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İZMİR: KÜLTÜRPARK

demeterStatues of Demeter and Poseidon from the İzmir AgoraRight in the heart of İzmir the Kültürpark (also known as the Fuar) stands on the site of the old Greek quarter that was burned down in 1922 at the end of the Turkish War of Independence. It was the dream of Dr Behcet Uz, mayor of İzmir from 1931-40 who wanted trees to rise on the site of the disaster.

Today there are plenty of trees as well as far too much ivy growing here. It's a great green lung in the middle of an otherwise determinedly concrete city and a good place to come in summer when the heat gets too much to take. 

Inside the park you'll find the little known İzmir Museum of History and Art (closed Mondays) which is actually a better archaeological museum than the official one over in Konak. In truth it would be better called the Smyrna Museum since it houses most of the finds both from the site of ancient Smyrna at Tepekule/Bayraklı and from the Agora of the relocated Smyrna in Basmane. Also here are the friezes from the mausoleum at Belevi, near Selçuk, as well as friezes from the theatre at Miletus and from the Temple of Dionysius at Teos

Otherwise, the park houses a theatre, tennis courts, a parachute jumping tower and a pleasant cafe.

Transport info

The nearest Metro station is Basmane.

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