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9th INSME Annual Meeting - 2013

Touristic attractions

İzmir step by step

After a long journey, you are about to enter İzmir, the legendary city through Its heart, Alsancak...

Alsancak, known as the heart of the city is the meetingpoint of the people of İzmir. As you sip your drink, every hour of the day you can embrace the sea. The subject of many poems and lyrics, İzmir's famous Kordonboyu present you with the hospitality of İzmir.


Kordonboyu is also a magnificent place to walk. All along the strip you will find various restaurants, bars and cafes. From entertainment to food, at these friendly stops you can meet all of your needs. The sea breeze in the evenings brings about an enjoyable gentle wind and enchanting sight. As you enter the roads leading up from the Kordonboyu you will discover the beautiful restored houses of the Greeks and the Levantines. With tables of the bars and restaurants flooding onto the streets, the rhytm of life is protected 24 hours a day. 


As the Kordonboyu wraps the city of İzmir like a necklace, with a brief walk down the Kordonboyu, you can reach Konak. In the center of Konak you will find the symbol of İzmir, the Clock Tower and its close friends, the pigeons. As you turn your back to the beautiful blue Bay of İzmir, you enter the historical Kemeraltı Bazaar district. You will find that the Bazaar is always alive with people. As you travel down the main street (Anafartalar Street) the street traces the shape of an "S", as you reach the end of it, take a minute to take a short snack break. On the left you will find a dessert shop, take this opportunity to try one of mouth-watering desserts. We recommend the "Kazandibi". 


hisar_mosque_hisaronu.jpgHİSAR MOSQUE & HİSARÖNÜ
Also found in Kemeraltı are the Hisar Mosque (1592) and the Hisarönü Square. An egzotique place which is loaded with lots of different flowers for fair prices. Also you will find an assortment restaurants all lined up, in competition with each other to help you have a delicious meal. Just nearby, you will find the famous Kızlarağası Inn, where you can find a countless variety of small shops which can provide you with unique souvenirs. 


havra_street_agora.jpgHAVRA STREET & AGORA 
Make sure that you visit Havra Street, before leaving Kemeraltı. With 9 synagogues located on this street, it is named after the oldest Talmud Torahs. You will also find an Anatolian Marketplace and various taverns. As you exit Havra Street, after a five minute walk, a road sign will carry you to Agora. Agora, the majority of which was unearthed after numerous excavations, is a rectangular three story complex building, with stairs in the front; it was built on pillars and arches around a wide court. 


If you would like to see a bird's view of İzmir, we recommend you travel to Kadifekale. At 186 meters high, Kadifekale was first built by Alexander the Great and then later restorated several times. The 5 exterior towers and southern walls remain standing today.  

Shopping in İzmir

shoping_izmir.jpgWith a history that stretches back nearly 8,500 years and its incomparable nature, İzmir also presents us many opportunities for shopping. You can mark your unforgettable memories through everything from jewellery to textiles.

ALSANCAK, the district that gives the bay its name - for those who do not want to go far from the port, is ideal for shopping. This Alsancak district offers favorable shopping centers, including, Turkey and the World's, top stores.


KEMERALTI BAZAAR, from the Alsancak Port you can enter the heart of shopping in İzmir by car in only 5 minutes or by walking in only 25 minutes. The Kemeraltı Bazaar can help you find any thing your heart desires, with the smiling faced salesman, for those who want nonstop shopping Kemeraltı should be first on their list. The hidden delicious shops can also add a touch of color to Kemeraltı.


KUYUMCULAR BAZAAR, located in the heart of the Kemeraltı Bazaar, is a must see stop for the curious. In this Bazaar you will find hundreds of jewellery, from gold to silver to all types precious stones you will discover the most delicate of Turkish craftmanship.


HİSARÖNÜ, presents you with a historical atmosphere. The Kızlarağası Inn offers various authentic Turkish handcraftmanship, carpets, jewellery and various other original gifts. In Hisarönü you can also taste various examples of authentic Turkish Cuisine.


MİMAR KEMALETTİN FASHION CENTER, is known not only in İzmir but throughout Turkey as a ready to wear and fashion headquarter. İzmir played also an important role in the European ready to wear industry, hundreds of textiles and ready to wear sellers can be found in the Mimar Kemalettin Fashion Center.


ÇANKAYA BAZAAR, an electronics center found in the heart of İzmir, sells everything from cellular phones, DVD players, game consuls, to laptops; every kind of electronics at reasonable prices.


BORNOVA, has reached in recent years an immense growth, various large shopping centers have built, while only 15 minutes from İzmir by subway, it offers a fan of irresistible product quality, price choices and quality brands. The great product alternatives could make the buy desicion harder to take.


KARŞIYAKA, the district is one of the finest sites in İzmir. With its beautiful Bazaar, great malls and lots of shopping possibilities. Especially the trip itself could bring lots of joy, because Karşıyaka can also reached by the sea, through quays from Konak, Alsancak, Pasaport. The palm lined promanades and avenues of Karşıyaka are always a ferry boat trip worth.


BALÇOVA - İNCİRALTI, one of İzmir's most beautiful natural areas. This area also offers very large shopping centers. These shopping centers built in natural green areas, offers everything from electronics to clothing to reasonable prices for its customer, while also housing restaurants and movie theaters.

Faith tourism

The deep respect and tolerance, reflecting the traditional Anatolian lifestyle, have made it possible for the cultural heritage belonging to many old civilizations to reach our times. Some places in the world, without regard to political boundaries have been the meeting point of different cultures, different civilizations and different religions.

