Attention: Most venues on this website are
listed without the approval of their owners and they are not all
necessarily gay or gay-friendly places. We do not guarantee the
accuracy for the information provided by website visitors,
especially. Moreover, there may be some changes with the
information given here which we have not obtained yet, although
we are trying to be as update as possible. Please note the
indicated dates in order to understand how up to date the
information is. Please use the provided information accordingly,
otherwise we do not undertake responsibility for any problems
you may encounter.
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BARS AND CLUBS
Gay Bars and Clubs in Izmir:
the birthplace of
Homer - is the third biggest city of Turkey in terms of
population. Izmir is less cosmopolite compared to Istanbul and
Izmir because it takes less domestic migration from other small
cities and the countryside. The natives of Izmir are generally known to
be more liberal and western-minded in Turkey. The gay life in
Izmir is getting more and more visible each passing year. The
exclusive bars and clubs have been opened within the last 15
years in Izmir.
A new gay cafe
bar opened in early 2014 on a side street (1448) linking to pedestrianized Kibris
Sehitleri Caddesi; the most popular night life boulevard in Alsancak
district, Izmir. It operates as typical cafe & bar during
week-in days and usually busier in late hour of the evenings. The venue stays
open until late hours on Friday & Saturday nights, serving as a
night club. The managers also organizes various concept parties
on different night clubs.
Ehli Keyf was opened in early April 2011 as a gay-exclusive
cafe & bar and its has been one of the major meeting point
for local gay men living in Izmir since then. It is located in
historical shopping district Kemeraltı, not far from Konak
square and famous Izmir Clock tower. It is open from
12:00 noon time, until 02:00 am everyday and the prices are
"I visit last Saturday
evening. No entry fee, friendly staff but only ten people
included rent-boys. Real gay place. " (Posted by
Martin from Netherlands on June 29 2011)
Cix Club Address: 1448 Sokak (street), No:5/B Alsancak, Izmir - Google
Map In the year 2004 the venue was introduced by the owners as a bar
& dance club
welcoming a mixture of gays, straight acting bisexual boys/men,
transvestites and transsexuals. It is located on a narrow street
somewhere behind Ege Palace, close to the sea front of Alsancak,
known as Kordon Boyu. It is on the same street with Gullum
Cafe (see above).
"The manager is a transsexual and consequently there are
more transvestites and transsexuals besides many rent-boys and
some gay men who are interested in them. They play underground
and techno music. The entrance fee is 13 Lira. Usually more busy
than KA bar" (19/07/2008)
"I went to this club last night and I only found
transvestites and rent boys. They were all looking for money.
Not real gay club. (28/04/2009)
Address: 1471 Sokak. No:45/A, Alsancak- Izmir -
KA is a one of the oldest night clubs in Izmir catering to LGBT
people. The clientele is regular transvestites, their admirers,
sinister rent-boys and very few gay men. The owner and the
staff can be is very rude and you can be scammed or
overcharged here especially if you are a tourist. Briefly,
this should be the last place to go in Izmir if you have no other
choice. If you still want to go, it is comparatively close to Izmir
cruise port in Alsancak. If you come from popular
Kibris Sehitleri street, it is located at the end of the
second street (1471 Sokak) after passing the military
building. When you walk in from Kibris Sehitleri it is on
your left towards the end of the 1471 sokak. It is also
walking diastance from IZBAN Alsancak metro station. The club is open from
until 05:00 am in the morning, but not busy before midnight most
of the times. The peak time is between 01:00-04:00 in these
kind of night clubs. The
music is loud and they play mostly European techno and DJ club
Saturday 19/4/2014. Entrance fee was 25TL
including a drink (beer or alcohol, no matter). Do not accept
the peanuts from the bartender, peanuts costs 10TL. And they took
it back to the trash bin before we were even finished eating
them. KA bar is a bar of 80-100 people capacity. People are aged
from 18-25 mostly. There were 3 transsexual this night, passed
in front of us all of the time. Very very annoying. We stayed
only an hour at this bar and then left. Sorry guys, this is
2014, not the 80s. (Posted by Christos from Greece on April 20
"Our only bad
experience in Turkey. Unfriendly staff tried to overcharge us
for drinks" (Posted by
William from UK on June 20th, 2011)
"Full of hustlers who ask money. Almost nobody speaks English
so the communication is quite impossible..." (Posted by
Dario from Italy on 11 May 2010)
Following venues closed down completely, which hade been listed
on this website before
Papirus & Disco Bar - Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi. Alsancak, Izmir.
