“The pearl of the Aegean” Izmir, with its location amid the Aegean coasts, is the second largest port in Turkey. It should be noted that İzmir is Turkey's third largest city as well. Due to its mild climate, the torrid heat of the summer season is softened by the cool breeze from the sea. The 3,5 km length coastal line, Kordon Boyu, which connects Alsancak and Konak districts and which has inspired many poems and songs is always vivid and lively at every hours of the day. The city leans against the sloped terrain behind the Kordon Boyu which has a fascinating atmosphere with palm trees. The city life is distinctively sparkled by the annual international festival in June/July and international fair in August/September.
The excavations in Bayrakli indicate there have been settlements between B.C. 3000-300 years. During the time, the region along with Troy had the most developed cultural level in the Western Anatolia. The first name to be given to Izmir was Tismurna. According to the antiquarian authors, the name of the city has its roots in various myths. The most commonly accepted myth among them is that the city was built by an Amazon called Smyrna. During B.C. 1500 Central Anatolia was under the rule of the Hittite Kingdom. Around B.C. 1000 when the Ionian expansion started, Izmir (Smyrna) has become one of the most important cities of Ionia.
Homer was born in Izmir in B.C. 9th century and wrote his famous epic poem “Iliad” here. The epic has been later transcribed and taken to Greece. It is understood that the settlement has had its largest expansion in B.C. 7th and 6th centuries in Bayrakli. The city has passed into the hands of the Lydians during 600’s. After it was ravaged Izmir was rebuilt, but in B.C. 545 destroyed by the Persians. In B.C. 4th century, after Alexander the Great had defeated the Persian army, he commanded to found a new city on Pagos (Kadifekale) due to a need for a larger city area. The city’s second glistering period began after falling under Roman rule in B.C. 1st century. Beginning from A.D. 4th century until the Seljuk Empire’s occupation in A.D. 11th century Izmir (Smyrna) remained a Byzantine city. The city was restored to the Byzantium Empire after a short Seljuk reign. The city was annexed to the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Mehmet Celebi in 1415.www.izmir.bel.tr www.izmir.gov.tr