The development of primeval age civilizations in Anatolia, the migration of apostles and Jews, during the initial days of Christianity and medieval times respectively, because of the heavy pressure directed against them in the lands they used to live, has made it possible for many churches and synagogues to exist in Anatolia, in addition to and side by side with many other Islamic buildings.

In the Konak district of İzmir, places of workship belonging to the multitheistic belief system of the antiqueage, Judaism, Christianity and İslam stand within very short distances from one another. This togetherness displays the profound tolerance of İzmir and the Anatolian territory for all beliefs.


House of Virgin Mary - Selçuk

The house of Virgin Mary, the holy mother of Christians, is located at Bülbül Hill. The holy place which is also named "Panaya Kapulu" by Christians is believed to have been built around 4th century BC, and was unearthed by the excavations carried on in 1891. The tomb of Virgin Mary is located on the southeastern skirts of Panayır Hill. Since many years, religious ceremonies take place at Panaya Kapulu at where the House of Virgin Mary is located, yearly at the 15th of August. In 1957, Pope has confirmed this is the House of Virgin Mary, announcing it as a place for pilgrimage for Christianity.

Shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus had escrowed his mother to his friend and disciple, St. John. Deciding that remaining in Jerusalem was dangerous for Virgin Mary, St. John saved her to Bülbül Hill. Holy Virgin lived until the age of 101 at Bülbül Hill to where she was placed by St. John. Following the general acceptance of Christianity, a church was built at Bülbül Hill in the shape of a cross. St. John continued to live in Ephesus, and according to the belief he wrote the Bible here until his death. Open all week between 07:00 am - 06:00 pm.


St. John Basilica - Selçuk

The basilica built in the name of St. John during 6th century AD by Justinian, the Emperor of Byzantium, is located at Ayasuluk Hill. Towards the east of St. John's tomb which is located in the middle of the basilica and under the ground level, sections exist in which the priests used to live. These sections are separated from the church in a semicircular format. At the north of the cemetery area frescos depicting the saints are visible, and the monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora are carved at the imposts of the columns which were later restorated.


Seven Sleepers Church - Selçuk

The place at where the Seven Sleepers Church, believed to have been built during the 5th and 6th centuries AD, exhibits the view of a religious center. Four stories of this monumental building have been unearthed in the ongoing excavations; with an estimated 3 more stories still under ground. It is understood that this place was a monastery and the vestibules at the ground level were used for religion education.

According to the legend, before the acceptance of Christianity as a religion, 7 young people flee from the idolaters, and finding a haven here, they fall asleep, to wake up again in 200 years. When they wake up, they discover that Christianity is a known and accepted religion. It is believed that the 7 young people are buried here after their death, and a big structure was built to their name.


İsa Bey Mosque - Selçuk

The mosque located at the west hill of St. John Basilica at Ayasuluk Hill belongs to Seljuks. It has been built in 1375 by Aydınoğlu İsa Bey. Containing some important innovations not only for smaller communities, but also for Western Anatolian and 14th century, its design is a rare one for Anatolian Turkish Architecture. This mosque is a transition period construction between Seljuk and Ottoman eras.


Birgi - Ödemiş

Birgi is 9 kilometers from Ödemiş. The texture of the city contains some elite examples of Ottoman and Seljuk Architecture. This town is listed in the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The tomb and madrasah of İmam-ı Birgi'vi, Darül Hadis Madrasah, Güdük Minare Mescid, Ulu Cami Mosque and Aydınoğulları Tomb are located here.


Bergama Church - Bergama

This is the only church of which the location is known definitely, of the seven Biblical churches. Called "Red Courtyard" by the people of Bergama, this basilica is also called "Serapien" (It was built for the god called Serapis) and "Neither on the ground nor in the skies. The Church of Bergama has played an important role between the years 313 - 500 AD.


Beth Israel Synagogue - Konak

Located at 265 Mithat Paşa Street, Beth Israel Synagogue was built after an order written by Sultan Abdülhamit II to the Governor of İzmir, former Grand Vizier Kamil Paşa, in order to facilitate the religious chores of the Jews living at the neighborhood of Karataş. Built at a cost of 1200 golden lira, this synagogue is the largest one at İzmir. Today, our Jewish citizens hold their wedding ceremonies in this synagogue. The construction of the synagogue was started in 1905, and it was put into service in 1907.


Hisar Mosque - Konak

This mosque, built in the Kemeraltı-Hisarönü alley, is the largest mosque in İzmir. It is a single storie, monumental mosque. It has a large dome in the middle, and smaller ones around the circumference. The works inside the Hisar Mosque is among the most beautiful artifacts of Ottoman art.


İzmir Church - Çankaya

It is believed that this is the second biblical church, with a meaning of "follow" and "be loyal ". The era of importance for the Church of İzmir is between 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. Some archeologists and Christian religious writers have claimed that the remains of this church are located at the place of St. Polycarp at the neighborhood of Çankaya.

Fairs in İzmir 

izfas.jpgAnother property of İzmir, one of Turkey's most important tourism and business centres, is a reputation of being the city of fairs. The Culture-Park Fair ground with its 421.000 m2 of greenery is situated in the town centre and it is location of the many fairs organized in İzmir. There are currently arrangements being made to carry out other business and trade activities on the area.

For more information: IZFAS