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KARATAŞ (MAGARSUS)

"Black Stone"                                Population: 8,500                                  

karatas1Karataş is a scrubby little beach resort, almost 50km south of Adana. The bus ride down here crosses the flat, fertile land of the Seyhan/Ceyhan delta, a place where wheat, maize and oranges grow in profusion. However, there's not a lot of reason to visit, given the current general air of neglect.

The scant remains of ancient Magarsus stand on a hillside 5km west of Karataş. The only obvious strcture is a a very worn theatre although my taxi driver told me that excavations were ongoing and had uncovered other structures further inland.

Magarsus probably dates back to Luwian times although it is also likely that the Romans resettled the area with people from the mountain plateaux.

Otherwise the only sight of slight interest is the Karataş Cultural Centre. Opened in 2012, it also serves as a cemevi for the town's large Alevi population. 

Is it worth coming? Probably only if you're an obsessive list-ticker who wants to have seen every one of Turkey's many ancient theatres. For bird-watchers, though, the delta area offers richer pickings, best appreciated if you have a car to get to the remotest parts. 

Sleeping

Magarsa Park Hotel & Restaurant. Tel: 0322-696 8200

Öyküm Hotel. Tel: 0322-681 2508

Transport info

Hourly minibuses from Adana to Karataş leave from beside the BP petrol station beside the Hilton Hotel. 

Froma Karataş the minibuses return from a stop at the start of the road back to Adana rather than from the town centre. This is also where you'll find the local taxi stand. 

 

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