Mersin takes steps for winter tourism .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} MERSİN - The western city of Mersin is strengthening its bid to become a magnet for winter tourism, thanks to its snowy Karboğazı region.

The infrastructure work in Karboğazı, declared a ’tourism region’ in 2006, is nearing completion and planning for promotional activities is well underway, according to Mersin Governor Hüseyin Aksoy.

Initiating an extensive study in Tarsus’s Karboğazı district, 120 kilometers from Mersin’s city center, and expected to become Turkey’s 24th ski center, Aksoy said the region’s 3,000-meter-altitude is under white snow until the end of May every year.

Ski center
Highlighting that the region has all the necessities a ski center must have, Aksoy said the ski center project would substantially contribute to the tourism potential of the region.

"The infrastructure work has almost come to an end and we plan to hold ski activities to publicize the region for next year, thus extending the tourism spectrum of the city and increasing our percentage of the tourism pie."

The ski center will service a wide area including Mersin, Adana, Niğde and Kahramanmaraş. The population in the surrounding 250 kilometers is about 8 million, he said.

Saying that the seasonal influx is high in the region, which witnesses an increase in the population to 25,000 during the summer months, Tekin Çelik, Gülek mayor, said, "Expectations of the recent project include more employment and better socialization in the region. This project is a good chance for our city, and we want to thank Governor Aksoy for this."

The blanket of snow in the region is similar to that in Sarıkamış and Palandöken, said Muzaffer Erol Ger, the Mersin representative to Turkey’s Ski Federation.

Despite being one of the hottest cities of Turkey, and rarely having snowfall, Mersin’s snowy mountains are up for skiers’ service.