Izmir , also once called Smyrna, is Turkey’s third most populous city and the country’s largest port after Istanbul. It is located along the outlying waters of the Gulf of İzmir, by the Aegean Sea. It is the seat of Izmir Province . The city of Izmir is composed of nine metropolitan districts (Balcova, Bornova, Buca, Cigli, Gaziemir, Güzelbahçe, Karsiyaka, Konak, and Narlidere), each with its own distinct features and temperament. The total area of the nine districts is 855 km² and together these districts constitute the area of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality headed by the mayor of İzmir. The total population of the metropolitan municipality was 2,649,582 by the end of 2007.
The city hosts an international arts festival during June and July, and Izmir International Fair, one of the city’s many fair and exhibition events centered around but not limited to Kültürpark, is held in the beginning of September every year. İzmir is served by national and international flights through Adnan Menderes Airport and there is a modern rapid transit line running from the southwest to the northeast. İzmir hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1971 and the World University Games (Universiade) in 2005. It had a running bid submitted to the BIE to host the Universal Expo 2015, in March, 2008, that was lost to Milan. Modern İzmir also incorporates the nearby ancient cities of Ephesus, Pergamon, Sardis and Klazomenai, and centers of international tourism such as Kuşadası, Çeşme, Mordoğan and Foça.
İzmir has a typical mediterranean climate.
İzmir is characterized by long, hot and dry summers and mild to cool, rainy winters. The total precipitation for İzmir averages 706 mm (27.8 inches) per year; however, 77% of that falls during November through March. The rest of the precipitation falls during April through May and September through October. There is virtually no rainfall during the months of June, July and August.
The average maximum temperatures during the winter months vary between 12 and 14 °C. Although it’s rare, snow can fall in İzmir in December, January and February staying for a period of hours rather than a whole day or more. The summer months — from May to October — usually brings average daytime temperatures of 30 °C or higher. On a number of occasions, temperatures as high as 46°C have been recorded in the city.
Air: The city has an airport (Adnan Menderes Airport) well se cfrved with connections to Turkish and international destinations. Its new international terminal was opened in September 2006 and the airport is set on its way for becoming one of the busiest in Turkey.
The city-airport shuttles are assured by buses operated by a private company (web page for İzmir) and along stops that follow two lines only, the first connecting Karşıyaka in the city’s northern part to the airport and the second between Alsancak in the south and the airport. Trains remain a comparatively slow alternative, the subway that will reach the airport is under construction, while the taxis are not cheap and can cost up to fifty U.S. dollars depending on the distance.
Bus: A recently-built large bus terminal (Otogar) in Altındağ suburb on the outkirts of the city has intercity buses to points all over Turkey.
It is quite easy to reach the bus terminal since bus companies’ shuttle services to the terminal pick up customers from each of their branch offices scattered across the city at regular intervals. These shuttles are a free service encountered everywhere in Turkey.
Rail: The city has rail service from historic terminals in downtown (such as the famous Alsancak Terminal (1858) which is the oldest train station in Turkey) to Ankara in the east and Aydın in the south. An express train to Bandırma, to reach the Sea of Marmara port city in four hours and to combine the journey with İDO’s HSC services from Bandırma to İstanbul is in service since February 2007.
within the city Co-ordinated transport was introduced to Izmir in about 1999, the first place in Turkey to apply the lessons of integration. A body known as UKOME gives strategic direction to the Metro, ESHOT bus division, ferry operations, utilities and road developments. Izmir has an integrated pre-pay ticket, the Kentkart (‘Citycard’). The card is valid on Metro (subway), buses, ferries and certain other municipal facilities.