Welcome to Turkey! Blacksea at the North, Mediterranean at the South, Aegean at the West and the cradle for many civilazations for centuries! With four seasons, great diversity of cultures and welcoming everyone from around the world Turkey is the first word comes to mind when someone says "hospitality". And of course, at the very west, just by the blue waters of the Aegean, lies İzmir; "The Pearl of Aegean" About İzmir The beautiful İzmir pulls you into a world of picturesque modernity and traditions, with its refreshing touches to the human souls. With versatile production opportunities, rich natural resources and high quality of life İzmir is a pioneering city both in Turkey and in the world. İzmir also has great potential in agriculture, industry and service sectors. The city is also in development in terms of export, a leading indicator or economy. İzmir constitutes 5.3% of Turkey with a 4,113,072 population in 2015. The city ranks 3rd among 81 cities both in terms of size and socioeconomic development. İzmir is also an attraction center for the investors with its logistics infrastructure, qualified workforce and multi-sector structure. İzmir is the ancient city of Smyrna, or "the country of the sacred mother", which existed even before the arrival of the Hittites and was ruled by Ionians, Persians, Romans and Ottomans. The original city was established in the third millennium BC (at present day Bayraklı) and had the most advanced culture, alongside Troy, in Western Anatolia. Excavations at Bayraklı have unearthed a temple dedicated to Athena and the wall of the Ionian city which had flourished there between the seventh and fifth centuries BC. Pottery dating back to the third millennium BC has also been uncovered. By 1500BC, it had fallen under the influence of the Central Anatolian Hittite Empire. "İzmir mesmerizes visitors in an aura of history and modernity." During the first millennium BC İzmir, known then as Smyrna, ranked as one of the most important cities of the Ionian Federation and Homer is believed to have lived here during this period. The Lydian conquest of the city around 600BC brought this period to an end. İzmir remained little more than a village throughout Lydian rule and the sixth century BC Persian rule. During the fourth century BC, a new city was built on the slopes of Mt Pagos (Kadifekale) during the reign of Alexander the Great. İzmir's Roman period, beginning in the first century BC, was its second great era. Byzantine rule followed in the fourth century and lasted until the Seljuk conquest of the 11th century. In 1415, under Sultan Mehmet Çelebi, İzmir became part of the Ottoman Empire. Welcome to İzmir of Modern Times! Today, İzmir is one of Turkey's most pleasant cities: its streets are shaded by palm trees, the sideways are beautiful and the houses elegant. As the final destination of the "King's Road", which goes all the way to Iran, İzmir continues to be a focal point for tourism and entertainment. The city's coastline is renowned for its fish restaurants along the coast as well as its bars, discos and nightclubs whereas its hinterlands are rich in monuments and ruins which tell the tale of countless ancient civilizations. Also, highly valued since ancient times, the Balçova Springs are found just 10km west of İzmir.