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Izmir, Turkey.
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Photo: Jorge Andrade.

Izmir, Turkey.
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Photo: Tarik Gandur/Wikimedia Commons.

Izmir, Turkey.
Izmir, Turkey.

Late Ottoman clock tower in the gardens at Konak in Izmir, Turkey.
Izmir, Turkey.

Izmir, Turkey.
Izmir, Turkey.

Izmir, Turkey.
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Photo: Patty O'Hara.

Izmir, Turkey.
Ruins of Smyrna at Izmir, Turkey.

City in western Turkey with 2.2 million inhabitants (2004 estimate), situated on the sea, at Gulf of Izmir which is connected to the Aegean Sea. It is Turkey's 3rd largest city and the capital of Izmir province with 3.4 million inhabitants (2004 estimate). The area of Izmir is one of Turkey's most densely populated areas.
Izmir is one of the most important commercial and industrial centres of Turkey, producing dyes, soaps, textiles, foodstuffs, tobacco, cement and cotton and woolen textiles. There are also petrochemical and engineering works. Carpets, silk, foodstuffs and minerals are the most important products sold to other parts of Turkey or exported. Izmir is also the site of the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's command for land forces in southeastern Europe.
Modern Izmir stretches from the innermost point of the gulf and over the heights and ridges to the south. It consists of wide avenues and modern buildings. Izmir consists of many distinct centres and suburbs. Among the landmarks is the agora and the ancient aqueducts of Kizilcullu. The famous site of Ephesus lies 50 km to the south.
Izmir has excellent connections with other parts of Turkey, both by air, rail and road. Manisa 25 km northeast,Aydin is 100 km southeast, Bursa 350 km northeast and Istanbul 650 km northeast.
Izmir has a university, the Aegean University founded in 1955, and a teacher-training school. There are also some important museums, especially the Archaeological Museum, which has a fine collection of local antiquities, and the Ethnographic Museum.

3rd millennium BCE Possible foundation of the city of Troy, by the Greek people of Aeolians. Troy was located close to modern Izmir.
11th century BCE: According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the city of Smyrna is founded around this time.
7th century: Troy sees great prosperity and wealth. The city gets massive fortifications and two-storied houses, quite unusual in these times.
Around 600: Conquered by King Alyattes 2 of Lydia, is depopulated and abandoned as a city.
Around 330: Refounded by Alexander the Great, although on a new site near Mount Pagus.
1st century: Becomes one of the first centres of Jesus-Judaism, which would develop into Christianity.
4th century: Becomes part of the Byzantine Empire, is known as Smyrna.
672: Is briefly conquered by Arab Muslims, in an attempt to take over Constantinople.
678: Byzantine power restored.
14th century: Conquered by the army of the Aydin Turkmen principality.
1402: Ravaged by Timur Lenk and his troops.
1424: Comes under Ottoman control.
1688: Severely damaged by earthquake.
1778: A great earthquake destroys large parts of Izmir.
1919 May: Occupied by Greece.
1920: With the Treaty of Sèvres, Izmir is given to the Greeks for a period of 5 years.
1922 September 9: Izmir is captured by Turkish troops.
1923: With the Treaty of Lausanne, Izmir is recognized as a Turkish city.

By Tore Kjeilen