Turkey is a land of Ancient Wonders and Spectacular Sights

Wyndham Grand Izmir Provides Superior Business and Leisure Accommodations in Turkey’s most Modern and Vibrant City

Homer, Ancient Troy, and the Iliad: Fact or Fiction?

TroyaThe Legend of Troy has been a part of Western literature for at least 2700 years

Troy the City

In the early 1870’s, archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann began excavations on a site in Turkey that was eventually identified as the abandoned city of Troy, also known as Ilion. It turns out that what he’d found was actually a series of towns, one built on top of another. The earliest layer dates back to 2,000 B.C. and some settlements in the surrounding area date back another 4,000 years. The town had been abandoned for some centuries when Schliemann found it.

The story of the Trojan war was a well known legend among the Greeks when Homer wrote the “Iliad” around 800 B.C., some 400 years after the events he described. Or maybe not. You see, it isn’t even a certainty that “Homer” is a real person, and the earliest complete text of the Iliad that exists is from the Tenth Century A.D., 1,700 years after Homer supposedly wrote it, and more than 2,000 years after the events they describe. The first mention of Homer that we know about is at least 250 years after his death, but by 400 B.C., more or less, it was commonly accepted in Greek society that “Homer “ was the “first teacher” and is by far the most cited author in early Greek manuscripts.

So Homer may or may not have existed, and the story we have called the Iliad may or may not be the same as the one the Iron Age Greeks told to one another, but it’s what we’ve got. The Iliad is an epic poem which takes place near the end of the siege of Troy over the course of some days or weeks. It doesn’t take us to the end of the conflict; for that story and the episode of the famous Trojan Horse we have to wait for the sequel, the Odyssey. However, through a number of flashbacks in the story, we learn about most of the events leading up to and including the ten year siege.

Ilion, or Troy….Maybe

The modern-day Turkish name for the site is Hisarlik, and the archaeological record is clear that the place was inhabited more or less continuously starting around 3,000 B.C. As technology advanced, defensive walls, buildings and earthworks were modernized, and buildings were commonly built on top of old structures, over time creating a huge mound. It is known that the city suffered an earthquake around 1300 B.C. and that there is evidence of fighting, fire and destruction some 100 years later. The city appears to have been abandoned about 1000 B.C.

“Homer” places the Trojan war around 1200 B.C. and the city shows evidence of a siege at that time. About two hundred years later, during the time of Homer (probably), the abandoned city was colonized by Greeks who were convinced from the very beginning of their occupation that they had found Troy. From that time forward, the Greeks, Macedonians, Romans, Persians and Ottomans all considered the site to be ancient Troy, or Ilion.

The site is on the UNESCO World Heritage list, although not every scholar is convinced that it is the Troy of the Iliad, not to mention the doubts that exist as to whether the siege of Troy ever happened at all. Whether not the connection of Hisarlik, or Ilion, or Troy with the Iliad is more imagined than real, it is an extensive, well preserved and well researched archaeological find, and easily accessible to visitors.

The Charm of Izmir

Only about four hours down the coast from Troy is the third largest city in Turkey, Izmir. With a population in the metropolitan area of nearly 3 million, and a history even older than Troy’s, there is plenty to do, from museums to restaurants, ancient monuments and theaters. And the surrounding mountains, beaches and countryside provide plenty of scenery and outdoors activities.

The city has a reputation for being quite liberal in its outlook and being oriented towards Europe. The city has always lived on commerce and trade, and has a waterfront that is upscale and beautiful. The west facing beach means that sunsets are a treat from one of the bars or restaurants that line the promenade.

The Kemeraltı Market in downtown Izmir has all of the exotic sights and smells, along with bargains, that one would expect in a Turkish bazaar. Food, jewelry, coffee, carpets, flowers, and anything else can be found there. The Hisarönü Mosque, built in the 1590’s, is ornate and understated at the same time, one of the largest in town, and is right there at the bazaar.

Wyndham Grand Hotel in Izmir

While staying in Izmir, the Wyndham Grand offers a broad range of accommodations from a single room to the Presidential Suite. The high rise property offers stunning views of the sea and legendary west coast sunsets in an atmosphere of casual elegance that is sure to please both business and vacation travelers. Since it is a member of the Wyndham Group, guests can expect adherence to international standards of guest service.

The hotel also features a spa and wellness center with indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, saunas, steam room and fitness center. At the spa, guests may take advantage of skin & body treatments and massages.

The Wyndham Grand has two restaurants where guests can enjoy traditional Turkish fare or continental cuisine, with live music in the Manzara Restaurant. Views of the sea come at no extra charge. And for guests that are in Izmir to work, the business center offers free use of computers, printers, telephones and fax.

For business events, there is space for between 10 and 400 attendees with high tech installations, banquet halls, wi-fi, slide projector, overhead projector, video/data projector, portable screen, sound system, DVD-CD player,microphone with cable, cordless microphone, portable stage and dance floor, internet connection, computer & fax connections. Simultaneous translation system rent is available (on request). 

An Elegant Setting for Weddings

The Wyndham Grand is popular for weddings and other social events where everything has to be perfect. There are spaces that feature seaside views or private outdoor terraces, and all of them come with the quality cuisine and service that clients have come to expect from the Wyndham Grand. Honeymoon packages are also available, and the convenience of having the wedding/reception at the same property where guests are staying is unmatched.

Quality as a Way of Doing Business

The Wyndham Grand maintains its quality standards through a written policy which includes an emphasis on continuous improvement in human resources, quality in customer service, doing the job right the first time, making all standards oriented with the guest in mind, and being mindful that a reputation is hard to earn and easy to lose.

Since hospitality is a service industry, there is a specific written policy for guest satisfaction, providing that it must be absolute, that personnel are empowered to make things right, that all complaints regarding service quality are written, followed up, and resolved promptly and efficiently, and that service quality is to be constantly improved based upon what is learned.

Doing Well by Doing Good

The BID committee is always impressed when quality goals are written and followed. Commitment to good corporate citizenship is also an important factor when Quality Award decisions are made because such an attitude shows a service mentality and transparency in corporate affairs. To that end, the Wyndham Grand has earned the Green Star from the Culture and Tourism Ministry, and is the first in Izmir to be so honored.

Earning this important recognition comes from having a written environmental policy and action plan and then following it. For the Wyndham Grand, the policy and plan are based on the recognition that urbanization and industrialization places stress on the natural environment, which must be positively addressed in order to deliver a clean and sustainable environment to future generations. The policy and plan at the Wyndham Grand is comprehensive, covering air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution and noise pollution. Tools include recycling, hazardous waste separation and energy conservation with regular audits and follow-up.

Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement, Wyndham Grand İzmir Özdilek has been selected to receive the BID World Quality Commitment Award for 2015 at the convention in Paris.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.