The meatballs are made with minced meat (usually beef, or a mixture of beef and pork), bread crumbs, egg, garlic, and parsley, and generously spiced with cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. They are floured before being fried in olive oil. The tomato sauce has tomato, wine, onion, garlic, a bayleaf, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
The Turkish name İzmir köfte straightforwardly means köfte from İzmir (the former Smyrna).
The Greek name σουτζουκάκια σμυρνέικα/πολίτικα literally means spicy little sausages (Turkishsucuk + Greekdiminutive -άκι) from Smyrna/Constantinople. Soutzoukakia can sometimes refer to the same cylindrical meatballs when grilled (like kofte kebab) rather than served in sauce. The word sucuk is not used in Turkish for either dish.:]