Istanbul

Istanbul

Overview
Istanbul historically known as Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 and Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 (see names of Istanbul for further information), is the largest city of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. Istanbul metropolitan province (municipality)
Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province is a province located in north-west Turkey. It has an area of 5,196 km² and a population of 13,255,685. The population was 10,018,735 in 2000. It is surrounded by the provinces of Tekirdağ to the west, Kocaeli to the east, the Black Sea to the northern part and the Sea of...

 had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 in Europe (including the Asian side of the city) after London and Moscow
Moscow metropolitan area
Moscow metropolitan area or Moscow capital region is the largest metropolitan area in Russia and Europe, with population of about 15 million people.- Structure of Moscow metropolitan area :...

.
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Timeline

1453   Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul), which falls on May 29.

1509   An earthquake known as "The Lesser Judgment Day" hits Istanbul.

1695   Mustafa II becomes the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul on the death of Ahmed II. Mustafa rules until his abdication in 1703.

1863   Robert College of Istanbul-Turkey, the first American educational institution outside the United States, is founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1915   The arrest of 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Istanbul marks the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.

1923   The great powers of World War I withdraw from Istanbul

1923   Ankara replaces Istanbul as the capital of Turkey.

1925   The Government of Turkey throws Patriarch Constantine VI out of Istanbul.

1930   Constantinople and Angora change their names to Istanbul and Ankara.

1955   Istanbul Pogrom: Istanbul's Greek and Armenian minority are the target of a government-sponsored pogrom.

 
Encyclopedia
Istanbul historically known as Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 and Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 (see names of Istanbul for further information), is the largest city of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. Istanbul metropolitan province (municipality)
Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province is a province located in north-west Turkey. It has an area of 5,196 km² and a population of 13,255,685. The population was 10,018,735 in 2000. It is surrounded by the provinces of Tekirdağ to the west, Kocaeli to the east, the Black Sea to the northern part and the Sea of...

 had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 in Europe (including the Asian side of the city) after London and Moscow
Moscow metropolitan area
Moscow metropolitan area or Moscow capital region is the largest metropolitan area in Russia and Europe, with population of about 15 million people.- Structure of Moscow metropolitan area :...

. The city in its administrative limits had 8.8 million residents counted in the latest Turkish census from 2000. Istanbul is a megacity
Megacity
A megacity is usually defined as a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million people. Some definitions also set a minimum level for population density . A megacity can be a single metropolitan area or two or more metropolitan areas that converge. The terms conurbation,...

, as well as the cultural, economic, and financial centre of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

) and on the Asian (Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

) sides of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continent
Continent
A continent is one of several very large landmasses on Earth. They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, with seven regions commonly regarded as continents—they are : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Plate tectonics is...

s. Istanbul is a designated alpha world city.

During its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 (330–395), the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire
Latin Empire
The Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople is the name given by historians to the feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261...

 (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 (1453–1922). When the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed on 29 October 1923, Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, which had previously served as the headquarters of the Turkish national movement
Turkish National Movement
The Turkish National Movement encompasses the political and military activities of the Turkish revolutionaries which resulted in the creation and shaping of the Republic of Turkey, as a consequence of the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I....

 during the Turkish War of Independence
Turkish War of Independence
The Turkish War of Independence was a war of independence waged by Turkish nationalists against the Allies, after the country was partitioned by the Allies following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I...

, was chosen as the new Turkish State's capital. Istanbul was chosen as a joint European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 for 2010 and the European Capital of Sports for 2012. Istanbul is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics
2020 Summer Olympics
The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, will be a major international sports and cultural festival, celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games....

. The historic areas of the city were added to the UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage List
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 in 1985. The city covers 39 districts of the Istanbul province
Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province is a province located in north-west Turkey. It has an area of 5,196 km² and a population of 13,255,685. The population was 10,018,735 in 2000. It is surrounded by the provinces of Tekirdağ to the west, Kocaeli to the east, the Black Sea to the northern part and the Sea of...

.

Toponymy



Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

  is the first known name of the city. Around 660 BC, Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 settlers from the city-state
City-state
A city-state is an independent or autonomous entity whose territory consists of a city which is not administered as a part of another local government.-Historical city-states:...

 of Megara
Megara
Megara is an ancient city in Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King...

 founded a Doric colony on the present-day Istanbul, and named the new colony after their king, Byzas
Byzas
In Greek legend, Byzas was the eponymous founder of Byzantium , the city later known as Constantinople and Istanbul.-Founding of Byzantium:...

. After Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 (Constantine the Great) made the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in 330 AD, the city became widely known as Constantinopolis or Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, which, as the Latinised form of "Κωνσταντινούπολις" (Kōnstantinoúpolis), means the "City of Constantine". He also attempted to promote the name Nea Roma ("New Rome"), but this never caught on. Constantinople remained the official name of the city throughout the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 period, and the most common name used for it in the West until the establishment of the Republic of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

By the 19th century, the city had acquired a number of names used by either foreigners or Turks. Europeans used Constantinople to refer to the whole of the city, while using the name Stamboul – as the Turks also did – to describe the walled peninsula between the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 and the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

. Pera was used to describe the area between the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, but Turks also used the name Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

, which is still in use today. However, with the Turkish Postal Service Law of 28 March 1930, the Turkish authorities formally requested foreigners to adopt İstanbul, a name in existence since the 10th century, as the sole name of the city within their own languages.

Etymologically, the name "İstanbul" (isˈtanbuɫ, colloquially ɯsˈtambuɫ) derives from the Medieval Greek
Medieval Greek
Medieval Greek, also known as Byzantine Greek, is the stage of the Greek language between the beginning of the Middle Ages around 600 and the Ottoman conquest of the city of Constantinople in 1453. The latter date marked the end of the Middle Ages in Southeast Europe...

 phrase [is tim ˈbolin] or, in the Aegean dialect, [is tam ˈbolin] ' onMouseout='HidePop("47569")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Greek_language">Modern Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 "στην Πόλη" stim ˈboli), which means "in the city" or "to the city". In modern Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, the name is written "İstanbul", with a dotted İ, as the Turkish alphabet
Turkish alphabet
The Turkish alphabet is a Latin alphabet used for writing the Turkish language, consisting of 29 letters, seven of which have been modified from their Latin originals for the phonetic requirements of the language. This alphabet represents modern Turkish pronunciation with a high degree of accuracy...

 distinguishes between a dotted and dotless I. Also, while in English the stress is on the first syllable ("Is"), in Turkish it is on the second syllable ("tan"). Like Rome, Istanbul has been called "The City of Seven Hills" because the oldest part of the city is supposedly built on seven hills, each of which bears a historic mosque.

First settlements


Recent construction of the Marmaray tunnel unearthed a Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 settlement underneath Yenikapı
Yenikapi
Yenikapı is a port and a neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey, in the metropolitan district of Fatih on the European side of the Bosphorus and along the southern shore of the city's historically central peninsula....

 on Istanbul's peninsula. Dating back to the 7th millennium BC, before the Bosphorus was even formed, the discovery indicated that the peninsula was settled thousands of years earlier than previously thought. Thracian
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 tribes established two settlements—Lygos and Semistra—on the Seraglio Point
Sarayburnu
Sarayburnu is a promontory separating the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul, Turkey. The area is where the renowned Topkapı Palace and Gülhane Park stand...

, near where Topkapı Palace
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign....

 now stands, between the 13th and 11th centuries BC. On the Asian side, artifacts have been found in Fikirtepe (present-day Kadıköy
Kadiköy
Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of İstanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus...

) that date back to the Chalcolithic period. The same location was the site of a Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

n trading post at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC as well as the town of Chalcedon
Chalcedon
Chalcedon , sometimes transliterated as Chalkedon) was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari . It is now a district of the city of Istanbul named Kadıköy...

, which was established by Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 settlers from Megara
Megara
Megara is an ancient city in Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King...

 in 685 BCE.

However, the history of Istanbul generally begins around 660 BCE, when the settlers from Megara, under the command of King Byzas
Byzas
In Greek legend, Byzas was the eponymous founder of Byzantium , the city later known as Constantinople and Istanbul.-Founding of Byzantium:...

, established Byzantion (Latinised as Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

) on the European side of the Bosphorus. By the end of the century, an acropolis
Acropolis
Acropolis means "high city" in Greek, literally city on the extremity and is usually translated into English as Citadel . For purposes of defense, early people naturally chose elevated ground to build a new settlement, frequently a hill with precipitous sides...

 was established at the former locations of Lygos and Semistra, on the Seraglio Point
Sarayburnu
Sarayburnu is a promontory separating the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul, Turkey. The area is where the renowned Topkapı Palace and Gülhane Park stand...

. The city experienced a brief period of Persian
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

 rule at the turn of the 5th century BC, but the Greeks recaptured it during the Greco-Persian Wars
Greco-Persian Wars
The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and city-states of the Hellenic world that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus...

. Byzantium then continued as part of the Athenian League
Delian League
The Delian League, founded in circa 477 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, members numbering between 150 to 173, under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Greco–Persian Wars...

 and its successor, the Second Athenian Empire
Second Athenian Empire
The Second Athenian Empire or Confederacy was a maritime confederation of Aegean city-states from 378 BC-355 BC and headed by Athens primarily for self-defense against the growth of Sparta and secondly, the Persian Empire.-Origins:...

, before ultimately gaining independence in 355 BCE. Long protected by the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

, Byzantium officially became a part of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 in AD 73.

Byzantium's decision to side with the usurper
Roman usurper
Usurpers are individuals or groups of individuals who obtain and maintain the power or rights of another by force and without legal authority. Usurpation was endemic during roman imperial era, especially from the crisis of the third century onwards, when political instability became the rule.The...

 Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger was a Roman usurper from 193 to 194 during the Year of the Five Emperors. He claimed the imperial throne in response to the murder of Pertinax and the elevation of Didius Julianus, but was defeated by a rival claimant, Septimius Severus and killed while attempting to flee from...

 against Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Septimus Severus cost it dearly; by the time it surrendered at the end of 195, two years of siege had left the city devastated. Still, five years later, Severus began to rebuild Byzantium, and the city regained—and, by some accounts, surpassed—its previous prosperity.

Rise and fall of Constantinople



When Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 defeated Licinius
Licinius
Licinius I , was Roman Emperor from 308 to 324. Co-author of the Edict of Milan that granted official toleration to Christians in the Roman Empire, for the majority of his reign he was the rival of Constantine I...

 at the Battle of Chrysopolis
Battle of Chrysopolis
The Battle of Chrysopolis was fought on 18 September 324 at Chrysopolis , near Chalcedon , between the two Roman emperors Constantine I and Licinius. The battle was the final encounter between the two emperors. After his navy's defeat in the Battle of the Hellespont, Licinius withdrew his forces...

 in September 324, he effectively became the emperor of the whole of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. Just two months later, Constantine laid out the plans for a new, Christian city to replace Byzantium. Intended to replace Nicomedia
Nicomedia
Nicomedia was an ancient city in what is now Turkey, founded in 712/11 BC as a Megarian colony and was originally known as Astacus . After being destroyed by Lysimachus, it was rebuilt by Nicomedes I of Bithynia in 264 BC under the name of Nicomedia, and has ever since been one of the most...

 as the eastern capital of the empire, the city was named Nea Roma (New Rome
New Rome
The term "New Rome" has been used in the following contexts:* "Nova Roma" is traditionally reported to be the Latin name given by emperor Constantine the Great to the new imperial capital he founded in 324 at the city on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, known as Byzantium until then and...

