not only a statue
The statue of Kemal Ataturk is everywhere in Turkey but this one is very important for the people of Izmir. After the defeat of the ottoman empire in world war 1 the winners took back regions that Ottomans had before. Greece took some of the western regions of Turkey with the Treaty of Sevres.
On 1919 (15 of May) the greek army occupied Izmir but then the decision to go further inside Anatolia turned into a disaster for them. The end of the Greek-Turkey war at 1922 found Greece loose all regions there but the most important many local Greeks of turkey died or forced to seek refuge in Greece. Kemal Ataturk took back Izmir on 9 september 1922 and of course the local people of Izmir still celebrate about it(it’s the biggest celebration day in Turkey).
In 1923 after the proclamation of the Turkish Republic, because of Lausanne treaty the exchange of greek and Turkish populations took place and many people forced to leave their homes in both countries. The same old story, no one really cares about the people…
This green strip running along...
This green strip running along the shore in the city center was sea uptil only a couple of years ago. Material has been shipped here to create a park like area where people can relax, go jogging or maybe catch an outdoor movie at night (happened a few nights when we were there, dunno if it's a regular thing).
The excavations at Bayrakli have unearthed a temple dedicated to Athena and the wall of the Ionian city which flourished here between the seventh and fifth centuries B.C. Pottery dating to the third millennium B.C. has also been uncovered.
On Kadifekale, Mt. Pagos, stand the impressive ruins of a castle and its walls, built by Lysimachus in the reign of Alexander the Great, which still dominate Izmir today. The castle offers an excellent vantage point to enjoy the magnificent view over the Gulf of Izmir.
The 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 the devastating earthquake of 178 A.D.
The Sirinyer and Yesildere Aqueducts, two examples of Roman engineering which span the Meles River, supplied Izmir's water throughout Byzantine and Ottoman eras.
An 18th century Ottoman inn, the Kizlaragasi Han, a fine example of the architecture of the period, is being restored to its former state.
The symbol of Izmir, the Saat Kulesi, or clock tower, stands in Konak Square, in the heart of the city. A gift from the Sultan Abdulhamid, and built in 1901, it is decorated in an elaborate, late Ottoman style.
Recently restored old houses fill the old quarter known as Karatas.
Hydraulic elevators, Asansor, provide access between the lower and upper streets and are now being reconstructed. The internationally renowned singer, Dario Moreno, had a house in this district that is being restored for conversion into a museum.
If you find yourself on Havra Sokak, notice the old buildings and synagogues.
Hisar Mosque is the largest and oldest in Izmir. Build in the 16th century, with restorations in the 19th century, it has a delightful interior with an interesting mimber (pulpit) and mihrab( altar).
Have a Quick Stop in Sirince on the Way to Ephesus
Known as Kirkince by the Greek inhabitants, Sirince is a little village you'd come across if you are on the way to Ephesus from Izmir. It was a pure Greek village in 1800s. In the 1930s, right after the Turkish War of Independence, a population exchange agreement was signed between Greece and Turkey so that Turkish people living in Greece can swap houses and fields with Greek people living in Turkey. However, this was a voluntary exchange. Most of the Greek population living in the village chose to go to the Nea Ephesos village of Katerini in Greece.
There are still some Greek inhabitants in the village who rent out their rooms for guests as B&B. There are two old Greek churches to be seen and also the "Sirince Altin Yaprak Konagi".
It's also a good stop-by to buy some different kinds of wine.
Have a Sunday Brunch in Inciralti!
This was a place where my bestfriends in Izmir took me and my husband before we departed for our honeymoon in 2005. It's special itself cuz it was the very first gettogether with friends as a married couple:)
Patlican Cafe is in Inciralti district. Patlican is the Turkish word for aubergine actually and the cafe is given this name cuz of the aubergine greenhouses around. It may be a bit hard to find its location (the address is provided below anyway) as it's in the middle of some fields, but, it's a perfect place for a super Turkish Sunday breakfast.
It's also a nice place for families with kids as there are many things the kids can do to have fun. A complete Turkish breakfast: They bring tomatoes with olive oil, cheese with eggs, fresh orange juice and all sorts of gozleme (Check the pic for gozleme)