Menemen (District), İzmir

Infobox Settlement

settlement_type = District
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = TUR
map_caption =Location of PAGENAME within Turkey.

official_name = Menemen

image_caption = View from Menemen town
image_blank_emblem =
blank_emblem_type =

subdivision_name1 = Aegean
subdivision_name2 = İzmir| population_total = 114457|population_footnotes=
total population| =
population_urban =
district population =
population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes = []
population_density_km2 =
area_total_km2 =
elevation_m =
latd =
latm =
latNS =
longd =
longm =
longEW =
postal_code_type=Postal code
postal_code = 35x xx
blank_info = 35|blank_name=Licence plate
area_code = (0090)+ 232
leader_name =
website = []
leader_name1 =
gwebsite = []

Menemen (Μαινεμένη in Greek) is a district of Turkey's İzmir Province as well as the district's central town. It is situated at a distance of 33km from İzmir center (Konak) on a fertile plain which is made up of the alluvial soil carried by the Gediz River (Hermos) for many centuries from the Anatolian inland to the Aegean shores. It is on the main road to other districts of İzmir which are lined up in the north. Menemen is known throughout Turkey for its earthenware pottery products and its economy is increasingly based on its developing [ Free Zone] and activities rebounding from the adjacent İzmir metropolitan area.


There are different accounts related to the historical origin of the name "Menemen". But the most plausible of them is that the ancient Greek word "menemenos" (μενεμένος) or "menemenus" which meant "flood" or "overflow" was the real source of today's name as the River Gediz, in the absence of modern dams, used to cause serious damages frequently on the human settlements of the region until very recent times.

It is not known exactly when the first human settlers came to this region but archeological findings prove that the first nucleus of Menemen formed on the left bank of the River Gediz in the immediate vicinity of today's Yahşelli village. This settlement dates back to 1000 B.C. and is on the natural fluvial frontier between Ionia and Aeolia of antiquity. It is believed that the settlement was moved from its former place to today's Asarlık village between 263-241 B.C. and later to its actual place during the Turkish principalities era in Anatolia (13th-14th centuries).

The city was founded by Greek settlers and the region was first under Greek political influence and later came under the rule of Phrygian Kingdom. The region was taken over by the Lydians and their rule lasted between 676-546 B.C. until the commencement of the Persian rule in the western Anatolia after the defeat suffered by the Lydians in the face of the famous Persian King Cyrus.

As the Persian Empire collapsed after a series of definitive defeats against the Macedonians, the region became a part of Alexander's Empire. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C. Menemen and its environs had been ruled by the Pergamon Kingdom.

In 64 B.C. the region became a part of the Roman Empire. Later, with the division of the Roman territory into two independent states in 395 A.C., it came under the Byzantine rule with the rest of the eastern Roman provinces.

With the commencement of the Turkish rule in Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt) (1071 A.C.), the region became a part of the Seljuk Empire in 1084 A.C. But the Seljuk rule was frequently interrupted by the Crusades which had a devastating influence on both Byzantine and Seljuk territories in Asia Minor.

With the decadence of Seljuks in the last quarter of the 13th century, local feudal lords had founded several principalities on the Anatolian territory. The Saruhan Principality which had been founded around today's Manisa province captured Menemen together with Foça and its environs in 1313.

But the Saruhan rule on Menemen did not last too long as the new emerging power in Anatolia, the Ottomans took over the city in the last quarter of the 14th century during the reign of Yıldırım Bayezid.

As Temur invaded the whole Anatolia following the Battle of Ankara in 1402, the Ottoman state was dismembered and the Saruhan Principality took over the region once more until a definitive annexation to Ottoman territory in 1425 during the reign of Murad II.

In 1850 Menemen became a district of newly established İzmir province.

Greek Occupation of Menemen

:"For the main article, see Menemen Massacre." Menemen was invaded by the Greek Army on 17-18 May 1919 and recaptured, together with İzmir, three years later on 9 September 1922 by the Turkish Armies. One of the darkest episodes of the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) occurred on 16-17 June 1919 when, in the evening of the Ottoman prefect of Menemen -Kemal Bey- and the six gendarmes accompnying him were assassinated by Greek soldiers. These assassinations became the opening act of the atrocities carried out on the civilian population of Menemen the next day by a Cretan Brigade aided by a number of accomplices from among the local Greek minority. An estimate recorded by a British captain who came to Menemen in the following day gives the number of a thousand casualties during the single day of 17 June.

The Greek inhabitants of the town had to leave Menemen late in 1923 and in 1924 under the agreement for the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations between the two countries according to which Turkish immigrants from different parts of Greece were later lodged in town. Today, Menemen does not have a Christian community; on the other hand, most of the once Turkish-populated towns in Greece also lost their Muslim Turkish communities. Menemeni (Μενεμένη), a municipality in the Thessaloniki Prefecture, Greece founded by exchanged Greeks is named after Menemen.

Menemen Incident

:"For the main article, see Menemen Incident." On December 23, 1930, Dervish Mehmed, a Sufi and self-proclaimed prophet, arrived in Menemen with six followers in an attempt to incite rebellion against the secular government and reestablish Islamic law. Mehmed and his enthusiastic supporters overwhelmed the local army garrison and killed the commander, Lieutenant Mustafa Fehmi Kubilay. Kubilay's severed head was put on a pole and paraded through the town. The army soon regained control, killing Mehmed and several of his followers.

The young Turkish Republic considered the incident a serious threat against secular reform. After a series of trials, 37 people were sentenced to death and later hanged in the town square; and several others were sent to prison. In 1932 a monument was erected in Menemen to commemorate the incident.

Today's Menemen

Being situated on a fertile plain and under the influence of a typical Mediterranean climate, Menemen always had an important income from the agricultural activities among which viticulture was the most important. Horticulture is also important for the cultivators of the region as there is a strong system of irrigation which facilitates this activity on prolonged Mediterranean summers.

In the last two decades, Menemen became an important point for the ever growing Turkish industry.

Today Menemen also has a free trade zone which attracts foreign investors from different countries.

In 2005, the estimated total population of Menemen (together with its villages) is nearly 115.000 and it is still on the increase.


Menemen is also the name of an egg and tomato dish popular in Turkey.Menemen also has a very powerful local media with the newspaper called Menemenin Sesi Gazetesi. Only local newspaper in the area. Has been in the area for 13 years. Has been Menemen's voice for years.


* [ Menemen Free Zone]


* [] cite book | title = Ilk Iskanlardan Yunan Isgaline Kadar Menemen ya da Tarhaniyat Tarihi ("The history of Menemen or of Tarhaniyat from the settlements until the Greek occupation") ISBN: 9753720173|author= Ersin Doger|publisher=Sergi Publishing House|year= 1998|language=Turkish

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