Interesting Facts, Famous Sultans, and Trivia

*Ephesus (left) the site of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world was the setting for many Izmir American High School graduations.  More Information below.

*When Izmir American High School (IAHS) first opened its doors in 1953, the population of Izmir was approximately 250,000. In 2002, Izmir had grown to more than 2.5 million residents. Today, Izmir boasts a population of over 3 million people.

*On 1/1/53, the currency exchange was 2.8 Turkish Lira to the U.S. Dollar. On 1/1/2002, the currency exchange was 1,439,567 Turkish Lira to the U.S. Dollar.

*Under the Sister Cities International program, Izmir is the sister city of Long Beach, California. 

*During the 1965-1966 school year, the name of the IAHS Newspaper was "Hoofprints.  That year, Junior High students were given the opportunity to experiment with their own school paper called "The Squirt-Gun."  Izmir High School was a grade 7-12 school.

*Did you know that President Barrack Obama is on a Turkish coin?  President Obama is depicted on a 22 carat gold 200 Turkish Lira coin to commemorate his visit to Turkey, 5-7 April 2009.  This coin is available for sale from the Turkish Mint for 1,000 Euros.
Check out the Turkish State Mint to see this coin and other Turkish commemorative coins.

*Speaking of coins, the world's very first coins were minted around 610-600 B.C.E. in the ancient town of Sardis, Lydia.  Sardis is in the Manisa province of Turkey near Izmir.


Mark Hamill, (Luke Skywalker from Star Wars) American Actor, Producer, Director and Voice Artist attended Izmir American High School when he was growing up. Mark’s father was in the U.S. Navy.
Homer, Greek Poet, and author of the "Iliad" and the Odysey" did not attend Izmir High School and wasn't a Sultan but is said to have been born in Smyrna (present day Izmir).

Dr. Greger Larson is a Research Fellow with Durham University Department of Archaeology. Dr. Larson coauthored and hosted Primal Connections on the Discovery Channel which aired in 2009. Greg was a student at Izmir High School and his parents Mr. Roger Larson and Mrs. Jane Larson taught for many years in Izmir.

Robert Hays, American Actor was the son of a U.S. Marine Officer that was stationed in Izmir. Robert Hays is best known for his role as Ted Striker in the movie Airplane (1980). This is the same movie where Peter Graves says "Joey, Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?" Robert Hays attended 7th grade at Izmir American High School. He was also in the films "Take This Job and Shove It" (1981) as well as "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" (1993)

Tim Russ, American Actor, Director, Screen Writer, Musician and Air Force Brat. Tim is best known for his role on Star Trek where he played the Vulcan, Lieutenant Commander Tuvak. Tim Russ is Frank on "Samantha Who?" and Principal Franklin on "iCarly."

 Over the years, many classes had the amazing opportunity to have their graduation ceremonies at Ephesus, the site of “The Temple of Artemis,” one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Ephesus was once described as the Hong Kong of the Roman Empire.

Some graduating classes had their ceremonies in front of the Library of Celsus. This library was completed almost 2,000 years ago in honor of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaenus and was designed to store up to 12,000 scrolls.

Some graduating classes had their ceremonies in the Ephesus Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre, which holds between 25,000 and 30,000 spectators, has amazing acoustic capabilities and was used for drama, public meetings, gladiatorial combat and of course Izmir American High School graduations.

The below video highlighting the 2007 Gladiator Graveyard Discovery at Ephesus.

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