TURKEY Between Two Worlds






Monumen Alsancak
Izmir (Smyrna) is a "jewel of a city" located on the Aegean coast of Turkey. It has long been an important seaport - second to Istanbul. It is also the gateway to the various historical and touristic spots located throughout the Turkish Aegean coast such as Ephesus, Pergamum, Hierapolis, Miletus, Pryene, Afrosidias, Didyma and many others.


The Agora was the largest of its kind in the world. It was established in 333 BC by Alexander the Great on the slopes of Mt. Pagos. The excavations and restorations are still going on (see an article in the Turkish Daily News, December 21 2004). Inscriptions indicate the existence of a church and the manager of the digs, Mehmet Taslialan of the Archaeological Museum, thinks this would put Izmir on the map for Christian faith tourists. For the time being weíll have to do with the largest basilica (not much to see yet, but when an archaeologist indicated its size it stretched along one whole side of the current excavations.

Smyrna was the second city to receive a letter from the apostle John in the book of Revelation. Acts 19:10 suggests that the church there was founded during Paulís third missionary journey. Due to the fact that the port city of Izmir houses the second largest population in Turkey today, the site of ancient Smyrna has been little excavated. Excepting the agora, theater, and sections of the Roman aqueduct, little remains of the ancient city.

The structures underground are very impressive. These cross vaults are - according to a text on the site - unique in the Roman world.

Smyrna sat 35 miles north of Ephesus, built near the ruins of an ancient Greek colony destroyed in the 7th century B.C. Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Greatís generals, rebuilt Smyrna as a new Hellenistic city in the 3rd century B.C.


The city was later established as a Roman commercial center with a port on the Aegean Sea. Scholars believe the city grew to about 100,000 by the time of the apostles Paul and John.

On the ground floor arched galleries support the square on top of it. There were 28 shops facing north on the ground floor, facing the main street that ran along the agora. The second floor was composed of galleries along three rows of columns. In the basilica affairs of state were conducted, their ruling class met and decided on the towns administration.
This 2nd century A.D. agora, midway between the acropolis and the harbor, was partially excavated by German and Turkish archaeologists from 1932-1941. Porticoes lined the north and west sides of the agora, and an altar to Zeus sat in the center.

The letter in Revelation 2:8-11 is filled with the affection and joy that comes from triumph over hardship and persecution. The church faced strong Jewish opposition in Smyrna. There was a considerable number of Jews in the city from pre-NT times through the Ottoman period. Even today various synagogues are located throughout the modern city.

Bagian dari basilica
When John said that some will be thrown into prison he knew that Roman imprisonment was frequently a prelude to execution. He encouraged the believers to be faithful even unto death. In this persecution, Johnís own apprentice, Polycarp, was martyred here in 155 A.D. An example of Johnís warning and exhortation, he refused to blaspheme the Lordís name and was subsequently burned alive.



Traditional Izmir house


Ataturk Museum


Konak Pier was designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1890, within the boundaries of the central metropolitan district of Konak, near the city's historic center Konak Square in ›zmir.
Konak Pier was originally built as a warehouse together with the French customs house on the nearby Pasaport Quay during the renewal of ›zmir's portuary infrastructures in 1867.
Konak Pier is reported to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel's architecture office. It was thoroughly restored starting 2003 and was opened as an upmarket shopping mall in 2004. Since then, it became one of the landmarks of ›zmir.


Pasaport Quay


Alsancak ferry terminal


Izmir Airport









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