- Birth Place of Homer
in Turkish as "Beautiful Izmir", the city lies at
the head of a long and narrow gulf furrowed by ships and
yachts. The climate is mild and in the summer the constant
and refreshing sea breezes temper the sun's heat. Behind the
palm-lined promenades and avenues which follow the
shoreline, the city, in horizontal terraces, gently ascends
the slopes of the surrounding mountains. The third largest
city in Turkey, İzmir's port is second only to İstanbul's.
A cosmopolitan and lively city all year round, during the
International Arts Festival (June/July) and the
International Fair (August/Sept), İzmir bursts with an
original city was established in the third millennium B.C.
(at present day Bayraklı), and at that time shared, with
Troy, the most advanced culture in Western Anatolia. By 1500
B.C. it had fallen under the influence of Central Anatolia's
Hittite Empire. In the first millennium B.C. İzmir, then
known as Smyrna, ranked as one of the important cities of
the lonian Federation; during this period - one of the
city's most brilliant - it is believed that Homer resided
here. The Lydian conquest of the city, around 600 B.C.,
brought this period to an end, and İzmir remained little
more than a village throughout the Lydian and the subsequent
6th century B.C. Persian rule. In the fourth century B.C. a
new city was built at the instigation of Alexander the Great
on the slopes of Mt. Pagos (Kadifekale). İzmir's Roman
period, from the first century B.C., gave birth to its
second great era. Byzantine rule followed in the fourth
century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest in the 11th
century. In t415, under Sultan Mehmet Çelebi; İzmir became
part of the Ottoman Empire.
Archaeological Museum , near Konak Square,
houses a superb collection of antiquities including the
statues of Poseidon and Demeter which, in ancient times,
stood in the Agora. Neighbouring the Archaeology Museum, the
collection in the Ethnography Museum contains
folkloric artifacts, which includes a fine collection of
Bergama and Gördes carpets, traditional costumes and camel
on Atatürk Caddesi, in an old İzmir house used by the
founder of the Turkish Republic, the Atatürk Museum
exhibits photographs of the leader as well as some of his
Fine Arts Museum, located in Konak, displays
the works of famous Turkish painters.
Selçuk Yasar Art Museum is a private museum
on Cumhuriyet Bulvarı with a collection of 20th-century
Turkish art. The Natural History Museum in Bornova attracts
as a natural reserve of the Aegean Region landscapes'
Ödemis Archaeological Museum is about 60 km
east of İzmir and displays regional artifacts. The Tire
Archaeological Museum is about 50 km east of İzmir.
excavations at Bayraklı have unearthed a temple dedicated
to Athena, and the wall of the lonian city which flourished
here between the seventh and fifth centuries B.C. Pottery
dating to the third millennium B.C. has also been uncovered.
Kadifekale, Mt. Pagos, stands the impressive
ruins of a castle and its walls, built by Lysimachus in the
reign of Alexander the Great, which still dominate İzmir
today. The castle offers an excellent vantage point to enjoy
the magnificent view over the Gulf of İzmir.
Agora, or marketplace, in the Namazgah Quarter
was originally constructed during the rule of Alexander the
Great. What remains today, however, dates from the
rebuilding under Marcus Aurelius after a devastating
earthquake in 178 A.D. The Şirinyer and Yesildere Aqueducts
, two examples of Roman engineering which span the Meles
River, supplied İzmir's water throughout the Byzantine and
Ottoman eras. me Saint Polycrap Church remains are of the
oldest church in Izmir, and symbolise the Seven Churches of
the Apocalypse community. Saint Polycarpo was martyred at
Kadifekale by the Romans in 155 A.D. According to legend,
when they tried to bum him, the flames wouldn't touch him
and they finally stabbed him to death. The church was
reconstructed in 1620 by Süleyman the Magnificent.
18th century Ottoman inn, the Kızlarağası Han,
a fine example of the architecture of the period, is being
restored to its former glory.
symbol of İzmir, the Saat Kulesi, or Clock
Tower, stands in Konak Square - the heart of the
city. A gift from the Sultan Abdülhamid, and built in 1901,
it is decorated in an elaborate; late-Ottoman style.
old houses fill the old Asansör quarter, also known as the
Jewish quarter. In this quarter, Dario Moreno Sokağı is
the main pedestrian street to the Asansör, an elevator from
the 19th century which is fifty-one meters in height, and
provides access between the lower and upper streets.
