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Title: Karşıyaka  
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Subject: Greco-Turkish War (1919–22), Alsancak, Zenica, İzmir, List of association football stadiums by country, List of hospitals in Izmir Province, Manisa, Metin Oktay, Feyyaz Uçar, Yamanlar
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Karşıyaka Bazaar Street (Çarşı), seen from the top of the pier

Location of Karşıyaka within metropolitan Izmir.
Location of Karşıyaka within metropolitan Izmir.
Country Turkey
Region Aegean
Province İzmir
 • Mayor Hüseyin Mutlu Akpınar Republican People's Party
 • District 65.70 km2 (25.37 sq mi)
Elevation 0-700 m (−2,300 ft)
Population (2012)[2]
 • Urban 315,008
 • District 315,294
 • District density 4,800/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 35x xx
Area code(s) 0232
Licence plate 35

Karşıyaka (pronounced ) is a district of İzmir Province in Turkey. It is part of the Greater Metropolitan Area of İzmir, in other words a metropolitan district, the second largest after Konak in terms of population, and it is almost entirely urbanised at the rate of 99.9 percent, with corresponding high levels of development in terms of lifestyle and services. Karşıyaka extends for twelve kilometres along the northern and eastern coastline of the tip of the Gulf of İzmir. Its centre is at a distance of 6 km (4 mi) to the north from the traditional centre of entire İzmir, which is Konak Square in Konak at the opposite coast, and İzmir's central areas are of quicker and easier access from Karşıyaka by ferry, in fifteen minutes to half an hour to various quays located along the Gulf's eastern and southern coastline, rather than by land by going round the gulf's outlying coastline. Karşıyaka's district area neighbours the district areas of Menemen to the north, Bornova to the east and Çiğli to the west, the last two also being among İzmir's metropolitan districts. Karşıyaka's overall level of education is recognised as being of the highest in Turkey and besides being an active venue of commerce, culture and educational actitivies and tourism, Karşıyaka also boasts an advanced urban culture of its own, centred on the cherished home team Karşıyaka SK, which commands a large and passionate fan base.


House of Latife Hanım (Atatürk's wife) in Karşıyaka, prior to its restoration. (2006)
Latife Hanım House after having been restored by the municipality. (2008)

The industrial zone bringing together principally firms of local-scale, exception made of the notable presence of Alaybey shipyard are located in the eastern part of Karşıyaka. The same eastern corner also covers a zone of sparse settlement around the locality called Soğukkuyu, originally a seaside village of semi-nomadic Turkmens (Yörüks) made to settle here in the 19th century, and to the north is a large forest area. Karşıyaka's centre is connected to İzmir's centre by a busy schedule of railways, roads, and commuter ferries, works for the extension of İzmir's underground line to Karşıyaka currently being carried out at a rapid pace, and there are also good road links to Menemen and Aliağa to the north, to reach Çanakkale in north-west Turkey, and beyond. Originally a hamlet, then a remote suburb of İzmir in the 19th century, Karşıyaka became much larger and grew in stature in the 1960s when its waterfront developed as a prosperous residential neighbourhood.

Climate and environment

Karşıyaka bears the general characteristics of the Mediterranean climate zone. It is rainy in winter and hot in summer. As it is the case for İzmir's entire coastline, Karşıyaka benefits on a daily basis from the famous north-west wind called "imbat", because of which ships in the Gulf of İzmir will always be anchored in a northwest-southeast position, and which cools the city during summer days.


Late created formations around Izmir consist of sandstone, shale and limestone blocks some of which may be larger than several kilometers. Such formations which are generally observed on hills around the region, are the main reasons for resistance on the hills. In addition to these, the community of neogen age can easily be estimated through the andesitic compounds of volcanic origin, around Mount Yamanlar. Such units can be listed as silisium, aluminum, sodium, lava with magnesium content, tuff and tuff stuffed lava agglomerates. The lava also contains reddish brown and greenish gray large feldspar crystals. Neogen sedimentary rocks are made up of clay stone, sandstone and pebble stones at dept while being made up only of limestone on the top. At some places clay stone is observed on limestone layers. It is possible to say that ground resistance is satisfactory in regions covered with limestone on top, while ground resistance is low in regions which has thin layers of limestone intercalated with mud rocks


The urban zone of Karşıyaka is divided into 43 officially constituted neighbourhoods, and the district also counts two depending villages, Sancaklı and Yamanlar, the last being located near the summit of the mountain of the same name, Mount Yamanlar, which towers over Karşıyaka and the Gulf.

