Economy and Transportation
Historically, Mersin was a major producer of cottonseed oil. The rural area around Mersin is famous for citrus and cotton production. Banana, olive and various fruits are also produced.
The port is the mainstay of Mersin’s economy. There are 45 piers, a total port area of 785,000 square metres (194 acres), with a capacity of 6,000 ships per year.
Adjacent to the port is Mersin Free Zone established in 1986, the first free zone in Turkey, with warehouses, shops, assembly-disassembly, maintenance and engineering workshops, banking and insurance, packing-repacking, labelling and exhibition facilities. The zone is a publicly owned center for foreign investors, close to major markets in the (Middle East, North Africa, East and West Europe, Russian Federation and Central Asia. The trading volume of the free zone was USD 51,8 billion in 2002.
Mersin has highway connections to the north, east and west. Mersin is also connected to the southern railroad. Adana airport is 69 kilometres (43 mi).
70% of the male population and 46% of the female population is employed. Unemployment is about 6.7%.
Mersin port is an international hub for many vessels routing to European countries. It is now operated by PSA.