Izmit

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About Izmit

İzmit, known as Nicomedia in antiquity, is a city in Turkey, the administrative center of the Kocaeli Province as well as the Metropolitan Municipality. It is located at the Gulf of İzmit in the Sea of Marmara, about 100 km (62 mi) east of Istanbul, on the northwestern part of Anatolia. The city center has a population of 300,611 (2011 census). The population of the province (including rural areas) is 1,459,772. Unlike other provinces in Turkey, apart from Istanbul, the whole province is included within the municipality of the metropolitan center.

Nicomedia was the eastern and most senior capital city of the Roman Empire between 286 and 324, during the Tetrarchy introduced by Diocletian. Following Constantine the Great‘s victory over co-emperor Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324, Nicomedia served as an interim capital city for Nova Roma.

Name

İzmit derives from the Ancient Greek name of the city, Nicomedia (GreekΝικομήδεια), prefixed with εις ‘to’ (similarly to İstanbul). Names used in English prior to official Turkish Latinization include Ismid, Iskimid, and Isnikmid.[3]

Geography

The geographical location of İzmit is between 40°-41° N and 29°-31° E, surrounded by the Gulf of İzmit at south, Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara at west, the Black Sea at north, and Sakarya at east.

The city is mostly built on hill slopes because of the cramped area, while flat plains surround the gulf, near the sea. This topographic structure divided the city into two parts. The first was created on flat plains, where the city center is. The railway and highway networks pass from this area which is close to the Sea of Marmara. The second part was built on hills, with many historic houses from the Ottoman period in the old quarters.

Climate

İzmit has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa), with considerable Mediterranean influences. Summers are hot and very humid, and the average maximum temperature is around 29 °C (84 °F) in July and August, although temperatures often exceed 30 °C (86 °F) in June, July, August and even September. Winters are cool and damp, and the lowest average minimum temperature is around 3 °C (37 °F) in January. Precipitation is high and fairly evenly distributed the year round; it is heaviest in autumn, winter, spring. Highest temperature was 44.1 °C (111 °F) in July 2000. Lowest temperature was −18 °C (0 °F) in February 1929. Highest snow thickness was 90 cm (35.4 inches) in February 1929.

History

In Antiquity, the city in Greek was called Astacus or Olbia (founded 712 BC). After being destroyed, it was rebuilt and founded by Nicomedes I of Bithynia in 264 BC under the name of Nicomedia. It remained one of the most important cities in northwestern Asia MinorHannibal came to Nicomedia in his final years and committed suicide in nearby Libyssa (Gebze). The historian Arrian was born there. Nicomedia was the metropolis of Bithynia under the Roman Empire (see Nicaea), and Diocletian made it the eastern capital city of the Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy system.

Nicomedia remained as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman Empire until Licinius was defeated by Constantine the Great in 324. Constantine mainly resided in Nicomedia as his interim capital city for the next six years; until in 330 he declared the nearby Byzantium as Nova Roma, which eventually became known as Constantinople. Constantine died in a royal villa at the vicinity of Nicomedia in 337. Owing to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.

At 451, the local bishopric was promoted to a Metropolitan see under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[5]

Until the late 11th century it was under Byzantine rule. Then it was captured by Seljuk Turks. Soon after it was returned to Byzantine sovereignty as a consequence of the successes of the First Crusade. After capture of Constantinople in 1204 the city, with most of the Bithynia province, became a part of the Latin Empire. It was recaptured by the Byzantines around 1235 and stayed in its borders until first half of the 14th century. The city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1337. Byzantine rule renewed in 1402 but the Ottomans reconquered it in 1419. Under Ottoman rule, it was the capital of the Sanjak of Kocaeli.

