Çiğli is a settlement that sprang up and acquired a status rather recently. Its name draws reference from the humid marshlands of the delta of the River Gediz which used to cover the area of the entire area of Çiğli. Çiğ meaning dew in Turkish.
The population is formed almost entirely in full by recent immigration, starting as of the late-19th century with the Turkish refugees of the Russo- Turkish War (1877-1878). During the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) some among the Turkish population of the region found a safer refuge in Çiğlis marshlands, especially in the general sense of despair caused by the Menemen massacre of 17 June 1919. In the first years of the Republic of Turkey, Çiğli acquired the status of a village under its present name, and was settled by Turks of Western Thrace. The village grew large enough to become a township with own municipality, and the population was further increased when Çiğli welcomed the survivors of two successive earthquakes in Varto and Hınıs, adjacent districts in eastern Anatolia, in 1946 and 1966, which had claimed thousands of lives. Economic immigration into Çiğli from eastern Anatolia continues at a steady pace since then and even the mayor is Diyarbakır-born.
Çiğli was attached to İzmirs metropolitan area in 1981, first as a dependency of the district of Karşıyaka, and in 1992, as a distinct entity possessing its own administrative structures.
Izmir Atatürk Organized Industrial Zone (IAOIZ) is located in the Çiğli district.
Çiğli is service by TCDD at the Çigli Railway Station. Also Çiğli has a new multi-railway system that is available in Izmir named IZBAN from Cumaovasi to Aliaga.
İzmirs airport used to be in Çiğli and carried the same name as the town, until the entry into service of Adnan Menderes Airport, situated south of the metropolitan area.
Situated at sea level, Çiğli district borders in its west on the current delta of the River Gediz where the land is under the constant pressure of further urbanization. The future of the delta is among priority issues in Turkeys agenda of the protection of the environment. Many citizens would like to see full protection for the delta assured to preserve its unique fauna and flora along bird migration routes. The delta is an IBA (Important Bird Area) registered at the BirdLife International.