Karşıyaka is a stronghold of the social-democrats. Currently, the municipality is administered by Cevat Durak of the CHP (Republican People's Party).

35½ and Karşıyaka SK

Logo of Karşıyaka SK

Karşıyaka SK is the sports club of Karşıyaka. It is also called "KSK", and locally as Kaf Sin Kaf, following the initials in Arabic script since the club's past dates back to Ottoman times. The club has a large and very passionate fan base. Although its football team is presently in the second level of the Turkish football league system, it still represents İzmir's strongest bid for the Süper Lig. Karşıyaka S.K.'s basketball and volleyball branches, known respectively as Pınar Karşıyaka (by the name of their sponsors) and Karşıyaka Women's Volleyball Team, are leading contenders in their fields. The club also has cue sports, bowling, motorcycle, tennis, sailing, judo and swimming divisions.

Until the foundation of Altay in 1912, Karsiyaka was the only Turkish sports club in Izmir.


Karşıyaka Pier in an older picture.

Karşıyaka is deeply associated with commerce, construction of residences, education and literature, and is a prized area for pensioners, not only in the scale of İzmir but also from across Turkey as a whole. A total of 220,000 residences make up the urban area and the average yearly increase of the district population is 2.3 per cent. The district area having been almost entirely built up, Karşıyaka today acts principally as a residential centre for the workforce of İzmir's industry and services, who generally commute for work to neighbouring Çiğli and Bornova, Alsancak across the gulf, or even to locations further afield like Kemalpaşa and Manisa. The share of agriculture and industry in its economy is in constant decrease, while Karşıyaka's tourism potential remains an open field.

The waterfront is the wealthier part of Karşıyaka and it is here that residents of long date are generally concentrated. The neighbourhoods located along the slopes are poorer, with slum-type residences in parts, and these continue receiving flows of immigration, especially from Turkey's Eastern Anatolia Region. The district counts a total of 11,570 enterprises, 207 of which are identified as industrial firms, and 3,180 categorised under commerce. Nine industrial companies have full or partial foreign capital and 143 commercial establishments in Karşıyaka are registered exporters. There are eighteen banks providing services through 61 branches in Karşıyaka, and a handful of hotels with a total bed capacity of 180. There is one teacher for 24 students and one doctor for 1,127 patients overall. The literacy rate is very high at 92 per cent. An environment of urban consciousness also favoured the foundation of a high number of professional organisations in varied fields in Karşıyaka, ranging from trade (such as KASİAD, BESİAD, BOGİAD) to education, usually centred on teachers or alumni of the district's rooted institutions.

History and sights of interest

Traces of the earliest phases of the timeline of İzmir, such as "The Tomb of Tantalus" and "Old Smyrna" are located at a stone's throw from Karşıyaka, in the very recently constituted metropolitan district of Bayraklı, which was formerly within the boundaries of the district of Karşıyaka.

Karşıyaka was described in frequent terms of admiration by travellers who visited İzmir, and they could not help but mention in detail the dense forests of Mount Yamanlar, reaching as far as the coast, and the beautiful gardens and orchards which garnish the shoreline and along the beds of its four streams, namely Ahırkuyu, Serinkuyu, Laka and Bornova. Named Karşıyaka (literally "the opposite shore") in Turkish since the 11th century, the locality was alternatively called Cordelio or Cordelieu or Kordelyo in European or Greek sources until the beginning of the 20th century. These names were supposed to make reference to Richard the Lionheart (Coeur de Lion), who is not attested to have come to these waters in person, but it was usually claimed that the area was named in the 1190s by a contingent of Crusaders of the Third Crusade who was accosted here and had named it in honour of Europe's most famed soldier of the time. This explanation of the name is disputed, some sources taking as point of departure the mention of the name (in the form "Kordeleon") in Byzantine documents of the 14th century and questioning whether the name Cordelio is the continuation of a more ancient settlement yet unexplored, as is most of ancient Aeolia.[3]

Still very leafy and lush generally despite intensive construction of medium- to high-rise apartments and office buildings in recent decades, Karşıyaka grew in size after the entry into service of İzmir-Menemen railroad in 1865, and the start of urban ferry services in 1874 by a British company under an Ottoman imperial lease accorded by Abdülhamid II and named "Hamidiye" for this reason. A second shipping company put two other ferries in service starting 1880, followed in 1884 by a third company. Very rapidly, it became fashionable for European and Levantine inhabitants of İzmir, concentrated in Bornova and Buca until then, to build or purchase houses in Karşıyaka particularly for the dowry of their daughters, which contributed to the growing popularity among the rich of the gulf's northern shores.

