KarDes: Multicultural Memory Tours Guide mobile application, launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation, offers its users Frenk Quarter tour from Izmir. With the new tour, you can discover the multicultural stories of Izmir.
KarDes will continue to add new memory tours to Izmir content.


Frank Quarter

From the 17th century on, Italian, French, English, Dutch and others moved to the southeast shore of the Gulf of Izmir, which came to be called the Frank Quarter after the name given to western Europeans in the Ottoman Empire. 

Women and men would dress in the latest fashions, frequent European-style boutiques, eat puff pastries and drink Viennese beer outside of the Kraemer Hotel and go to the opera at the Elhamra Theater. Izmir was known as Little Paris of the Orient and the Pearl of the Levant.

Frank Street, known as rue Franc, was the heart of the quarter. The windows facing the street displayed products from around Europe and the empire. Because the street was narrow, horse carriages could not enter here, so they waited in Fasula Square.

Agios Georgios, Saint Polycarp, Santa Maria and Agia Fotini were some of the churches in the quarter. Agia Fotini’s magnificent 33-meter-high bell tower, built in 1856, was visible from every corner of Izmir and the sound of its bell could be heard even from the nearby villages.

Almost the entire Frank Quarter was burned in the 1922 Fire. The bell tower of Agia Fotini was exploded with dynamite. The fire area was reconstructed by development plans and is considered the social and cultural center of Izmir today, although it lost its multiculturalism.


What is KarDes?

KarDes is a mobile application designed as a personal tour guide in Turkish and English languages for users who wish to discover the multicultural legacy and multilayered fabric of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. 

KarDes, which aims to make visible unknown sites in well-known neighborhoods and allows their stories to be told, offers over 30 memory tours, each lasting an average of two hours and reveals the multicultural pasts of various areas. Users can access the alternative history narratives of cities with neighborhood tours and thematic tours consisting of selected stops on specific topics. With this application, KarDes users can discover a cultural inventory consisting of close to one thousand sites such as mosques, churches, synagogues, schools, and cemeteries. As they walk along routes that make this multicultural legacy visible, they can hear hidden stories of the cities, told by well-known artists.

Aiming to make visible the urban and social memory which has been on the verge of extinction, KarDes offers excerpts from neighborhood talks and oral history interviews, providing the opportunity for users to listen to the stories of these neighborhoods and their transformations from the voices of residents. With around 70 oral history interviews, KarDes presents the stories of sites in various neighborhoods through a dynamic narrative.


Click to download KarDes: Multicultural Memory tours Guide mobile application for free.