Having witnessed 8.500 years of history of humanity, Izmir is located at the coast of the gulf and is among the top three cities out of 81 in Turkey in terms of both size of population and socioeconomic development. Izmir International Port is one of the most important ports throughout the country as it offers service to 70.000 businessperson, 6000 industrialists and nearly 100.000 tradesmen. Izmir is a significant commercial and manufacturing center of Aegean Region. In addition, it is located on an important commercial route in Turkey with its 13 industrial areas and 2 free zones. With its multi-directional manufacturing facilities, rich natural resources and high quality of life; Izmir is a prominent city both in Turkey and the world. Izmir demonstrates development in terms of exportation, an important indicator of economy. This qualification provides advantage to Izmir to compete socially and economically, to develop capacity and to accommodate.
Having significant potential in the main sectors of agriculture, industry and services; the city constitutes 5,3% of Turkey’s population with its population of 4.113.072 according to the census in 2014. The city is located to the west of Anatolian peninsula at the coast of the Aegean Sea and has a surface area of 12.012 km2. Thanks to the sunny weather seen 300 days on average in a year, summer tourism of the city is naturally improved with its beach length of 629 kilometers and favorable climate. The city attracts visitors from local tourists coming from all cities of Turkey, along with the visitors coming from all over the world. The city has 35 beaches with “Blue Flag”, an international environment award given to beaches and marinas.
Izmir, referred to as “princess” by Victor Hugo, is a dynamic metropolitan city which continue growing, as well as an old and deep-rooted one established on ancient money.
As a commercial and coastal city since the ancient ages, Izmir has hosted many civilizations since the day it was established and, therefore, different cultures have blended within Izmir. Ephesus, best-protected classic ancient city in Eastern Mediterranean Region, is located in Izmir.
Selçuk hosts many Christianity ruins of early ages such as the house believed to be visited by Virgin Mary and Ayasuluk Hill where St. John wrote the Bible.
Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, Bergama is among the oldest settlements of Turkey to host Ionian, Roman and Byzantine civilizations in prehistoric ages. Asclepion, a significant health center of ancient world, Acropolis located at the top of a cliff of 300 meters and the Temple of Serapis prosper the region in terms of historical tourism.
The population of Çeşme, a world-famous small holiday village of Izmir, increases ten times in the summer months. Its position in a peninsula where northern and southern winds collide makes Izmir even more attractive for windsurfers. This cute village attracts a great number of visitors especially with the International Windsurfing Competition carried out in September. Located 70 km away from the city center, Foça welcomes thousands of visitors in summer with its sea-sand-sun tourism. Along with Menderes where Gümüldür Beach is located; Dikili, Seferihisar and Karaburun offer many alternatives in terms of nature and sea tourism with their unique beauties.
Throughout its history, Izmir hosted many cultures, religions and ethnic groups within its social mosaic. Persians, Ancient Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans are only some of the many different civilizations hosted by Izmir throughout its long history. Churches, synagogues, mosques and ancient temples exist side by side in harmony at the present time.
The rich historical past of the city affected the food culture, too. Crete, Greek, Balkan and certainly Turkish cuisines had great effects. The food culture of the city was reshaped according to the tastes of Levantines who lived there during Ottoman period. Its fertile land and the sea surrounding the city provide a great amount of fresh vegetables and sea products. Izmir and Aegean cuisines have become even more popular with the increasing demand for healthy food in the last years
Agricultural industries are also quiet developed in Izmir and its surroundings. Cotton, grapes, figs, dried fruits, vegetables, spices, alcoholic beverages, animal feed and tobacco are the main products produced in the region. As a city developed in socio-cultural sense, Izmir is full of museums and cultural centers. The city addresses to everyone and to all tastes with museums such as Izmir Archeological Museum, Ethnography Museum, Izmir Museum of History and Art and Izmir Museum of Art and Sculpture as well as more specialized museums such as Mask Museum, Game and Toy Museum, Railway Museum, İnciraltı Sea Museum. Along with museums; countless exhibitions, concerts and film screenings are offered for 365 days of the year with restored old pavilions and mansions turned into modern cultural centers.
Izmir is a pioneer city connecting Turkey to the global values of the world. Many firsts in the history of the country have taken place in Izmir. Turkish women first appeared in theaters in Izmir. The first football game in the country was played in Izmir. The first Economy Congress of the Republic was held in Izmir on 17 February 1923. The first International Fair of the Republic was opened in Izmir. Great sports organizations such as Mediterranean Olympics and Universiade were hosted by Izmir with a great hospitality.
Izmir continues transferring these values to the third thousand year with its rich historical and cultural background of 8500 years.