Major overhaul in subregional hierarchy
I'd like to propose a major overhaul in subregional hierarchy, mainly to avoid:
- The artificial divide of Lycia, which is a coherent travel region and is well-known by this name among international travellers. It’s now divided between Western Lycia and western half of Antalya Province.
- Overload of Antalya Province. It currently lists 10 cities (+3 red links) and 6 valid ODs. These will likely increase in the future. In addition, west and east coasts of Antalya Province don't have much in common—west is mountainous, and full of towns that are more of independent traveller destinations, while east mainly consists of flat coastal plains with large (or at least large-ish) towns or cities, resorts of which receive lots of tourists on package tours.
- Letting Mersin Province article go defunct. There were (and likely will be) several recent proposals by local politicians to Turkish Parliament to divide Mersin Province into two provinces (and sometimes three), one centred at Mersin, other at Silifke (and yet, another at Anamur). It is likely that these proposals will be accepted sooner or later, which means the article on province will be out of date. And western and eastern parts of the province are not similar really, just like in the case of Antalya Province—west is mountainous and largely off-the-beaten-path while east is largely agricultural and industrial, and much more populated plains.
- And finally, to avoid a needlessly convoluted subregional hierarchy of modern administrative provinces, historical, geographical, and cultural regions all thrown in—which the current hierarchy exactly is.
So, my proposal is as follows, from west to east:
- Lycia — current Western Lycia in addition to western third of Antalya Province, i.e. up to north of Kemer
- Lakes District — no changes.
- Pamphylia — central and eastern two-thirds of Antalya Province, i.e. anywhere from south of Antalya to east of Gazipaşa (to the border between Antalya and Mersin Provinces, in other words). While Gazipaşa was historically (and is geographically) a part of Cilicia, the completion of an international airport there will make it one of the major gateways for resorts east of Antalya, and current transportation links are already oriented towards Pamphylia—the road to west is a wide and well-surfaced highway not far from motorway standards, while the road east (to Cilicia) is a winding and narrow mountain road.
- Cilicia Trachea — this is a tough one. Cilicia Trachea translates "Rough Cilicia" or (according to my own interpretation) "Mountainous Cilicia", but that makes a weird name, so I propose to name this Cilician Mountains (although I am aware that it, in addition to mountains, has great beaches, too). Western/southern and central two-thirds of Mersin Province, i.e. all the way to east of Erdemli. I'd also like to propose here that Ermenek and its surrounding countryside, which roughly equals to southern "panhandle" of Karaman Province projecting towards Mediterranean Turkey to south, currently part of top-level region of Central Anatolia, be moved to Cilician Mountains (and thus Mediterranean Turkey in general). While Ermenek is not clearly "Mediterranean" (as it's far away from the coast), it is historically and geographically an inevitable part of Cilicia Trachea, and it has next to none in common with Central Anatolian steppes to north.
- Cilician Plains — the current region in addition to eastern third of Mersin Province, i.e. counties of Mersin, Tarsus, and Çamlıyayla.
- Hatay — the same with current Hatay Province (and currently a redirect to that), but I'd like to drop "province" from the name. It's really unnecessary as Hatay is only and only the name of the province itself, not its capital (unlike most other Turkish provinces), i.e. there is not a Hatay (city) or something.
I've uploaded the primitive map (sorry, I still cannot use Inkscape!) to right to show clearly what I meant (and am hoping that one of mapmakers would take an interest to produce one of Wikivoyage quality).
So far, my only hesitation is to use the historical names for regions. While Lycia and Cilician Plains are in quite common usage today (the latter a little less common than the former one), I’m not sure how people will react when they see "Cilician Mountains" or (since this is a huge tourism destination, especially) "Pamphylia". But I can’t come up with better names for these regions, and it sounds like a nice idea to go with historical names all the way east once you start with Lycia.
Other than the move of Ermenek from Central Anatolia, I'm not proposing any changes at all to borders of Mediterranean Turkey as a whole.
I am naturally volunteering for updating breadcrumbs, merging and dividing content between current articles, i.e. anything that needs to be done for implementing the hierarchy.
Anyone in favour? Anyone against? – (WT-en) Vidimian 13:41, 6 October 2010 (EDT)
- Given there is not any comments, I presume there are no objections as well, so I'm plunging forward with this. – (WT-en) Vidimian 13:17, 27 October 2010 (EDT)
Renaming some of the subregions
As I stated in the 2010 thread above, it is hard to find relevant names for some of the subregions. Some, such as Pamphylia, are long forgotten and used by almost no one except the historians, while others, e.g. Cilician Mountains, are not only bad translations from names that were out of use for centuries, but are also misleading—while that region is certainly mountainous, most of the destinations there are not over the mountains but on the coast. So, here is the list of my proposals for renamings:
- Lycia — no changes. This is a historic name but in wide usage among the traveller scene, especially in English. I'd like to tweak its eastern border though: While historically in the periphery of ancient Lycia, Kemer and nearby Beldibi are mass tourism resorts, whereas elsewhere in Lycia is better known for attracting independent, backpacker-type, alternative/"hippy" travellers. So they should better be moved to the eastern neighbouring region, currently named Pamphylia.
- Pamphylia → Antalya Region. Pamphylia is a purely historic name, with no wide usage today. Since Antalya is the main hub of the region and its anchor city, I think the proposal is a fitting name. Note that it only partially overlaps with Antalya Province (wp), so we can't use that name.
- Lakes District — no changes. A common name for the region. There was a separate discussion back in 2013 in which all the involved parties agreed to move it to a a new top-level region named Western Anatolia, but that article hasn't been started so far.
- Cilician Mountains → Taşeli (wp). "Cilician Mountains" is a bad translation from its original ancient Greek name, which in turn has seen no usage for the last... millenium? It's also confusing and weird that the article mostly covers the coastline, and not the mountains behind it. While Taşeli is not a terribly popular name for the area (and how could it be, considering the region receives only a trickle of travellers), it at least has some currency. Note that while Gazipaşa (wp) is traditionally considered to be a part of Taşeli (and Cilicia Trachea), it's better to keep it together with Alanya in the western neighbouring region, due to the modern transportation connections which heavily link Gazipaşa with the towns to its west, so no changes in the regional borders.
- Cilician Plains → Çukurova (currently a redirect to the present article name, which is why it's a blue link). English-only Google searches show a slight preference for Çukurova (360,000+ for "Çukurova" vs 220,000+ for "Cilician Plain" and 90,000+ for "Cilician Plains"), although they might be manipulated by the fact that "Çukurova" as a name is also shared by a university, a metropolitan district, and a business conglomerate, but those all are located in the region, anyway. Besides Wikipedia uses a version of this name (I honestly don't know why they chose to name their article "Chukurova", though). Again the 2013 discussion linked above ended in a consensus to move it to a yet-to-be-started Southern Turkey region, but this wasn't implemented so far.
- Hatay — no changes. A common, and perhaps the only, name for the region. Same with the Cilician Plains in regard to the separate 2013 discussion.