Area : 11.973 km²
Population : 3.370.866 (2000)
Traffic Code : 35
Izmir is the third biggest city in Turkey with a population of approximately 2.5 million people. It is also the second biggest port after Istanbul and a good transport hub.
Formerly known as the ancient city of Smyrna, Izmir is now a modern, developed and busy commercial centre, set around a huge bay and surrounded by mountains. The broad boulevards, glass fronted buildings and modern shopping centres are dotted with more traditional red-tiled roofs, the 18th century market, and old mosques and churches.
However, the city has an atmosphere which is more in line with Mediterranean Europe than with traditional Turkey. The climate is comfortable with a relatively mild summer which is attributed to the refreshing breeze coming from the Aegean Sea. The long attractive palm-fringed promenade Birince Kordon, which stretches the entire length of the city up to the Alsancak Ferry Terminal, is a very popular spot for evening walks with many cafés and bars along the waterfront.
In addition to its natural beauty, Izmir also has a broad selection of culture and entertainment to offer from the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums to the State Opera and Balet or from the Izmir State Symphony Orchestra to many entertaining bars and clubs. The cosmopolitan and lively city gets even busier during the International Izmir Festival (which takes place from mid-June to mid-July) with the worldwide performances and also because it is located very close to popular summer destinations like Çeşme, Bodrum and Ephesus.
Izmir’s cuisine is a mixture of Ottoman, Jewish, Italian, Armenian, French and Greek traditions. The delicious fish of the Aegean Sea, the tempting mezes that consist of various vegetables and special ingredients as well as many other varieties of olive-oiled dishes are the most well known tastes of the city.
Didyma was established as colony of Crete and then Mycenae in the 16th century BC and subsequently possessed by Lycians, Persians, Seleucids, Attalids, Ancient Romans and Byzantines as part of the province of Caria. The area came into the hands of the Turks following the defeat of Byzantium at the Battle of Malazgirt in 1086 AD. It was captured again by the Byzantines in 1098. Didyma was captured by Menteşe in 1280 and then by Aydınoğlu in 1300. It was brought into the Ottoman Empire by Mehmet I in 1413.
Pamukkale’s terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs.
In this area, there are 17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35°Celsius (95°Fahrenheit) to 100°C (212°F). The water that emerges from the spring is transported 320m (1,049ft) to the head of the travertine terraces and deposits calcium carbonate on a section 60-70m (200-230ft) long and covering a surface of 240m (790ft) to 300m (980ft). When the water, supersaturated with calcium carbonate, reaches the surface, carbon dioxide degases from it, and calcium carbonate is deposited. The depositing continues until the carbon dioxide in the water balances the carbon dioxide in the air. Calcium carbonate is deposited by the water as a soft jelly, but this eventually hardens into travertine.