MERSINA, a town on the south-eastern coast of Asia Minor, and capital of a sanjak in the vilayet of Adana. Pop. about 15,000 including many Christians, Armenian, Greek and European. Its existence as a port began with the silting upof the harbour of Tarsus and Pompeiopolis, east and west, in the early middle ages; but it did not rise to importance till the Egyptian occupation of Cilicia (1832). It is now the busiest port on the south coast, being the terminus of the railway from Tarsus and Adana, by which (but still more by road) the produce of the rich " Aleian " plain comes down. It is served by most of the Levantine steamship companies, and is the best point of departure for visitors desiring to see Tarsus, the Cilician remains, and the finest scenery of the East Taurus. There is, however, no enclosed harbour, but only a good jetty. The making of a breakwater has long been under consideration. The anchorage in the roadstead is good, but the bay shoals for a long way out, and is exposed to swell from south-west and south. Mersina is an American mission centre, and the seat of a British vice-consul. Like all lowland Cilicia, it has a notoriously bad summer climate, and all inhabitants, whocan do so, migrate to stations on the lower slopes of Taurus.
(D. G. H.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)