Travel Turkey Izmir 2008 [Archives:2008/1218/Last Page]

December 22 2008

Mohammed bin Sallam
The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies organized a sightseeing tour for 350 journalists and PR personnel from 18 countries around the world to visit and enjoy Izmir. The tour, which took place between Nov. 26 and Nov. 29, introduced participants to the potential business and tourist opportunities within Izmir.

Despite being given a detailed information pack, and the ready availability of outside resources, nothing could have prepared me for the breath-taking beauty of the destinations included on this tour.

The Yemeni participants met with many businessmen and exchanged ideas about future cooperation. Also a number of preliminary agreements took place between representatives from the 18 countries attending the conference. During the four days f the conference the organizers arranged for historic, health, educational;, scientific and business lectures and presentations.

Izmir, historic 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 Izmir, by the Aegean Sea, and is the captial of Izmir Province. The city of Izmir is formed of nine metropolitan districts each with its own distinct feel. The total area of the nine districts is 855 km_ and together these districts constitute the area of the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality headed by the mayor of Izmir. The total population of this greater urban region in 2007 was 3,175,133.

Personally speaking, the highlight of the trip was our visit to Ephesus, it was the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which has since been destroyed. Ephesus is held to be one of the most impressive outdoor museums of Turkey, if not of the entire world. It is located to the south of Izmir's Selcuk County, and the myths associated with the links between Ephesus and the Amazons have survived throughout history. The ruins at Ephesus are ranked among the greatest of archaeological sites, not only within Turkey, but the world over. This is due to the inestimable artistic patrimony, impressive historical and cultural heritage, and the inexhaustible beauty and charm of the archaeological site.

Ancient Ephesus is thought to have originally been established on the Aegean coast, on the shores of a sea which today is located 8 km. away from the archaeological excavations. Over the centuries, the slit deposits ought onto the “Kucuk Menderes”” enlarged this alluvial plain which surrounds the archaeological site