); however, most simply called it Constantinople ("the city of Constantine"), a name that persisted into the 20th century. Six years later, on 11 May 330, Constantinople was proclaimed the capital of an empire that eventually became known as the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 or Eastern Roman Empire.

The establishment of Constantinople served as one of Constantine's most lasting accomplishments, shifting Roman power eastward and becoming a center of Greek culture and Christianity. Numerous churches were built across the city, including the Hagia Sofia, which remained the world's largest cathedral for a thousand years. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , part of the wider Orthodox Church, is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches within the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 developed in the city, and its leader is still one of the foremost figures in the Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

. Constantinople's location also ensured its existence would stand the test of time; for many centuries, its walls and seafront protected Europe against invaders from the east as well as from the advance of Islam. During most of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 and the latter part of the Byzantine period, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city on the European continent, and during parts of this period the largest in the world.


Constantinople began to decline after the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
The Fourth Crusade was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire...

, during which it was sacked and pillaged. The city subsequently became the center of the Latin Empire
Latin Empire
The Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople is the name given by historians to the feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261...

, created by Catholic crusaders to replace the Orthodox Byzantine Empire, which was divided into splinter states. However, the Latin Empire was short-lived, and the Byzantine Empire was restored, weakened, in 1261. Constantinople's churches, defenses, and basic services were in disrepair, and its population had dwindled to forty thousand from nearly half a million during the 9th century.

Various economic and military policies instituted by Andronikos II
Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos , Latinized as Andronicus II Palaeologus, was Byzantine emperor from 1282 to 1328. He was the eldest surviving son of Michael VIII Palaiologos and Theodora Doukaina Vatatzina, grandniece of John III Doukas Vatatzes...

, such as the reduction of forces, weakened the empire and left it more vulnerable to attack. In the mid-14th century, the Ottoman Turks
Ottoman Turks
The Ottoman Turks were the Turkish-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire who formed the base of the state's military and ruling classes. Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks is scarce, but they take their Turkish name, Osmanlı , from the house of Osman I The Ottoman...

 began a strategy by which they took smaller towns and cities over time, cutting off Constantinople's supply routes and strangling it slowly. Finally, on 29 May 1453, after an eight-week siege (during which the last Roman Emperor, Constantine XI, was killed), Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 Mehmed II
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

 "the Conqueror" captured Constantinople and declared it the new capital of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Hours later, the sultan rode to the Hagia Sofia and summoned an imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

 to proclaim the Islamic creed
Shahada
The Shahada , means "to know and believe without suspicion, as if witnessed"/testification; it is the name of the Islamic creed. The shahada is the Muslim declaration of belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet...

, converting the grand cathedral into an imperial mosque.

Ottoman and Turkish rule


Following the fall of Constantinople, Mehmed II
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

 immediately set out to revitalize the city, now also known as Istanbul. First he deported all the Christian population of the City, leaving only the Jewish inhabitants of Balat
Balat
Balat is the traditional Jewish quarter in the Fatih district of Istanbul. It is located on the European side of Istanbul, in the old city on the historic peninsula, on the western bank of the Golden Horn...

 then he invited and forcibly resettled many Muslims, Jews, and Christians from other parts of Anatolia and Rumelia
Rumelia
Rumelia was an historical region comprising the territories of the Ottoman Empire in Europe...

 into the city, creating a cosmopolitan society that persisted through much of the Ottoman period. By the end of the century, Istanbul had returned to a population of two hundred thousand, making it the second-largest city in Europe. Meanwhile, Mehmed II repaired the city's damaged infrastructure and began to build the Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and half a million visitors daily.- History :...

. Also constructed during this period was Topkapı Palace
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign....

, which served as the official residence of the sultan for four hundred years.

The Ottomans quickly transformed Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 from a bastion of Christianity to a symbol of Islamic culture. Religious foundations
Waqf
A waqf also spelled wakf formally known as wakf-alal-aulad is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust...

 were established to fund the construction of grand imperial mosques
Mosques commissioned by the Ottoman dynasty
The list below contains the mosques in modern-day Turkey that were commissioned by the members of Ottoman imperial family.- The table :In the table below the first column shows the name, the second column shows the location, the third column shows the commissioner, the fourth column shows the...

, often adjoined by schools, hospitals, and public baths. Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

's reign from 1520 to 1566 was a period of especially great artistic and architectural achievements; chief architect Mimar Sinan designed the Süleymaniye Mosque and other grand buildings in the city, while Ottoman arts of ceramics, calligraphy
Islamic calligraphy
Islamic calligraphy, colloquially known as Perso-Arabic calligraphy, is the artistic practice of handwriting, or calligraphy, and by extension, of bookmaking, in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. This art form is based on the Arabic script, which for a long time was used by all...

 and miniature
Ottoman miniature
Ottoman Miniature or Turkish miniature was an art form in the Ottoman Empire, which can be linked to the Persian miniature tradition, as well as strong Chinese artistic influences. It was a part of the Ottoman Book Arts together with illumination , calligraphy , marbling paper and bookbinding...

 flourished. The total population of Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 amounted to 570,000 by the end of the 18th century.
A period of rebellion at the start of the 19th century led to the rise of the progressive Sultan Mahmud II
Mahmud II
Mahmud II was the 30th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1808 until his death in 1839. He was born in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, the son of Sultan Abdulhamid I...

 and eventually the Tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

period, which produced reforms that aligned the empire along Western European standards. Bridges across the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 were constructed during this period, and Istanbul was connected to the rest of the European railway network in the 1880s. The Tünel
Tünel
The Tünel is a short underground railway line in Istanbul, Turkey. It is an underground funicular with two stations, connecting the quarters of Karaköy and Beyoğlu. Located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the underground railway tunnel goes uphill from close to sea level and is about 555...

, one of the world's oldest subterranean urban rail lines, opened in 1875; other modern facilities, such a stable water network, electricity, telephones, and trams, were gradually introduced to Istanbul over the following decades, although later than to other European cities.


Still, the modernization efforts were not enough to forestall the decline of the Ottoman regime. The early 20th century saw the Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, marking the onset of the Second Constitutional Era...

, which disposed of Sultan Abdul Hamid II
Abdul Hamid II
His Imperial Majesty, The Sultan Abdülhamid II, Emperor of the Ottomans, Caliph of the Faithful was the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire...

, and a series of wars that plagued the ailing empire's capital. The last of these, World War I, resulted in the British, French, and Italian occupation of Istanbul. The final Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI
Mehmed VI
Mehmet VI was the 36th and last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, reigning from 1918 to 1922...

, was exiled in November 1922; the following year, the occupation of Istanbul ended with the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

 and the recognition of the Republic of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, which was declared by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

 on 29 October 1923.

On 24 April 1915, on the orders of Ottoman authorities, hundreds of Armenian leaders
Armenian notables deported from the Ottoman capital in 1915
The deportation of Armenian notables, also known as the Red Sunday refers to the night when leaders of the Armenian community of the Ottoman capital, Constantinople, and later other centers were arrested and moved to two holding centers near Ankara by the Minister of the Interior Mehmed Talaat Bey...

 were arrested in Istanbul. They were later deported, with the adoption of the Tehcir Law
Tehcir Law
The Tehcir Law was passed by the Ottoman Parliament on May 27, 1915 and allegedly came into force on June 1, 1915, with publication in Takvim-i Vekayi, the official gazette of the Ottoman State...

, on 29 May 1915. Thereafter, the Ottoman military uprooted Armenians from their homes and forced them to march for hundreds of miles, depriving them of food and water, to the desert of what is now Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

. These actions are commonly regarded to be the precursor events which led to the mass persecution of Armenian People, resulting in the deaths of between 1 million and 1.5 million, and has come to be known as the The Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide can refer to:*The general topic of the Armenian Genocide*The 2006 PBS documentary titled The Armenian Genocide...

.

In the early years of the republic, Istanbul was overlooked in favor of the country's new capital, Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

. However, starting from the late 1940s and early 1950s, Istanbul underwent great structural change, as new public squares (such as Taksim Square
Taksim Square
Taksim Square situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network...

), boulevards, and avenues were constructed throughout the city, sometimes at the expense of historical buildings. In 1955, the Istanbul Pogrom
Istanbul Pogrom
The Istanbul riots , were mob attacks directed primarily at Istanbul's Greek minority on 6–7 September 1955. The riots were orchestrated by the Turkish government under Adnan Menderes. The events were triggered by the false news that the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki, north Greece—the...

 targeted the city's ethnic Greek community. The pogrom greatly accelerated the emigration of the city's ethnic Greeks to Greece. The population of Istanbul began to rapidly increase in the 1970s, as people from Anatolia migrated to the city to find employment in the many new factories that were built on the outskirts of the sprawling metropolis. This sudden, sharp rise in the city's population caused a large demand for housing development, and many previously outlying villages and forests became engulfed into the greater metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 of Istanbul.

Geography


Istanbul is located in northwestern Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 within the Marmara Region
Marmara Region
The Marmara Region , with a surface area of 67.000 km², is the smallest but most densely populated of the seven geographical regions of Turkey...

 on a total area of 5343 square kilometres (2,062.9 sq mi). The Bosphorus, which connects the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

 to the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

, divides the city into a European side, comprising the historic and economic centers, and an Asian, Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n side; as such, Istanbul is one of the two bi-continental cities in Turkey, along with Çanakkale
Çanakkale
Çanakkale is a town and seaport in Turkey, in Çanakkale Province, on the southern coast of the Dardanelles at their narrowest point. The population of the town is 106,116 . The mayor is Ülgür Gökhan ....

. The city is further divided by the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

, a natural harbor bounding the peninsula where the former Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 and Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 were founded. In the late-19th century, a wharf was constructed in Galata
Galata
Galata or Galatae is a neighbourhood in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey. Galata is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople. The Golden Horn is crossed by...

 at the mouth of the Golden Horn, replacing a sandy beach that once formed part of the inlet's coastline. The confluence of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn at the heart of present-day Istanbul has deterred attacking forces for thousands of years and still remains a prominent feature of the city's landscape.

The historic peninsula is said to be built on seven hills
Seven hills of Istanbul
Istanbul is known as the City on the Seven Hills . Whether Constantine the Great was actually aware of the fact that the new city was founded on seven hills is unknown.-The seven hills of Istanbul:...

, each topped by an imperial mosque, surrounded by 22 kilometres (13.7 mi) of city walls
Walls of Constantinople
The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople since its founding as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire by Constantine the Great...

; the largest of these hills is the site of Topkapı Palace
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign....

 on the Sarayburnu
Sarayburnu
Sarayburnu is a promontory separating the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul, Turkey. The area is where the renowned Topkapı Palace and Gülhane Park stand...

. Rising from the opposite side of the Golden Horn is another, conical hill, where the modern Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 district is situated. Because of the topography, buildings were once constructed with the help of terraced retaining walls (some of which are still visible in older parts of the city), and roads in Beyoğlu were laid out in the form of steps. Üsküdar
Üsküdar
Üsküdar is a large and densely populated municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered on the north by Beykoz, on the east by Ümraniye, on the southeast by Ataşehir, on the south by Kadıköy, and on the west by the Bosphorus, with the areas of Beşiktaş,...

 on the Asian side exhibits similarly hilly characteristics, with the terrain gradually extending down to the Bosphorus coast, but the landscape in Şemsipaşa and Ayazma is more abrupt, akin to a promontory
Promontory
Promontory may refer to:*Promontory, a prominent mass of land which overlooks lower lying land or a body of water*Promontory, Utah, the location where the United States first Transcontinental Railroad was completed...

