Life & Leisure

Turkey’s Izmir bets on sustainable tourism despite political obstacles

Izmir, Turkey, Nov 10 (EFE).- Nestled in a Turkish bay off the Aegean Sea lies the remains of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis.

The Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis is located in Izmir, a popular tourist destination that attracts some two million tourists a year, the majority of international visitors coming from the United States and South America.

Izmir, known as Smyrna until 1930 and regarded as the ‘Pearl of the Aegean,’ was once the cultural, philosophical and economic center of Turkey that linked the silk route from the East to the Mediterranean.

Today, as well as being a cultural and historical asset for Turkey, it is also one of the most important ports in the country and hosts the largest free trade zone.

Tourist attractions vary from the Ephesus ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that once hosted the second largest library in the ancient world, to Kemeralti, the world’s largest open-air market with some 5,000 stands.


Despite it already being a popular tourist destination, the city’s mayor Tunç Sonyer has greater ambitions for Izmir.

Sonyer aspires to make Izmir a sustainable tourism destination that respects the environment and mitigates climate change.

“Every municipality must understand that we have to look at the world with the new perspective created by the climate crisis,” the mayor told Efe.

Sonyer believes that with successful policies, the use of technology and respect of nature, the conflict between ecology and economy can be eliminated.

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