Aydıncık is a town and district of Mersin Province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, 173 km (107 mi) from Mersin and 325 km (202 mi) from Antalya.
Aydıncık has also been called Arm.Կելենդերիդա, Gilindire, Kelenderis (Κελενδερίς in Ancient greek).
This remote coastline is mostly unspoilt and 38 kilometers long, including some sandy beach, and the town of Aydıncık is spread along the coast near a small point, Sancak Burnu.
Aydıncık is the site of the ancient Greek Celenderis, a port and fortress in Isauria. It was one of the best harbours of this coast in ancient times and also a very strong defensive position. Artemidorus, with other geographers, considered this place, as the commencement of Cilicia. There must have been earlier settlement going back to the Hittites and Assyrians but so far no evidence has been uncovered.
According to legend the city was founded by Sandocus, a grandson of Phaethon, who emigrated here from Syria. He married Pharnace, the princess of Hyria. Their son Cinyras founded Paphos. Historians reported that the city was indeed a Phoenician settlement, later expanded by an Ionian colony from Samos. Excavations carried out since 1986 have revealed findings going back to the 8th century B.C. when the Samians arrived.
The city thrived during the 4th and 5th centuries BC. It was a stop on the shipping lanes between the Aegean Sea to the west, Cyprus to the south, and Syria to the east. In the 450s B.C. the fleets of Athens passed by on their way to support rebellions against the Achaemenid Empire in Cyprus and Egypt. During this period Celenderis became the easternmost city to pay tribute to the Athenian-led Delian league. Payments were only made from 460 B.C. to 454 B.C. before Athens abandoned both campaigns and accepted a peace agreement which left Celenderis in the Achaemenid-allied Kingdom of Cilicia.
During the Hellenistic era (1st century BC) Celenderis was in a political coalition with the kingdom of the Ptolemys of Egypt, and faced severe difficulties from piracy. This problem persisted until Ancient Rome took military actions against the pirates, and Celenderis enjoyed a second period of wealth as the Romans secured the Mediterranean trade routes. They built a city around the port with villas, palaces, waterworks, and baths. During the Middle Ages, the grandeur persisted as the city was controlled by Byzantium, and in the 11th century the Armenians.
In 1228 Celenderis castle was captured from the Armenians by the Karamanoğlu and the coast was settled by Turkish peoples. The town’s name mutated to Gilindere and it continued to be an important port between Anatolia and Cyprus until the beginning of the twentieth century. It was renamed Aydıncık in 1965.