. The highest point in Istanbul is Çamlıca Hill (also on the Asian side), with an altitude of 288 metres (944.9 ft).
Istanbul is situated near the North Anatolian Fault
North Anatolian Fault
The North Anatolian Fault is a major active right lateral-moving strike-slip fault in northern Anatolia which runs along the transform boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Anatolian Plate. The fault extends westward from a junction with the East Anatolian Fault at the Karliova Triple...

 on the boundary between the African
African Plate
The African Plate is a tectonic plate which includes the continent of Africa, as well as oceanic crust which lies between the continent and various surrounding ocean ridges.-Boundaries:...

 and Eurasian
Eurasian Plate
The Eurasian Plate is a tectonic plate which includes most of the continent of Eurasia , with the notable exceptions of the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian subcontinent, and the area east of the Chersky Range in East Siberia...

 plates. This fault zone, which runs from northern Anatolia to the Sea of Marmara, has been responsible for several deadly earthquakes throughout the city's history. Among the most devastating of these seismic events was the 1509 earthquake
1509 Istanbul earthquake
The 1509 Istanbul earthquake, referred to as "The Lesser Judgment Day" by contemporaries, was an earthquake that occurred in the Sea of Marmara on September 10, 1509 at about 10 p.m.. The earthquake had an estimated magnitude of 7.2 ± 0.3 on the surface wave magnitude scale. Forty-five days of...

, which caused a tsunami that broke over the walls of the city, destroyed over 100 mosques, and killed more than 10,000 people. More recently, in 1999, an earthquake
1999 Izmit earthquake
The 1999 İzmit earthquake was a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck northwestern Turkey on August 17, 1999, at about 3:02am local time. The event lasted for 37 seconds, killing around 17,000 people and leaving approximately half a million people homeless...

 with its epicenter in nearby İzmit
Izmit
İzmit is a city in Turkey, administrative center of Kocaeli Province as well as the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality. It is located at the Gulf of İzmit in the Sea of Marmara, about east of Istanbul, on the northwestern part of Anatolia. The city center has a population of 294.875...

 left 17,000 people dead, including 1,000 people in Istanbul's suburbs. The people of Istanbul remain concerned that an even more catastrophic seismic event may be in Istanbul's near future, as thousands of structures recently built to accommodate the city's rapidly increasing population may not have been constructed properly. Seismologists say the risk of a 7.6-magnitude
Moment magnitude scale
The moment magnitude scale is used by seismologists to measure the size of earthquakes in terms of the energy released. The magnitude is based on the seismic moment of the earthquake, which is equal to the rigidity of the Earth multiplied by the average amount of slip on the fault and the size of...

 earthquake striking Istanbul by 2030 is greater than sixty percent.

Climate



Istanbul has a borderline humid subtropical climate
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 and warm-summer mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 which is influenced by the oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

.

However under the Köppen climate classification system
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

s minimum precipitation threshold limit of 30 mm (1.2 in) Istanbul has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) or under Köppen-Geiger classification systems minimum precipitation threshold limit of 40 mm (1.6 in) Istanbul has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa), although its climate becomes more oceanic (Cfb) toward the north.

In summer the weather in Istanbul is hot and humid, with the temperature in July and August averaging 23 °C (73.4 °F). Summers are relatively dry, but rainfall is significant during that season. Extreme heat, however, is uncommon, as temperatures rise above 32 °C (90 °F) on only five days per year on average. During winter it is cold, wet and often snowy, with the temperature in January and February averaging 4 °C (39.2 °F). Snowfalls tend to be heavy, but the snowcover and temperatures below the freezing point rarely last more than a few days. Spring and autumn are mild, but are unpredictable and often wet, and can range from chilly to warm, however the nights are chilly.

Istanbul has a persistently high humidity
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

, which can exacerbate the moderate summer heat. The humidity is especially salient during the morning hours, when humidity generally reaches eighty percent and fog is very common. The city receives fog an average of 228 days each year, with the highest concentration of foggy days being in the winter months, although it usually dissipates by noontime. Thunderstorm
Thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

s are uncommon, occurring just 23 days each year, but they occur most frequently in the summer and early autumn months. Istanbul has an annual average of 124 days with significant precipitation, which together generate around 844 mm (33 in) of rain. The highest recorded temperature was 40.5 °C (105 °F) on 12 July 2000, and the lowest recorded temperature was -16.1 °C on 9 February 1927. Istanbul also tends to be a windy city, having an average wind speed
Wind speed
Wind speed, or wind velocity, is a fundamental atmospheric rate.Wind speed affects weather forecasting, aircraft and maritime operations, construction projects, growth and metabolism rate of many plant species, and countless other implications....

 of 18 km/h (11 mph). Due to the city's huge size, topography and maritime influences, Istanbul exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimate
Microclimate
A microclimate is a local atmospheric zone where the climate differs from the surrounding area. The term may refer to areas as small as a few square feet or as large as many square miles...

s.

Cityscape


Istanbul has thirty-nine districts administered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (MMI). The district of Fatih
Fatih
Fatih is a municipality and district in Istanbul, Turkey that encompasses most of the peninsula coinciding with historic Constantinople. In 2009, the district of Eminönü, formerly a separate municipality located at the tip of the peninsula, was merged into Fatih...

, which includes the neighborhood and former district of Eminönü
Eminönü
Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, now a neighbourhood of Fatih district. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminönü covers the point on which the Byzantine capital was built. The Galata Bridge crosses the Golden Horn...

, is among the most central of these, residing on the historic peninsula south of the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

. The district corresponds to what was until the Ottoman conquest the whole of the city, across from which stood the Genoese
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 citadel of Galata
Galata
Galata or Galatae is a neighbourhood in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey. Galata is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople. The Golden Horn is crossed by...

 in the late Byzantine era. Those Genoese fortifications were largely demolished in the 19th century, leaving only the Galata Tower
Galata Tower
The Galata Tower — called Christea Turris by the Genoese — is a medieval stone tower in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn...

, to make way for northward expansion of the city. Galata is now a part of the Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 district, which forms Istanbul's commercial and entertainment center and includes İstiklal Avenue
Istiklal Avenue
İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends...

 and Taksim Square
Taksim Square
Taksim Square situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network...

.

Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, apart from a 22-year interval in which Yıldız Palace was used.- History :Dolmabahçe Palace...

, the seat of government during the late Ottoman period, is located in Beşiktaş
Besiktas
Beşiktaş is a municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered on the north by Sarıyer and Şişli, on the west by Kağıthane and Şişli, on the south by Beyoğlu, and on the east by the Bosphorus...

, just north of Beyoğlu, across from BJK İnönü Stadium
BJK Inonu Stadium
Fiyapı İnönü Stadium is a football stadium in Istanbul, Turkey and is the home ground of the football club Beşiktaş J.K.. Previously the ground has aso been shared with Galatasaray S.K. and Fenerbahce S.K.. The ground is located in Dolmabahçe, close to the Dolmabahçe Palace in the district of...

, home to Turkey's oldest football club
Besiktas J.K.
Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü , or simply Beşiktaş , is a Turkish sports club. The club's football team is one of the major teams in Turkey. The professional sports club, founded in 1903, is based in the Beşiktaş district in Istanbul, Turkey...

. The former village of Ortaköy
Ortaköy
Ortaköy is a neighbourhood, formerly a small village, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, located in the middle of the European bank of the Bosphorus....

 is situated within Beşiktaş and provides its name to the Ortaköy Mosque
Ortaköy Mosque
Ortaköy Mosque , officially the Büyük Mecidiye Camii of Sultan Abdülmecid) in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus....

, along the Bosphorus near the First Bosphorus Bridge
Bosphorus Bridge
The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge is one of the two bridges in Istanbul, Turkey, spanning the Bosphorus strait and thus connecting Europe and Asia The bridge is located between Ortaköy and Beylerbeyi The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge is...

. Lining the shores of the Bosphorus north of there are yalıs
Yali (residence)
A yalı , literally "seashore, beach") is a house or mansion constructed at immediate waterside in Istanbul and usually built with an architectural concept that takes into account the characteristics of the coastal location...

, luxurious chalet mansions originally built by 19th-century aristocrats and elites as summer homes. Today, some are homes within the city's most exclusive neighborhoods, including Bebek
Bebek, Istanbul
Bebek is a historic Istanbul neighbourhood that falls within the boundaries and administration of the Beşiktaş district. It is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus and is surrounded by similarly affluent neighbourhoods such as Arnavutköy, Etiler and Rumeli Hisarı.The direct translation...

. Further inland, between the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Second Bosphorus) Bridge
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, also known as the Second Bosphorus Bridge , is a bridge in Istanbul, Turkey spanning the Bosphorus strait...

, are Levent
Levent
Levent is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is a part of the municipality of Beşiktaş which is situated to the north of the Golden Horn, at the western shore of the Bosporus strait.Levent is in direct...

, Maslak
Maslak
Maslak is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is an exclave of the municipality of Şişli, though being far north and actually closer to the municipalities of Beşiktaş and Sarıyer.Maslak is in direct competition...

, and Mecidiyeköy
Mecidiyeköy
Mecidiyeköy is a neighbourhood located in the Şişli district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is also one of the prominent business quarters of Istanbul. It is situated between Fulya, Kuştepe, Gültepe, Esentepe, and Gülbahar neighbourhoods...

, Istanbul's primary economic centers. Officially part of the Beşiktaş and Şişli
Sisli
Şişli is one of 39 districts of Istanbul, Turkey. Located on the European side of the city, it is bordered by Beşiktaş to the east, Sarıyer to the north, Eyüp and Kağıthane to the west, and Beyoğlu to the south...

 districts, they contain Istanbul's tallest buildings and the headquarters of Turkey's largest companies.

Like Beyoğlu, the districts of Üsküdar
Üsküdar
Üsküdar is a large and densely populated municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered on the north by Beykoz, on the east by Ümraniye, on the southeast by Ataşehir, on the south by Kadıköy, and on the west by the Bosphorus, with the areas of Beşiktaş,...

 and Kadıköy
Kadiköy
Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of İstanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus...

 on the Asian side were originally separate cities, Chrysopolis and Chalcedon
Chalcedon
Chalcedon , sometimes transliterated as Chalkedon) was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, almost directly opposite Byzantium, south of Scutari . It is now a district of the city of Istanbul named Kadıköy...

, respectively. During the Ottoman period, they continued to remain outside the scope of urban Istanbul, serving as tranquil outposts with seaside yalıs and gardens. However, during the second half of the 20th century, the Asian side experienced massive urban growth, owning in part to the development of Bağdat Avenue
Bagdat Avenue
Bağdat Avenue is a notable high street located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, Turkey. The street runs approximately from east to west in the Maltepe and Kadıköy districts, almost parallel to the coastline of the Sea of Marmara...

 into an upscale shopping hub similar to İstiklal Avenue on the European side. The fact that these areas were largely empty until the 1960s also provided the chance for developing better infrastructure and tidier urban planning when compared with most other residential areas in the city. While now officially parts of Istanbul, much of the Asian side of the Bosphorus, which accounts for one third of the city's population, functions as a suburb of the economic and commercial centers in European Istanbul.

