is located in the Aegean province,
which, of all the seven geographical
regions of Turkey, enjoys the finest
climate. In population it is the third
city in Turkey.It is located in an
area whose magnificent history has
made it a tourist centre. It lies
at the centre of the most important
land, air and sea communication network
in the ancient Aegean region.
ORIGIN OF ITS NAME
wife of Cinyras, King of Cyprus, foolishly
claimed that her daughter, Smyrna,
was more beautiful than Aphrodite
herself. This so enraged the goddess
that she made Smyrna fall in love
with her own father and one night
Smyrna's nurse having made the king
drunk, she climbed into his bed. When
he finally awoke from his drunken
slumber, the king drew his sword and
drove his daughter from the palace,
pursuing her into the countryside.Just
as he was about to overtake her and
kill her with his sword, Aphrodite
took pity on the girl and turned her
into a myrrh tree.
it descended, the king's sword split
the myrrh-tree and ADONIS tumbled
out. And thus Adonis was born.
to famous ancient travelers such as
Aristides, Strabo, Pliny and Pausanias,
Izmir was founded around 1450 B.C.
by TANTALUS, King of Manisa (Spilos)
to the north-east of the present-day
is also a legend to the effect that
it was founded by the Amazons. The
one certain thing is that Izmir is
not a Greek word and would appear
to be derived from an autochthonous
excavations carried out in 1948 by
the British Archaeological Institute
of Athens and, after 1960, by the
Turkish Historical Association under
Prof. Ekrem Akurgal have shown that
the first settlement, known as Bayraklı,
can be dated as far back as the Bronze
Age (3500-1000 B.C.)
remains of the earliest layer are
contemporary with the Troy II civilization.
This settlement was known as Smurna,
written as Smyrna in ancient Greek.In
the 11th century B.C. the coastal
city of Smyrna was inhabited by Ionians
mudbrick defense walls, which have
been dated to the 8th century B.C.,indicate
that Izmir was already a city state
at that time. The Temple of Athena,
thought to have been built between
the years 725-700 B.C., is the most
ancient example of Greek architecture
in the East.
to be found here is the oldest specimen
of a Greek house, with courtyard in
front, and five rooms on two storeys.
Smyrna also boasts the oldest example
of a cobbled street in Greek civilisation.
tomb of TANTALUS (Tholos) on Mt Yamanlar
is one of the oldest examples of a
the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. the
region came under the rule of the
Phrygians and Lydians. The city, which
had been destroyed during that period,
was captured by the Persians in the
6th century and once again destroyed.
In 333 B.C. it fell into the hands
of Alexander the Great.
city could no longer be contained
within its old defense walls and was
refounded on Mt Pagos, now known as
Kadifekale. By the 1st century B.C.
only a small part of the city remained
on Mt Pagos, the greater part lying
in the vicinity of the harbour.In
288 B.C. the city became subject to
the Kingdom of Pergamon and, on the
death of King Attalos III in 133 B.C.
it became part of the Roman Empire
in accordance with the terms of Attalos'
will.In the 7th century A.D. it was
exposed to raids by the Arabs.
the 9th century the city had become
a Byzantine naval base with a dockyard.
Under the Nicaean Empire (1204-1260)
it was an important international
The first Turkish conquest of the
city took place towards the end of
the 11 th century during the reign
of Kutalmışoğlu Süleyman Shah, and
in 1426 it was incorporated into Ottoman
fort on the shore was rebuilt by Mehmed
the Conqueror after an attack by the
Venetians in 1472 .
first textile factory was opened in
the 18th century and the first paper
factory in the 19th.
15 May 1919 the occupation of the
city by the Greeks sparked off the
Turkish national struggle for Independence.
its liberation in 1922 three-quarters
of the city was destroyed by fire.
The industrialisation and urbanisation
that characterised the years following
the proclamation of the Republic destroyed
the lovely landscape that the city
had formerly possessed. Today, the
old city slumbers in oblivion in a
growing and rapidly changing Izmir,
but those really interested can still
find old houses with bay windows hidden
away in narrow streets, old Ottoman
hans and magnificent Levantine mansions,
as well as old mosques, synagogues
the beginning of the 20th century
Izmir was a centre of commerce and
entertainment rivaling Istanbul and
Salonica in the hierarchy of Ottoman
cities and famous for its raisins
and seedless grapes, its almonds,
its horsedrawn phaetons, its spring
festival, its "gold drop'' Eau
de Cologne and nargiles or water-pipes.
The population of 200,000 at the turn
of the century has now grown to 3
million. All types of cottons and
textiles, together with agricultural
produce such as tobacco, grapes, figs,
olives and olive oil are exported
from Izmir to all four corners of
the world. Today the city retains
its importance as the largest export
harbour in Turkey.