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Anamur is a town and district of the province of Mersinmarker, on the Mediterraneanmarker coast of southern Turkeymarker, between Antalyamarker and the city of Mersinmarker.

Anamur is Turkey's southernmost point, a coastal resort famous for its bananas and peanuts.


Anamur has mutated from the Greek Anemourion (Ανεμούριον) meaning windy point.


Founded by the Phoeniciansmarker, the city was then occupied by the Assyrians and Hittites. During the Hittite period in the twelfth century B.C., the ruler Tuthalia IV, granted Anemorium to Mattuvata who had taken refuge in his kingdom. Mattuvata took advantage of the Hittites’ weakness, establishing his own kingdom with Anemorium as its capital. His rule extended as far as Afyonmarker, in central Anatoliamarker.At the end of the 12th century the area was occupied by a nomadic tribe that had come from across the Caucasus mountains.The tribe was called by the ancient Greeks the "Wind people" (Ανέμου γένος) after whom the city was named.The exact reasons behind this name are lost in time.The most probable explanation however, is that they worshiped a god of wind,perhaps similar to the Greek Aeolus, as their main deity. Then the city came under the control of the Phoenicions again, and later Persians. In 333 BC Alexander the Great brought this coast within his Macedonian Empire, and he was succeeded by Seleucids and then Ancient Romans. The coast was given by Mark Anthony to Cleopatra as a wedding present and Roman coins have been discovered in the course of excavation, dating to the years between Emperors Titus (A.D. 79-81) and Valevianus (A.D. 253–259).The Romans were succeeded by the Byzantines.

The city was first occupied by an Islamic Army in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab. Turkish people reached the city in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In the thirteenth century, the Karamanoğlu, a clan in Central Anatolia, expanded their borders towards the city, building the Alaköprü bridge (which can still be seen on the road to Ankaramarker) and conquering the city in 1230 from Cilicia Armenians.

Anamur today

The local economy depends on agriculture, especially bananas and strawberries. The weather here is very, very hot and this is the only part of Turkey that can sustain bananas, there are banana plants everywhere and now other tropical fruits such as papaya, pineapples and avocados are being planted here too. Anamur produces 40% of Turkey's strawberries. A traditional local speciality is taro (known locally as gölevez).

Although there are places of historical interest, long beaches and a clean sea there is no large scale tourism on this part of the coast as the coast road in both directions is winding and really slow to drive, and the road over the mountains into central Turkey is even worse; it takes 5 hours to get here by bus from either Mersinmarker or Antalyamarker. In spring 2009 Gazipasa Airport (near Alanya) will be opened. This means that transfer times will be shortened up to 2 hours. So although some people from central Anatoliamarker as well as foreigners from Europe (Germans/Austrians/Dutch) have holiday homes here. Anamur itself is a quiet isolated town with no nightlife, and in winter is very quiet indeed. Anamur Iskele is the beach resort of this area. A lot of holiday flats and villa's are situated near the beach or more inland. Plenty of small and some bigger hotels offer good quality as well as the restaurants near the small boulevard. The beaches are important nesting grounds for the sea turtle caretta caretta and the rocky areas of coastline are inhabited by the Mediterranean Monk Seal. The military have a base here, on the coast. The island of Cyprusmarker is a way offshore and there are no sea crossings to Kyreniamarker/Girnemarker anymore. The Tasucu Ferryboat companies blocked it. Now you can only go from Tasucu with Fergun Company. Every day there are several crossings to Girnemarker. The fast Deniz Otobusu at 11.30 hours (2,5 hours crossing) and the slow ferryboat (takes also cars) at 24.00 hours (7 hours crossing). Tasucu is 3 hours east from Anamur.The silhouette of the island of Cyprus is visible if there is no fog on the sea. It is just 40 miles away from Anamur.

Sites to visit

Mamure, the old Crusader castle.
  • Mamure, the old Crusader castle, well-preserved, about south east of Anamur. Originally built by the Romans in the third or fourth century AD, it was enlarged by the Byzantine Empire and the Crusaders. After the Seljuk Turkish Sultan `Ala' ad-Din Kay-Qubad captured the castle in 1221, he had it rebuilt in its present form. It consists of three courtyards with 39 towers, surrounded by a moat. In one courtyard there is an ancient mosque with a minaret – built by Mehmet Bey of Karamanoðullarý in 1300-1308 – which is still open for prayer. There are the ruins of a bathhouse on the opposite side. The castle is in two sections with two lines of ramparts between them, a walkway along the ramparts links the two sides.
  • Anemuriummarker, the remains of the ancient city, built between c. 100 BC and AD 600 southwest of Anamur, on the coast. The stone walls of the city are still partly intact and there are many mosaics. The small theatre or odeion is still largely intact across from the more poorly preserved large theatre and there are several bath buildings. Enough left of the city’s two-storey Roman bathhouse to give a good impression of what it was in its heyday, with changing rooms, a hot section, a warm section, and a hall with a pool. On the entrance gate a sign written Latin says “Welcome to the baths, have a good bath.” The city had an elaborate water supply system, as illustrated by the remains of the aqueducts. There is also an acropolis containing the ruins of a palace, which had its own private water supply. Around the city walls there are many Roman built tombs, which even have small entrance halls for visitors. The site has been excavated by Canadian teams from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia.
  • Many caves including Çukurpınar, one of the longest in the world, (1420 m) and Köşekbükü (the air is said to be treatment for asthma or malaria).

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