Mix Bar - Cumhuriyet Bulvari No:347/A. Alsancak - Izmir
Zilli Bar - Cumhuriyet Bulvari Alsancak/Izmir.
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& OTHER VENUES
Recommended / Gay Friendly Cafe, Bars and Clubs in Izmir
Following venues are recommended
by our website's visitors and they are not publicly gay /
gay-friendly places. Your additional comments will be
appreciated if you happen to visit any of them.
Address :Cumhuriyet Bulvari No;56 Gumruk, Izmir
It is located somewhere across
from Is Bankasi next to
Konak Pier shopping mall. This cafe shop is recommended by a
website visitor as a gay-friendly venue. Do not expect any
visible gay-scene. It is said to be famous with coffee varieties and pastries.
(March 15 2010)
This venue is recommended by a
website visitor as a gay-friendly place in July 2014. Located on
1462 Sokak (street) crossing main Kıbris Sehitleri Street
somewhere close to Garanti Bank on it. Open between 12:00-
Right opposite of Alsancak ferryboat station on Kordon
(waterfront of Izmir)
Sakiz Adasi is a cozy cafe-shop. It is neither gay nor an explicitly gay-friendly
seems to be a popular venue among the local gays living in Izmir.
It can be recommended to people who do not like
loud gay-exclusive night
clubs full of rent-boys; and prefer a more relaxed and
Address: Dr. Mustafa Bey Caddesi No: 5/A Alsancak, Izmir
Starbucks in Alsancak seems to be the day time meeting place for some gay men living in Izmir.
Comments: "In Izmir, Alsancak Starbucks and also possibly
cafe shops are the places you are most like to see the most gay
men around in early hours, mostly straight acting and not very
visible types though" (10/30/2007)
Lesbian Friendly Cafe Shops in Izmir.
Address: 1452 (Can Yücel) Sokak,
Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi, Alsancak- Izmir, Turkey.
It is located on a small street next to Simit Sarayi (a popular Turkish
coffee/tea-house franchiser) on Kibris Sehitleri street in
Alsancak district. This cafe shop has been recommended by a website visitor as as a
lesbian owned & gay-friendly cafe shop. Whereas we would like to
remind people that there are controversial comments about the
gay-friendliness of this venue on other internet resources and
gay forums. (03/02/2009)
There is not any gay exclusive or explicitly
gay-friendly cinema in Izmir, but most heterosexual erotic/porno
cinemas are frequented by some gay men. Because of Turkey's
bisexual culture it's very possible to meet interested-people in
suchlike places. In a few of them gays are really welcomed, but
still better be a little discrete, because they are open to
straight men as well, some of whom can be homophobic.
"The location on the website is a Hospital now. There is a new cinema
Caddesi 113" (posted by Ian from UK on June 26 2014)
"Ipek Sinemasi is closed, but there's another one near by. On
the other side of the street in number 113." (posted by Fin
Rover from Finland on July 10th, 2013) Closed Down
Ferah Sinemasi - Esrefpasa, Izmir.
Saray Sinemasi - Kapilar, Izmir
Saray 2 Sinemasi-Ikicesmelik street, Cankaya, Izmir
listed under this category are not publicly gay / gay-friend
venues. In general, the owners of action places such as cinemas,
bath houses and saunas do not like to be mentioned on gay
websites or guide books for fear of being raided by local
authorities. To avoid any misunderstanding, homosexuality is not
and has never been illegal in Turkey, but any sexual action (gay
or straight) in public venues is a reason to close the venue for
a period of time.
