Tarsus, the capital of the ancient province of Cilicia, is located near the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Situated today, 10 miles (16 kilometres) inland from the sea, it served as a port city due to the Cydnus River (today the Tarsus Çayï) passing through Tarsus on its way to the sea. The river was navigable by ships from the Mediterranean coast to Tarsus.

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