Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia and the third most populous city in Turkey after Istanbul and Ankara. Izmir's metropolitan area extends along the outlying waters of the Gulf of Izmir
The ancient city was known as Smyrna Izmir has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history and possibly even longer as an advanced human settlement. Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation midway on the western Anatolian coast, the city has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history.
Modern Izmir also incorporates the nearby ancient cities of Ephesus, Pergamon, Sardis and Klazomenai, and centers of international tourism such as Kusadası, Ceşme, Mordogan and Foca. Izmir's remarkable growth began in the late 16th century when cotton and other products of the region attracted French, English, Dutch and Venetian traders here
Izmir-Aydın railway was started in 1856 and finished in 1867 a year later than Smyrna Cassaba Railway, Izmir prides itself with its busy schedule of trade fairs, exhibitions and congresses. The fair and the festival are held in the compound of Izmir's vast inner city park named Kulturpark in the first days of September, and organized by IZFAŞ, a depending company of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.
Izmir has a Mediterranean climate which is characterized by long, hot and dry summers; and mild to cool, rainy winters. The population of the city is predominantly Muslim, but secularism is very strong in this region of Turkey.
Izmir is also home to Turkey's second largest Jewish community after Istanbul, still 2,500 strong. The community is still concentrated in their traditional quarter of Karatas. Smyrniot Jews like Sabbatai Zevi and Darío Moreno were among the famous figures of the city's Jewish community.
The Levantines of İzmir, who are mostly of Genoese and to a lesser degree of French and Venetian descent, live mainly in the districts of Bornova and Buca.
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