A few years ago, in an attempt to encourage Britiish trade missions to Izmit, rather than the usual venue of Istanbul - 100km away, I was asked by a group of Turkish business men to write an article describing the city and some of its attractions. I'd like to share it with you - just in case you are ever in Turkiye and have the time to visit.
Izmit, a sprawling coastal city, just 100klm from Istanbul, is one of Türkiye’s major centres of industry.
This vibrant city of such remarkable contrasts, once known as Nicomedia, is part of one of the oldest known civilisations in the modern world.
Izmit is a place where state of the art technology blends effortlessly with deep-rooted traditions that go back hundreds of years … and the inhabitants of Izmit are among the most hospitable in the world.
Izmit is a truly European city, but one that has managed to maintain all its own cultural identity. Visitors are always assured a very warm welcome, and can relax in the knowledge that they are in one of the few cities in the world where there is virtually no crime; no matter where you go in Izmit, you will never be cheated.
The tranquil beauty of the Marmara Sea, and breath-taking panoramic views of the snow-tipped mountains and lush forests that form a backdrop, are in sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of busy city life.
Sanayıı is the hub of Izmit’s industrial zone … where the cacophonic noises from hundreds of small workshops and light industrial factories … lathes, welding tools, hammers, loud voiced men chatting and calling to each other, delivery vans and lorries, barking dogs, and radios … all merge together in what can only be described as ‘organised chaos’.
Just a little further afield you can find the very busy and recently widened Bursa road. Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, vans, trucks and articulated lorries speed up and down the huge highway … bringing or taking their wares to the big national, international and multi-national companies spread across Izmit - or going to or from the port of Derince.
Scattered along this road, in a delightful mix of old and modern buildings of differing shapes and sizes; you can find construction companies, electrical engineering companies, a television studio, apartments, factories and several garages … sandwiched in between, you’ll find small tea-gardens and picnic areas ... where you can stop and rest for a while.
GOODYEAR, Pirelli, Ford, Lucas, Coram (British Steel), Bridgestone, Toyota, Thames Water International, DuPont, and GE, are just a few of the international companies based in and around Izmit.
The Sabanca Group, Petkim and the Tupras Oil Refinery (recently taken over by Koç Holdings) are among the many national companies headquartered in this vast industrial site.
The International Richmond Nuh Wellness Spa Hotel, in nearby Sapanca, caters for the health and well being of business men and women and provides conference rooms, private rooms and a host of other amenities that can equal anything on offer in Istanbul and other big cities, but at a fraction of the cost.
There are also a host of International hotels situated in and around the city centre.
Some of the best fish restaurants in Türkiye are to be found in Izmit … located on the marina or high up in Masukiye.
Along the Lake Sapanca - which is home to Turkiye’s first Water Ski School - tucked away in the many local beauty spots, one can find many small restaurants that serve mouth-watering local cuisine - prepared from traditional recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Shopping compares most favourably with neighbouring Istanbul - the same quality products, the same, if not better, high standard of service, but at prices not designed to break your budget. In fact, every thing that you could possibly want or need to enjoy a successful business or study trip can be found in and around Izmit.
The next time you need to visit Türkiye (or if it’s your first visit), for business, a language learning centre, a trade mission, or even for a get-away weekend break - make Izmit your destination; you won’t be disappointed.
No more frustration as you try to battle your way through Istanbul’s notorious traffic jams - in a desperate bid to arrive on time for an important meeting with a client or prospective client.
Come to Izmit and meet manufacturers, suppliers, agents and prospective business partners in the comfort of your hotel or under the auspices of ITO, Izmit’s Chamber of Commerce, who have over 10.000 companies on their database. Izmit can play host to your next Trade Mission.
Come to Izmit; find out what the city has to offer – before your competitors do.