The Göksu is the most important river in the province of Icel, originating in two branches from the Central Toros (Taurus) mountain range. The southern branch starts at Geyik Mountains, and the other branch at Haydar Mountains. These two branches unite to the south of Mut to form the Göksu river. The 260 km long river forms a delta between Tasucu and Silifke as it flows into the Mediterranean. The river forms lagoons at Akgöl and Paradeniz on the coast between Silifke and Tasucu.
The Göksu Delta is regarded by the International Council for Bird Protection (ICBP) as a major bird refuge in Europe and the Middle East. More than 300 bird species inhabit the Göksu Delta. It is the primary reproduction area in Turkey for reed rooster, summer duck, flamingo, heron, pelican, ruddy shelduck, francolin, spurred pewit, long legged marsh swallow, Izmir kingfisher, bee eater, mustached reed nightingale and the white throat warbler.
The Göksu Delta has also a special significance for being one of the few remaining areas in the world where sea turtles (caretta caretta, chelonias mydas) and the blue crabs (callinectes sapidus) lay their eggs.
The Environmental Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment has declared the Göksu delta as a Special Environmental Protection Zone to protect the environment against pollution and exploitation, and to ensure that natural resources and cultural assets are transferred to future generations without being spoilt. Furthermore, as one of the best preserved
wetlands in the world, the Göksu Delta is expected to be included in the list of the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands of International Importance signed by 45 countries, including Turkey. Wild goat, wild boar, partridge and rabbit inhabit the mountains in the Göksu basin.
There lower slopes are covered with laurel bushes, oleanders and brushwood.Sandalwoods, mastic trees, Margosa trees, furze and holly oak trees start at 500 m and red-pine forests above 1,000 m.
The wide river bed of the Göksu is suitable for all types of river sports, with class 1-2. Its calm waters are recommended for beginners.
The 90 km section between Derincay and Degirmendere is the best place for river sports in the Göksu River. Derincay is reached by the road heading west 3 km north of Mut on the Karaman-Silifke highway. The 14 km section between the bridges near to the villages of Kislaköy and Kargicak features short canyons and an interesting landscape. After passing this section, the course may be completed near Degirmendere.
WHAT TO SEE
Adorned with orange, lemon and banana plantations, the history of Icel province dates way back to the Neolithic period. Yümüktepe Höyügü (Tumulus) in the Soguksu valley is the most vivid evidence of this history.
The most interesting places to visit are Kanlidivane (Kanytelis), Korykos, Kiz Kalesi (Maiden's Fortress) in Erdemli; Cennet-Cehennem Obrugu (Hell-and-Paradise Steep), Silifke and Tokmar Fortress in Silifke; Mamure Fortress in Anamur; Mut Fortress and Alahan in Mut; Cleopatra Gate, St.Paul Church, St.Paul Well which is believed to contain therapeutic waters and Yediuyurlar Cave, and Viransehir (Pompeiopolis) near Mersin.
The Göksu basin offers year-round tourism due to its topographic structure, flora and fauna and mild climate.
Worldwide famous rafting sportsmen, as well as members of the national and international press, will gather to promote the region during the "Rafting Coruh" event. The popularity of rafting will enhance the potential of tourism in Turkey, and the sportsmen will enjoy this most exciting sport in one of the most spectacuullar natural settings of the world.
The rafting event to be arranged for the first time on the River Coruh,
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