Coordinates: TR 38°28′11″N 27°13′16″E / 38.46972°N 27.22111°E / 38.46972; 27.22111Coordinates: TR 38°28′11″N 27°13′16″E / 38.46972°N 27.22111°E / 38.46972; 27.22111
Country Turkey
Province İzmir
  Mayor Olgun Atila (CHP)
  Kaymakam Hakkı Uzun
  District 224.15 km2 (86.54 sq mi)
Population (2012)[2]
  Urban 416,007
  District 423,063
  District density 1,900/km2 (4,900/sq mi)
Post code 35920

Bornova is a metropolitan district of İzmir in İzmir Province in Turkey. It is the third largest district in İzmir's Greater Metropolitan Area of and is almost fully urbanized at the rate of 98,6 per cent, with corresponding high levels of development in terms of industry and services.[3] Bornova center is situated at a distance of 8 km (5 mi) to the northeast from the traditional center of İzmir (Konak Square in Konak, İzmir) and 5 km (3 mi) from the coastline at the tip of the Gulf of İzmir to the west. Bornova district area is surrounded by the district areas of Manisa center and Menemen to the north, Kemalpaşa to the east, Buca to the south, and Konak and Karşıyaka to the west, where the larger part of İzmir's urban area extends. Bornova is home to Ege University's main campus and for many at national level in Turkey Bornova's name is synonymous with the university's hospital, one of the largest and the foremost medical centers in western Turkey since decades.

Name and origins

"Bournabat, Smyrne", as imagined by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot in an 1873 painting ordered, and subsequently refused, by the Turkish collector Eram Bey.

During the Ottoman period, Bornova was called "Birunabad", often rendered as "Bournabad" or "Bournabat" in Western sources, although explanations as to how that name was composed vary. A number of sources seek the explanation in the Persian and Ottoman Turkish term birun, which means "outer, exterior", abad being a suffix common to a number of cities across the Islamic world and which forms a place name when attached to the name of a person or to a proper name, such as Haydarabad or Islamabad. Although befitting a settlement slightly outside a greater metropolitan zone, that the name "Birunabad" is based on an adjective in Bornova's case, makes an association with an earlier Byzantine name more likely. In fact, under the Byzantine and Nicean Empires the region was called "Prinobaris" and was notable for being a source of considerable revenues for the Haghia Sophia from its attached properties here, and was for this reason alternatively known as "Hagiosophitike chora".[4] As such, Birunabad, Bournabat and now Bornova could be converted forms of this name.

The recent discovery, within the boundaries of Bornova district, of Yeşilova Höyük, on which the fieldwork continues, seems to indicate that Bornova's alluvial plain, fed by several small streams, was the site of the very first settlement by the Neolithic-Calcolithic inhabitants of the region across present-day İzmir's metropolitan area.

Administrative divisions

The municipality of Bornova was established in 1881 and the town became a district center in 1957. The incumbent mayor of İzmir Greater Metropolitan Municipality, Aziz Kocaoğlu, was the mayor of Bornova before taking over his present office for the city as a whole.

The urban area is divided into 36 officially constituted and delimited neighborhoods. Several unofficial denominations for neighborhoods are also in common use across İzmir and beyond to describe localities often with determined centers but vague boundaries, such as Altındağ.

Twelve small villages, mostly located in the forested uplands around Mount Yamanlar and with a cumulative population of 6,354 -as against the district total of 464,694-, depend Bornova prefecture. According to the estimates made by the Izmir Chamber of Commerce, commuters and other people visiting Bornova on a daily basis could account for an additional 300,000 to be cumulated with the district population.

19th century Bornova and the great Levantine mansions

With a total bed capacity of only 400 across the district, most of which is accounted by the suburb's single large hotel, the accommodation facilities are rather limited inside Bornova, and the hotels in İzmir's center is generally preferred for a night's stay.

Despite that, visitors on a leisure tour are a common sight in Bornova's streets due to the town's historical center having been much in favor in the 19th century among İzmir's European and Levantine residents who left very visible architectural traces, in the form especially of the Levantine mansions of İzmir.