917 Sokak No:6, Kemeralti, Konak, Izmir - Turkey
The sign-board should read Istankoy
Tarihi Hamami (Historical bath of Istankoy). The hamam (not explicitly gay-friendly)
is located somewhere behind the Salepcioglu Mosque. Kemeralti is
historical part of Izmir's central district of Konak, a traditional
shopping quarter with narrow streets housing cinemas, cafes, spice
shops, souvenir shops and
"went there last week and got the full service. A average
masseur who felt me up. Decent place, don't expect glitz and
glam. A good scrub all over. Was slightly busy and most guys
checking each other out. Was easy to find also"
(posted by Robby Walls on July 6th, 2013)
"Istankoy Hamami adress is 916 Sokak, n° 6 Kemeralti
Konak, Izmir behind of the Salepçioglu Cami. He is no Longer,
now is Tarihi Hamami. It is very small and old. Don't go to with
your values' object" (posted by Seb on August 19th
"Istankoy Hamam is not closed, its not gay just like the
other hamams , the people are friendly but it smells and is not
such a good quality hamam. 13 Lira entrance and a massage is 20
lira" (posted by Krokie from South Africa on June 30 2011)
"April 2010, Istankoy Hamam is closed. Police and Turkish
dictatorship have closed this historical Hamam, due to obvious
reasons. Most of Hamams in Izmir are scared by the Governor's
terrorism" (posted by Stefano from Greece on May 17, 2010)
"I went to Istankoy hamam today. Very cool. I believe this
Hammam is the only gay friendly in Izmir ..... . They all know
it is a gay Hammam but do not say that you are a gay. Pay only
13 TL and 2 TL tips. It is cost less than $10. (posted on
Recommended Sauna or Bath Houses in Izmir:
Not necessarily in order to find
a sex-partner, a visit to a historical Turkish bath is at the top
of the must-do list for gay tourists visiting Turkey. The
following ones are recommended bath houses in Izmir listed for those who would not want to miss this exotic
None of these
venues are not publicly gay / gay-friendly places.
Cankaya Mah.841 Sokak, No 3, Izmir, Turkey
This Turkish bath built in 16th
century has very peculiar characteristics of Ottoman hamam
architecture. It is said to have the highest dome among all
other Turkish baths in Izmir.
Address: Anafartalar Caddesi, No:501, Konak, Izmir - Turkey
Located not far from "Agora open air museum"
This old Turkish bath is also not a gay venue intentionally, but
it is very likely to meet bi-curious men occasionally.
Address: Anafartalar Cad. 890 Basmane, Izmir - Turkey
Telephone: (0 90 232) 483 02 74
A good sample of historical Turkish baths in Izmir, a 17th
century Ottoman structure. Open between 06:00 - 23:00 catering
Address: Anafartalar Cad. (street) No:660 Kececiler (quarter)
Izmir - Turkey
Telephone: (0 90 232) 483 02 74
Also called Kadi Hamami, this hamam is estimated to be built in
the 16th century. It is a twin hamam structure with separate men-women sections. Men
section is open everyday until 22:00. It is a well-groomed hamam
with an impressive octagonal dome in the main area.
Adres: 1671 Sokak, No:88,
Karsiyaka, Izmir -
A historical tourist hamam located
in Karsiyaka, not far from the ferry terminal, Karsiyaka
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Gay Cruising Areas in Izmir:
In general, the cruising areas - especially parks and secluded
beaches are where gay men should be more selective with the
people they encounter.
Especially, be careful at night time and do not carry very
valuable things and a lot of money on you, just in case.
