Karsiyaka literally means ‘the opposite shore’ in Turkish, and that says a lot about both the people and the history of what is one of the nicest districts of Izmir. When the larger Izmir was created from its smaller constituent districts, Karsiyaka was a competitor with Konak to become the principal commercial district and administrative seat and to some extent that rivalry remains. The people of Karsiyaka are very proud of their district and if asked where they are from will often say ‘Karsiyaka’ instead of Izmir. It’s a nice place and very hospitable, and it can be quite pleasant to spend time in any of the cafes and bars that face the shore. The best place to start with Karsiyaka is probably the ferry quay; the ferry ride is an opportunity for some sightseeing from Izmir gulf but also the ferry port is immediately at the beginning of Karsiyaka Bazaar Street (Çarsi), one of Karisyaka’s main streets. Karsiyaka reaches to the northern tip of the gulf in its eastern end, which also borders on Bornova. Karsiyaka’s western border leads into Çigli.
Karsiyaka is connected to Izmir’s modern train service which is a good way to travel and it is also connected to Izmir’s bus network although travel to central Izmir by bus will take a relatively long time. The best method of transport is via ferry, which offers quick and scenic access to Alsancak and Konak as well as the many other piers in Izmir.
The majority of shopping can be found either in Karsiyaka Bazaar street (Çarsi) or one of its tributaries, which can be found directly opposite the pier. There are lots of places to eat and drink, there are also many bars and pubs along the shore on both sides.
The recently restored house of Ataturk’s wife, Latife Hanim, is now a museum with a café in the garden grounds. It provides a look into Turkey’s recent history as does much of the architecture in Karsiyaka, which features many beautiful houses and mansions built as second residences by well-off families, before Karsiyaka became fully urbanised. A short distance from urban Karsiyaka is Mount Yarmanlar, which contains both “The Tomb of Tantalus” which is said to have been the tomb of King Tantalus, whose kingdom was situated here approximately 1500 BC. The area is also host to dense forests, orchards and gardens which are fed by four streams which flow to Ahirkuyu, Serinkuyu, Laka and Bornova.
Altinkum / Didim