In the early 20th century, it remained the seat of a pasha, a Greek metropolitan, and an Armenian archbishop.[3]

İzmit was occupied by the United Kingdom on 6 July 1920 during the Turkish War of Independence. The British left it to Greece on 27 October 1920. İzmit was re-taken by the Turks on 28 June 1921.[6] As of 1920, the British reported that the city had a population of about 13,000.[7] In 1920–1921 atrocities where committed in the city and its surroundings during the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) against the civilian population. An Allied report (on 1 June 1921) stated that a large number of excesses were committed by both sides during the last year, while the Turkish atrocities in the Izmit peninsula “have been more considerable and ferocious than those on the part of the Greeks”.[6][8][9]

The 7.6 Mw  earthquake of 17 August 1999 devastated the region with a maximum Mercalli intensity of IX (Violent). The shock killed more than 17,000 people and left half a million homeless. It took several years for the city to recover from this disaster, and remnants remain visible.

Main sights

There are numerous tourist attractions in the city center and its adjacent region, such as

  • remains of the ancient Acropolis, Agora, Amphitheater, Nymphaeum, Necropolis
  • the Demeter Temple
  • the Hellenistic Üçtepeler Mound King Tombs
  • Roman city walls, aqueducts and cisterns
  • parts of the Temple of Augustus
  • parts of the Palace and Arsenal of Diocletian
  • the Byzantine fortress at the core of the Roman city walls
  • Orhan Gazi Mosque (1333)
  • the 14th century Süleyman Paşa Hamam
  • the 16th century Imaret Mosque and Pertev Paşa Mosque (1580), designed by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan
  • Pertev Paşa Fountain (1571)
  • the 16th century Mehmed Bey Hamam
  • Saatçi Ali Efendi Mansion (1776)
  • Tüysüz Fountain (1782)
  • the early 19th century Fevziye Mosque
  • Kapanca Sokağı Fountain and Canfeda Kethüda Kadın Fountain (1827)
  • Sırrı Paşa Mansion (mid-19th century)
  • Kasr-ı Hümayun Palace
  • French Theological School
  • Redif Barracks (1863)
  • İzmit Clock Tower (1901)
  • Kocaeli Museum
  • SEKA Paper Museum
Destinations Private Shared
Aksaray €140
Alibeykoy €140
Anadolu Hisari €85
Antalya €725
Atakoy €140
Atasehir €85
Avcilar €160
Bagcilar €140
Bahcelievler €140
Bahcesehir €160
Bakirkoy €140
Basaksehir €140
Bayrampasa €140
Bebek €140
Besiktas €140
Beyazit €140
Beyazit €140
Beykoz €85
Beylerbeyi €85
Beylikduzu €160
Beylikduzu-Tuyap €160
Beyoglu €140
Bolu €320
Bostanci €85
Bursa €235
Buyukcekmece €160
Cengelkoy €85
Corlu €280
Duzce €160
Edirne €295
Esenler Bus Station €140
Esenyurt €160
Etiler €140
Eyup €140
Fatih €140
Findikzade €140
Florya €140
Galata €140
Gallipolli (Canakkale) €470
Gayrettepe €140
Gaziosmanpasa €140
Gebze €60
Gokturk €140
Goztepe €85
Gunesli €140
Hadimkoy €145
Harbiye €140
Ikitelli €140
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Istinye €140
Izmit €55
Kabatas €140
Kadikoy €85
Kanlica €85
Karakoy €140
Karakoy Cruise Port €140
Kartal €65
Kartalkaya €340
Kartepe €65
Kayasehir €140
Kilyos €140
Kocaeli €55
Kucukcekmece €140
Kucukyali €85
Kumburgaz €140
Kurtkoy €65
Laleli €140
Levent €140
Macka €140
Maltepe €65
Maslak €140
Mecidiyekoy €140
Merter €140
Moda €85
Nisantasi €140
Ortakoy €140
Osmanbey €140
Pasabahce €85
Pendik €65
Sabiha Gokcen Airport SAW €65
Sapanca €170
Sariyer €140
Sefakoy €140
Sile €200
Silivri €150
Sirkeci €140
Sisli €140
Sultanahmet €140
Taksim €140
Tarabya €140
Topkapi €140
Tuzla €70
Umraniye €85
Uskudar €85
Yalova €110
Yenibosna €140
Yenikapi €140
Yesilkoy €140
Yesilkoy CNR €140
Yesilyurt €140
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