Indeed, Bornova used to be a summer residence for many foreign consuls and wealthy businessmen fleeing the stagnantly hot weather in central İzmir to seek the cooler breeze of the slopes of Mount Yamanlar, the departure point of Bornova in its beginnings. This move by diplomats and the rich was at the very origin of the town's growth in the beginning of the 19th century, until which time Bornova used to be a small forestry village, recorded in Ottoman times principally in connection with the task of guarding the mountain passes leading to İzmir which was assigned to its inhabitants in exchange of certain tax reliefs. Moves to Bornova during summer for a month or two had entered among the habits of İzmir's European/Levantine inhabitants since the preceding century, but while their rich increasingly opted to live here on a permanent basis, the city's Europeans/Levantines with more modest social conditions seem to have ceased to come to Bornova, even for the summer, by the 1820s.[5] The mansions and residences built in the 19th century, most of which reached our day, restored and in public or private use, are usually still called under the prestigious names of the former owners, such as Whittall, Maltass, Paterson, Giraud, Edwards, Belhomme, Pandespanian. There is a small Catholic Church named the "Church of Santa Maria" in the main square of Bornova and an Anglican chapel and Bornova Anglican Cemetery nearby,[6] both dating from the 19th century, landmarks of Bornova's cosmopolitan past. Despite the obvious luxurious style of the residences they built, these new inhabitants did not always have lives in all comfort. The soar observed in the course of the 19th century in a particular form of brigandage, sometimes interpreted as a form of social resistance and usually associated with efe tradition and with the coastal strait along the Aegean Sea as well as its valleys reaching inland, often had Bornova as its frontier land. A number of notorious cases of kidnapping involving brigands and the owners of these residences and high demands of ransom occurred on a frequent basis for almost a hundred years.

Bornova also made sports history in Turkey when the first football match ever held in the Ottoman Empire was played in Bornova in 1890 between British sailors on shore leave against young men of İzmir. Turkey's first athletic contest was also held in Bornova in 1895.

Modern Bornova

Bornova greatly extended in the last decades from its nest under Mount Yamanlar, where the historic and popular Turkish quarter of Erzene was juxtaposed by Levantine settlements, and covers today almost fully its surrounding plain, formerly renowned for its fertility, that carries the same name as the district. The previous tangerine orchards, as well as the famed okra (gumbo) gardens synonymous with the town's name (Bornova bamyası),[7] which had a secure place among the dozen cultivars, traditional and commercial, of Turkey,[8] were for the most part replaced by apartment blocks and the notoriety of Bornova's okras are now taken over by those of Urla. The urban growth occurred the direction both of the seashore and to the east towards Kemalpaşa, as well as to the south in Altındağ zone and İzmir-Aydın motorway.

The population's growth rate reached as high as 30-35 per cent in certain years. New neighborhoods consisting of block apartments were built rapidly and some of these neighborhoods carry the names of the real estate developers who had initiated the construction boom, such as Özkanlar and Çamkıran. Bornova could nevertheless preserve its orderly outlook, with privately -and legally- built constructions and social housing projects keeping at pace with the increase in population, and very few slum-type residences, of which many boomtowns across Turkey are still scourged with. Bornova district counts 147,037 residential buildings.

On the other hand, a number of tragedies occurred in recent past due to delays in improvements along the river beds of the four streams that cross Bornova to join the Gulf of İzmir (Bornova, Laka, Manda and Şeytanderesi brooks), while residences were mushrooming around these. Furthermore, two cement mills which were constructed and stone quarries which were opened in what was empty fields decades ago are now located next to residences, and the pollution caused by the former establishments is an ongoing issue of concern.

Preserved Levantine house in Bornova


A "square", more in the form of crossroads in roundabout, slightly past the entry into Bornova coming from Manisa and which continues towards İzmir center, is the focal point of motor vehicle traffic in Bornova, with Ege University campus and large department stores extending to its south and residential areas served by smaller streets to the north.

Bornova center is served by a railway connection since 1867, initially by a branch line of İzmir-Kasaba (Turgutlu) railway completed during the same decade.

Bornova is currently the eastern terminus of İzmir's subway rapid transit line whose extension continues, and access to and from the city center, as well as between various localities of İzmir is relatively easy with either public or private transports.

