Food Culture of Mersin

Savoring Mersin: A Journey through the Unique Food Culture of Mersin, Turkey



Tucked away on Turkey’s southern coast, the city of Mersin offers a culinary scene as vibrant and diverse as the landscape it inhabits. Its rich food culture is a product of the Mediterranean climate, historical influences, and a generous spirit that finds joy in sharing good food.

A Fusion of Flavors

Mersin’s culinary repertoire is a testament to its multi-cultural history and geographical location. The city’s cuisine is a delightful fusion, combining Turkish, Arab, and Armenian culinary traditions. This blending of influences results in a diverse and rich food culture that celebrates the region’s abundant produce, fresh seafood, and traditional techniques.

Signature Dishes

When it comes to Mersin’s food scene, some dishes stand out as must-tries. ‘Tantuni’, a spicy dürüm filled with stir-fried meat and vegetables, is a street food staple. ‘Cezerye’, a carrot-based dessert loaded with nuts and dusted with coconut, is a sweet treat not to be missed.

‘Lip-smacking dolmas and sarmas, delicious böreks, and hearty ‘analı kızlı soup’ are also part of Mersin’s culinary mosaic.

The Mersin Fish Market

For seafood lovers, Mersin’s Fish Market is a paradise. Here, one can find a wide variety of fresh fish and seafood caught from the Mediterranean. What makes this experience unique is that after buying your fish, local restaurants can cook it for you – ensuring you enjoy the freshest possible seafood, prepared to local culinary traditions.


Exploring Mersin’s food culture is akin to discovering the city itself – a journey of unexpected delights, rich traditions, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re sampling street food, indulging in a multi-course meal, or browsing through the bustling fish market, you’re sure to experience the spirit of Mersin in every bite.

Food for Thought

In Mersin, food is more than sustenance – it’s a celebration of the city’s history, its people, and its spirit of generosity. The next time you taste a local delicacy, remember that you’re not just savoring a dish – you’re savoring a piece of Mersin’s rich cultural tapestry.

I trust this content will give your readers a flavorful insight into Mersin’s food culture. If you require any revisions or want to delve deeper into a particular aspect, please feel free to let me know.

Food Culture of Mersin; Mersin has been a frequented point of different civilizations and important historical characters throughout history with its cosmopolitan structure, its shores running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea throughout the city, its warm climate and fertile lands. Many different cultures and races continue to live together in the City of Mersin, which has quickly acquired a cosmopolitan structure with the waves of migration it has received Decently.

For a long time, the cultural structure of the city, where Yoruk Turks are the majority, has changed with the migrations from outside. This change has caused differences in the “culinary culture” of the region, as in many areas. For this reason, although the local dishes of Mersin have a structure suitable for the way of life of the Yoruk Turks, it is possible to see the effects of the food styles found in the East of Turkey.


The dishes specific to Mersin

1- Tantuni,

Mersin Tantunisi has become the symbol of the city completely. Tantuni may be the easiest food you can find ready-made on a trip to Mersin. There is a Tantuni Restaurant at the beginning of almost every street. Tantuni, which is the most well-known and prepared in Mersin Cuisine, is a type of dish that is served wrapped in bread by offering Beef, Chicken, Lamb meat options. Therefore, it cannot be said that Tantuni has a vegan-friendly structure. People have the opportunity to choose the bread to be used as they have meat options.

2-  Batırık

“Batırık”, which attracts attention in the provinces of Mersin and Konya, is simply a  kind of juicy salad. Although it has very similar construction stages with “kısır”, Tahini is added to it.

3- Sıkma

“Sıkma”, which is quite common in Mersin and the surrounding provinces, is a type of food that is constantly served in pastries, which is said to have a better taste when consumed with tea. The Food is served in two types ; cheese or potato  in it, depending on preference. Sıkma is cooked on a thin iron called “sac” and  it is the leading dish of Mersin in the category of pastry. Its origin is based on the Yoruk Culture.

4-  İcli kofte

Içli köfte, whose origin is based on southeastern Anatolia, can be cooked in two different ways as boiled and fried. The feature makes the magic and gives the taste of the köfte  is the “iç harç” whichs means “The ingredients inside the food.” The ingredients consists of meat, so it is a type of dish that may cause vegans to think twice when choosing it. Walnuts can be added to it when its prepared according to the preference of the person. But, Walnuts are not preferred in içli köfte  in the Mersin region.

The Category of  Desserts,

5- Kerebic

Throughout history, Mersin has also been connected with the surrounding cities. The origin of this dessert, which is identified with Hatay province – which is a few hours away from Mersin- and Mersin. The Dessert is  based on Arab culinary culture. In preparation; It is prepared with walnuts, peanuts, semolina and black cumin. Kerebic, also known by the name of ”Semolina Cookies”, is served with cream.

6- Karsambac,

Karsambaç, which is consumed in regions where Highland Culture is widespread. It is a type of dessert consumed by adding syrup to ice or snow. During its preparation, clean snow collected from mountains or wells is used. This dessert, which is very famous in the southern provinces, is similar to the” bici bici” dessert of the city of Adana, which is close to Mersin. Karsambaç can be prepared with different versions and syrups depending on the request, the most well-known version is those made with grape molasses, but there are also quite a lot of lovers of the karsambaç dessert prepared with honey and rose water.

7- Cezerye

Just as Tantuni has become the symbol of Mersin as a food, “Cezerye” symbolizes Mersin in the Dessert category. Being suitable for vegan consumption, it has become one of the favorite sweet flavors of Turkey with its taste and the benefits it provides to the body. Cezerye is made from carrots, sugar and coconuts.One of the best Cezerye companies is known as Ziya Efendi. ziyaefendi.com.tr

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