This article is about the town in Erdemli. For castle, see Kızkalesi (castle).

Location in Turkey

Coordinates: 36°28′N 34°09′E / 36.467°N 34.150°E / 36.467; 34.150Coordinates: 36°28′N 34°09′E / 36.467°N 34.150°E / 36.467; 34.150
Country  Turkey
Province Mersin Province
District Erdemli
Elevation 10 m (33 ft)
Population (2012)
  Total 1,687
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 33790
Area code(s) 0324
Licence plate 33

Kızkalesi (English: Maiden's castle) is a town in Mersin Province, Turkey. The town, known in Antiquity as Corycus or Korykos (Greek: Κώρυκος), is named after the ancient castle built on a small island just facing the town.


Kızkalesi is a Mediterranean coastal town. Taurus mountains are at north of the town and in fact some quarters of the town are situated on the lower slopes of the mountain. The surrounding area is mostly covered by maquis shrubland.

Kızkalesi at 36°28′N 34°9′E / 36.467°N 34.150°E / 36.467; 34.150 is a part of Erdemli district which in turn is a part of Mersin Province . Kızkalesi is west of Erdemli and Mersin. It is on the D 400 highway, the highway distances being 23 kilometres (14 mi) to Erdemli and 60 kilometres (37 mi) to Mersin. The winter (settled) population was 1687 as of 2012. [1] But in summers, much higher population figures can be reached due to tourism.

People and history

The "Maiden's castle" facing the town.
Main articles: Corycus and Kızkalesi (Castle)

Ancient Corycus was a large city. It became part of the Seleucid Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the various Seljuk empires, the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Beylik of Karaman, and finally the Ottoman Empire. In Turkish history, it is known as Prince Cem Sultan's departing point from Turkey in 1482 after his defeat in an Ottoman civil war on his way to Rome. After Cem’s departure, Kızkalesi became the winter settlement of nomadic Turkmen tribes known as Ayaş. It was declared as a seat of township in 1992.


The most important economic activities are agriculture and tourism. Tomatoes, cucumbers, apricots, beans, and citrus are the most cultivated crops. With widespread historical ruins and wide beaches, the touristic potential of the town is notable, but Kızkalesi's tourism economy is not yet up to international standards.

At Mediterranean Games

The beach of Kızkalesi hosted beach volleyball at the 2013 Mediterranean Games held in Mersin.


  1. TurksatArchived September 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
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