1993 Manuscript Pictorial View of Izmir, Turkey

İzmir Metrosu. - Main View

1993 Manuscript Pictorial View of Izmir, Turkey


Rooted in the Past, Building for the Future.


İzmir Metrosu.
  1993 (undated)     26.5 x 35.5 in (67.31 x 90.17 cm)


A remarkably detailed manuscript pictorial view of Izmir, Turkey's third largest and one of its most ancient continuously inhabited cities (formerly known as Smyrna), produced by an unknown artist in 1993 or soon afterwards. It highlights several important infrastructure projects undertaken in the 1980s and early 1990s, including the construction of the city's subway or metro system.
A Closer Look
Oriented towards the southeast, the view takes in urban development on both sides of the Gulf of Izmir (formerly known as the Gulf of Smyrna). Despite the city's long history, the view's overriding theme is construction; the handful of labels that do appear mostly denote various projects, presumably underway or recently completed. Among them are the remaking of the Konak waterfront (Konak Projesi), including the distinctive ferry terminal building, completed 1988. The wider project saw landfill along the waterfront and a redesign of Konak Square and Mustafa Kemal Sahil Boulevard. Here, construction workers can be seen behind the ferry terminal building, suggesting that this work was still ongoing or only recently completed.

Further to the left along the waterfront is a memorial to Turkey's War of Independence featuring a large statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. His troops' capture of Smyrna (Izmir) in September 1922 was the war's penultimate battle, which also saw the expulsion of the city's Christian population and the burning of Smyrna's Greek and Armenian quarters. Further left, a waterfront park is named for September 9 (1922), the day of Smyrna's capture by Turkish forces. Across the water in Karşıyaka District is another monument to Atatürk consisting of curved concrete pillars (it was demolished and rebuilt in 2017-2018, now sitting atop the Respect for Women Museum).

The city's metro is not only referenced on the hot air balloon prominent towards top-right, but also in the city below. The city's metro line had been in discussion for years beforehand, with contracts and preparatory work moving forward in 1993-1994 and construction beginning in 1995 (service began in 2000).

Other labels point to museums, storied neighborhoods, and historically important sites, such as the Tarihi Asansör, the Natural History Museum (Bornova Ağaç Müzesi), the Clock Tower of İzmir (behind the ferry terminal), and multiple mosques, including the Yalı Mosque. At center towards top-left is the Izmir Hilton, the third tallest building in Turkey when it was completed in 1992. In the years since, more than a dozen buildings taller than 100 meters have cropped up in the same area, reflecting the city's economic development.
Publication History and Census
This manuscript view was drawn by an unknown artist, most likely in the early-mid 1990s. Though undated, as mentioned above, the construction around Konak Square suggests a date in the early 1990s, while the Izmir Hilton and Metro would seem to indicate a date in the mid-1990s. It displays evidence of corrections, including 'whited out' areas, as well as some hand-coloring of trees. As a manuscript work, it is entirely unique.


Good. Manuscript. Some original corrections. Some older repairs on verso. Tidemarks lower edges.