This year, Mersin has the honor to be the venue for the Mediterranean Games, and to organize the event. The major sporting event, attended by the nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea, goes back to an idea of the Egyptian Muhammed Taher Pasha, and took place first time in 1951. Since 1993, they take place always always one year after the Summer Olympic Games. In 2009 the Games were held in Italy.
Participating countries are: Italy, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Spain, Turkey, Albania, Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Croatia, France, Greece, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon , Syria
In connection with the Mediterranean Games it is also planned to build a new airport in Mersin. This would shorten the travel time to Silifke, Tasucu or Anamur.