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Politically, İzmir is considered a stronghold of the Republican People's Party.
İzmir hosted the Mediterranean Games in 1971 and more recently the World University Games (Universiade) in 2005.
İzmir has almost 4,000 years of recorded urban history and even longer as an advanced human settlement.
Lying on an advantageous location at the head of a gulf running down in a deep indentation, midway on the western Anatolian coast, it has been one of the principal mercantile cities of the Mediterranean Sea for much of its history.
That the realm of the 13th century BC local Luwian ruler, who is depicted in the Kemalpaşa Karabel rock carving at a distance of only 50 km (31 mi) from İzmir was called the Kingdom of Myra may also leave grounds for association with the city's name.
Others link the name to the Myrrha commifera shrub, a plant producing the aromatic resin called myrrh that is indigenous to the Middle East and northeastern Africa, which was the city's chief export in antiquity.When the Ottomans took over İzmir in the 15th century, they did not inherit compelling historical memories, unlike the two other key points of the trade network, namely Istanbul and Aleppo.The emergence of İzmir as a major international port by the 17th century was largely a result of the attraction it exercised over foreigners, and the city's European orientation.In ancient Anatolia, the name of a locality called Ti-smurna is mentioned in some of the Level II tablets from the Assyrian colony in Kültepe (first half of the 2nd millennium BC), with the prefix ti- identifying a proper name, although it is not established with certainty that this name refers to modern-day İzmir.In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, it was in the western end of the extension of the still largely obscure Arzawa Kingdom, an offshoot and usually a dependency of the Hittites, who themselves spread their direct rule as far as the coast during their Great Kingdom.