Izmir Fuar's Basmane entrance
Fairground area; officially named Kultur Park (Culture
Park), also called shortly "fuar", is a huge city park
in downtown Izmir where the annual
International Izmir Fair
Izmir International Fair is being organized. You can see the
cruising gay men especially around
the long pool (uzun havuz) and around the traffic circle at the
main entrance from Basmane. The vicinity of
Tower, not far on your left when you enter from
Basmane gate is also well-known cruising section in the
evenings. In this section of the park you can see mostly mature
men and men with mustache sitting on the benches alone, who are
most likely interested in meeting other men.
The famous promenade area, waterfront by the boulevard in Alsancak.
Cruising happens mainly late in the evenings, at the less busy
parts. Izmir's Kordon is well know all over
Turkey, and has become inspiration to many classic and popular
The park near the
(Saat Kulesi) and the neighborhood of the clock tower in Konak, which is the
district regarded as the down town of Izmir. Cruisy mainly after
dark. The clock tower in Konak is the symbol of Izmir
Karsiyaka Alaybey Park
The park in Alaybey quarter of Karsiyaka district of Izmir
(official name is
Muammer Aksoy Park)
is recommended by a local person as a cruising place in April
2011, especially between 22:00-02:00.
Gay Friendly Beaches in Izmir:
There are no beaches in Izmir with visible gay scene
except a far and secluded part of Altinkum beach in Cesme,
which is about 1 hour
drive away from Izmir city center. In
fact there are no clean beaches left at Izmir city center, just
like in similar metropolitan cities. The following beaches can be recommended to gay men visiting
Izmir mainly for swimming and water sports. It is more likely to see
gay men in Pamucak beach and somel beaches in Cesme,
which are all in considerable distance.
Beaches in Cesme
Cesme is a prominent
center of international tourism in Turkey and is famous for its
night life, fish restaurants and many beaches. It is one of Turkey's
well-known touristy areas with landscapes of cultivated fields
of aniseed, sesame and artichokes dotted with fig and gum trees. Cesme is a
more popular summer destination among Turkish tourists in comparison to similar summer
resorts such as Fethiye, Bodrum and Marmaris.
You can reach to Cesme from Izmir's main
(Otogar) or from the secondary
bus terminal in Uckuyular district. The buses are more
frequent from Uckuyular terminal and they are available until
very late hours in summer season. It is also easy to reach to Uckuyular
terminal by Izmir metro. If you get on to train from metro stations in
central Izmir such as Basmane or Konak, you can easily reach to the bus terminal is very close to
terminal station, named Fahrettin Altay. There are many
Blue-flag bays around Cesme peninsula. Although there is only a
public beach nearby, it is wise to stay in hotels at the
center of Cesme from where there are frequent transportation to
all public beaches and other places all around the peninsula,
such as Altinkum (see below), public and private beaches in
Ciftlik (on the way to Altinkum) and
beaches in Ilica (near Alacati). Alacati is a windy area
in all seasons and so it is a famous windsurf palace. Alacati is
also famous for its architecture, vineyards and windmills built
over 150 years ago.
Gay Beach in Altinkum Cesme, Turkey
Altinkum is probably the best beach location within the province
of Izmir, located a few kilometers from the center of Ceshme. To
go to Altinkum beach from downtown Cesme you first need to take
the public minibuses departing from a point near the Police station by the
coast, near the old castle. You will be in Altinkum in less than half an
hour. You need to get off at the final stop which is
right next to the beginning of public beach area. Walking to your left
when you face the sea, you will see many privately-run beaches
side by side which
are providing sun beds, umbrellas, variety of food and drinks.
You can also use the beach activities here for free in empty parts without
necessarily renting sun-beds or umbrellas. The gay beach, also
known as Ciplaklar kampi (Nudist beach) by some local people
starts roughly 1 mile after these public beaches comes to an end. You will
first reach to a short rocky area, after which there is one more
private beach. After passing by this last private beach a few
hundred meters, you will see a secluded sandy beach far from the
eyes of curious people. (Click
here for Google map) Not surprisingly, most of people
hanging around this farthest and desolate part of the beach are gay
men. There are usually no hustlers around, but it is still wise
to make some observation first. Especially if you go alone, do
not to carry very valuable things on you, because it is very far
from security forces if needed. It is sometimes heard that some
guys are hiding behind the bushes to
steal the belongings of the people when they
You can come from Izmir to to Cesme in one hour by buses departing frequently
bus terminal in Uckuyular district. It is easy to reach to Uckuyular terminal by Izmir metro. If you get on from metro
stations in central Izmir such as Basmane or Konak, you need to
get off at Fahrettin Altay terminal station.
