Smyrna and Homer
Favorite thing: Smyrna was built on the slopes of Pagos (present-day Kadifekale). Its remains are located within the urban zone of Izmir. Old Smyrna was located on a small peninsula connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus at the northeastern corner of the inner Gulf of Izmir
Homer is said to have been born in Smyrna. A common and consistent tradition connects Homer with the valley of Smyrna and the banks of the Meles River.
You can watch my 4 min 15 sec Video clip Izmir Konak Slide-show with Turkish pop music by Ebru Gundes - Telafi.
- Historical Travel
Izmir general background
Favorite thing: Izmir also has its Greek name Smyrna. Izmir is almost 3,500 years old. It has more than 3 million people and is Turkey's third most populous city.
Izmir was nearly destroyed by fire in September 1922. Izmir was badly damaged by earthquakes in 1928 and again in 1939.
So it has quite a modern view now without many ancient or medieval sights. May be that’s why tourist groups (like ours) usually make a short stop there before visiting other sites at the Aegean coast of Turkey.
You can watch my 4 min 07 sec Video clip Izmir Konak with Turkish pop music by Kenan Dogulu – Demedi Deme.
Fondest memory: You may watch my high resolution photo of Izmir on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 25' 0.10" N 27° 7' 31.96" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Izmir .
after the war...
Favorite thing: It’s almost impossible to see how Izmir looked like before the Greek-Turkish war. As an international port and trade center Izmir had always many people from other countries. The fire that broke out on 13 september 1922 is one of the big disasters of Izmir and destroyed a major part of the city. The city rebuilt after the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 but it was a completely different city because a city isn’t only the buildings but basically the people that live into.
Both countries have their point of view for that period and one accusing the other of committing atrocities but you’ve got to consider the lack of comprehensive and reliable sources from that period to be sure. After long conversions with Turkish people we have seen that both countries have more common things to share than the politicians like. That’s why after several trips in Turkey I have made some real good friends there. One of my favorite greek books is "Farewell Anatolia" written by Dido Sotiriou. It is a fine example of the era that both communities were living together till they "forced" to hate each other.
In the pictures you can see the greek and the german embassies in building that must be much older than the new ones next to them.
- Historical Travel
Izmir in General
Favorite thing: Third biggest city of Turkiye.. The second cosmopolit city after Istanbul.. And showing the Modern Face of Turkiye..
The city with an atmosphere of Mediterranean Europe than traditional Turkey. Once the ancient city of Smyrna, is now a modern, developed, and busy commercial centre, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains..
Covered an area of around 12000 KM2 with a population of roughly 3,5 Million..
Favorite thing: The climate is called to be comfortable, with a relatively mild summer due to the refreshing breeze from the Aegean. But it is too hot in Summer time.. The breeze of Izmir is famous.. Almost every summerday in the afternoon that refreshing breeze helps you to recover.. Without the breeze ????
July and August has the most humid and hot weather.. Sometimes temperature reaches 40C in summer.. Winters are relatively warm.. As izmir has very nice summer escapes, you may not see much locals in summer. They shall be at Cesme, Kusadasi or foca.. Best time to visit shall be April, May, June... September, October...
A city or Two cities..
Favorite thing: Izmir with its districts and surronding towns has many attractions.. The city center lays inside the Izmir Gulf and on both sides..
However the Gulf is dividing the city in to Two, and this is also creating a kind of two cities inside one city..
Izmir and Karsiyaka(Other side) two unlikely sides, Each doesnt belong to another.. And nobody wants to belong the other..
You can hear a local say "I am not from Izmir, I am From Karsiyaka..".. So.. One izmir is indeed two :)
Kordon.. Promenade of Izmir..
Favorite thing: The long attractive palm-fringed promenade, Birinci Kordon (First Kordon), which stretches the entire length of the city up to the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, is a popular spot for evening walks, and there are many cafes along the waterfront.
If you want to talk about izmir, you should know Kordon.. The main vane carrying all the blood of the city.. the wonderful promenade, with walking paths, nice cafes and .... You should see Kordon..
Note: The promenade in the water front is called the First Kordon, and the street which is paralel to it behind the buildings is called the second kordon.
Favorite thing: Center of Izmir.. The new modern Square has been rebuilded by the municipality and is now called one of the most modern Squares of Turkiye..
The watch tower in the middle and Kemeraltý behind the Square and the port.. The square is always crowded with locals and like ants running to theirnets, you can see people walking in and around..
Favorite thing: The huge bazaar in the city centre stretches from the coast road to the Konak area, and is a major shopping centre with a vast array of goods inside. It combines modern businesses, shops and cafes, with antiques, dried fruit, household and leather goods in old alleyways with vaults and domes.
While you are walking in Kemeralti, you may feel that all shops and shoppers of Izmir has gathered all together in this place.. Bt why dont you have a rest and sometea under this tree...
Favorite thing: Inside the Kemeralti bazaar is one of the most interesting structures of Izmir: Kizlaragasi Hani is an Ottoman caravanserai inside the Halim Aga Bazaar and was completed in 1745. This covered market sells hand-made products, carpets, leather and souvenirs. There are many entrances to the markets.. And it sure is the top most interesting bazaar in Izmir..
What is nice of the Bazaar for ladies is the Silver crafts..
Karsiyaka.. The Otherside..
Favorite thing: Karsiyaka reminds me of Bakirkoy district in Istanbul.. I could choose a better picture to reflect Karsiyakas beauty, but this is how I remember Karsiyaka..
When you get out from the ferry just cross the street and now you are here.. In the middle of Karsiyaka.. This busy pedestrian street always crowded, day and night.. From here you can go side places of Karsiyaka, From here you can lead to shops, From here you can lead to eataways.. And many more places.. And this is Karsiyaka how I remember..
Old Karsiyaka Houses.
Favorite thing: Karsiyaka was the place where old summer houses were located.. it was quiet and decent and was a kind of hide away from the city life.. When you walk along the Karsiyaka promenade you can spot some awesome houses.. And you will be delighted to see them..
Favorite thing: Probably the most hip place of Izmir.. An elegant district with nice houses, nice cafes & Restaurants and shops..
The pedestranized streets and surronding roads are worth to see.. The restaurants are always full with people in summer and nice to dine outside..
Nargile or Hubble-bubble
Favorite thing: Nargile is one of the oldest traditions in Turkey. The original nargile came from India, but it was primitive and it was made of coconut shells. Nargile came to Anatolia in the 17th century and it was an important part of coffee houses. Even today the nargile continues to give a special pleasure to the smokers. Smoking nargile is quite different than smoke a cigarette. Smoking nargile takes many hours, so its a relaxing time, to think, to talk with friends. This habit doesnt suit to the modern style of living.
However all over Turkey this custom continues to exist and there a lot of nargile cafes, where you can see many people (not only tourists) who enjoy this old pleasure.
Favorite thing: There is a ferry that runs inside the gulf.. It has stops in Pasaport, Alsancak and Karsiyaka..
Pasaport is the first stop, it s near to Konak.. The name comes from the old building where people were appliying to get their passports and now the area is called as passport :)..
The cafes put their tables along the coast line and they watch ferries come and wave bye..
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