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İZMİR: ÇANKAYA

boteroAn amorphous area in the centre of "old" İzmir, Çankaya is the area around Fevzipaşa Bulvarı and the Hilton Hotel, a landmark visible for miles around. Fevzipaşa Bulvarı was built to connect Basmane Station with the harbour and make it easier for traders to get about the city but it's remarkably lacking in any buildings of historic interest until you get quite close to the water where the shattered remnants of the 18th-century Büyük Karaosmanoğlu and Mirkelamoğlu hans can be seen right beside the road. Much newer is the undercover Kavaflar Çarşısı, erected in 1929 and mainly used for the sale of men's shirts and trousers. 

Gaziosmanpaşa Bulvarı runs down to Cumhuriyet Meydanı from in front of the Hilton. Just across the road from the hotel the yellow-painted 19th-century building turns out to be St Polycarp's RC church although it's not at all easy to get inside it, requests to do so being treated with something bordering on contempt. The original church on the site was built in 1630, making it one of the oldest places of worship in the city. The current building is, however, much later, mainly a rebuilding in the 1890s of a late 18th-century reconstruction. 

More welcoming is nearby St John's Cathedral on Şehir Nevres Bulvarı. It was completed in 1874. Also usually open to visitors is St Mary's on Halit Ziya Bulvari, an 1890 rebuild of another 17th-century Italian church.mary

More or less behind the Hilton Hotel the city's old fire station has been converted to house Apikam, the Ahmet Piriştina City Archive and Museum, named after a popular mayor who died in 2004.

Also close to the Hilton is Sevgi Yolu, a palm-lined pedestrianised street lined with bookstalls that also has stars commemorating famous musicians, artists and actors set into the pavement. 

The Swissotel is worth visiting even if you're not staying for its extensive grounds and impressive art collection including Colombian artist Fernando Botero's Man on a Horse in the front garden.

Sleeping

Hilton Hotel. Tel: 0232-497 6060

Movenpick Hotel. Tel: 0232-488 1414

Swissotel Büyük Efes. Tel: 0232-414 0000

Transport

There is a Metro station at Çankaya which is also within easy walking distance of Basmane, Konak and Alsancak. 

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