Click here to see the pictures on our Pink Turkey Facebook
"Gay beach at Altinkum /Cesme.
Very quiet beach, go past all the huts and beach chairs.
Frequented by some Turks who like to nude sunbathe and by some
gay Turks. Some religious people my ask you to leave at a
certain time because the women want to swim- I was told by
locals to refuse and point out that it is a public beach, and
that they should buy a private beach!! Be careful of your
belongings- some bad people will hide in the dunes and wait for
you to swim or walk away. I did have such a problem, but some
local men and soldiers caught the man and the police were very
helpful." (Posted by Rich from UK on January 3rd 2012).
"Actually the "ciplaklar plaji" is not 200 meters after the
"Fun Club". If you come by dolmus, get out at the last stop, go
on the beach and with the sea in front of you walk on your left
side passing all the beach clubs. After you pass Ramo café,
there is another small beach clubs and a place where cars and
some campers are parked. You still need to walk ahead till you
will reach a low promontory Pass across the top following the
easy path and you will find in a hidden beach where people use
sunbathe naked. I was there in weekdays and started to get
busier after 5:00pm. Very cute locals and some tourist. I have
been told that this place gets crowded on weekends" (Posted by
Alberto from Italy on September 01 2011).
"When you get out of Cesme drive into the earth road which
goes to Fun Club on Altinkum beach (7 km from Cesme). You will
need to park your car when you reach to Fun Club, and walk about
200 meters to the left hand side of the beach. You can meet nice
guys on Sundays especially. Some people swims naked in this part
of the beach which is referred as "nude beach" (ciplaklar plaji)
by some local people."
beach is in Selcuk town, just at the border of Izmir province
and Kusadasi, 5 km from world-wide famous ruins of Ephesus
ancient city, and also called as "Ephesus beach" by some people.
Pamucak Beach, is about 11 kms in length. The beach, is
sandy and has a clear water. It is very suitable place for
water-sports and camping. Ephesus Princess, Aqua Fantasia,
Surmeli Ephesus, Richmond Ephesus, are de luxe, club and resort
hotels, which lie on the beach. The Pamucak region has also a
camping area, aqua park, forest rest area covered with red pine
woods 10 km from Selcuk Kusadasi highway. Horse or Jeep
safaris are the exotic activities that can be participated.
Another seaside town out of Izmir
city. Karaburun region is comparatively much less visited than
Cesme although it provides an anticlimax to its southern
neighbor and the associated attractions especially for those who
want to escape the trails of mass tourism. The district's
administrative zone is bordered by the districts of Cesme and
Urla in its south and faces the Greek island of Chios.
Cesmealti, a part of Urla district of Izmir is about 36 km. away
from Konak; which is a lively and natural tourism center. The
long beaches which stretches from Cesmealti to Içmeler cause the
regions population to expand by two or three times during the
summer months. The Urla Camp Municipality Beach, the natural
beaches and swimming pools of some holiday villages located in
Cesmealti serve tourists all season long.
Literally meaning Black & Pink Triangle Siyah Pembe Ucgen is
Gay and Lesbian Solidarity NGO Organization based in Izmir, Turkey.
Gays and Lesbians in Izmir who had been pioneers of Turkish gay
movement with disorganized small groups such as Biz GL,
Otekizmir (the other Izmir), Pembe Uçgen (Pink Triangle) united
their powers to continue together with the experiences which
they inherited from these groups, in September 2006. The group
gathering as an initiative previously, enunciated that they
denominated themselves as Siyah Pembe Izmir in January, and rented
their own office in June of 2007. Thus, meetings which were
being organized in some cafes with many difficulties and limited
opportunities, are now being organized in their own offices.
