Turkey Study Trip


We left the hotel at 7:15 this morning. Of course, back home that’s 12:15 AM so it seemed quite early. Taner wanted to allow plenty of time for check-in for our flight to Izmir.

Our flight took us across the Sea of Marmara, the only inland sea contained within a single country.

Our first excursion in Izmir was the Kadifekale, or velvet castle. It was built in the 3rd century BC by one of Alexander’s generals.

It was easier for Alexander to take a city that was dead and make it come to life again than to build a new city.

Izmir (Smyrna, the dead city made alive) is a port city on the Aegean Sea.

At the Agora of Smyrna we heard the lessons from the letter Jesus wrote to the early Christians who lived here. They would face tribulation in three ways. First, by poverty because they wouldn’t worship the emperor. Secondly, they would lose the Jewish exemption to emperor worship because of lies by those who called themselves Jews. Lastly, they would face imprisonment or death. But they were not to be afraid of the coming persecution.

We visited the Church of Polycarp. Not because of any historical significance of the building, but as a meaningful place to recall the story of this martyr. He was the third bishop of Smyrna.

During the evening I snapped a few photos of the harbor.

By Andrew Zimmerman

Excited about travel in the Bible lands!