: About İzmir - Turkey

About İzmir - Turkey

Turkey is located at the conjunction of the Old World Continentals, namely Europe, Asia and Africa and covers 814 578 sqkm. The capital is Ankara.
Turkey is surrounded by the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean, with a coastline of 8333 km.
Turkey is governed by secular democratic parliamentary system. The members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) are determined by public elections. The government cabinet consists of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
Turkey is founding member of the OECD and Black Sea Economic Cooperation and a member of NATO, the European Council and the Organisaton of Islamic Cooperation.
Turkish history encompasses a period of 10 thousand years. Anatolia has been the meeting points of the Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian Cultures via the Hatti, Hittites and Hurrians. As a consequence of this interaction, a unique Anatolian civilization, which deeply affected the Western world’s ideologies and mythologies, was formed.

Contemporary İzmir, being the third biggest city in Turkey, is a foremost center of culture, art and trade. İzmir has a total coastline of 629 km, with 101 km of natural beaches. The Aegean Sea, surrounding İzmir and many islands with its amazing shades of blue, looks like lace.

The city, known as "Beautiful Izmir" in Turkey, has existed for around 8500 years. Situated at the head of a long, narrow bay Izmir has always formed a natural harbour. It enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate which was once famously praised by Homer: “They have set their city at the best climate on earth, under the best sky that anyone can know” who was said to have been a citizen there at one time.
Izmir sustains its development as a city of culture, tourism, trade and industry. İzmir has the second biggest port of Turkey after İstanbul. İzmir has many touristic satellite towns like Çeşme and Foça as well as famous historical sites like Ephesus, an important ancient city.

İzmir is said to have been founded by King Tantalos of Erectides. The ancient name of the city, ‘Smyrna’, is inherited from an Amazon queen. The city was located on one of the important trade routes of the Hittites and was invaded by Phryga, Ionia, Lydia, Persia, Rome and the Byzantine civilizations before the final advent of the Turks.

Some of the touristic places in İzmir: Hisar Mosque, İsa Bey Mosque, İzmir Church, Birgi, Ephesus, The house of the Virgin Mary, Council Church, Seven Sleepers. St Jean Bassilica, Pergamon Church, Asansor, the Kemeraltı Shopping Area, Teleferik (Cable car), Bird Sanctuary, Kadifekale, Çakırağa Manor, and the Clock Tower.

Places to visit in İzmir

Kemeraltı Shopping Area- Konak

The Kemeraltı Shopping area is the most important shopping center in İzmir. Historical shops, modern stores and theaters are all next to each other. Turkey’s biggest “inn” Kızlarağası Han (Inn) is located there and the historical Clock Tower is at the entrance square of the area.

Kordon- Alsancak

Alsancak Kordon is the popular water front esplanade where people can enjoy many restaurants and cafes providing several cuisines 24 hours a day. The Alsancak district has also been a favorite entertainment location for university students for many years.

Agora is in Namazgah district and dates back to Roman Ages (2nd century AD). It is build as 3 layers according to the ancient Hippodamos city plan, close to the center. İzmir Agora is the biggest and best preserved agora among the Ionian Agoras. Statues of Poseidon, Demeter and Artemis were found during the excavations in 1927 and are currently being exhibited in İzmir Archeology Museum. The excavations (and environmental clean-up) has accelerated since 1996 under the sponsorship of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality


Karşıyaka is one of the nicest esplanades of İzmir with its shopping area, catering and other facilities. Access to Karşıyaka is quite easy by sea via the ferries leaving from Alsancak, Konak and Pasaport.

Balçova- Teleferik

The cable car (Teleferik) in Balçova has a magnificent İzmir city view and the location also offers trekking facilities.

Buca- Gölet

There are many restaurants and cafes in this 140 000 sqm location as well as an amphitheater , picnic area, gardens, and market area. Many art and cultural activities take place especially during summertime.

