Country Turkey Region Aegean Region Province İzmir Province Government • Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu (CHP) Area • Metropolitan municipality 7,340.00 km2(2,833.99 sq mi) • Urban 855.00 km2(330.12 sq mi) Elevation 2 m (7 ft) Population (2014) • Metropolitan municipality 2,847,691 • Density 390/km2 (1,000/sq mi) • Metro 4,113,072 Time zone FET (UTC+3) Postal code 35xxx Area code(s) (+90) 232 Licence plate 35 Website www.izmir.bel.tr www.izmir.gov.tr
Sports & natureWalk along the Kordon, the waterfront promenade, now lined by rows of tall apartment buildings and palm trees on one side and the Aegean on the other, with a large patch of lawn and a cobbled street in between, where you can have a 19th-century fayton (horse-drawn carriages) ride.
Kemeraltı — A must see. A big bazaar, where you can buy clothes, presents etc. There are also a lot of lounges where you can sit.
Kızlarağası Hanı-House of Girls' Master— An old inn (kervansaray) in Kemeraltı where you can shop for carpets and jewelry.
Blend in with locals and take the boat from Konak to Karşıyaka.
See also the old fortress and the Agora. This site is usually quiet and you can roam about the ruins of the old Greek market.
Beaches — Having a coastline on Aegean sea, İzmir owns lots of beaches which are not too far from the city center. There is public transportation available to most of them. The places include Foça, Dikili, Urla, Seferihisar, and Çeşme.
Nightlife infoJoin the nightlife on Kıbrıs Şehitleri Caddesi in Alsancak, and go find the Gazi Kadinlar Street. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are when the street is liveliest.
All pubs and cafes in Kordon (Alsancak's waterfront) are attractive in nice weather.
1448 Sokak at Alsancak is full of bars and pubs from one end to another. They also have seats out on the sidewalk, and the uniform price for a bottle of beer (a pint/0.50 litre) is 6 TL all along the street.
Culture and history infoThe history of İzmir stretches back to around 3000 BC when the Trojans founded the city in Tepekule in the northern suburb of Bayrakli. This was the birthplace of Homer, who was thought to have lived here around the 8th century BC. The Aeolians, the first Greek settlers, were eventually superseded by the (also Greek) Ionians, and then the Lydians destroyed the city around 600 BC before a brief recovery following Alexander the Great’s arrival in 334 BC.
After his death, Alexander’s generals followed his wishes and re-established Smyrna on Mount Pagos in Kadifekale, and the city then prospered under the Romans. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 178 AD but later reconstructed and became a major commercial port. After the Byzantines, the city had a turbulent time under the Arabs, Seljuks, Crusaders and Mongols, until Mehmet I incorporated it into the Ottoman Empire in 1415. Under Suleyman the Magnificent, Smyrna became a thriving and sophisticated city and a huge trading center, despite its frequent earthquakes. It was cosmopolitan, with mainly Greek Orthodox and also Jews and Muslims, and many languages were spoken among locals and visiting traders.
Following World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, on the basis of a major Greek-speaking population in the area, the Allies gave Greece a mandate over İzmir. Greece thereby took control of the Aegean area, and marched on Ankara. Led by Kemal Atatürk the Turkish army counter-attacked, in what became the War of Turkish Independence, and regained their territory, but a huge fire broke out which destroyed 70% of İzmir. Atatürk formally took İzmir on 9 September 1922 and this is celebrated as the date of the city's independence. As part of the peace deal, Greeks in İzmir were compulsorily re-settled in Greece, while Turks in Greece (especially around Thessaloniki, Atatürk's own birthplace) were compulsorily re-settled in Turkey. This ended the multicultural nature of the city.