Konak Square is one of the most important squares in Izmir. Konak Square is to Izmiris what Taksim Square is to Istanbulites. Along with Konak Square, Güngören Square and Cumhuriyet Square are the most important and large squares in Izmir. Events and concerts take place in these squares. Let’s take a look at what’s happening in Konak Square.
First Bullet Monument
There are a few buildings you can visit in Konak Square that you should know about. One of them is the First Bullet Monument. Located in the north corner of the square, the First Bullet Monument is also known as Hasan Tahsin Monument. The statue depicts Hasan Tahsin with a flag in one hand and a gun in the other. On the sides of the monument, the struggle of the people in the War of Independence is described.
On the grounds that the number of Greeks in Izmir outnumbered the number of Turks, the Greeks, together with their alliance, landed on the docks of Izmir and began the occupation. The 200-member military unit opposite them had been ordered not to oppose the Greeks in any way. However, the writer and journalist Hasan Tahsin, whose real name was Osman Nevres, thought differently. Hasan Tahsin stood out from the crowd and fired all the cartridges in his revolver pistol at the enemy soldier. The Greek soldiers immediately fought back and Hasan Tahsin lost his life on the spot. This first bullet fired by Hasan Tahsin on May 15, 1919 against the occupation of Izmir marked the beginning of the Turkish liberation struggle. This is the story of the First Bullet monument. The monument was built in 1973 in the area south of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Building.
Izmir Clock Tower
The tall, slender and elegantly tapering structure right in the middle of Konak Square is the Izmir Clock Tower, the symbol of Izmir, the meeting point of Izmir, where every visitor must take a photo.
Izmir Clock Tower was built in 1901 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the accession of the Ottoman sultan Sultan Abdulhamid II to the throne. The 25-meter-high Izmir Clock Tower has an octagonal plan with clocks facing four sides. The person who had the clock built was Grand Vizier Küçük Sait Pasha.
Konak Yalı Mosque
Let’s not forget to mention the Konak Yalı Mosque, located northeast of the square. Built in 18th century classical Ottoman architecture, the mosque is one of the oldest buildings that accompanies the activity of the square and the clock tower. The reason why it is called Yalı is thought to be because the sea used to be next to the mosque. The sea was filled in and gradually moved away from this part of the square.
How to get to Konak Square? How to get to Izmir Clock Tower?
Konak Square is located at a point where transportation is dense. Those using the subway can get off at Konak station and those arriving by ferry can get to the square by getting off at Konak Ferry Pier. Of course, there are also municipal buses that frequently pass around Konak.