Ancient Jewish settlements in Turkey
From Izmir the bus took us to Sardis (ancient capitol of the kingdom of Lydia), the site of the oldest synagogue in Turkey. It is an archeological site dating to Roman times, but Jews have not lived in this region (~80 miles from Izmir) since about the fifth century. Much of the money for the archaeological work was donated by American Jewish individuals and philanthropies. The stone ruins indicated that the synagogue held several hundred people when it was functioning. From Sardis we rode to Kusadasi, a beautiful city on the Aegean Sea, and stayed in the Kismet Hotel which is owned by the family of the late Humeyra Ozbas, the granddaughter of the last sultan of Turkey. From there we visited the ancient site of Ephesus, and then returned from the Asian part of the country to Istanbul via Turkish Air.
Other interesting links of Jewish settlements in Turkey
News in Turkey