As a result of Istanbul's exponential growth during the 20th century, a significant portion of the city's outskirts comprised gecekondu
Gecekondu
Gecekondu is a Turkish word meaning a house put up quickly without proper permissions, a squatter's house, and by extension, a shanty or shack...

s
(a Turkish term meaning built overnight), referring to the illegally constructed squatter buildings run rampant outside the centers of the country's largest cities. At present, some gecekondu areas are being gradually demolished and replaced by modern mass-housing compounds.

Architecture



Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, but its buildings reflect the various peoples and empires that have ruled its predecessors. Genoese, Roman, and even Greek forms of architecture remain visible in Istanbul alongside their Ottoman counterparts. Similarly, while the Hagia Sophia and imperial mosques
Mosques commissioned by the Ottoman dynasty
The list below contains the mosques in modern-day Turkey that were commissioned by the members of Ottoman imperial family.- The table :In the table below the first column shows the name, the second column shows the location, the third column shows the commissioner, the fourth column shows the...

 dominate much of the city's skyline, the city is also home to a number of historic churches and synagogues.

More than two thousand years following the departure of the Greeks, few examples of Istanbul's Greek architecture
Architecture of Ancient Greece
The architecture of Ancient Greece is the architecture produced by the Greek-speaking people whose culture flourished on the Greek mainland and Peloponnesus, the Aegean Islands, and in colonies in Asia Minor and Italy for a period from about 900 BC until the 1st century AD, with the earliest...

 have survived. Perhaps the most prominent relic of the Greek era is Maiden's (Leander's) Tower. Residing on an islet in the Bosphorus just off the coast of Üsküdar, Maiden's Tower was first built by the Greeks in 411 BC to guide ships within the strait. Since then, however, the tower has undergone a number of enlargements and restorations, rendering its connection to the Greeks tenuous, and today merely serves as an observation point.

Examples of Roman architecture
Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

 have proved themselves to be more durable. Obelisks from the Hippodrome of Constantinople
Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with only a few fragments of the original structure surviving...

, modeled after the Circus Maximus
Circus Maximus
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its later Empire...

 in Rome, are still visible in Sultanahmet Square. A section of the Valens Aqueduct
Valens Aqueduct
The Valens Aqueduct is a Roman aqueduct which was the major water-providing system of the Eastern Roman capital of Constantinople...

, constructed in the late 4th century to carry water to the city, stands relatively intact over 970 metres (3,182.4 ft) in the west of the Fatih district. Similarly, the Walls of Constantinople
Walls of Constantinople
The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople since its founding as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire by Constantine the Great...

, which were erected in stages well into the Byzantine period, are still visible along much of their original 4 miles (6.4 km) course from the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn. Finally, the Column of Constantine
Column of Constantine
The Column of Constantine is a Roman monumental column constructed on the orders of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great in 330 AD. It commemorates the declaration of Byzantium as the new capital city of the Roman Empire...

, erected in 330 AD to mark the new Roman capital, still stands not far from the Hippodrome.
Early Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

 followed the classical Roman model of domes and arches, but further improved these architectural concepts, as in the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus
Little Hagia Sophia
Little Hagia Sophia , formerly the Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus , is a former Eastern Orthodox church dedicated to Saints Sergius and Bacchus in Constantinople, later converted into a mosque during the Ottoman Empire....

. The oldest surviving Byzantine church in Istanbul (albeit partially in ruins) is the Stoudios (İmrahor) Monastery, which was built in 454. Other extant structures from the early Byzantine period include the Hagia Irene
Hagia Irene
Hagia Irene or Hagia Eirene , often erroneously rendered in English as St Irene, is a former Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. It is open as a museum every day except Monday but requires special permission for admission.-Church:The...

, initially the first church in the new capital, and the Prison of Anemas
Prison of Anemas
The so-called Prison of Anemas is a large Byzantine building attached to the walls of the city of Constantinople, modern Istanbul, Turkey. It is traditionally identified with the prisons named after Michael Anemas, a Byzantine general who rose in unsuccessful revolt against Emperor Alexios I...

, which was incorporated into the city walls. After the recapture of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantines constructed two of their most important churches, Chora Church
Chora Church
The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. The church is situated in Istanbul, in the Edirnekapı neighborhood, which lies in the western part of the municipality of Fatih...

 and Pammakaristos Church
Pammakaristos Church
Pammakaristos Church, also known as the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos , in 1591 converted into a mosque and known as Fethiye Mosque and today partly a museum, is one of the most famous Byzantine churches in Istanbul, Turkey...

. Across the Golden Horn, the Genoese contributed Galata Tower
Galata Tower
The Galata Tower — called Christea Turris by the Genoese — is a medieval stone tower in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn...

, then the highest point in the citadel of Galata. Still, the pinnacle of Byzantine architecture, and one of Istanbul's most iconic structures, is the Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey...

. Topped by a dome 31 metres (101.7 ft) in diameter, the Hagia Sofia stood as the largest cathedral for more than a thousand years, before being converted into a mosque and, now, a museum.
Among the oldest extant examples of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul are the Anadoluhisarı
Anadoluhisari
Anadoluhisarı is a fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian side of the Bosporus, which also gives its name to the quarter around it...

 and Rumelihisarı
Rumelihisari
Rumelihisarı is a fortress located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosporus. It gives the name of the quarter around it. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople...

 fortresses, which helped block sea traffic aimed at assisting the Byzantines during the Turkish siege of the city
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

. Over the next four centuries, the Ottomans continued to make an indelible impression on the skyline of Istanbul, building towering mosques and ornate palaces. These grand imperial mosques include Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historical mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire . The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior....

 (the Blue Mosque), Süleymaniye Mosque, and Yeni Mosque, all of which were built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th and 17th centuries.

In the following centuries, and especially after the Tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 reforms, Ottoman architecture was supplanted by European styles. In contrast to the traditional elements of Topkapı Palace
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign....

 and the mosques on the historic peninsula, Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, apart from a 22-year interval in which Yıldız Palace was used.- History :Dolmabahçe Palace...

, Yıldız Palace
Yildiz Palace
Yıldız Palace is a vast complex of former imperial Ottoman pavilions and villas in Istanbul, Turkey, built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used as a residence by the Sultan and his court in the late 19th century.- Origin :...

, and Ortaköy Mosque
Ortaköy Mosque
Ortaköy Mosque , officially the Büyük Mecidiye Camii of Sultan Abdülmecid) in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus....

 in Beşiktaş
Besiktas
Beşiktaş is a municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered on the north by Sarıyer and Şişli, on the west by Kağıthane and Şişli, on the south by Beyoğlu, and on the east by the Bosphorus...

, and Beylerbeyi Palace
Beylerbeyi Palace
The Beylerbeyi Palace is located in the Beylerbeyi neighbourhood of Istanbul, Turkey at the Asian side of the Bosphorus...

 across the Bosphorus in Üsküdar
Üsküdar
Üsküdar is a large and densely populated municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, on the Anatolian shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered on the north by Beykoz, on the east by Ümraniye, on the southeast by Ataşehir, on the south by Kadıköy, and on the west by the Bosphorus, with the areas of Beşiktaş,...

 are clearly of Neo-Baroque style. At the same time, the areas around İstiklal Avenue
Istiklal Avenue
İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends...

 were filled with grandiose European embassies and rows of buildings in European (mostly Neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 and, later, Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

) style started to appear along the avenue. Istanbul was one of the major centers of the Art Nouveau movement in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, with famous architects of this style building palaces and mansions in the city.

Administration



Since 2004, Istanbul, the capital of the Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province is a province located in north-west Turkey. It has an area of 5,196 km² and a population of 13,255,685. The population was 10,018,735 in 2000. It is surrounded by the provinces of Tekirdağ to the west, Kocaeli to the east, the Black Sea to the northern part and the Sea of...

, has been one of only two cities in Turkey whose city boundaries are equivalent to the boundaries of its province. The city is administered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (MMI), which oversees the thirty-nine districts of the city-province. The main decision-making body of the Municipality is the Municipal Council, headed by the mayor; among its responsibilities are controlling the award of contracts, setting the fare prices on public transport, and regulating taxes. All members of the council, including the mayor, are elected to five-year terms. The mayor of Istanbul has been Kadir Topbaş
Kadir Topbas
Kadir Topbaş is a Turkish architect, right-wing regional politician and the current mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality in Turkey.-Biography:...

 since first being elected in March 2004 and being re-elected in March 2009. The governor of Istanbul province is Hüseyin Avni Mutlu.

Istanbul is a home rule
Devolution
Devolution is the statutory granting of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to government at a subnational level, such as a regional, local, or state level. Devolution can be mainly financial, e.g. giving areas a budget which was formerly administered by central government...

 city and municipal elections are mainly partisan
Partisan (political)
In politics, a partisan is a committed member of a political party. In multi-party systems, the term is widely understood to carry a negative connotation - referring to those who wholly support their party's policies and are perhaps even reluctant to acknowledge correctness on the part of their...

. The metropolitan model of governance has been used with the establishment of metropolitan administration in 1930. The metropolitan council is responsible for all authority when it comes to making city decisions.

The metropolitan government structure consists of three main organs: (1) The Metropolitan Mayor (elected every five years), (2) The Metropolitan Council (decision making body with the mayor, district Mayors, and one fifth of the district municipal councillors), (3) The metropolitan executive committee. There are three types of local authorities: (1) municipalities, (2) special provincial administrations, (3) village administrations. Among the local authorities, municipalities are gaining greater importance with the rise in urbanisation.

The current Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Hall building in the Saraçhane quarter of the Fatih
Fatih
Fatih is a municipality and district in Istanbul, Turkey that encompasses most of the peninsula coinciding with historic Constantinople. In 2009, the district of Eminönü, formerly a separate municipality located at the tip of the peninsula, was merged into Fatih...

 district, the construction of which began on 17 December 1953 and was completed and inaugurated on 26 May 1960, will soon be demolished and replaced by a new building, designed by Istanbul-based Arolat Architects.

Demographics


Historical population of Istanbul
Year Population Year Population
330 40,000 1914 909,978
400 200,000 1927 680,857
530 550,000 1935 741,148
545 350,000 1940 793,949
715 300,000 1945 860,558
950 400,000 1950 983,041
1200 250,000 1955 1,268,771
1453 36,000 1960 1,466,535
1477 70,000 1965 1,742,978
1566 600,000 1970 2,132,407
1690 750,000–800,000 1975 2,547,364
1817 500,000 1980 2,772,708
1860 715,000 1985 5,475,982
1885 873,570 1990 6,629,431
1890 874,000 2000 8,803,468
1897 1,059,000 2007 11,372,613
1901 942,900 2010 13,120,596

The population of the metropolis more than tripled during the 25 years between 1980 and 2005. Roughly 70% of all inhabitants of Istanbul live in the European section and around 30% in the Asian section. Owing to high unemployment in the south-east of Turkey, many people from that region migrated to Istanbul, where they established themselves in the outskirts of the city. Migrants, predominantly from eastern Anatolia, arrive in Istanbul expecting improved living conditions and employment. This results each year in new shanties (gecekondus)
Gecekondu
Gecekondu is a Turkish word meaning a house put up quickly without proper permissions, a squatter's house, and by extension, a shanty or shack...

 appearing at the outskirts of the city, which are later developed into neighbourhoods and integrated into the greater metropolis.

