You can listen to “İzmir Trip” from here.
We tried to tell the story of a summer we spent in Izmir, going to Mordoğan, Kemeralti and Alsancak, based on photographs and videos.
Mordogan is one of the rare places in Izmir that can remain relatively quiet, at least on weekdays. A paradise where dozens of different bays that don’t even have a name are hidden.
Like many places, my first encounter with this place was with Feyime. At that time, the highway did not yet go to Karaburun. He was coming all the way to Mordoğan. Middle-income families could buy summer houses here. The prices of vacant lands had not risen to millions of liras, turnkey summer houses had not yet sprung up, the majority were people who built their houses slowly, so they had memories in every square meter, and their souls and their houses were shaped as one.
I don’t want to get into the romance of nowhere being the same. Everywhere is always beautiful. This is partly related to the people themselves, but especially with the construction of the Istanbul-Izmir highway, these places started to change and become crowded.
With greedy ambition he said, “No one should come! May beauty always be reserved for those who find it first.” I’m not saying that, but maybe the process could have been a little more planned and slow. It could have been prevented that the mains water was still being supplied with salt in some places.
Let it be. Despite all this, Mordogan is still one of the most beautiful places in Turkey and its name is Mordogan because Mordogan means purple dawn in Turkish and really the sun rises purple.
Our favorite place is this bay below our summer house.
One of the best parts of being together with the family is the long meal preparations, the burning barbecue in the evening, and the crowded, noisy tables that we stay at for hours. Mordogan, where we went for a walk, is a market place that reminds us of summer in every way, where handmade jewelery is on the stalls and beautiful linens are flying on the hangers… Summer location Migros…
The next day we went to the auction because Göçmez and Ayşenur were coming. I thought auctions only happened in England when second-hand cars were being sold or auctions were being held. I discovered this with my father. Here, fresh fish find their owners at auction. These auctions are even shared via live broadcast. He has plenty of followers.
We got our fish. Feyime is grating carrots at her usual place and Göçmez and Ayşenur come.
Going to Manal in the evening and swimming in Manal are both wonderful.
The next day, we show around Mordogan to Göçmez and Ayşenur. Göçmez is incredibly cheerful as always. We are also looking at the auction in Karaburun. There are many types of fish, but the prices seem to be a little more expensive than in Mordogan.
For those who don’t know, there are ferry services between Izmir and Mordoğan only during the summer season. It fills up instantly, so you have to come in advance, but it’s a miracle that you can get to Izmir without traffic, especially on weekends.
We take Ecem on the ferry from Mordogan Dock to see her again in Izmir. We encounter the usual tour groups. Some moments remind me of summer in every way and I like that.
When you go to a place for a short time as a foreigner, you will not have the opportunity to explore the daily life of the people there, see the back streets, or find the places where they eat. As a tourist, you have to follow lists of must-see places on the internet or wander aimlessly. You cannot encounter the face of the city that it only shows to its locals. But this is not the case for Izmir. Both locals and tourists of Izmir go to the same place to eat good food and drink good coffee. To Kemeralti… Izmir does not hide its beautiful aspects from anyone like other tourist cities.
Esin also took us to Kemeraltı and we had a nice cold cuts at Söğüşçü Cimbom. The best cold cuts I have ever eaten in my life are here. As you know, Söğüş sellers are from Niğde. The owner of this place is from Niğde. When we learned that we were fellow citizens, we met and took photos.
We also ate a nice Kazandibi with Süt Çiçeği.
Towards the evening, it was Alsancak’s turn. As usual, we ate our pasta at Alavara. Feyime retold Alavara’s story. Yağmur and Mustafa also came.
It’s true that as it grew and started offering things other than pasta, it lost its old taste, but Alavara is still Alavara. We left there and went to Kordon. We sat for a while. It is true that Feyime’s entire youth and the years of my youth that shaped me into who I am, were spent here. I have never encountered anything like the one in Kordon in any city.
I always understand this from Kordon. Izmir has such a city culture that while immigration normally spoils the culture of a city, Izmir in a different way mixes the immigrants with its culture and spits out those who cannot keep up with this culture. For this reason, no matter what, we can sit freely in Kordon as we wish for years.
Then we went to Chaos. Even the name of Chaos is enough to stir and foam the large memory pool in my memory. I remember the times we would chat for hours and play darts here at the end of the night. This time we didn’t play darts at the end of the night. We had crazy fun in the karaoke section on the 3rd floor. I sang karaoke for the first time.
After that, the 80s and 90s…
I don’t know what to say about this city, it would be incomplete. Every moment we spend away from him, our longing for him increases. For now, we say goodbye to Izmir, hoping to meet again next summer, and one day for a lifetime.
We would like to thank Yağmur and Mustafa, who squeezed in all their work and made time to come, Göçmez and Ayşenur, who stayed sleepless for two days, and my dear Esin, who held us by the arm and moved us every time.
And the biggest thank you goes to our sister Ecem. Half the shots are from him!