Bornova Büyük Park ve Küçük Park

These parks are easily accessible via the tube system and they have many cafes preffered by students.


This lift building was founded by Nesim Levi and was built to carry people from the low levels of Mithatpaşa district to the higher levels of the district. In the1930’s, the building had a theatre, a club and and a photographer, and today it is a cultural center. The place has also dining facilities with a panoramic İzmir view.

This castle is located on a sightseeing hill and has traces of the Hellenictic, Roman and Byzantium Ages. Today it is famous for cafes and magnificient İzmir views.

Kuş Cenneti- Bird Sanctuary

The bird sanctuary covers more than 7 thousand hectares with many small island, deltas and reedbeds, hosting more than 190 species. It is a natural preserve area just by the city.

İzmir Doğal Yaşam Parkı- Natural Life Preserve

This natural life preserve in in Çiğli- Sasalı- covering 425 000 sqm, hosts many animals in natural environments including bird observation towers.

Balçova Thermal Springs

These thermal springs were known as the Agamemnon Springs in ancient times and are located 10 km West of İzmir. They are one of the biggest thermal springs in Turkey


İncialtı is the biggest recreation park in İzmir with its many walkways and cafes.


Kültürpark is one of the biggest green zones in İzmir, holding many sports and amusement facilities. The park has hosted the annual İzmir International Fair and many other fairs/exhibitions since 1936. The facilities in Kulturpark: Ataturk Open-air Theatre, Ismet Inonu Art Center, İzmir Sanat Art Center, the Parachute Tower, Celal Atik Sports Hall, Lunapark- Fun Fair, the Youth Theatre, the Statue and Drawings Museum, and the History and Arts Museum.

Places to visit- İzmir Neghbourhood

Selçuk- Ephesus

Selçuk has many historical resources, including the world famous Ephesus. Selçuk Keçi Castle, St Jean Basillica, Belevi Mausoleum, Aqueducts and Isabey Mosque are the historical places of interest that must be visited.
Ephesus is the most impressive and famous ancient city in Turkey. The city dates back to 1000 BC and was the Asian capital of the Romans. The city is the first city totally constructed from marble. Its theatre has a capacity of 24 000 people – the biggest of the ancient ages. The Artemis Temple, one of the world’s seven wonders, and the Celcius Library are some of the remarkable buildings in the city.
Ephesus has spiritual imporatnce for Christians: It is said that the Bible was written there and that the Virgin Mary died in Ephesus.


The Ancient Metropolis City relics are in Torbalı town, which is 45 km south of İzmir.


Seferihisar is 47 km from Izmir and it dates back to 3000 BC. Places of interest are a Medieval castle and other historical sites, beaches, mosques and baths, Sığacık Town and Teos Ancient City.

Bergama- Pergamon

Bergama (100km North of İzmir) inherits its name from the ancient city Pergamon, which is one of the oldest cities of Anatolian history. There are remarkable historical places in Pergamon.


Çeşme is 80 km from İzmir and very polular for its famous beaches, bays and turquoise blue sea. Swimming is quite enjoyable in the many small bays and beaches of Çeşme. Summer houses, hotels and boarding houses extend from Alaçatı (in the South) to Ildırı (in the North) offering vacations primarly to native tourists.


Foça is located on the peninsula between İzmir Bay and Çandarlı Bay and it is confirmed as a “Special Enviromental Preserve Area” due to its natural beauty and archeological and architectural resources.


Karaburun has been awarded with a “Blue Flag” due to its many natural resources as well as its Narcissus flowers and colonies of Mediterranean monk seals.


Kuşadasi is a favourite tourism resort with its beautiful sea, historical places and world class marina. It is very close to other touristic spots like Selçuk, Ephesus, and the house of the Virgin Mary which increase its popularity.


Şirince is 8 km east of Selçuk, and is famous for its vineyards, peach gardens and olive trees.


Urla, mainly a fishing town offering local cuisine to its visitors, is 38 km away from İzmir.
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