According to the address-based birth recording system of the Statistical Institute, the metropolitan
Metropolitan
Metropolitan may refer to:* A metropolis* A metropolitan area* A metropole, "mother country", or central part of a colonizing state* Metropolitan bishop or archbishop, leader of an ecclesiastical "mother see"...

 municipality (entire Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province
Istanbul Province is a province located in north-west Turkey. It has an area of 5,196 km² and a population of 13,255,685. The population was 10,018,735 in 2000. It is surrounded by the provinces of Tekirdağ to the west, Kocaeli to the east, the Black Sea to the northern part and the Sea of...

), had a population of 13,255,685 people as of 2010, making the city one of the largest metropolitan areas today. On the last census in 2000, Istanbul had a proper population of 8,803,468 inhabitants. According to present estimates the rate of population growth in the city is currently at 3.45% a year on average, mainly due to the influx of people from the surrounding rural areas. Istanbul's population density of 2,742 people per square mile (1,700 per square km) far exceeds Turkey's 130 people per square mile (81 people per square km).

During the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, Istanbul was the largest city in the world, and has been one of the world's largest and most important cities during much of its history (excepting the period of collapse of the Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 Empire, before the Ottomans
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

). Its geopolitical significance since ancient times brought representatives of ethnic groups from all over Europe, Asia, and Africa, many of whom became assimilated with the local Greek and later Turkish populations.

At the beginning of the 20th century Istanbul was a very multicultural city, with over 100,000 Greeks living in the city, and over 1.5 million in Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 as a whole. Due to their role in the Turkish economy, the ethnic Greeks
Rûm
Rûm, also Roum or Rhum , an indefinite term used at different times in the Muslim world to refer to the Balkans and Anatolia generally, and for the Byzantine Empire in particular, for the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in Asia Minor, and referring to Greeks living outside of Greece or non-muslims...

 of Istanbul living in the city before 30 October 1918 (the etablis) were excluded by the 1923 population exchange
Population exchange between Greece and Turkey
The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey was based upon religious identity, and involved the Greek Orthodox citizens of Turkey and the Muslim citizens of Greece...

. However, because of the 1942 wealth tax
Varlik Vergisi
Varlık Vergisi was a Turkish tax levied on the wealthy citizens of Turkey in 1942, with the stated aim of raising funds for the country's defense in case of an eventual entry into World War II....

, the 1955 Istanbul Pogrom
Istanbul Pogrom
The Istanbul riots , were mob attacks directed primarily at Istanbul's Greek minority on 6–7 September 1955. The riots were orchestrated by the Turkish government under Adnan Menderes. The events were triggered by the false news that the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki, north Greece—the...

, the 1964 expulsions and the 1974 Cyprus crisis, the number of Greeks in Istanbul diminished enormously, and is today estimated to comprise around 2,000, mostly elderly, citizens.

The following overview shows the numbers of inhabitants by year. Population tallies up to 1914 are estimated with variations of up to 50% depending upon researcher. The numbers from 1927 to 2000 are results of censuses. The numbers of 2005 and 2006 are based on computer simulation
Computer simulation
A computer simulation, a computer model, or a computational model is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system...

 forecasts. The doubling of the population of Istanbul between 1980 and 1985 is due to a natural increase
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 in population as well as the expansion of municipal limits.

Religion


The Muslims are by far the largest religious group
Religious denomination
A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.The term describes various Christian denominations...

 in Istanbul. Among them, the Sunnis
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 form the most populous sect, while a number of the local Muslims are Alevi
Alevi
The Alevi are a religious and cultural community, primarily in Turkey, constituting probably more than 15 million people....

s. In 2007 there were 2,944 active mosques in Istanbul.

Religious minorities include: Greek Orthodox Christians
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

, Armenian Christians
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

, Syriac Oriental Orthodox Christians
Syriac Orthodox Church
The Syriac Orthodox Church; is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St....

, Catholic Levantines and Sephardic
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 Jews. According to the 2000 census, there were 2,691 active mosques, 123 active churches and 26 active synagogues in Istanbul; as well as 109 Muslim cemeteries and 57 non-Muslim cemeteries. Some districts used to have sizeable populations of these ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s, such as the Kumkapı
Kumkapi
Kumkapı is part of the Fatih district of Istanbul. It is located along the Marmara Sea. Up to recent times, Kumkapı was mostly inhabited by Armenians, who still have a community school and several churches there. It is also the seat of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople...

 district, which had a sizeable Armenian
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 population; the Balat district, which had a sizeable Jewish population; the Fener
Fener
Fener is a neighborhood midway up the Golden Horn within the district of Fatih in Istanbul , Turkey. The streets in the area are full of historic wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman eras. The area's name is a Turkish transliteration of the original Greek φανάρι...

 and Samatya
Samatya
Samatya is a neighborhood of the Fatih district of Istanbul. It is located along the Marmara Sea, and borders to the west on the neighborhood of Yedikule . The name originates from the Greek word Ψαμάθιον Samatya is a neighborhood of the Fatih district of Istanbul. It is located along the Marmara...

 districts, which had a sizeable Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 population; and some neighbourhoods in the Nişantaşı
Nisantasi
Nişantaşı is a quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, comprising neighbourhoods like Teşvikiye, Osmanbey, Maçka and Pangaltı. It includes the stores of world famous brands and has many popular cafés, pubs, restaurants and night clubs. It is a part of the Şişli district...

 and Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 districts that had sizeable Levantine populations. Very few remain in these districts, as they either emigrated or moved to other districts. In some quarters, such as Kuzguncuk
Kuzguncuk
Kuzguncuk is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar district on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. The neighborhood is centered on a valley opening to the Bosphorus and is somewhat isolated from the main part of the city, being surrounded by nature preserves, cemeteries, and a military...

, an Armenian church sits next to a synagogue, and on the other side of the road a Greek Orthodox church is found beside a mosque.

The seat
Church of St. George, Istanbul
The Church of St. George is the principal Greek Orthodox cathedral still in use in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and , the capital of the Byzantine Empire until 1453...

 of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, patriarch of the autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

, is located in the Fener
Fener
Fener is a neighborhood midway up the Golden Horn within the district of Fatih in Istanbul , Turkey. The streets in the area are full of historic wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman eras. The area's name is a Turkish transliteration of the original Greek φανάρι...

 (Phanar) quarter. Also based in Istanbul are the archbishop of the Turkish Orthodox Church, an Armenian
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 archbishop, and the Turkish Grand-Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

. A number of places reflect past movements of different communities into Istanbul, most notably Arnavutköy
Arnavutköy
Arnavutköy is a historic neighborhood in Istanbul, Turkey, famous for its wooden Ottoman mansions and fish restaurants as well as the prestigious Robert College campus with its centennial buildings...

 (Albanian village), Polonezköy
Polonezköy
Polonezköy or Adampol is a small village at the Asian side of Istanbul, about 30 kilometers away from the historic city center, within the boundaries of the Beykoz district...

 (Polish village) and Yenibosna (New Bosnia).

Istanbul was the final seat of the Islamic Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

, between 1517 and 1924, when the Caliphate was dissolved and its powers were handed over to the Turkish Parliament
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey , usually referred to simply as the Meclis , is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence...

. On 2 September 1925, the tekke
Khanqah
A Khanqah, Khaniqah , ribat, zawiya, or tekke is a building designed specifically for gatherings of a Sufi brotherhood, or tariqa, and is a place for spiritual retreat and character reformation...

s and tarikats
Tariqah
A tariqa is an Islamic religious order. In Sufism one starts with Islamic law, the exoteric or mundane practice of Islam and then is initiated onto the mystical path of a tariqa. Through spiritual practices and guidance of a tariqa the aspirant seeks ḥaqīqah - ultimate truth.-Meaning:A tariqa is a...

 were banned, as their activities were deemed incompatible with the characteristics of the secular
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 democratic Republic of Turkey; particularly with the secular education
Secular education
Secular education is the system of public education in countries with a secular government or separation between religion and state.An example of a highly secular educational system would be the French public educational system, going as far as to ban conspicuous religious symbols in schools.In...

 system and the laicist
Laïcité
French secularism, in French, laïcité is a concept denoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs as well as absence of government involvement in religious affairs. French secularism has a long history but the current regime is based on the 1905 French law on the Separation of...

 state's control over religious affairs through the Religious Affairs Directorate. Most followers of Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 and other forms of Islamic mysticism practiced clandestinely afterwards, and some of these sects still boast numerous followers. To avoid the still active prohibition, these organisations represent themselves as "cultural associations."


The city has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , part of the wider Orthodox Church, is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches within the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 since the 4th century AD. The city is also seat of the Autocephalous Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate and the Armenian Patriarchate
Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople
The Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople also known as Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul is today head of The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople , one of the smallest Patriarchates of the Oriental Orthodox Church but one that has exerted a very significant political role and today still exercises...

. The city was formerly also the seat of the reduced Bulgarian Orthodox Exarchate
Bulgarian Exarchate
The Bulgarian Exarchate was the official name of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church before its autocephaly was recognized by the Ecumenical See in 1945 and the Bulgarian Patriarchate was restored in 1953....

, before its autocephaly was recognised for a second time by other bodies of the Orthodox Church.

The everyday life of the Christians, particularly the Greeks
Greeks in Turkey
The Greeks in Turkey constitute a population of Greek and Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians who mostly live in Istanbul, including its district Princes' Islands, as well as on the two islands of the western entrance to the Dardanelles: Imbros and Tenedos .They are the remnants of the...

 and Armenians
Armenians in Turkey
Armenians in Turkey have an estimated population of 40,000 to 70,000 . Most are concentrated around Istanbul. The Armenians support their own newspapers and schools...

 living in Istanbul changed significantly following the bitter conflicts between these ethnic groups and the Turks during the fall of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, which began in the 1820s and continued for a century. The conflicts reached their culmination in the decade between 1912 and 1922; during the Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

, the First World War and the Turkish War of Independence
Turkish War of Independence
The Turkish War of Independence was a war of independence waged by Turkish nationalists against the Allies, after the country was partitioned by the Allies following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I...

. The Christian population declined from 450,000 to 240,000 between 1914 and 1927. Today, most of Turkey's remaining Greek and Armenian minorities live in or near Istanbul. The number of the local Turkish Armenians in Istanbul today amount to approximately 45,000 (not including the nearly 40,000 Armenian workers in Turkey who came from Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 after 1991 and mostly live and work in Istanbul); while the Greek community, which amounted to 150,000 citizens in 1924, currently amounts to approximately 2,000–4,000 citizens. There are also 60,000 Istanbul Greeks who currently live in Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 but continue to retain their Turkish citizenship.

Sephardic
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 Jews have lived in the city for over 500 years, after fleeing the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 during the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

 of 1492, when they were forced to convert to Christianity after the fall of the Moorish Kingdom of Andalucia
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

. The Ottoman Sultan
Ottoman Dynasty
The Ottoman Dynasty ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1299 to 1922, beginning with Osman I , though the dynasty was not proclaimed until Orhan Bey declared himself sultan...

 Bayezid II
Bayezid II
Bayezid II or Sultân Bayezid-î Velî was the oldest son and successor of Mehmed II, ruling as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512...

 (1481–1512) sent a sizable fleet to Spain under the command of Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis
Kemal Reis was a Turkish privateer and admiral of the Ottoman Empire. He was also the paternal uncle of the famous Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis who accompanied him in most of his important naval expeditions....

 to save the Sephardic Jews. More than 200,000 Jews fled first to Tangier
Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...

, Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, Genova
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, and Marseille
Marseille
Marseille , known in antiquity as Massalia , is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of...