Situated on the upper side, the Asansör restaurant offers a
beautiful view of İzmir.
you find yourself on Havra Sokak in Kemeraltı, notice the old
buildings and synagogues.
the center of Cumhuriyet Meydanı, or Republic Square,
stands the Atatürk Monument, an impressive
statue of Atatürk sitting on a horse and facing the sea.
Erected in 1933, the Monument commemorates the liberation of
the city by Turkish Forces.
in Karşıyaka, The Flying Dolphins is a
monument that symbolises friendship and brotherhood.
Mosque is the largest and oldest in İzmir. Built in
the 16th century, with restorations in the 19th century, it
has a delightful interior with an interesting mimber
(pulpit) and mihrab (attar).
mosques in İzmir are Salepçioglu (20th
century), Şadırvan (17th century with
19th-century restorations) and Kemeralti (17th
century); all are situated close to the Kemeraltı Quarter.
the main park of the city, offers many different activities.
ft is the site for the International İzmir Fair and
contains an amusement park, zoo, restaurant and quiet
Palme Park, situated in Karşıyaka, is a relaxing
place to stop. It also offers some sports facilities. Next
door, Adnan Saygun Park, a center for artistic activities,
contains an amphitheatre for concerts and theatrical
productions, and also the Open-Air Museum Park, which has
statues scattered throughout the grounds.
Haklari (Human Rights) Park has lovely modem
statues, including the huge Flying Dolphin Monument. Muammer
Aksoy Park is a lovely seaside park with a nice view
of İzmir Bay.
Özal Recreation Park, located in Bayraklı, offers
a number of recreational and sporting activities.
has for many years enjoyed a reputation as a cosmopolitan
and cultural city. The Izmir Cultural Center
hosts performances of opera, ballet and musical concerts,
and the city is home to the Aegean Philharmonic Orchestra as
well as a thriving theatrical scene. During the annual İzmir
International Festival, international and Turkish
artists perform at various venues in the city and
surrounding area, including the theatre at Ephesus. Alsancak
(Punta), with traditional restored houses, has been
converted into a pedestrian entertainment walkway, with
bars, cafes and restaurants.
International Fair, which is an international
amusement and industry show, opens each year in August.
a horse-drawn carriage along the promenade during the day;
afterwards spend the evening absorbing the lively atmosphere
of the bars and cafes around Passport Pier.
the streets of the Kemeraltı Market area, it is possible to
find fascinating antiques, both fine and fun jewellery, a
great variety of clothing, and the dried figs and sultanas
for which İzmir is famous. The fish restaurants in this
colorful area serve up local specialities; trança and çipura,
two types of sea bream. The best modern and most elegant
shops line the Kordon Promenades in Alsancak, Karşıyaka
and Cumhuriyet Avenue.
on the road to Çeşme, is one of Turkey's largest thermal
spas, with excellent facilities for guests.
15 km west of Karşıyaka, is an area of coastal marshes and
salt fields that is preserved as an important bird sanctuary
- the Izmir Bird Paradise. Enthusiasts can spot many
species, including flamingos and pelicans.
Yamanlar Camligi, a pine forest near the
lovely Karagöl Lake, 40 km northeast of Karşıyaka, is a
popular picnic spot that also provides restaurants and a
Hittite bas-relief is carved into the rock at Kemalpasa
(20 km from İzmir) which lies in the Karabel Pass.
the highest point above İzmir, Belkahve
overlooks the Gulf of İzmir and is a relaxing spot to enjoy
a cup of Turkish coffee. A favourite haunt of Atatürk's, it
is now the site of the largest statue in his honour.
Seven Churches of the Apocalypse, mentioned by St.
John in the Book of Revelations, formed separate and
distinct communities, and are all found in Turkey : Izmir
(Smyrna), Efes (Ephesus), Eskihisar
(Laodicea), Alasehir (Philadelphia), Sart
(Sardis), Akhisar (Thyatira), and Bergama
(Pergamum). Tours of one to four days can be
arranged to see several or all of the churches.
