İzmir (UK: /ˈɪzmɪər/ IZ-meer, US: /ɪzˈmɪər/ iz-MEER, Turkish: [ˈizmiɾ]), often spelled Izmir in English, is a metropolitan city in the western extremity of Anatolia. It is the third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara, and the second largest urban agglomeration on the Aegean Sea after Athens, Greece.
In 2019, the city of İzmir had a population of 2,972,900, while İzmir Province had a total population of 4,367,251. İzmir’s metropolitan area extends along the outlying waters of the Gulf of İzmir and inland to the north across the Gediz River Delta; to the east along an alluvial plain created by several small streams; and to slightly more rugged terrain in the south.
In classical antiquity the city was known as Smyrna (/ˈsmɜːrnə/ SMUR-nə) – a name which remained in use in English and various other languages until around 1930, when government efforts led the original Greek name (Greek: Σμύρνη, romanized: Smýrni/Smýrnē) to be gradually phased out internationally in favor of its Turkish counterpart İzmir. However, the historic name Smyrna is still used today in some languages, such as Armenian (Զմյուռնիա, Zmyurnia), Italian (Smirne), and Catalan, Portuguese, and Spanish (Esmirna). Smyrna has more than 3,000 years of recorded urban history, and up to 8,500 years of history as a human settlement since the Neolithic period. Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation, midway along the western Anatolian coast, it has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history. İzmir hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1971 and the World University Games (Universiade) in 2005. The city participated in Climathon in 2019.
The city of İzmir is composed of several metropolitan districts. Of these, the district of Konak corresponds to historical İzmir, with this district’s area having constituted the city’s central “İzmir Municipality” (Turkish: İzmir Belediyesi) until 1984. With the formation of the “İzmir Metropolitan Municipality” (Turkish: İzmir Büyükşehir Belediyesi), the city of İzmir at first grouped together its eleven (initially nine) urban districts – namely Balçova, Bayraklı, Bornova, Buca, Çiğli, Gaziemir, Güzelbahçe, Karabağlar, Karşıyaka, Konak, and Narlıdere – and later consolidated them with an additional nine of the province’s districts outside the city proper. In 2013, the passing of Act 6360 established all thirty of İzmir Province’s districts as part of İzmir’s metropolitan area.