Levantine-built Loehner Mansion in Karşıyaka.

In pace with its resort-like atmosphere, Karşıyaka saw a number of beautiful Ottoman konaks or Levantine mansions erected within its boundaries, especially along the shoreline and serving as secondary residence. Luxury multi-storey residences at immediate seaside quickly rose next to modest inner quartiers around the train station where the working class was concentrated and the Turkish village of Soğukkuyu [4] The commuting movements and the way of life of İzmir's inhabitants were profoundly changed since then with Karşıyaka becoming part of the urban fabric.

By the time of the 1891 census, Karşıyaka had already acquired the appearance of a large township with 832 houses and a permanent population of 1080. A sizable Turkish population settled in Karşıyaka's Soğukkuyu some time before that date and that area is still distinguished by its rustic houses in the middle of the urban zone. In the meantime, the former village of Papa Scala or Papazkale or Papazköyü or Papaz İskelesi (Priest's quay) to the west came to be known as Bostanlı, in reference to melons and watermelons from Menemen which were discharged and loaded on ships here.[5]

The four most important reminders of the Levantine heritage still intact in Karşıyaka are the Alliotti, Penetti, Van Der Zee, and Löhner houses. The first was built by a prominent Levantine family of Italian origins in 1914 and was exchanged in the 1920s against property belonging to Durmuş Yaşar, the founder of Yaşar Holding. The mansion is known today under Yaşar's name and serves as a vocational training centre. The last two have recently been restored; the first floor of the Van Der Zee mansion has been put to public use by the municipality in the form of a café (Eski Ev Cafe).

19th century landmarks of Karşıyaka Explanations
Latife Uşşaki House
Zübeyde Hanım House
One of the houses that belonged to Atatürk's wife,
Latife Uşşaki This house in Karşıyaka is where Atatürk's mother,
Zübeyde Hanım, died. Restored in 2008 by the municipality
Löhner House Restored in 2003 by the municipality
Van Der Zee House Restored for use as a social venue
Penetti House
Alliotti House Restored by Yaşar Group of Companies
St. Helen Catholic Church In use as Catholic Church
Club Petrococchino Still a cosmopolitan café near the pier

There is also a 1904-built Catholic Church (Saint Helen church) that served a community of about 200 families and which is recently restored. Edouard Balladur, the former Prime Minister of France, notably, was baptised there.

There are also more modest but still lovely little houses, characterised by their engaged front doors and narrow lines, termed as "Sakız houses", and which are highly typical of the region surrounding İzmir.

Karşıyaka is also where Zübeyde Hanım, Atatürk's mother, spent her last days in end-1922 and January 1923, and is where she is buried. The house she died, which belonged to the family of Latife Uşşaki, Mustafa Kemal Pasha's wife, is restored and it is located right in the centre of the urban zone, near the main commercial street, Karşıyaka's famous Çarşı.

Atatürk's feelings and words about Karşıyaka: İzmir‘in Karşıyakalıları... Sizi derin muhabbetle selamlarım... Ben bütün İzmir’i ve bütün İzmirlileri severim. Güzel İzmir’in temiz kalpli insanlarının da beni sevdiklerine eminim. Yanlız bir rastlantı beni Karşıyaka’ya daha fazla bağlamıştır. Karşıyakalılar, annem sinenizde, sizin topraklarınızda yatıyor. Karşıyakalılar, İzmir’i gördüğüm gün öncelikle Karşıyaka’yı ve orada sizin Türk topraklarınızda yatan anamın mezarını gördüm.

See also

Karşıyaka's newly built residential quarters such as Mavişehir above become subject of debates on the potential menace they may constitute for Gediz River delta's flora and fauna.

External links

  • Karşıyaka S.K. Official Site


  • "Karşıyaka, 39p." (in Turkish). İzmir Chamber of Commerce. 2007. 


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  3. ^ N. Ezgi Türken. "Investigation of Water Conveyance Systems of Historical Settlements in the north of the Aegean Region from hydraulic and hydrological point opf view". Dokuz Eylül University, İzmir (unpublished master thesis). Retrieved 2006-04-01.  (English)
  4. ^ Marie-Carmen Smyrnelis (2005). Une societe hors de soi: Identites et relations sociales a Smyrne au XVIIIe et XIXe siecles (Collection Turcica) ISBN 978-90-429-1675-3 (in French). Peeters Publishers. 
  5. ^ "Bostan" generally means a vegetable garden or a kitchen garden in Turkish, but the term also encompasses a garden for non-tree fruits, such as melons and watermelons
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