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Izmir is the third biggest city in Turkey, situated on Aegean (western) coast.
From the north, Çanakkale
From the Aliağa and Menemen ilçes of Izmir (70 and 40 km north of downtown) there is a suburban train (subway actually) to most locations in the center, including Alsancak. You need to ask somebody who has a kentkart to pay for you and give him the money. The price may vary, however full ticket is like 1.95 TL. Otherwise you can buy a ticket for 3 passes for 6.5 TL.
Konak Meydanı Square is the most central part of the city, known for its iconic clock tower. Following descriptions take it as the start point.
Take the metro from Konak Square. Ride it until Bornova, the last station on the line. Upon exiting the station, you'll come across a street with an overpass on, which is the ring road around the city. You'll see an access road to that near the station. After following the ringroad about two-three hundred metres or so down the motorway, you'll come across a junction. The left side, as can also be seen from Manisa-Istanbul signs, is heading northeast. Shortly after the junction, there is a nice spot to hitch.
North towards Bulgaria
North towards Çanakkale
- Option 1
From Konak take metro in the direction of Bornova and get off at the stop Halkapinar. There change to suburban train (İzmir Banliyö or İZBAN) and get to Çiğli. Once you're there walk north till you get to the main road called Anadolu Caddesi, which is the road going to Çanakkale. You can try anywhere along the road. A lot of local traffic on that road so you might be better off going further (somewhere near Ata Sanay or even Egekent suburban train station which are not opened yet. See OSM map where they are).
Edit: You can also stay in the Train with the same Ticket and got further than "Çiğli", to "Aliağa". Its the last stop on the Train. That town is directly at the road to Çanakkale. Its around 60 km from Izmir.
- Option 2
From Konak take a ferry to Karşıyaka and from there take a suburban bus 400 going to the city of Menemen, which is around 25 km away from Karşıyaka. At the end of that city there is a petrol station where you can try to hitch.
Taylor tried to hitch south of Izmir from the metro at Bornova. Walked out to the freeway to find a mess of on ramps and exits. Managed to find a way to Bodrum but do not recommend going this way. Find a better access to the motorway than from Bornova.
Another way to head southern outskirts of the city is to take public bus (ESHOT) #508 (Konak-Menderes line). It departs from the bus stops at Konak Square in the city centre (from the clock tower, walk past the metro station entrance and the cactus garden on the side of the square, then cross the street. You'll arrive at bus stops, #508 departs from the stop that is the furthest one, you can also see which line departs from which stop on the signs located around stops), and heads for the town of Menderes past the airport, about 30 km south of downtown Izmir on the motorway to Kuşadası. It costs 3 TL/person (~EUR 1.50; no tickets needed, you can pay it to the driver) and takes about 40 minutes to get to Menderes. Once in Menderes, bus will quit the motorway and will turn left into the town centre, get off at the first stop and walk back to the motorway (which is not far). There is a junction with traffic lights (from which bus turns left), and a wide-enough shoulder. You'll be picked up almost in no time.
If you want to go Antalya use the road through Aydın en Denizli. You will go faster and you will change fewer cars.
Check Izmir website for more details: http://www.izmir.bel.tr/en/Ulasim.asp
Find out a bus stop on a map on a web-map then go to the nearest bus stop and ask people which bus goes there. Or ask directly from drivers.
Ege University has a large campus in Bornova. Either try the benches or put up a tent in a discrete spot hidden with bushes.