Bozyazı

Bozyazı is a town and district of Mersin Province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, west of the city of Mersin.

Geography

Bozyazı is a remote coastal district with the Taurus Mountains as a backdrop; The roads over the mountains or along the coast from either direction are very difficult to drive making Bozyazı too far from large cities or the established centres of tourism to attract many visitors, so the district is quiet and unspoilt. However there are developments of holiday flats in some places, mainly owned by people from Konya and Ankara as well as foreigners. The sea is clean and Bozyazı is home to an important colony of the endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal.

The narrow coastal strip has a temperate climate and is used to grow bananas along with strawberries, citrus fruits, ground-nuts, and a variety vegetables and fruits. The higher land (over 50% of the district) meanwhile is used for apples and walnuts. There are areas of cedar and fir trees.

The highest peaks are Tol Dağı (1,250 m), Azıtepe (780 m), Susmak Dağı (1,600 m), Kaş Dağı (1,639 m) and Elmakuzu Dağı (1,690 m), there are areas of high meadow in these mountains used for summer grazing. Bozyazı river rushes off Elmakız through a rocky gorge, there is a dam and hyrodelectric power station 14 km north of Bozyazı.

About 60% of the population lives in the town of Bozyazı, a small town providing high schools and healthcare to the surrounding villages. There are two other small towns (Tekmen and Tekeli) and about 40 villages. The biggest village is Karaisali. These are quiet places where the people are conservative; old and young spend the evenings sitting by the sea spitting out sunflower and pumpkin seeds; there is little nightlife, maybe the odd restaurant with a piano player.

History

The ruins of the ancient Greek city of Nagidos are on a hill above the town of Bozyazı. They are being excavated by a team from Mersin University who have found traces of occupation going back to the Hellenistic period of the 4th century BC, when Nagidos was an outpost of Rhodes and Samos, a small port established to trade goods from

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