Izmir – Karsiyaka
Photo by: Kusadasi-Guy, Creative Commons

Izmir is a city in the western part of Turkey. It has the second largest port in the country. It is located by the Gulf of Izmir in the Aegean Sea. It is a major port and commercial center in the Aegean region. Its view provides a bay backed by mountains and a city filled with modern structures. Izmir is regarded as the most progressive city in Turkey in terms of lifestyles, values, and dynamism.

The climate in Izmir is Mediterranean. Summer is described as long, hot, and humid. Winters are mild with rains. Getting to and from Izmir is best done through land and air travel. There are direct air travels to Izmir from Europe and vice versa. There are intercity trains available for land travel. Izmir has two train stations Alsancak Gari and Basmane Gari. To get around the city, there are different choices from buses, trains, motorcycles, to boats and taxis.

Izmir has few old buildings to showcase. During the War of Independence, a great fire engulfed most of old Smyrna, which is the old name of Izmir. It is one of the oldest Mediterranean settlements in that region.

There are many interesting places to go at Izmir. There’s the tomb of Tantalus, standing on the mount of Yamanlar which goes back to Hellenistic period. The nine synagogues of Izmir found in Karatas (Jewish quarters) and in Havra Sokak or Synagogue Street. The Angora Open Air Museum of Izmir is a well-preserved structure that is open to the public. The Izmir Birds Paradise is a sanctuary for 205 bird species. There’s also the famous Izmir clock tower at Konak Square which is beautifully lighted at night. A city tour would provide an excellent view of the historical streets lined with existing traditional houses.

The city is also busy with its annual International Arts Festival during June and July. During the months of August and September, another yearly event takes place, and this is the Izmir International Fair. During this event the Kültürpark is filled with outdoor exhibitions, art centers, open-air theatres, amusement parks, and other amenities. In other previous years it had been host to other Festivals and large scale events. Continuously, it holds other festivities of similar nature each year.

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