Seyhan River

The Seyhan River (formerly written Seihan, Sihun; ancient name: Ancient Greek: Σάρος, Sáros) is the longest river in Turkey that flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The river is 560 km and flows southwest from its headwaters in the Tahtalı-Mountains (in Sivas and Kayseri provinces) in the Anti-Taurus Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea via a broad delta. Its main tributaries are Zamantı and Göksu, which unite in Aladağ, Adana to form the Seyhan River. The Zamantı River originates from the Uzun Plateau in Pınarbaşı, Kayseri and crosses Tomarza, Develi and Yahyalı districts in Kayseri.

Seyhan River flowing through Adana
ProvincesKayseri, Adana, Mersin
DistrictsAladağ, Karaisalı, Çukurova, Sarıçam, Seyhan, Yüreğir, Tarsus
Physical characteristics
SourceAkinek Dağı
  locationAladağ, Adana, Turkey
  elevation1,500 m (4,900 ft)
MouthCape Deli, Mediterranean Sea
Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey
Length560 km (350 mi)
Basin size20,600 km2 (8,000 sq mi)
Basin features

In ancient times, it was called the Sarus or Saros, and its plain was called the Cilician plain. Its sources were reported being in the Taurus Mountains in Cataonia. It flowed through Cappadocia by the town of Comana, then through Cilicia. It is noted by numerous ancient authors including Livy,[1] Xenophon,[2] Procopius,[3] Strabo,[4] Ptolemy,[5] Appian,[6] Pliny the Elder,[7] and Eustathius of Thessalonica who erroneously calls it Sinarus.[8]

50 km from its mouth, Seyhan River flows through the city of Adana, the only settlement situated on the river. Several bridges and footbridges cross the river in Adana including the Stone Bridge, a 4th-century Roman bridge. The river meets the Mediterranean Sea at Cape Deli.

The major Seyhan Dam upstream of Adana serves for irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control. Yedigöze, Çatalan and Kavşak Bendi are the other dams on Seyhan River which also serve the same purposes. The river is currently under extensive development for hydroelectric power and irrigation.[9]

See also


  1. Livy. Ab Urbe Condita Libri (History of Rome). 33.41.
  2. Xenophon, Anabasis 1.4.1.
  3. Procopius, de Aedif. 5.4.
  4. Strabo. Geographica. xii. p. 535. Page numbers refer to those of Isaac Casaubon's edition.
  5. Ptolemy. The Geography. 5.8.4.
  6. Appian Syr. 4.
  7. Pliny. Naturalis Historia. 6.3.
  8. Eustathius of Thessalonica, ad Dion. Per. 867.
  9. "Cumulative Impact Assessment Baseline Monitoring Report for the Goksu-Seyhan Hydropower Cascade" (PDF). EnerjiSA. February 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2013.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Sarus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.

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