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From the south

Kanlıdivane (ancient Canytelis, Greek: Κανυτελής) is an ancient city situated around a big sinkhole in Mersin Province, Turkey.


Kanlıdivane is in the rural area of Erdemli district, which is a part of Mersin Province at 36°31′32″N 34°10′45″E / 36.52556°N 34.17917°E / 36.52556; 34.17917. It is 18 km (11 mi) to Erdemli and 55 km (34 mi) to Mersin. Its altitude is approximately 230 m (750 ft). It is close to the town Kumkuyu at the coast and just few hundred meters to Çanakçı rock tombs.

The sinkhole is quite wide; the longer dimension being 130 m (430 ft). The depth is about 70 m (230 ft)


Pre Roman era[edit]

Kanlıdivane was a part of the Olba kingdom in the ancient age. In the northern necropolis, there is a mausoleum, which was built by the Queen Aba for her husband and sons. On the inscription of the tower at south-west it reads; "Built by Teukros, the son of priest king Tarkyaris of Olba for Zeus."

Roman era[edit]

By the first century, Olba kingdom became a part of Roman Empire. Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II rebuilt the city as a Christian religious center and renamed it Neapolis.[1] There are ruins of basilicas, cisterns, rock cut graves etc. around the sinkhole.[2]

Kanlıdivane in popular culture[edit]

Kanlıdivane means "bloody crazy". This may refer to the red color of the surrounding soil. The name may also refer to a dreadful legend according to which the criminals had been executed by throwing into the sinkhole during Roman times.[3]

Kanlıdivane in Mersin Music Festival[edit]

Every year during Mersin International Music Festival, one or two outdoor concerts are held in Kanlıdivane. The audiences and performers sit at the opposite sides of the sinkhole. (During such concerts Metropolitan municipality of Mersin add free bus trips to Kanlıdivane.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Edwards, Robert W., "Kanlidivane" (2016). The Eerdmans Encyclopedia of Early Christian Art and Archaeology, ed., Paul Corby Finney. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 2–3. ISBN 978-0-8028-9017-7.
  2. ^ Festival page (in Turkish)
  3. ^ Travel guide

External links[edit]