Siyah Pembe Izmir aims to support firstly gays and lesbians living
in Izmir and
the existence of
all lesbians, gays bisexuals and
transgendered people in society with their own sexual
identities; works for their cultural, social, legal benefits;
tries to prevent discrimination and struggles against homophobia
History of gay movement in Izmir. The first gay group that we know in Izmir, was a group
called Biz GL who made meetings in Iskenderiye Library at the
end of the 90s. Although Biz GL which was pioneered by a group
of gay and lesbian who organized around Arkadas Café, managed to
make meetings with around 60 people, unfortunately it disbanded
because of deficiency of awareness about being organized and
lack of gay-lesbian movement experience.
In October, 2001, Oteki Izmir, was established by lesbians and
gays regularly made meetings till September 2001, especially
took a part in some activities like International Antimilitarism
Meeting with antimilitarist movement in İzmir. But, being
organized which based on antimilitarism that was not enough to
produce solutions for primary problems for gay society, caused
disbandment in short time.
Up until now, most longevous group was PUI (Pembe Ucgen Izmir-
Pink Triangle Izmir) which was established by gays and lesbians
who first gatherd on internet platform formed in June 2002 . In
regular meetings every week, lots of cases which concern gay and
lesbian society like family, coming out, sexual health,
militarism, gender politics etc.., was discussed. Although
conflicts and problems with the cafés which meetings were made
in, caused to make changes with the place of meeting every time,
PUI managed to continue for two years. In time, disagreements
and serious conflicts that came up in group caused disbandment
and after two years, members annihilated PUI by themselves.
Click here for more information about Turkish gay life and
LGBT solidarity movement in Turkey
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The meeting point of Turkish &
none- Turkish gay men
living / visiting Turkey. You can follow activities all over
Turkey, including Izmir in this bilingual (Turkish & English)
Facebook community page.
Yahoo Group for Turkish Gays A Yahoo Group to meet Turkish gay men from
all over Turkey. You can leave a message to meet Turkish gays
and gay tourists living in or visiting Izmir in this group. The
language of the group is English and it has around 7000 members,
making it one of the largest internet community about Turkish
Yahoo Group For Turkish Lesbians A Yahoo Group to meet Turkish Lesbians from
all over Turkey. You can leave a message to meet Turkish
lesbians and lesbian tourists living in or visiting Izmir in
Help Us Improve !
Although there is not any officially gay or lesbian hotels
in Izmir, some of them can still be recommended to
gay people for various reasons such as their location,
quality, price and liberal atmosphere. Book from gay
friendly travel agency.
The prominent information, districts and other attractions
in and around Izmir are listed below in alphabetical order:
AGORA: Revealed in central Izmir during excavations carried
out in 1932-1941 in the district of Namazgah. eovering an
area of 120 x 80 m, the agora throws invaluable light on
Roman period Izmir. it was not only a market place, but the
location of public institutions and the Temple of Zeus. The
agora is open to the public between 9.00 -12.00 and 13.00
-18.00. The statues found here are on exhibit in Izmir
ALSANCAK: A select neighborhood with a unique character in
modern Izmir. Stretching from the waterfront esplanade
inland most of the area has been transformed into a
pedestrian precinct, so there is no traffic to disturb
shoppers and strollers. The streets lined by modern
buildings and attractive shops lead onto the square where
Alsancak station stands. Dating from 1858 the colonial
architecture of the station distinguishes it in style from
the rest of the city. Trains to Buca, Aydin and Denizli
depart from here.
ANGLICAN CHURCH : This church was built in 1835 by
Levantines of English extraction living in Buca. The church
is famous for its wood carving, beautiful stained glass
windows and huge organ.
