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With ancient sights, crusader castles and empty landscapes, Roman Cilicia has a coast of two halves. To the west, from Alanya to Silifke, the road runs around winding clifftops at the edge of the Taurus mountains where wild flowers are abundant, as Martyn Rix discovers in Cornucopia 29. Bananas flourish here, too. Beyond lies the vast Çukurova cotton-growing plain centred on the manufacturing town of Adana. Then the coast heads south, skirting Iskenderun Bay and making for the Syrian border. The Cilician Gates, Tarsus, Antioch… this is the land of St Paul, of Alexander the Great and Persia's Darius, of fought-over borderlands and the one-time Republic of Hatay.
In Cornucopia 59 Francis Russell, author of 123 Places in Turkey: A Private Grand Tour, sets out from Kızkalezı to explore 'Rough Cilicia' and its 'remarkable number of Hellenistic and Byzantine sites'.
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