East of Mersin, where the fertile Cukurova plain ends, lies the town of Tarsus, birthplace of St. Paul, widely known for its sacred water found in the well in the Apostle Paul’s home garden. West of Tarsus are two deep fissures known as Cennet and Cehennem (Heaven and Hell). In the valley of Paradise, one can see the remains of an early Christian chapel. Near Silifke are the church and the tomb of Saint Thecla (Ayatekla), known as the first woman-Christian witness.
Eshab -i Kehf – Cave of the Seven Sleepers
Also known as the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, Eshab-i, Kehf is situated in the district of Tarsus in Mersin province one of the most beautiful cities of the Mediterranean Region.Considered as a sacred place both for Christianity and for Islam, the cave was carved into a rectangular rock and can be accessed by descending the 20 steps leading into the interior. The mosque on top of the cave was built in 1873 whereby the minaret with three balconies was added later on.
Since 2015, the Eshab -i Kehf has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List.