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Smyrna (İzmir)

SMYRNA (İZMIR)

SMYRNA (İZMIR). İzmir (the Greek Smyrna), nestled at the eastern end of a gulf along the central western Anatolian coast, remained the only port town to escape the Ottoman ruler Bayezid I's hands when he conquered the rest of western Anatolia in 1390. It was not until 1424 that the Ottomans finally absorbed the town. In the subsequent five centuries, İzmir became transformed several times.

A combination of events and structural changes caused these dramatic alterations. In the years immediately before the Ottoman takeover, İzmir was a town divided between a Turkish-Muslim settlement in and around a hill castle, Kadifekale, and a Latin Christian settlement in the small harbor below. In such circumstances, the site could not thrive, and the Ottomans inherited an almost deserted place in 1424. Nor, without a potent navy, could the authorities do much to revitalize the port thereafter. A Venetian raid in 1474 exposed its vulnerability.

The creation of an eastern Mediterranean Pax Ottomanica in the early sixteenth century did little for İzmir. The conquest of Constantinople in 1453 had led to an Ottoman policy that envisioned western Anatolia as a provisioning zone. As part of its strategy, the government discouraged international commerce in İzmir. A reflection of this policy was an almost exclusively Turko-Muslim population of no more than two thousand in 1575.

The combination of new European trading companies and Ottoman political decentralization in the seventeenth century stimulated İzmir's growth. The weakness of the Ottoman center eased foreign manipulation of provincial economies and societies in general. İzmir itself became a "new port city," created by the combined interests of foreign traders and local Ottoman elites. By 1630, İzmir's diverse population of perhaps fifty thousand Turkish-Muslims, Armenians, Jews, Greeks, and foreigners had fashioned a cosmopolitan frontier entrepôt, whose wealth was based upon trade in silk, dried fruits, grains, and other goods.

The Ottoman government set out to tame the place. In about 1659, the grand vizier Köprülü Mehmed had a castle, Sancakburnu Kalesi, built at the narrow entrance to the Gulf of İzmir in order to oversee naval activity and shipping. During the following decades, his successors constructed a customs shed, aqueducts, public bath, and other edifices. İzmir maintained much of its autonomy, however. French, English, Dutch, and other foreign communities had carved out such a strong presence in the town that not only did its most vital district become known as "Franks Street," but foreign representatives also shared more and more municipal power with town notables.

The city quickly rebuilt after a calamitous earthquake in 1688. In the eighteenth century, French and British traders used the influence of their ambassadors in Istanbul to hold the central Ottoman government at bay, and negotiated with local notables and native merchants to better their positions in İzmir and its hinterland. As the century progressed, İzmir became a nexus of Mediterranean and European commerce and culture. Its population also remained diverse, and its physical appearance more and more resembled other world cities.

İzmir is at the center of several historiographical debates. Among these are the causes for the city's sudden emergence in the early seventeenth century, its characteristics as an Ottoman, a Mediterranean, or a world city, and its role in the "world economic system."

See also Mediterranean Basin ; Ottoman Empire .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Eldem, Edhem, Daniel Goffman, and Bruce Masters. The Ottoman City between East and West: Aleppo, İzmir, and Istanbul. Cambridge, U.K., and New York, 1999.

Frangakis-Syrett, Elena. Commerce of Smyrna in the Eighteenth Century (17001820). Athens, 1992.

Goffman, Daniel. İzmir and the Levantine World, 15501650. Seattle, 1990.

Kütükoğlu, Mübahat S. XV ve XVI. asirlarda İzmir kazasinin sosyal ve ikisâdî yapisi. 2 vols. İzmir, 2000.

Daniel Goffman

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Smyrna (city, United States)

Smyrna, city (1990 pop. 30,981), Cobb co., NW Ga., a residential suburb of Atlanta; inc. 1872. Manufactures include computer equipment, building materials, plastics, ordnance, and chemicals. Originally a religious camp-meeting ground, the city grew with the coming of the railroad. It has a bird sanctuary and is noted for its jonquils. The city was almost totally destroyed during the Civil War.

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Smyrna (former name of Izmir, Turkey)

Smyrna: see Izmir.

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Smyrna

Smyrna See Izmir

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Smyrna

SmyrnaAnnapurna, burner, discerner, earner, learner, Myrna, Smyrna, spurner, taverna, turner, Verner, Werner, yearner •woodturner

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"Smyrna." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/smyrna

"Smyrna." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved June 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/smyrna