Taşucu, Silifke – Mersin – Turkey

GPS : 36°16’15.5″N 33°48’57.3″E / 36.270981, 33.815928

Boğsak is at the sea side. A picturesque hamlet, it is a popular seaside resort for Mersin residents. There are also popular beaches and historical castles around Boğsak.

Fener Adası
GPS : 36°16’02.2″N 33°49’33.5″E / 36.267291, 33.825972

Located in the ancient province of Isauria on the Mediterranean coast – and today deserted apart from occasional visiting divers and fishermen – Boğsak Island stands out from the surrounding coastlands and islands as home to a well-preserved settlement dating from late antiquity. Sizeable Christian settlement with complex infrastructure and architecture was created on the small island between the 4th and 7th centuries.’ Located 300 metres from the closest mainland, the island has a total landmass of just seven hectares. By contrast, nearby Dana Island (ancient ‘Pityussa’), 8 km southwest of Boğsak, with its far greater landmass of 280 hectares, does not seem to have accommodated such a large settlement.

Written sources do not reveal much about the settlements on Boğsak Island. However, the only inscription from the island (now housed at the Silifke Museum), dating from the 5-6th centuries, records the settlement as Asteria, which was furbished with buildings worthy of a city. Thus, it can be presumed that this was a wealthy village which did not get the status of a city. The wide bay at Boğsak, well-protected from the north winds, must have offered anchorage, provisions and other amenities to ships and boats along this maritime route.

The settlement on the island might have served as a post to control this channel, as well as to notify the mainland about maritime traffic. The island, without arable surfaces, water, wood or any other natural resources, was dependent on coastal settlements for provisioning. Thus, its existence and functions were tightly connected to the settlement at Boğsak Bay and the maritime trade.

On the upper parts of the north, northeast, west and south slopes, descending from the summit, extended a large necropolis from Roman and Early Byzantine periods. The mountainous region was ripe for olive oil production, and research indicates that olive trees and their products from the hinterland of Boğsak Bay were an integral part of the region’s economy. However, it has not yet proved possible to paint an entire picture of the agricultural capacity of the hinterland of the Boğsak Bay.

Seven churches on the island, built sometime during the second half of the 5th and the first half of the 6th centuries (these are tentaive and the actual dates are still being determined). One is significantly larger than the others; five are of relatively similar size and one is smaller, more of a chapel than a church. All the columns and capitals of the churches were made from local limestone. Sumptuous marble elements, including pieces of opus sectile on the pavement of some of the churches, as well as mosaics, have been discovered. The expensive marble found on Boğsak sets it apart from other rural settlements.

Like other Isaurian settlements, the 5th and 6th centuries were marked by intense Christianity. An inscription found in one of the churches translates as “Long live Ἀsteria, built like a city”. Six out of the seven churches are positioned on the eastern coast, easily visible to incoming ships.

A substantial amount of pottery, glass and metal remains have been found. Though the pottery is still being studied, initial results indicate they are from the 4-7th centuries. Ten bronze coins have also been discovered, all in pretty good condition. No pottery or coins have been found dating beyond the 7th century, but this doesn’t mean there was no settlement on the island after this time.

Dining : Restaurants, Buffets, Cafes, Bakeries
Publim Market
Museum : Taşucu Arslan Eyce Amphoras Museum
Accommodation : Hotels, Motels, Pensions, Rental House
Health : Health Center, Hospital (Silifke),
Shopping : Supermarket, Stores, Shops, Markets
Bank : ATM
Festival : Taşucu Fish Festival
Beach : Aphrodite Beach, Kum Mahallesi Beach
Bird watching sanctuary : Göksu Delta
Sport : Rafting on the Göksu Delta
Special Shopping : Olive, Olive Oil, Carob
Diving : Divings Spots and Dving Schools

They are clean and have pleasant services. Fishes available due to seasons.


Taşucu : Silifke 15 km, Mersin 90 km
Minibus : Boğsak – Taşucu, Silifke
Bus : Taşucu – Silifke, Erdemli, Anamur, Mersin, Adana
Seabus : Taşucu – Girne (Northern Cyprus)
Ferryboat : Taşucu – Girne (Northern Cyprus)
Airport : Adana Şakirpaşa International Airport, Konya International Airport, Dalaman International Airport, Antalya International Airport, Gazipaşa International Airport

Places of interest

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Taşucu, Taşucu Mahallesi, 33900 Silifke/Mersin Province, Turkey

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