Settlement on Izmir Peninsula started on the Chalcolithic period (Copper Stone Age) between the BC 5000 and BC 3000. The archeologists found archeological footsteps around Manastır, Çakmaktepe location (approximately 3 to 4 kilometers south of Karaburun center), Mordoğan and Ildırı. Handmade stone axes, some tools and hand tools, bowls and pots from BC 4000 were discovered. The underwater archeology works discovered that the world’s first known port city was settled on BC 6000 in Urla, Limantepe. It is revealed that settlement in Erythrai (Ildırı), which is one of oldest cities on the Peninsula, dates back to BC 3000.

Ionia Civilization

The Peninsula had its prime during the Ancient Age when it was the time of Ionians who marked an era in seafaring, trading, philosophy, science, fine arts and policy. The Ionians immigrated to the West Anatolia from the region where Greece is currently located because of the Doric invasion of Before Christ (BC) 1000, and they established 12 independent city states by settling on 12 natural harbors. They built a supreme civilization reaching from Ildırı on the West to Söke and Didim on the South, Foça on the North and Chios & Samos Islands on the opposite shore. These cities, which were established between centuries BC 11 and BC 6, blazed a trial in seafaring, trading, science, philosophy, art and politics. 12 Ionian cities, 7 being currently located within the borders of Izmir, are as follows: Erythrai (Ildırı-Çeşme), Klazomenai (İskele-Urla), Teos (Sığacık-Seferihisar), Lebedos (Gümüldür-Seferihisar) Kolophon (Değirmendere-Menderes), Ephesus (Selçuk), Phokai (Foça), Priene (Söke), Miletos (Didim), Myus (Didim), Chios (Sakız), Samos (Sisam).

The Ionian civilization prospered from shipping trade and extended until Smyrna (Izmir) on the east within almost three centuries. Smyrna, which was established in BC 6500 on the fertile lands of Yeşilova and Ulucak by the water resources, joined a trade association known as Panionion on the 8th century BC. Smyrna, as one of the first cities that grew with shipping trade on the ancient times, expanded even further during the Ionian period that established the most developed marine civilization of its time.

Lydians, Persians, Macedonians, Pergamon Kingdom, Romans and Byzantines reined Karaburun, which was known as Mimas on the ancient times, and its surroundings after the Ionians. Turkmen tribes settled on this region after the Malazgirt War of 1071; Çakabey established the first Turkish Izmir chiefdom and dominated the Peninsula. Aydınoğulları conquered Izmir in 1310 and then the Crusaders conquered in 1334 and these had a historical role in the course of Peninsula’s destiny. When Timur defeated Yıldırım Bayezid in Ankara War (1402), Izmir was given to Aydınoğulları. In 1415, it was added to the empire lands by Çelebi Sultan Mehmet. Izmir Peninsula reached today with the Republic established in 1923.