, later to Salonica
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, and finally to Istanbul. The Sultan granted over 93,000 of these Spanish Jews
History of the Jews in Spain
Spanish Jews once constituted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities under Muslim and Christian rule in Spain, before the majority, together with resident Muslims, were forced to convert to Catholicism, be expelled or be killed when Spain became united under the Catholic Monarchs...

 to take refuge in the Ottoman Empire. Another large group of Sephardic Jews came from southern Italy, which was under Spanish control. The İtalyan Sinagogu (Italian Synagogue) in Galata
Galata
Galata or Galatae is a neighbourhood in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey. Galata is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople. The Golden Horn is crossed by...

 is mostly frequented by the descendants of these Italian Jews
Italian Jews
Italian Jews can be used in a broad sense to mean all Jews living or with roots in Italy or in a narrower sense to mean the ancient community who use the Italian rite, as distinct from the communities dating from medieval or modern times who use the Sephardi or Ashkenazi rite.-Divisions:Italian...

 in Istanbul.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were over 200,000 Jews in Istanbul. However with the formation of the Turkish Republic and accompanying nationalism, many Jews emigrated along with other minorities. The 1934 anti-Jewish pogrom, the 1942 Varlık Vergisi ("Wealth Tax"), and recent terrorist bombings of synagogues
Neve Shalom Synagogue
Neve Shalom Synagogue, , is a synagogue located in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey.The synagogue was built in response to an increase in the Jewish population in the old Galata neighborhood in the late 1930s. A Jewish primary school was torn down in 1949 for that purpose and the synagogue...

 have contributed to the exodus. Today, according to the World Jewish Congress
World Jewish Congress
The World Jewish Congress was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in August 1936 as an international federation of Jewish communities and organizations...

, 23,000 Jews remain in Turkey, the vast majority being located in Istanbul. There are about 20 synagogues, the most important of them being the Neve Shalom Synagogue
Neve Shalom Synagogue
Neve Shalom Synagogue, , is a synagogue located in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey.The synagogue was built in response to an increase in the Jewish population in the old Galata neighborhood in the late 1930s. A Jewish primary school was torn down in 1949 for that purpose and the synagogue...

 inaugurated in 1951, in the Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 district.

Economy



Apart from being the largest city and former political capital of the country, Istanbul has always been the centre of Turkey's economic life because of its location as a junction of international land and sea trade route
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

s. Istanbul is also Turkey's largest industrial centre. It employs approximately 20% of Turkey's industrial labour and contributes 38% of Turkey's industrial workspace. Istanbul and its surrounding province produce cotton, fruit, olive oil
Olive oil
Olive oil is an oil obtained from the olive , a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. It is commonly used in cooking, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soaps and as a fuel for traditional oil lamps...

, silk, and tobacco. Food processing, textile production, oil products, rubber, metal ware, leather, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, glass, machinery, automotive, transport vehicles, paper and paper products, and alcoholic drinks
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

 are among the city's major industrial products. According to Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

magazine, Istanbul had a total of 35 billionaires as of March 2008, ranking fourth in the world.

Originally established as the Ottoman Stock Exchange (Dersaadet Tahvilat Borsası) in 1866, and reorganised to its current structure at the beginning of 1986, the Istanbul Stock Exchange
Istanbul Stock Exchange
The Istanbul Stock Exchange is the only corporation in Turkey for securities exchange established to provide trading in equities, bonds and bills, revenue-sharing certificates, private sector bonds, foreign securities and real estate certificates as well as international securities. The ISE was...

 (ISE) is the sole securities market
Capital market
A capital market is a market for securities , where business enterprises and governments can raise long-term funds. It is defined as a market in which money is provided for periods longer than a year, as the raising of short-term funds takes place on other markets...

 of Turkey. During the 19th century and early 20th century, Bankalar Caddesi
Bankalar Caddesi
Bankalar Caddesi , alternatively known as the Voyvoda Caddesi , located in the historic Galata quarter within the district of Beyoğlu in Istanbul, Turkey, was the financial center of the Ottoman Empire...

 (Banks Street) in Galata
Galata
Galata or Galatae is a neighbourhood in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey. Galata is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople. The Golden Horn is crossed by...

 was the financial centre of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, where the headquarters of the Ottoman Central Bank (established as the Bank-ı Osmanî in 1856, and later reorganised as the Bank-ı Osmanî-i Şahane in 1863) and the Ottoman Stock Exchange (1866) were located. Bankalar Caddesi continued to be Istanbul's main financial district until the 1990s, when most Turkish banks began moving their headquarters to the modern central business districts of Levent
Levent
Levent is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is a part of the municipality of Beşiktaş which is situated to the north of the Golden Horn, at the western shore of the Bosporus strait.Levent is in direct...

 and Maslak
Maslak
Maslak is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is an exclave of the municipality of Şişli, though being far north and actually closer to the municipalities of Beşiktaş and Sarıyer.Maslak is in direct competition...

. In 1995, the Istanbul Stock Exchange moved to its current building in the İstinye
Istinye
İstinye is a neighbourhood in Istanbul, on the European side of the city. It is located between Emirgan and Yeniköy on the northwestern shore of the Bosporus, within the borough of Sarıyer. It is one of the finest seashore locations on the Bosporus where people walk around during the weekends....

 quarter.

Today, the city generates 55% of Turkey's trade and 45% of the country's wholesale
Wholesale
Wholesaling, jobbing, or distributing is defined as the sale of goods or merchandise to retailers, to industrial, commercial, institutional, or other professional business users, or to other wholesalers and related subordinated services...

 trade, and generates 21.2% of Turkey's gross national product
Measures of national income and output
A variety of measures of national income and output are used in economics to estimate total economic activity in a country or region, including gross domestic product , gross national product , and net national income . All are specially concerned with counting the total amount of goods and...

. Istanbul contributes 40% of all taxes collected in Turkey and produces 27.5% of Turkey's national product. In 2005 the City of Istanbul had a GDP of $133 billion. In 2005 companies based in Istanbul made exports worth $41,397,000,000 and imports worth $69,883,000,000; which corresponded to 56.6% and 60.2% of Turkey's exports and imports, respectively, in that year.

Istanbul is one of the most important tourism spots of Turkey. There are thousands of hotels
Hotels in Istanbul
-History:Contemporary hotel management in Istanbul started in the second half of the 19th century. A group of minorities and levantines of Istanbul in partnership with Wagons-Lits company, opened the Hotel Pera Palace in 1892...

 and other tourist oriented industries in the city, catering to both vacationers
Holiday
A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

 and visiting professionals. In 2006 a total of 23,148,669 tourists visited Turkey, most of whom entered the country through the airports and seaports of Istanbul and Antalya
Antalya
Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. With a population 1,001,318 as of 2010. It is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and country's biggest international sea resort.- History :...

. The total number of tourists who entered Turkey through Atatürk International Airport
Atatürk International Airport
Atatürk International Airport is the major international airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Opened in 1924 and located in Yeşilköy, on the European side of the city, it is west of the city centre. In 1980, the airport was renamed to Atatürk International Airport in honor of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the...

 and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is one of the international airports serving İstanbul, Turkey. The facility is named after Sabiha Gökçen, the first female combat pilot in the world. Located southeast of central İstanbul, it is on the Asian side of the bi-continental city...

 in Istanbul reached 5,346,658, rising from 4,849,353 in 2005. Istanbul is also one of the world's major conference destinations and is an increasingly popular choice for the world's leading international associations.

Education


Istanbul holds some of the finest institutions of higher education in Turkey, including more than 35 public and private universities
Private university
Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public subsidies, especially in the form of tax breaks and public student loans and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. Private universities are...

. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities. Istanbul University
Istanbul University
Istanbul University is a Turkish university located in Istanbul. The main campus is adjacent to Beyazıt Square.- Synopsis :A madrasa, a religious school, was established sometime in the 15th century after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. An institution of higher education named the...

, founded as a madrasa in 1453, is the oldest Turkish educational institution in the city, while Istanbul Technical University
Istanbul Technical University
Istanbul Technical University is an international technical university located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the world's third oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences as well as social sciences recently, and is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Turkey...

 (1773) is the world's third-oldest technical university
Institute of technology
Institute of technology is a designation employed in a wide range of learning institutions awarding different types of degrees and operating often at variable levels of the educational system...

 dedicated entirely to engineering sciences. Other prominent state universities in Istanbul include Boğaziçi University
Bogaziçi University
Boğaziçi University is a public university located on the European side of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey. It has five faculties and two schools offering undergraduate degrees, and six institutes offering graduate degrees...

, Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts
Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts
Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University is a Turkish state university dedicated to the higher education of fine arts. It is located in the Fındıklı neighborhood of İstanbul, Turkey.-History:...

, Yildiz Technical University
Yildiz Technical University
Yildiz Technical University is a technical university dedicated to engineering sciences and is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Istanbul, Turkey. The central campus lies within the Beşiktaş district.-History:Yildiz Technical University has a distinguished history which began...

 and Marmara University
Marmara University
Marmara University is a public university in Turkey. Situated in Istanbul, Marmara University has succeeded in becoming the second largest university in the whole country...

. The major private universities in the city include Koç University
Koç University
Koç University is a private, non-profit institution, founded in 1993 and located in Istanbul, Turkey. One of the top universities in Turkey, it is supported by the financial resources of the Vehbi Koç Foundation, set up by Vehbi Koç, a leading Turkish businessman, “to serve humanity by increasing...

, Sabancı University
Sabanci University
Sabancı University is a private research institution located in Istanbul, Turkey. Founded in 1996. SU is a small and highly focused university with 2861 undergraduates and 624 graduates, maintaining a strong emphasis on social and natural sciences...

, Istanbul Bilgi University
Istanbul Bilgi University
Istanbul Bilgi University is a private, non-profit university in Istanbul, Turkey. It was actually established in 1994 under the name ISIS , but its name was changed to Istanbul Bilgi University with the foundation of the school on June 7, 1996...

, Bahçeşehir University
Bahçesehir University
Bahçeşehir University is a private educational institution in Turkey, on the European side of Istanbul. The Turkish National Assembly authorized the establishment of the University of Bahçeşehir by the Bahçeşehir Uğur Education Foundation in 1998. An academic and strategic protocol was signed...

, Yeditepe University
Yeditepe University
Yeditepe University is a foundation university situated in Istanbul, Turkey. Founded in 1996, Yeditepe University now claims to be the largest of the 27 foundation universities in Turkey....

, Istanbul Kültür University
Istanbul Kültür University
- About İKÜ :İstanbul Kültür University is a private university located in İstanbul, Turkey. It has three campuses, Ataköy, Bahçelievler and İncirli. The University was founded in 1997 and has five schools and two vocational schools...

, and Kadir Has University
Kadir Has University
Kadir Has University ' or as mostly preferred by its students ', was founded in 1997, in Istanbul. A private university, it has seven faculties, Engineering, Sciences and Humanities, Economics and Administrative Sciences, Communication, Law and Fine Arts, as well as its several vocational schools,...

.
Almost all Turkish private high schools and universities in Istanbul teach in English, German or French as the primary foreign language, usually accompanied by a secondary foreign language.


