasses the Gulf of Izmir, a mesmerizing body of water, peppered with ships and yachts. With tall palm trees lining the promenades that surround the water, and an abundance of lights and resorts, the lively area is bursting with vibrancy.
The assortment of regions in the Turkish Mediterranean, rich in history, culture, tourism and ruins, combine together to create a beautiful land by the shore. Sought after by many, the apartments and resorts that stand tall near the coast present an extraordinary haven for tourists to get away, relax, and immerse themselves deep in the waters and culture of the picturesque surroundings.