Since İzmir's central bus terminal, the huge İZOTAŞ in Altındağ quarter where an estimated fifty thousand people arrive or depart each day, as well as the road junctions connecting İzmir and the regions to its south, to İstanbul, Ankara and the rest of Turkey, are located within the boundaries of Bornova, intercity connections are made relatively easy.


Type of educational
Nr. of
Kindergarten 102 2,091 2,078 225
Primary school 80 30,529 27,928 2,296
22 5,732 7,067 771
Other high schools 19 4,712 3,515 501
Total 223 43,063 40,588 37,093

Bornova counts 80 primary schools and 102 kindergartens. At secondary-level education, there are 19 high schools and 22 professional schools. The figures for the student and teacher's corps are shown in the table. The average student per teacher ratio obtained (22,1%), with primary education the most congested at 25,5%, correspond to rather comfortable levels compared to many cases across Turkey.

Higher-level educational institutions are assembled under the very large structure of Ege University, which brings together 11 faculties, 7 institutes, 6 higher education centers and 7 higher professional schools and 25 research centers. The university had 42,693 students and 2,895 academic staff in 2007. Its campus is also an important center of culture, sports, leisure and entertainment for all across İzmir.

In adult education, the state-managed Public Training Center and Professional Training Centers offer courses in various practical fields with a total of 100 trainers, and 12,356 people including participants in literacy courses received courses in these establishments in 2006. Illiteracy is an issue almost exclusively restricted to new migrants into Bornova, and especially to women among these. There are also a number of private initiatives in the same field, such as the 29 companies offering drivers license courses, although the necessity of extending such services further and deeper is a common concerrn frequently expressed at all levels.


Nr. of
Nr. of
Nr. of
Nr. of auxiliary
Nr. of patients
served in 2006
1 1,811 2,078 225 225 629,235
Public clinics 19 none 127 179 88 n/a
Polyclinic 23 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Urgency and
traumatology hospital
1 63 100 68 100 492,752
2 2,400 n/a n/a n/a n/a
(for tuberculosis)
1 none 5 4 5 n/a
Mothercare, childcare,
family planning centers
3 none 25 32 11 1,140,018
Village clinic 6 none n/a n/a n/a n/a
Dental institute 1 none n/a 14 n/a 128,585
Medical labs 28 none n/a n/a n/a n/a
Pharmacies 208 none n/a n/a n/a n/a

The total of district's commercial enterprises numbering 28,016, the figure reached by cumulating the total production, retail, wholesale units and connected offices neighbors around forty five thousand, which results in the picture of a very active district.

855 Bornova companies are registered exporters and a total amount of 596,224,735 US Dollars could be estimated for 2006 as exports which were made by Bornova district companies. 83 companies with foreign capital participation operate in Bornova and the recorded amount of foreign direct investments between 1997-2007 was 71,928,267 US Dollars. Among instantly recognizable international names which operate with sizable Bornova bases, BMC, Tuborg, Efes Pilsen, and CMS Tyres can be cited. The textile and clothing wholesalers are concentrated in MTK industrial and marketing zone, built specially for these industries.

Bornova's vast plain has been a preferred location since more than a century for İzmir's industrial base. The choice of Bornova by numerous official institutions as their regional headquarters, combined with the services industry, with medical and legal services especially standing out, as well as other professions, all contribute to the pace of the district. Agricultural production is comparatively very modest in added value.

Shopping and leisure

One of the two largest shopping malls of İzmir, Forum Bornova, extending over 67,000 square meters, is located in Bornova and it includes an IKEA store, a Tesco Kipa superstore, seven movie theaters, and other leisure and entertainment facilities. Bornova's other shopping mall, Park Bornova, was, at 33,000 square meters, İzmir's largest at the time of its opening and the first to fit the description of a modern shopping mall in the city. It is still İzmir's largest outlet center and boasts of its own movie theaters, 8-lane indoor bowling and an entertainment center (Smart Play) with various games.

Bornova's open market days or bazaars (held every Wednesday and Sunday) are also well known in the region and a surprising variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, clothing, kitchenware and crafted products can be found by joining the youthful crowd of the market.