Among the best public schools of Turkey, the Galatasaray High School, established in 1481 as Galata Sarayı Enderun-u Hümayunu (Galata Palace Imperial School) and later known as Galatasaray Mekteb-i Sultanisi (Galatasaray School of the Sultans), is the oldest Turkish high school in Istanbul and the second oldest Turkish educational institution in the city. Istanbul High School, also commonly known as İstanbul Erkek Lisesi (established in 1884), abbreviated İEL, is one of the oldest and internationally renowned public high schools of Turkey. Kuleli Military High School
Kuleli Military High School
Kuleli Military High School is the first military high school in Turkey, located in Çengelköy, Istanbul. It was founded on September 21, 1845 by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I.-History:...

 is the only military high school
Military academy
A military academy or service academy is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer corps of the army, the navy, air force or coast guard, which normally provides education in a service environment, the exact definition depending on the country concerned.Three...

 in Istanbul, located in Çengelköy
Çengelköy
Çengelköy is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar district on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, Turkey, between the neighborhoods of Beylerbeyi and Kuleli. It is mainly a residential district...

 district. Another important school in Turkey is Darüşşafaka
Darüssafaka High School
Darüşşafaka High School is one of the most prominent and influential schools of Turkey and is currently located in Maslak, Istanbul. The school was founded by the Darüşşafaka Association with the name "Islamic Education Association" in 1873. This date is controversial, with some sources claiming...

 which has no similar world-wide, providing children opportunities around the Turkey without receiving any money from any of them. The school accepts only yetim children (a child without father), children with both parents or öksüz children (a child without mother) are not accepted. This school was built in 1873 by Darüşşafaka
Darüssafaka High School
Darüşşafaka High School is one of the most prominent and influential schools of Turkey and is currently located in Maslak, Istanbul. The school was founded by the Darüşşafaka Association with the name "Islamic Education Association" in 1873. This date is controversial, with some sources claiming...

 community. The primary person who came up with creating this school and community is Yusuf Ziya Pasha. Darüşşafaka
Darüssafaka High School
Darüşşafaka High School is one of the most prominent and influential schools of Turkey and is currently located in Maslak, Istanbul. The school was founded by the Darüşşafaka Association with the name "Islamic Education Association" in 1873. This date is controversial, with some sources claiming...

 is located in Maslak.

Anadolu Liseleri (Anatolian High Schools) were originally furnished for the Turkish children who returned home from foreign countries, such as the Üsküdar Anadolu Lisesi with German as the primary foreign language and technical instruction in German. Kabataş Erkek Lisesi
Kabatas Erkek Lisesi
Kabataş Erkek Lisesi or Kabataş High School is one of the oldest and the most prominent high schools in Turkey. It is located in Ortaköy at Bosphorus in Istanbul. It is famed for its rich history and legendary teachers.- History :...

(Kabatas Highschool)is one of Anatolian High Schools and also one of the oldest and the most prominent schools in Turkey. Established in 1908 by the Ottoman Empire Sultan Abdulhamid II, the high school has been educating for 103 years and still does. The Queen of the UK has visited the school in 2008. Furthermore, Kadıköy Anadolu Lisesi
Kadiköy Anadolu Lisesi
Kadıköy Anadolu Lisesi, also commonly known as Kadıköy Maarif College, abbreviated Kadıköy Maarif or KAL, is one of the oldest, most prestigious Anatolian High Schools and internationally renowned high schools of Turkey; located in Moda, Istanbul. The education languages are Turkish and English...

 which is also commonly known as Kadıköy Maarif College is one of the first six special Ministry of Education Colleges established in 1950s in big cities across Turkey. Those English-medium colleges were renamed as "Anadolu Lisesi" in subsequent decades. There are also many foreign high schools in Istanbul, most of which were established in the 19th century to educate foreigners in Istanbul. Following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, most of these schools went under the administration of the Turkish Ministry of Education, but some of them still have considerable foreign administration, such as the Liceo Italiano Statale I.M.I. (Özel İtalyan Lisesi), which is still regarded as an Italian state school by the government of Italy and continues to receive funding and teachers from Rome. Robert College
Robert College
Robert College of Istanbul , is one of the most selective independent private high schools in Turkey. Robert College is a co-educational, boarding school with a wooded campus on the European side of Istanbul between the two bridges on the Bosphorus, with the Arnavutköy district to the east, and...

 established in 1863 and Üsküdar American Academy
Üsküdar American Academy
Üsküdar American Academy is a private coeducational high school located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is regarded as one of the most academically rigorous institutions in Turkey.-History:...

 established in 1876, are other remarkable foreign schools in the city, among numerous others.

Fen Liseleri (Science High School) were originally furnished for the Turkish children who wants to be scientist, doctor or a job about the "Science", such as Atatürk Fen Lisesi, Yaşar Acar Fen Lisesi and 2 other science high schools.
Istanbul has numerous libraries, many of which contain vast collections of historic documents from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods, as well as from other civilisations of the past. The most important libraries in terms of historic document collections include the Topkapı Palace Library, Library of the Archaeological Museum, Library of the Naval Museum, Beyazıt State Library, Nuruosmaniye Library, Süleymaniye Library, Istanbul University Library, Köprülüzade Fazıl Ahmed Paşa Library, Atatürk Library and Çelik Gülersoy Library.

Healthcare


The city has many public and private hospitals, clinics and laboratories
Laboratory
A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific research, experiments, and measurement may be performed. The title of laboratory is also used for certain other facilities where the processes or equipment used are similar to those in scientific laboratories...

 within its bounds and numerous medical research centers. Many of these facilities have high tech
High tech
High tech is technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology currently available. It is often used in reference to micro-electronics, rather than other technologies. The adjective form is hyphenated: high-tech or high-technology...

nology equipment, which has contributed to the recent upsurge in "medical tourism
Medical tourism
Medical tourism is a term initially coined by travel agencies and the mass media to describe the rapidly-growing practice of travelling across international borders to obtain health care...

" to Istanbul, particularly from West European countries like the United Kingdom and Germany where governments send patients with lower income to the city for the inexpensive service of high-tech medical treatment and operations. Istanbul has particularly become a global destination for laser eye surgery
Eye surgery
Eye surgery, also known as orogolomistician surgery or ocular surgery, is surgery performed on the eye or its adnexa, typically by an ophthalmologist.-Preparation and precautions:...

 and plastic surgery
Plastic surgery
Plastic surgery is a medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. Though cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is the best-known kind of plastic surgery, most plastic surgery is not cosmetic: plastic surgery includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand...

. The city also has an Army Veterans Hospital in the military medical centre.

Pollution-related health problems increase especially in the winter, when the combustion of heating fuels increase. The rising number of new cars in the city and the slow development of public transportation often cause urban smog conditions. Mandatory use of unleaded gas was scheduled to begin only in January 2006.

Utilities



Istanbul's first water supply
Water supply
Water supply is the provision of water by public utilities, commercial organisations, community endeavours or by individuals, usually via a system of pumps and pipes...

 systems date back to the foundation of the city. The two greatest aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

s from the Roman period are the Mazulkemer Aqueduct and the Valens Aqueduct
Valens Aqueduct
The Valens Aqueduct is a Roman aqueduct which was the major water-providing system of the Eastern Roman capital of Constantinople...

. These were built to channel water from the Halkalı area in the western edge of the city to the Beyazıt district in the city centre, which was called the Forum Tauri in the Roman period. After reaching the city centre, the water was later collected in the city's numerous cistern
Cistern
A cistern is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns are often built to catch and store rainwater. Cisterns are distinguished from wells by their waterproof linings...

s, such as the famous Philoxenos (Binbirdirek) Cistern and the Basilica (Yerebatan) Cistern
Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern , is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul , Turkey...

. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent commissioned Mimar Sinan, his engineer and architect-in-chief, to improve the water needs of the city. Sinan constructed the Kırkçeşme Water Supply System
Water supply network
A water supply system or water supply network is a system of engineered hydrologic and hydraulic components which provide water supply. A water supply system typically includes:# A drainage basin ;...

 in 1555. In later years, with the aim of responding to the ever-increasing public demand, water from various springs was channeled to the public fountains by means of small supply lines; see German Fountain
German Fountain
The German Fountain is a gazebo styled fountain in the northern end of old hippodrome , Istanbul, Turkey and across from the Mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed I. It was constructed to commemorate the second anniversary of German Emperor Wilhelm II's visit to Istanbul in 1898. It was built in Germany, then...

.

Today, Istanbul has a chlorinated and filtered water supply and a sewage disposal
Sewage treatment
Sewage treatment, or domestic wastewater treatment, is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage, both runoff and domestic. It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants...

 system managed by the government agency İSKİ. There are also several private sector organisations distributing clean water
Drinking water
Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually...

. Electricity distribution
Electricity distribution
File:Electricity grid simple- North America.svg|thumb|380px|right|Simplified diagram of AC electricity distribution from generation stations to consumers...

 services are covered by the state-owned TEK. The first electricity production plant in the city, Silahtarağa Termik Santrali, was established in 1914 and continued to supply electricity until 1983.

The Ottoman Ministry of Post and Telegraph was established in the city on 23 October 1840. The first post office was the Postahane-i Amire near the courtyard of Yeni Mosque. In 1876 the first international mailing network between Istanbul and the lands beyond the vast Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 was established. In 1901 the first money transfers were made through the post offices and the first cargo services became operational. Samuel Morse received his first ever patent for the telegraph
Telegraphy
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code which is known to both sender and receiver...

 in 1847, at the old Beylerbeyi Palace (the present Beylerbeyi Palace
Beylerbeyi Palace
The Beylerbeyi Palace is located in the Beylerbeyi neighbourhood of Istanbul, Turkey at the Asian side of the Bosphorus...

 was built in 1861–1865 on the same location) in Istanbul, which was issued by Sultan Abdülmecid
Abdülmecid I
Sultan Abdülmecid I, Abdul Mejid I, Abd-ul-Mejid I or Abd Al-Majid I Ghazi was the 31st Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and succeeded his father Mahmud II on July 2, 1839. His reign was notable for the rise of nationalist movements within the empire's territories...

 who personally tested the new invention. Following this successful test, installation works of the first telegraph line between Istanbul and Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

 began on 9 August 1847. In 1855 the Telegraph Administration was established. In July 1881 the first telephone circuit in Istanbul was established between the Ministry of Post and Telegraph in Soğukçeşme and the Postahane-i Amire in Yenicami. On 23 May 1909, the first manual telephone exchange
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

 with a 50 line capacity was established in the Büyük Postane (Grand Post Office) of Sirkeci
Sirkeci
Sirkeci is an area in the Eminönü neighborhood of the Fatih district of the city of Istanbul, Turkey. It has evolved as the place name of the area in Eminönü surrounding Sirkeci Station, the Southeastern long distance passenger train terminus in Europe for the Orient Express.The neighborhood...

.

Airports


Istanbul has two international airports: The larger one is the Atatürk International Airport
Atatürk International Airport
Atatürk International Airport is the major international airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Opened in 1924 and located in Yeşilköy, on the European side of the city, it is west of the city centre. In 1980, the airport was renamed to Atatürk International Airport in honor of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the...

 located in the Yeşilköy
Yesilköy
Yeşilköy is a neighborhood of the Bakırköy municipality of Istanbul, Turkey.It is located along the Marmara Sea about 11 kilometers west of Istanbul's historic city center...

 district on the European side, about 24 kilometres (15 mi) west from the city centre. When it was first built, the airport was situated at the western edge of the metropolitan area but now lies within the city bounds. The smaller one is the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is one of the international airports serving İstanbul, Turkey. The facility is named after Sabiha Gökçen, the first female combat pilot in the world. Located southeast of central İstanbul, it is on the Asian side of the bi-continental city...

 located in the Kurtköy district on the Asian side, close to the Istanbul Park GP Racing Circuit
Istanbul Park
Istanbul Park , also known as the Istanbul Racing Circuit or initially Istanbul Otodrom, is a motor sports race track in Akfırat County east of Istanbul, Turkey. It was inaugurated on 21 August 2005...