ASANSOR: The city's famous public elevator, and a symbol of
Izmir. This elevator links Mithatpasa street below with
Halil Rifat Pasa street at the summit of the precipitous
hill. It was built in 1907 and restored by the municipality
in 1993. The upper terrace has a breathtaking view over the
city and the bay. Here there is an Open-air cafe, a
restaurant and a Genoese tavern.
BALCOVA: This spa is on the outskirts of Izmir on the road
to Urla and Çesme. Turn left at Inciralti crossroads to
reach Balçova thermal springs one kilometer down the road.
Known as the Agamemnon Springs in antiquity, this may have
been the first hydrotherapy center of the ancient world.
Today there are modern facilities for visitors to the hot
springs and luxury hotels. The temperature of the water is
63 degrees C.
BARLAR SOKAGI: Street of Bars. Some of the attractive old
houses under conservation order in Alsancak now house bars
BASMANE: In this district are Izmir's old fashioned shopping
streets, the park where the famous Izmir Fair is held each
summer, and Basmane station. The trains to Manisa, and
suburban rail buses to ßornova and other destinations leave
from this station.
BORNOVA: A suburb of Izmir, Bornova was the hub of the
Levantine community in the late l9th and 20th centuries.
Today it houses the campus of Ege University. The Izmir-Manisa
road passes through Bornova, which is linked to the city
center by a 7 km railway line.
BUCA: Once Izmir's summer resort, Buca is today part of the
city. With a population of 200000 in 1990, Buca is today a
commercial and university district. The British Levantine
merchants who ran businesses in Izmir from the late l8th
century onward s built imposing mansions here. Not until the
1950s did Buca undergo radical change as various
institutions moved into the mansions, whose extensive
gardens are under conservation.
CLIMATE: Typical Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers
and warm wet winters. The average temperature is 18 degrees
C. Snowfall is extremely rare, and approximately 148 days of
the year are clear and sunny
CLOCK TOWER: Another symbol of the city, this picturesque
clock tower in Konak Meydan was built in 1901 to commemorate
the 25th anniversary of Abduhamit II's accession to the
throne. The clock itself was a gift of Emperor Wilhelm II of
Germany. The 25 m high tower is currently being restored.
CESME: This popular and attractive resort west of Izmir is
famous for its modern hotels, sparkling clean sea and
wonderful sandy beaches.
EPHESUS: An ancient city three km from the town of Selcuk
south of Izmir. During both the Hellenistic and Roman
periods Ephesus was the most important port and cultural
center of the eastern world. The remains of the city are
still spellbinding today. The magnificent temples, public
buildings, villas and streets of Ephesus have been excavated
and restored by the Austrian Archaeological Institute, and
it requires little effort to imagine the city as it was in
FOCA: A picturesque fishing town 50 km north of Izmir. A
magnet for holiday makers during summer today, Foca was an
important Ionian town in antiquity. The Phokaians were famed
for their commercial prowess, courage and seamanship. They
established trading colonies at distant ports, and were the
founders of the French port of Marseilles (the ancient
HISAR MOSQUE: The city's most magnificent mosque in the
district of Hisar next to Kemeralti office complex. The
mosque was built by Yakup Bey in 1592. It is roofed by a
large dome resting on eight piers, and noted for the
decoration on the altar niche and pulpit.
HOUSE OF THE VIRGIN MARY: This holy Christian shrine on
Mt.Bulbul between Selcuk and Ephesus was sanctified by Pope
Paul VI in 1967, after the Vatican confirmed that the Virgin
Mary had spent the last years of her life here. Numerous
travel agencies in Izmir organize day tours to the House of
the Virgin Mary and Ephesus.
IZMIR FAIR: Since I932 this international trade fair has
been the highlight of the summer season in Izmir. From late
August to early September the fair doubles as a popular
festival of music and stage events in the Culture Park.
KADIFEKALE: Velvet Castle, to be literal. This 4th century
BC castle commands a bird's eye view of Izmir and is th
perfect place to watch the sun set over the city.