There are three theater buildings in Bornova, the one located inside the town's central park, Uğur Mumcu Theater being the most popular. The one museum located within Bornova is Ege University's large Natural History Museum, integrated into the university structure and it is the second largest in Turkey in its field after that MTA in Ankara. There are five libraries with a collection of books numbering 32,378 in total (excepting Ege University library) and three congress centers, all three privately managed within the structure of Bornova's single large hotel.

279 parks in all, almost all with playfields for children, are scattered across Bornova. The Pınarbaşı Racing Circuit for go-kart and motorcycle racing is situated in Pınarbaşı, Bornova, which is Turkey's second longest, covering an area of 25 hectares, 7 swimming pools, 8 tennis courts, 2 indoor sports halls, 4 soccer fields and 54 basketball fields compose Bornova's sports infrastructure. 8,591 licensed sports persons inhabit the district.

"Paterson Mansion" in the middle of Bornova urban zone in a photograph showing its original state.

Five newspapers are published in Bornova and two radio stations are in activity. The total number of cable TV subscriptions is 27,066. 412 civil associations are registered in Bornova and the total number of their members is 36,525. There are about a hundred mosques and three churches, including the abandoned, but still in reasonably good condition, Greek Orthodox Church in Doğanlar neighborhood.[9]

A large recreational area which bears Homer's name, to whom İzmir lays one of the strongest claims, is in phase of construction in a 3,5 km long valley to the northeast of Bornova center, and it is already very popular among residents although, located at some distance from the poet's native river Meles, the choice of the name may be historically discutable for pedantics. There is also a Roman bridge on part of the River Nif which crosses Bornova district area. The mountain passage at the locality called Belkahve where, coming from the east, one sees İzmir for the very first time and in a very impressive panorama, is within Bornova district and is now arranged into a park and picnic area in memory of one such impressed incomer in 1922, Atatürk. Efforts are also made to preserve, restore and promote the picturesque village of Yakaköy with many old houses and fountains in Turkish style.

See also


  1. "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. A total of 28,016 commercial enterprises are based in Bornova, particularly concentrated in the three "general" organized industrial zones, and seven others grouping enterprises within the same or similar fields of activity, such as zones for shoemakers, foundries, land transport, timber merchants, dealers in scrap, warehouses and producers of kitchen utensils. Enterprises also number high in the orbit of the two large shopping malls the district has, Park Bornova and Forum Bornova. A total of 17 banks offer their services through a total of 72 branches and 128 ATMs in Bornova. Medical and legal services are also found at high levels of concentration due to the presence of Ege University hospital and İzmir's central Hall of Justice within the boundaries of the district. See İzmir Chamber of Commerce Report.
  4. Joan Mervyn Hussey (1990). The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire ISBN 0-19-826456-9, ISBN 978-0-19-826456-9, p. 193. Oxford University Press.
  5. Marie-Carmen Smyrnelis (2005). Une societe hors de soi: Identites et relations sociales a Smyrne au XVIIIe et XIXe siecles (Collection Turcica) ISBN 978-90-429-1675-3 (in French). Peeters Publishers.
  6. Sally Gallia. "A Survey of the Bornova Anglican Cemetery in Izmir, Turkey". Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  7. Kucuk, S.A.; Balkan, C.; Mutlu, S.; Ozcalabi, R.; Gurpinar, A.; Icer, B. (Aegean Regional Research Inst., Izmir (Turkey), General Directorate of Agricultural Research, Ankara (Turkey) (1998). Selection breeding of Bornova okra. AGRIS Network, Food and Agriculture Organization.
  8. Eftal Düzyaman (December 2005). Phenotypic Diversity within a Collection of Distinct Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) Cultivars Derived from Turkish Land Races. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, Volume 52, Number 8, Springer Netherlands.
  9. S. Günay. "Spatial information system for conservation of historic buildings; A case study: Doğanlar Church, İzmir" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-05-27. The International Committee for Documentation of Cultural Heritage (CIPA)], 2007 Athens Symposium


  • "Bornova, 39p." (PDFG) (in tu).]. 2007. 

External links

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