Between 30th November and 2nd December, in İzmir – Konak, at Ege University Atatürk Cultural Center, 11th Turkish Internet Conference held. The keywords of the conference were “Mobile Life”, “Social Networks”, “New Media”, “Intellectual Properties”, “Privacy”, “Internet and Democracy”, “Internet Bans in Turkey”, “FATiH Project”, “Media/Information Literacy” ..etc.. In this conference, Turkish Linux Users Society (LKD) organized several seminars, two of which I’ve presented: Özgür Yazılım Projelerinin Ortak Çalışma Araçları (Common Tools used in Free Software Projects) and Linux’ta Paket/Yazılım Yönetim Sistemleri (Package/Software Management Systems in Linux). You can take a look at the presentations but unfortunately they are only in Turkish.

Because of the fire at the roof of the Atatürk Cultural Centre, the conference has moved to Ege University’s Bornova Campus, Computer Engineering Department, which is good, causing more crowded sessions and student-centric meetings.

Overall, my presentations were successful in terms of the audience. People were eager to learn more about the topics and paid attention to the things I’ve presented to them. Some people kept asking questions via e-mail after the seminar too :)

However, I was so exhausted because of my flight to İzmir from İstanbul (it wasn’t so long but the flight hour was at the hell of a morning, in addition to this, my flight was delayed about an hour and I was at the point of missing my own presentation because of this delay) In the afternoon, after I’ve finished my seminars, I was hungry and tired, and I believe I owned a good dish of fish with raki aside :)

With friends from LKD, we went to a fish cooker restaurant called Balık Pişiricisi Veli Usta. The reason why the restaurant was called “fish cooker” was, you can buy the fish first, and then give them to cook it for you. If you prefer, you can bring your own fish and they only take money for cooking the fish :) The meal was delicious, grilled calamari, white grouper fish were fantastic, but with a little bit overrated butter :) It doesn’t bother you much at the beginning, but after you eat some more, the taste starts bothering you. Anyways, I strongly recommend you to try this restaurant if you happen to visit İzmir, Alsancak.

When I get back to guesthouse, I was so tired and felt asleep in bed quickly. Next day, I had some spare time and I decided to sightsee İzmir a little bit, starting from Konak.

Famous İzmir Clock Tower

As a “must” for a visitor in İzmir, I’ve taken a photo with the Famous Clock Tower of İzmir. Around the tower there is a big square, with people enjoying the beautiful sunny weather despite the fact that it is December :)

Later on, I kept on stumbling around Konak, hitting the Kemeraltı region, with lots of antique bazaars. I’ve always loved that kind of antique bazaars instead of shopping malls. They are filled with historical backgrounds, a lot more friendlier manner around the people and places with hospitality.

I would recommend you The Tea Party’s Grand Bazaar to get in the mood with the antique bazaars ;)

The most famous grand bazaar in Kemeraltı Region is Kızlarağası Hanı(Tourist’s Inn). Between the years 1988-1993, the place has been restored and opened as a market place. Today, Tourist’s Inn Kızlarağası has a wide variety of crafts, all kinds of souvenirs, carpets, rugs, silver jewelry, clothing, water pipe, and materials, leather clothing and makes a stunning gift items for sale. There you can drink your tea in a teahouse with a mystical air breathing shops. I preferred the famous Dibek coffee, a kind of Turkish coffee with a strong taste.

Basmane Train Station

After my coffee pleasure, I’ve continued to walk to discover new places. Going around small streets and turning around some corners, I’ve found an avenue with a few kilometers long, ending at the train station of Basmane. I’ve always loved train stations and I wanted to go there with 20-30 minutes of walking. In Turkey, train stations are somewhat architecturally respect-paid buildings with their own style and magnificence. I liked Haydarpaşa Train Station in Istanbul, The Ankara Terminal and I hoped the same from Basmane train station. When I get there, I wasn’t disappointed :)

After Basmane, I followed the “Fuar” signpost and arrived the Famous İzmir International Fair Field. There were some minor exhibitions being held at the time I get there, but the field was gorgeous. I’ve stumbled around some more and took pictures of some significant buildings, structures including those in the following picture table:

Parachute Tower

Sculptures around the Fair pool

Sculptures around the Fair pool

Fair Pool

The pool was empty because the international fair wasn’t being held at the time I’ve visited there. People were wandering around, or sitting on the banks, reading books, enjoying the good weather with their children and their relatives.. Quite a peaceful time for them..

I was becoming hungry so I’ve decided to try another İzmir famous thing, kumru at its one of the best places. Kumru is a Turkish sandwich on a bun, typically with cheese, tomato, and sausage.. Take a look at this page for details. I preferred Mavi Köşe Büfe (the link is Turkish) which is somewhat near the Fair Field.

After feeding myself up with those delicious Kumru’s, I came back to Bornova to listen to the “Internet Bans and Internet Filter” session

This is how my Thursday and Friday have passed. I decided to divide the blog post into two, leaving my saturday sightseeing to another post.. :)