IZMIR -- EXPO 2020 Candidate City





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Published on Jul 27, 2013


Imagine a land surrounded by the ancient seas of the world... A peninsula straddling two continents in the East and West... A passage uniting North and South...

Motherland to 36 known civilizations including Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Trojans, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans... A center of innovation since time immemorial... The first international treaty to be signed, the first coins to change hands, the first temple to be worshipped in, and the first hospital to cure a patient all originated in this region. Trade, through the silk and spice roads left its mark on this land.

It was a birthplace for Abraham, a sanctuary for early Christians and a home to Rumi, the Sufi mystic.


Born as a democratic, secular and constitutional republic under the leadership of Atatürk, modern Turkey was founded on values ahead of its time. Women gained the right to vote and to be elected to government in 1934, many years before it was a common practice in the West. In less than a century, Turkey has given rise to many influential artists, musicians, writers, poets, directors, scholars, scientists and athletes.

It has a young population of 74 million people, 60% of which are below the age of 35. The people of Turkey are well-educated and highly skilled, giving the country great prospects in terms of its future economic development. As of the first half of 2011, Turkey is the 16th largest economy in the world and 6th largest in Europe with a rapid development rate of 9%. According to UN's World Investment Report, Turkey is one of the top 15 destinations for foreign direct investment. OECD estimates that Turkey will be among the top 10 biggest economies in the world by 2020.

As a well-established and continuously growing industry, tourism plays a vital role in the economic development. The geography and history of the country create a wide spectrum of activities and experiences.

In the western extremity of Turkey, where the Silk Road meets the Aegean, lies the western port of Anatolia, a cultural capital and a trade center that dates back 8,500 years... Herodotus claimed that "It has the best climate and the most beautiful sky in the world". Victor Hugo called it "A princess". This is İzmir.

In the 5th century BC, Darius the Great built the famous 2700 kilometer long "Persian Royal Road" to reach this city. The temple built in 356 BC for the goddess Artemis, became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Saint John wrote one of the four gospels of Christianity in Ayasuluk Hill. In 135 AD, the son of Celsus, built a library consisting of over 12,000 scrolls, and named it for his father, a scholarly governor known for his passion for knowledge, science and arts. The most important healing center of the 4th century BC, named after the ancient god of medicine and healing, Asclepius, was built here in Pergamon. The fame of İzmir's thermals, hot water mud baths and mineral springs date back to 5th century BC. King Agamemnon used them to treat his wounded soldiers. Today, these thermal centers are popular destinations not only for those in search of better health, but for anyone who wants to be pampered.

Nature lovers flock to İzmir, which is home to the globally renowned "Bird Paradise", a national park with striking biodiversity. The Gediz Delta is considered as one of the world's most remarkable natural areas, an open-air museum with breathtaking landscapes

With exquisite beaches and natural bays covering a coastal belt of more than 600 kilometers around Çeşme, Alaçatı and Foça, İzmir fascinates sailing enthusiasts as well as international cruise ships. Alaçatı has excellent atmospheric conditions attracting windsurfers from all over the world. Contained along these coasts are many "Blue-Flag" beaches, a testament to İzmir's commitment to protecting the natural environment.

The city is a major tourist destination hosting many international hotel chains. Developments are underway to increase İzmir's ability to accomodate tourists by more than eightfold in 2020. Situated between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the Aegean region is equipped with a network of international-quality highways and the nation's largest railway network.



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