Çeşme Peninsula, lapped by the waters of the
Aegean Sea, lies west of İzmir. The name 'Çeşme', meaning
fountain, refers to the many springs found in the area
during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is one of Turkey's
most beautiful stretches - surrounded by clear blue sea,
with landscapes of cultivated fields of aniseed, sesame and
artichokes dotted with fig and gum trees. In the unspoiled
bays you can swim in absolute peace. Visitors will find
excellent holiday accommodations, restaurants, sports and
14th century Genoese fortress, restored and enlarged by the
Ottomans in the 16th century, dominates the small port of Cesme,
80 km from İzmir. Today the town is a popular holiday '
resort with excellent accommodations and restaurants. The
16th century caravanserai near the fortress, built by Süleyman
the Magnificent, has been converted into a hotel, while the
19th century Church of Hagios Haralambos has been restored
as the Emir Çaka art gallery. Thermal baths offer a
health-oriented escape from modern life. Excellent shopping
- the finest quality carpets, leather goods, as well as
souvenir items are available. At night, a lively, fun
atmosphere pervades, especially in the restaurants, cafes,
bars and discos along the promenade.
can be hired to explore the Peninsula's splendid coastline.
Çeşme hosts an annual International Song Contest in the
summer. Also, weekly ferry lines run from Çeşme to Venice.
·· The very popular holiday centre of Ilica
boasts an excellent white, sandy beach, and the outstanding
facilities of the Altin Yunus Marina and Holiday
Complex. The bay here is ideal for water sports,
especially windsurfing and sailing. The thermal baths around
Ilıca are very popular; the best being located on Sifne
Bay; Paca Limani has a campsite which
offers campers comfortable facilities. In Ilıca Bay, the
colorful International Çakabey Optimist Yacht race is held
every year in July.
a quiet seaside village 20 km northeast of Çeşme, was
ancient Erythrai. Those who climb up to the Acropolis at
dusk are rewarded with beautiful views as the sun sinks over
the bay and islands. Nearby Gerence Gulf is a pristine inlet
northeast of the Çeşme Peninsula which can be reached by
yacht or car.
natural surroundings offer relaxation while the bay is ideal
for water sports. In Dalyan, a fishing village built on a
sheltered deep water inlet just north of Çeşme, some of
the region's best fish restaurants border the quay of the
lively marina. Tourists are attracted by the variety of Çiftlik's
accommodations, and by a long, sandy beach (Pirlanta Plaj),
just outside of town to the southwest. Camping facilities
are available to the south, and nearby stretches one of the
area's best beaches, the Altınkum Plaj (Golden Beach).
some of which have been converted into attractive
restaurants, dot the hill above Alacati, a
delightful and typical Aegean town. Alaçatı lies to the
south inland from Ilıca and the coast; a couple of
kilometres to the south is a good beach. Many lovely bays,
accessible only by yacht, are to be found along the coast
southeast of the town and ensure peaceful and relaxing
anchorage in this popular sailing region.
in ancient times as Clazomenae, Urla
Iskelesi offers a marina as well as plentiful
accommodation in all price ranges. Restaurants on the top of
Güvendik hill afford a marvellous view of the bay and its
prosperous little fishing village of Cesmealti
is notable for its simple yet excellent fish restaurants.
you drive along the panoramic Karaburun Peninsula
coast road you pass several peaceful bays and quaint fishing
villages: Balıklıova, Mordoğan and Karaburun. At
Karaburun, pleasant hotels, tea gardens and fish restaurants
sit between the beautiful mountain backdrop and the clear,
clean water. From Manastır Mountain, you can enjoy an
unforgettable view of the Karaburun coast, the Foca
coastline opposite, and the entrance to the Gulf of İzmir.
the southern side of the Çeşme Peninsula, near the town of
Seferihisar, is the small picturesque marina of Sigacik.
This important yachting centre is surrounded by
fortifications dating from the Genoese period and is a good
point from which to visit the Temple of Dionysus at the
antique site of Teos as well as the lovely Akkum
has excellent tourist facilities - beautiful beaches,
restaurants and hotels. Near Ahmetbeyli (Claros) to the
east, stands the Apollo Temple and the remains of the
colossal statue of Apollo; here you can also enjoy a good
fish meal or a swim at the town's wide beach. A winding
panoramic coastal road leads from Ahmetbeyli south to Pamucak