Turks exhibit model of old Smyrna

A Turkish professor, Dr Ahmet Sipahioglu, of the Fine Arts Faculty of Dokuz Eylfil University in Izmir, Turkey, has constructed a model of the town of Smyrna as it was before being burnt to the ground in 1922. He claims the model, currently on exhibit at the Izmir Town Hall, is based on the original town plan. The professor sent the following interesting description to Kathimerini English Edition. It would be interesting to see what information the Greek Foreign Ministry archives might have on this subject. «The model is a 1:50 scale replica of the old original Smyrna that was completely burned down as the tragic result of the closing stages of the Greco-Turkish war in September 1922,» wrote the professor. «The Greek inhabitants of this once beautiful town were evacuating the city quay by boat as the city was burning. (…) The fire was so fierce that in a week it had engulfed many Greek churches, Turkish mosques, Jewish synagogues, hospitals, 22 luxurious hotels, restaurants, cafes, music halls, theaters and even a Turkish shadow play theater. In all, about 25,000 buildings were lost forever. Our model is faithfully based on the original city plans of insurance companies such as Lloyds (1905), photographs and elevations. My model focuses on the quay section of the city center. The buildings include Postes Ottomanes, Grand Hotel Huck, Atlas D’Assurance, Salamander Assurance, Lloyd Austria Col, Turkish coffee house, Cafe Anglais, Grand Hotel Londres, Grand Hotel Egypte, Bar-Vins, Cafe Grec,. .. the promenade, police station, passport and customs office buildings on the pier and the Bay of Izmir shipping line offices.»

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.