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Mersin province is in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast between Antalya and Adana. The provincial capital is the city of Mersin and the other major town is Tarsus, birthplace of St Paul.
The former name of the province was İçel. In 2002, the province's name was changed to Mersin to match the provincial capital's name, as is the case for all Turkish provinces except three. The province retained the license plate number of 33, İçel having been the 33rd in the alphabetical order of Turkish province names, when there were only 67 provinces in Turkey.