This study corresponds to preliminary work representing an initial assessment for spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Cilician Basin coastal sediments. The concentrations of PAHs in shelf sediments were determined from the three different regions of Cilician Basin (Eastern Mediterranean) in 2011. Concentrations of PAHs were low 5.43-271 ng g(-1) with respect to other coastal sediments in the Mediterranean and these results could be compared with concentrations found in open sea areas. PAH composed mainly of pyrolytic four and five-ring compounds. An abundance of high molecular weight PAHs indicated that atmospheric particles and urban aerosols are the major input route of hydrocarbons in the Cilician and Lattakia Basins. PAH levels were assessed in accordance with numerical Sediment Quality Guideline (SQG) of the USEPA. The results showed that no samples exceeded biological thresholds to pose biological impairments. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.