Izmit, being situated in the east part of Marmara Region, is a place that connects Asia to Europe through Marmara Sea. On the map the city has on the north side the Black Sea, on the east side Sakarya, on the south side Bursa and on the west side Yalova. Izmit is a very important city in Turkey regarding its highways, railways, seaways and airport. In the east part of Izmit the 30° geographic latitude passes through the city which makes the official time UTC +2 in Turkey. Izmit is a city situated on a coast, on the south part of the gulf that bears its own name (Körfez) and in the same time is the centre of Kocaeli. If in the south part is the gulf, on the north its steep slopes lie until the Black Sea. On the first section’s slopes we can see narrow streets with uphills that shelter old neighborhoods; the second section is plane and it shelters most of the high buildings of the city as well as its highways and its railways. It is also the active business centre of the city.
On the shores of the Gulf and The Black Sea we can see a mild climate but on mountain area rather a harsh one can be seen. We can say that Kocaeli’s climate is a transition between the Aegean climate and the Black Sea one. Here the summers are quite hot and a little rainy; the winters are quite rainy and from time to time it can be snowy and cold. During summer while the sweltering heat approaches from Körfez’s shores, the Black Sea ones are a lot cooler. The highest temperature registered in Izmit was 41,6 °C (11th of August 1970) and the lowest temperature was -8,7 °C (4th February 1960). During the year the average temperature is 14,8 °C and the average amount of precipitation is 784,6 mm.
Izmit is one the most developed cities in the country due to the manufactured goods. Most of the biggest companies’ plants are established in Izmit. The city’s economy is completely based on the industry. Being close to a big trade center like Istanbul it provides opportunities for transit transportation too. From the point of view of sea line transportation the city has a great importance due to its five governmental ports and forty-three private docks. In the beginning the industry was represented only by soft goods but later on companies like Petrol Ofisi, Tüpraş and Petkim brought the petrol products into the area. The industry gain diversity in other sectors like: organic chemistry, metal, food, medicine, fertilizers, shipyard, paint and automotive one.
Izmit is located at the intersection of several highways. In addition to this there is much traffic on the sea too. The distance between Izmit and Istanbul is 85 km. The distance between Izmit – Istanbul Airport is 150 km. The Cengiz Topel civil airport serves Izmit and the region near itself for domestic flights. The distance between Izmit and Ankara is 342 km, between Izmit – Bursa there are 132 km, Izmit- Bolu 151 km, Izmit – Düzce 106 km and between Izmit – Izmir there are 450 km.
Izmit was founded on one of the most important transit routes situated between Asia and Europe. In the same time the city is known as an historical place too.
With its industrial big companies and shopping centres, including its villages and districts, Izmit population reaches nowadays 400.000 people. One of world’s giant automotive and automotive supply industry companies are set up in Izmit. The city is known as Turkey’s export champion and it represents its industry heartbeat. Izmit, known as an industrial city, has made serious progress regarding culture, art and not to mention education. Gölkaypark – the water ski park – has become one of the city’s new attractions after hosting the World and European championships in 2010. The Olympic ice sports centre beside hosting international championships, it also serves the sport fans living in the city. The hill of culture represents an important value by sheltering The Clock Tower, The Statue of Atatürk and Kasr-I Hümayun overlooking the Golf, and of course by reflecting the historical structure of the city. Within Izmit’s boundaries there are art and ethnographic museums, which are quite a blessing for those who love history.
The University of Kocaeli, located within city’s boundaries, shelters 11 faculties, 6 colleges, 1 State Conservatory, 20 vocational schools, 3 institutes, 12 Research Centres and 12 Research Units. There are nearly 80.000 students studying in these units.
Lots of historical monuments can be founded in the city belonging in particular to Roman Empire and Ottoman Empire periods. Here are some other touristic places that need to be seen: Yeni Cuma Mosque, Fevziye Mosque, Orhan Mosque, Yumurtaci Mosque, Akçakoca Dere Mosque, Watchmaker Ali Efendi’s Mansion, Sirri Pasa Mansion, Pink Kiosk, Historical Kapanca Street, Gayret Ship Museum as well as Redif’s Building. The funfair, opened only during the summer İs a place where the city’s youth can have lots of different activities. One of city’s specialties – pişmaniye (Turkish fairy floss) – entered the Guinness Records book in 2009 as the world’s biggest sweet – and now is famous all over the world.