Menemen is famous in Turkey for all the wrong reasons. It gets its name from a very famous Turkish food dish called Menemen if we are to believe the legend. This breakfast dish was quite popular in both Greece and Turkey and consists of eggs, tomato, green peppers, and spices such as ground black and red pepper cooked in olive oil. Trust me its absolutely delicious.
So the town, lets talk about the town. It is situated on the main Izmir highway just 35 km from Izmir. Most people just pass through without even giving it a second glance. In fact, it has no hotels or guest houses that we could find. I guess being so close to Izmir people are not prepared to stay here.
The main economy around Menemen is agriculture. Leather, ceramics and earthenware goods are produced here too. It can also lay claim to being the best place to purchase one of the legendary second hand BMC flatbed pickup trucks, or the Leyland Sherpa to those in the know. There are no less than 3 larger sales depots here and some smaller ones. We purchased our own 1999 model crewbus version from Menemen.
Menemen is known in Turkish history as the place where Dervish Mehmed, a Sufi, tried to drum up support for a rebellion. His efforts to establish Islamic law in 1930 resulted in his followers capturing the local army garrison before he was finally captured and executed. A monument was erected in the town to commemorate this incident.
You are unlikely to spend time in Menemen. You are likely to pass through it if you travel around Turkey a lot. Perhaps stop here for breakfast one day and see what the local Menemen dish is like?