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View looking north. The Cilician Gates is really a pass in the Taurus mountains through which almost all traffic passing between the Cilician Plain and the Anatolian highland passed. The idea of a "gate" seems to refer to that which one must pass through, and through which access can be controlled.
The mountain slopes in the sunlight on the left (west) and right (east) sides of the highway are the respective sides of the pass. The level of the roadway has been raised in recent years as the Turks have constructed a six-lane highway through the "gates."
In ancient times the Persians passed through this area on their march westward, but later the Greeks, led by Alexander Great, pursued them through these "gates" in the opposite direction as they retreated eastward.
The Cilician Gates lie 27.5 mi. [44 km.] to the north of Tarsus (via the ancient road system). This pass has always been of strategic importance.
For a view of the pass from the opposite direction and additional commentary Click Here.