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Kumkuyu Kumkuyu
Kumkuyu is a seaside town in south eastern Turkey. Kumkuyu is a Mediterranean coastal town in the rural area of Erdemli district which is a part of the Mersin Province. It is situated on highway D.400 which crosses south Anatolia from west to east. The distance to Erdemli is 13 kilometers or 8.1 miles and the distance to Mersin is about 50 kilometers or 31 miles. The area of Turkey where the town lies has been inhabited since antiquity. There is a large aqueduct as well as cisterns, rock tanks for olive oil and the ruins of a fort built to protect the town against pirate raids that was constructed during Roman Empire. Kanlıdivane, the ancient religious center is only a few kilometers north of Kumkuyu. Kanlıdivane, formerly ancient Canytelis, is an ancient city situated around a big sinkhole in Mersin Province. Kanlıdivane was a part of the Olba Kingdom in antiquity. There is a mausoleum located in the northern necropolis which was built by Queen Aba for her husband and sons. By the first century the Kingdom of Olba became a part of Roman Empire. The Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II rebuilt the city as a Christian religious center and renamed it Neapolis. There are ruins of basilicas, cisterns, rock cut graves and other artifacts around the sinkhole. Kanlıdivane means bloody crazy in Turkish, which may refer to the red color of the surrounding soil, but this name may also refer to an old legend which says that criminals had been executed there by throwing them into the sinkhole during Roman times. Every year during the Mersin International Music Festival, a couple of outdoor concerts are performed in Kanlıdivane. The audience as well as the performers sit on opposite sides of the sinkhole. To promote attendance at these concerts, the city municipality of Mersin offers free bus trips to the Kanlıdivane performances. The Çanakçı Rock Tombs are a few hundred meters west of the Kanlıdivane sink hole. These are sculpted out of the rocks on the southern side of a road running parallel to Datça-Mersin highway on the Mediterranean coastline. The tombs were carved in around the 2nd century AD, during Roman Empire era. On some of the tomb entrances there are inscriptions which condemn potential tomb thieves. Elaiussa Sebaste is an archeological site located on the Mersin-Silifke highway within the boundaries of Kumkuyu village. The city was founded in the late Hellenistic Age and enjoyed natural protective fortifications. It was inhabited until the late 9th century AD. Excavations at the site have shown there to be a theater, an agora, a vast thermal bath complex, a necropolis and a Byzantinian basilica - (5th-6th centuries AD).

The residents of Kumkuyu are the members of a former nomadic Turkmen (Oghuz Turk) tribe named Tırtar which was also the former name of the settlement. The modern settlement was established after the 1950s, and in 1989 Kumkuyu was declared a township. Agriculture conducted in greenhouses has replaced much of the traditional animal husbandry of raising sheep and goats. The main crops cultivated now are citrus and bananas. The impact of tourism due to the historic sites and the beach is increasing its effect on the local economy. While there are, as of yet, no extensively developed holiday accommodations at hotels along the Kumkuyu coastline, this is slowly on the rise.

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