İzmir to get 'new Ephesus,' says mayor
The Aegean province of İzmir is expected to get a “ new Ephesus” once an ancient theater believed to be buried and currently being excavated is revealed as archaeological works have been ongoing, İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer has said.
Soyer said the city’s goal is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey with a concert to be held in the ancient theater, believed to have seated 21,000 people in antiquity, in 2023.
Stating that the Smyrna Theater “woke up from its 500-year sleep,” Soyer said, “The İzmir Theater, which was the socio-cultural center of the ancient city of Smyrna between the 2nd and 4th century B.C., became one of the largest theaters in the Mediterranean with a capacity of approximately 21,000 people. The fact that it was built to see the entire bay makes it splendid. It is very important that the ancient theater will come to light for the Kemeraltı-Agora-Kadifekale route. İzmir will have a new Ephesus. Agora and the ancient theater will make a great contribution to the identity of this city. One of our aims is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our republic with an extraordinary concert at Kadifekale Antique Theater on Oct. 29, 2023. When the process is completed, İzmir will have another area for shows.”
Noting that 16 seats were unearthed on the east side of the audience section of the theater, Soyer said, “Excavations continue to reach the seats in the western part. In addition, seven backstage spaces and service corridor were unearthed in the stage building. The excavations in the stage platform, which is accessed by five doors from the backstage and covered with marble slabs, where the plays were performed, are also being carried out.”