Living in Tarsus is a unique experience in which you may feel at juxtaposition between the past and the present. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes Tarsus as “an ancient city where excavations show that settlements have existed from Neolithic to Islamic times”.
While it boasts a population over 400.000, Tarsus still feels like a country town of perhaps 2000 people where residents may still walk on the road rather than on the sidewalk. Meandering around town will bring you to many antique sites of interest (including Cleopatra’s Gate, the church and well of St. Paul, the burial place of the Prophet Daniel and the Tarsus waterfall).
At the same time, you can drop by a trendy ice cream café, run a local marathon in April, or see fireworks from nearby wedding parties.
Although now two shopping malls have now been opened in Tarsus (Mc Donald’s and Burger King included), you generally will not find international fast food chains in the town itself. Tarsus prides itself on unique local cuisine including humus (chickpea dip), salgam (a pickled turnip drink), tantuni (a sandwich of grilled meats), the tiny pizzas called "fındık lahmacun", and cezerye (a carrot sweet). Being located near prime agricultural land with a long growing season, as a resident of Tarsus you will have access to a fabulous array of fresh produce throughout the year and can visit weekly farmers’ markets. While other towns across the country have a prominent statue of Atatürk, Tarsus is distinctive with a grape statue (alongside the obligatory national “father”/Atatürk figure), reflecting the local agriculture along with cultural and social advancements. Here are some of the restaurants residents enjoy:
Gar Restaurant (next to the train station)
Şelale (Waterfall) Restaurant (kebap and other local food) Begonvil (has a nice atmosphere, local house dishes) Haluk Abi (chicken sandwich, tantuni and other local food) Beyti Restaurant (Adana kebap and other local food) Yeşilova Restaurant (Adana kebap and other local food)
Kervan Hummus Shop: (hummus shop, home deliveries posible)
Tarsus Tennis Club
Tarsus Tennis Club is located four kilometers north of Tarsus, close to the Mersin-Adana highway. It has seven clay tennis courts. The club has a special agreement with the SEV Board which enables all TAC and SEV teachers and staff to use the Tennis Club without paying any membership fees. You can book the courts, attend bi-annual tournaments, receive tennis lessons or entertain guests in the cool, friendly atmosphere of the club all year long.
Tarsus school community members can also use the Tarsus Tennis Club courts and facilities free of any membership fees. However if you would like to take lessons or book the court for a game of tennis, then you need to pay the trainer’s hourly fee, and the hourly booking fee.
Traveling to Other Cities / Travel Agency
There is bus service to most major places in Turkey. Buses leave from the Tarsus bus terminal several times a day. Popular closer destinations are Gaziantep, Maraş, Konya, Adıyaman, Urfa and Ankara. There are also buses as well as planes to other major cities, such as Istanbul, İzmir and Antalya. Bus reservations can be made by phone, so that the ticket can be picked up before departure, if required. Reservations for plane travel can be made through various travel agencies in Tarsus, Mersin and Adana. Ms. Suat Uzunoğlu can recommend travel services and will assist you.
The closest airport to Tarsus is the Adana International Airport, which is approximately 45 minutes away by the airline shuttle. There are two international airports in Istanbul: Atatürk (European side) and Sabiha Gökçen (Asian side). Domestic airlines include Turkish Airlines (THY), Onur Air, Pegasus, Sun Express, Atlas Jet and the THY budget line, Anadolu Jet. There are a few direct international flights from the Adana Airport, mostly run by charter companies which a normal travel agent might not be able to find for you. A little detective work on your part can save you time and money!
The school has extensive sports facilities; a weightroom, a tennis court, two outdoor basketball/volleyball/tennis courts with bleachers, one semi-closed football court with bleachers, an indoor basketball gym, a dance studio and shower facilities. A key to the sports hall is available for use before or after school hours from the security guards.