KARSIYAKA: The name of this district of Izmir on the north
shore off Izmir Bay means "opposite shore", as indeed it is.
The inhabitants of this pleasant residential area with its
Own esplanade claim an identity distinct from the rest of
the city. In their view, Karsiyaka is a town in its own
right with an individual culture and history.
KEMERALTI: The old fashioned shopping district of Izmir,
consisting of narrow streets winding their way from Konak
towards central Izmir around Anafartalar Caddesi. Here you
can find jewelers, drapers, shoemaker, and shops
specializing in all kind s of goods from leather to olives
and cheese. The atmosphere of an earlier century still
pervades the buildings here, with their distinctive 19th
century doorways and roof tiles.
KORDON: The famous esplanade between Konak Meydan and
Alsancak is packed with promenades on weekends and fine
evenings. As families and young lovers hand in hand stroll
along the waterfront, horse-drawn phaetons with colourful
ponpons swinging from the harnesses es trot past, and cars
PASAPORT: (Not a printing error, but the Turkish for
"passport). The name for the dock and pier between Konak and
Cumhuriyet Meydan. Pasasaport Dock was built in 1876. The
dock building is in the Turkish revival style inspired by
Ottoman and Selcuk architecture which was popular in the
1920s and 1930s. Until not so long ago the area was full of
old fashioned coffee houses which served waterpipes as well
as tea and coffee, but today pubs have supplanted most of
PERGAMUM: The remains of this magnificent ancient city are
situated north of Imir. Founded in the early 3rd century BC,
Pergamum was the most powerful and extensive kingdom of
Western Anatolia throughout the Hellenistic period.
Parchment is thought to have been invented here. On the hill
which rises steeply in the center of Pergamum is the
Acropolis and the world's steepest amphitheatre with seating
for 16,000 people. The remains of temples Of Athena and
Dionysus. The splendid altar of Zeus at the entrance of the
Acropolis was taken to Berlin Museum by Carl Humann in 1871.
A fligth of 20 steps leads up to this remarkable structure,
which dwarfs the room at Berlin Museum, as it awaits
expectantly the day when it will be released from
confinement and return to its hilltop site in Pergamum. The
ruins of the Asclepion on the plain below reveal almost all
the original features as a result of the excavations. Named
after the god of medicine Asclepios, this complex was one of
the foremost health centers of the ancient world.
SELCUK: A town in the foothills of the Aydin mountains 94 km
south of Izmir. SeIcuk is the site of Ephesus Museum, a
magnificent castle and the 6th century Basilica of St.John.
The road to the resorts of Marmaris and Bodrum passes
through Selcuk, w hile Kusadasi, port of call for many
yachts and cruise liners, is just a twenty minute drive to
SMYRNA: The ancient name for Izmir and the heroic Amazon who
founded the city according to Herodotus and Strabon.
TEOS: The ruins of Teos are set amidst olive groves at one
end of Sigacik harbor near Seferihisar, famous for its
beaches and thermal springs. Thales relates that Teos was
selected as capital of the league of twelve Ionian cities in
the 7th century BC. The largest temple of Dionysus ever
built in Teos.
TEPEKULE: Excavations at Tepekule in the district of
Bayrakli have thrown light on Izmir's early history. Izmir
was originally a settlement of the Aeolians, who were
contemporaries of the first Trojans, and dates back to the
third milenium BC. The c ity was subsequently occupied by
the Ionians, and the Lydian King Alyattes conquered the
region in 600 BC, razing Izmir's temples and houses. Today
the ruins of the Temple of Athena and houses can be seen at
URLA: Urla is a resort 42 km from Izmir on the road to Cesme.
Izmirians spend their summers and weekends here, the site of
the ancient Ionian city of Klazomenai. This city was the
birthplace of the illustrious philosopher Anaxogoras, and is
latterly also famous for a local pastry dish "katmer" and
for its meat and fish restaurants.
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