. It is situated approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the Asian side and 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of the European city centre.

Navigation


Sea transport
Ship transport
Ship transport is watercraft carrying people or goods . Sea transport has been the largest carrier of freight throughout recorded history. Although the importance of sea travel for passengers has decreased due to aviation, it is effective for short trips and pleasure cruises...

 is vital for Istanbul, as the city is practically surrounded by sea on all sides: the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

, the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

, the Bosphorus and the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. Many Istanbul people live on the Asian side of the city but work on the European side (or vice-versa) and the city's famous commuter ferries form the backbone of the daily transition between the two parts of the city – even more so than the two suspension bridge
Suspension bridge
A suspension bridge is a type of bridge in which the deck is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders. Outside Tibet and Bhutan, where the first examples of this type of bridge were built in the 15th century, this type of bridge dates from the early 19th century...

s that span the Bosphorus. The commuter ferries, along with the high speed catamaran Seabus (Deniz Otobüsü), also form the main connection between the city and the Princes' Islands
Princes' Islands
The Princes' Islands , are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. The islands also constitute the Adalar district of Istanbul Province...

.

The first steam ferries appeared on the Bosphorus in 1837 and were operated by private sector companies. On 1 January 1851, the Şirket-i Hayriye (literally the Goodwill Company, as the Istanbul Ferry Company was originally called) was established by the Ottoman state. The Şirket-i Hayriye continued to operate the city's landmark commuter ferries until the early years of the Republican period, when they went under the direction of Türkiye Denizcilik İşletmeleri (Turkish State Maritime Lines). Since March 2006, Istanbul's traditional commuter ferries are operated by İstanbul Deniz Otobüsleri (Istanbul Sea Buses), which also operates the high speed catamaran Seabus.

İDO
Ido
Ido is a constructed language created with the goal of becoming a universal second language for speakers of different linguistic backgrounds as a language easier to learn than ethnic languages...

 (İstanbul Deniz OtobüsleriIstanbul Sea Buses) was established in 1987 and operates the high-speed catamaran Seabuses
Ido
Ido is a constructed language created with the goal of becoming a universal second language for speakers of different linguistic backgrounds as a language easier to learn than ethnic languages...

 that run between the European and Asian parts of Istanbul—and also connect the city with the Princes' Islands
Princes' Islands
The Princes' Islands , are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. The islands also constitute the Adalar district of Istanbul Province...

 and other destinations in the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

. The Yenikapı High Speed Car Ferry Port on the European side, and the Pendik High Speed Car Ferry Port on the Asian side, are where the high speed catamaran "car ferries" are based. The car ferries that operate between Yenikapı (on the European side of Istanbul) and Bandırma
Bandirma
Bandırma is a city in northwestern Turkey with 113,385 inhabitants on the Sea of Marmara. Also, Bandırma is a district of Balıkesir....

 reduce the driving time between Istanbul and İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

 and other major destinations on Turkey's Aegean
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 coast by several hours; while those that operate between Yenikapı or Pendik
Pendik
Pendik is a district of Istanbul, Turkey on the Asian side between Kartal and Tuzla, on the Marmara Sea. Its population is 625.365 and its mayor is Salih Kenan Şahin .-History:...

 (on the Asian side of Istanbul) and Yalova
Yalova
Yalova is a city located in northwestern Turkey, on the eastern coast of the Sea of Marmara, and is the capital of the Yalova Province. Yalova has a city population of 92,166, while the population of the Yalova Province is 202,531. as of 2009...

 significantly reduce the driving time between Istanbul and Bursa or Antalya
Antalya
Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. With a population 1,001,318 as of 2010. It is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and country's biggest international sea resort.- History :...

.

The port of Istanbul is the most important one in the country. The old port on the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 serves primarily for personal navigation, while Karaköy
Karaköy
Karaköy, the modern name for the ancient Galata, is a commercial neighborhood in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, located at the northern part of the Golden Horn mouth on the European side of Bosphorus....

 port in Galata
Galata
Galata or Galatae is a neighbourhood in the Beyoğlu district on the European side of Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey. Galata is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the inlet which separates it from the historic peninsula of old Constantinople. The Golden Horn is crossed by...

 is used by the large cruise liners
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

. Regular services as well as cruises from both Karaköy and Eminönü
Eminönü
Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, now a neighbourhood of Fatih district. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminönü covers the point on which the Byzantine capital was built. The Galata Bridge crosses the Golden Horn...

 exist to several port cities in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

. Istanbul's main cargo port is located in the Harem district on the Asian side of the city. Istanbul also has several marina
Marina
A marina is a dock or basin with moorings and supplies for yachts and small boats.A marina differs from a port in that a marina does not handle large passenger ships or cargo from freighters....

s of varying size for personal navigation, the largest of which are the Ataköy Marina on the European side and Kalamış Marina on the Asian side.

Motorways


The State Road and the European route , the Trans European Motorway (TEM) are the two main motorway connections between Europe and Turkey. The motorway network around Istanbul is well developed and is constantly being extended. Motorways lead east to Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

 and west to Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

. There are also two express highways circling the city. The older one, the , is mostly used for inner city traffic; while the more recent one, the , is mostly used by intercity or intercontinental traffic.

The Bosphorus Bridge
Bosphorus Bridge
The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge is one of the two bridges in Istanbul, Turkey, spanning the Bosphorus strait and thus connecting Europe and Asia The bridge is located between Ortaköy and Beylerbeyi The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bosphorus Bridge is...

 on the and the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, also known as the Second Bosphorus Bridge , is a bridge in Istanbul, Turkey spanning the Bosphorus strait...

 on the establish the motorway connection between the European and the Asian sides of the Bosphorus. The southern and northern shores of the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

, an inlet of the Bosphorus on the European side of the city, are connected through the Galata Bridge
Galata Bridge
The Galata Bridge is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey. From the end of the 19th century in particular, the bridge has featured in Turkish literature, theater, poetry and novels.-History:...

, the Atatürk Bridge and the Haliç Bridge; the latter also being a part of the motorway network.

Büyükdere Avenue is the main artery that runs through the central business districts of Levent
Levent
Levent is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is a part of the municipality of Beşiktaş which is situated to the north of the Golden Horn, at the western shore of the Bosporus strait.Levent is in direct...

 and Maslak
Maslak
Maslak is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is an exclave of the municipality of Şişli, though being far north and actually closer to the municipalities of Beşiktaş and Sarıyer.Maslak is in direct competition...

 on the European side, and is also accessible through a number of subway stations
Istanbul Metro
The Istanbul Metro, or the M2, is a mass-transit underground railway network that serves the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Founded in 2000, it now includes 13 stations. The system currently consists of a single north-south line...

. At the point where the motorway junctions and tunnels between the quarters of Gayrettepe and Zincirlikuyu come together, Büyükdere Avenue connects with Barbaros Boulevard, which descends towards the ferry port of Beşiktaş
Besiktas
Beşiktaş is a municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus. It is bordered on the north by Sarıyer and Şişli, on the west by Kağıthane and Şişli, on the south by Beyoğlu, and on the east by the Bosphorus...

. There it connects with the coastal highway that runs along the European shore of the Bosphorus, from Eminönü
Eminönü
Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, now a neighbourhood of Fatih district. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminönü covers the point on which the Byzantine capital was built. The Galata Bridge crosses the Golden Horn...

 in the south to Sarıyer
Sariyer
Sarıyer is the northernmost district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side of the city. With a long shore along the water, the district boasts both a beautiful coastline and a lush forest. The Sarıyer district is a huge area consisting of the villages on the European side of the Bosphorus from...

 in the north.

Railways


In 1883, a Belgian entrepreneur, Georges Nagelmackers
Georges Nagelmackers
Georges Nagelmackers was the founder of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits, the company known for the Orient Express trains....

, began a rail service
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 between Paris and Istanbul, using a steamship to ferry passengers from Varna
Varna
Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, with a population of 334,870 inhabitants according to Census 2011...

 to Constantinople. In 1889, a rail line was completed going directly from Istanbul to Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, making the whole journey via land possible. The route was known as the Orient Express
Orient Express
The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train service originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. It ran from 1883 to 2009 and is not to be confused with the Venice-Simplon Orient Express train service, which continues to run.The route and rolling stock...

, made even more famous by the works of Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Dame Agatha Christie DBE was a British crime writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She also wrote romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best remembered for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections , and her successful West End plays.According to...

 and Graham Greene
Graham Greene
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English author, playwright and literary critic. His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world...

.

Today, the Sirkeci Terminal of the Turkish State Railways
Turkish State Railways
The State Railways of the Turkish Republic or TCDD is the government owned, national railway carrier in the Republic of Turkey, headquartered in Ankara...

 (TCDD), which was originally opened in 1890 as the terminus of the Orient Express, is the terminus of all the lines on the European side and the main connection node of the Turkish railway network
Turkish State Railways
The State Railways of the Turkish Republic or TCDD is the government owned, national railway carrier in the Republic of Turkey, headquartered in Ankara...

 with the rest of Europe.
Currently, international connections are provided by the line running between Istanbul and Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki , historically also known as Thessalonica, Salonika or Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia as well as the capital of the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace...

, Greece, and the Bosphorus Express serving daily between Sirkeci and Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Romania. Lines to Sofia
Sofia
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 12th largest city in the European Union with a population of 1.27 million people. It is located in western Bulgaria, at the foot of Mount Vitosha and approximately at the centre of the Balkan Peninsula.Prehistoric settlements were excavated...

, Belgrade
Belgrade
Belgrade is the capital and largest city of Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans. According to official results of Census 2011, the city has a population of 1,639,121. It is one of the 15 largest cities in Europe...

, Budapest
Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

 are established over the Bosphorus Express connection to Bucharest.

Beyond the Bosphorus, the Haydarpaşa Terminal on the Asian side serves lines running several times daily to Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

, and less frequently to other destinations in Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

. The railway networks on the European and Asian sides are currently connected by the train ferry
Train ferry
A train ferry is a ship designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as...

 across the Bosphorus, which will be replaced by an underwater tunnel connection with the completion of the Marmaray project, scheduled for 2012. Marmaray (Bosphorus Rail Tunnel) will also connect the metro lines
Istanbul Metro
The Istanbul Metro, or the M2, is a mass-transit underground railway network that serves the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Founded in 2000, it now includes 13 stations. The system currently consists of a single north-south line...

 on the European and Asian parts of the city. Inaugurated in 1908, the Haydarpaşa Terminal was originally opened as the terminus of the Istanbul-Konya-Baghdad and Istanbul-Damascus-Medina railways.
A suburban railway line runs between the main train station of the European part, the Sirkeci Terminal, and the Halkalı district towards the west of the city centre, with 18 stations along its 30 km length. A single trip takes 48 minutes. Another suburban line runs on the Anatolian part from the main train station, the Haydarpaşa Terminal, to Gebze
Gebze
Gebze is an industrial city in Kocaeli Province, Turkey. Situated 30 miles east of Istanbul on the northern shore of the Sea of Marmara, it is the largest district of Kocaeli; Gebze has experienced rapid growth in recent years- from 159,116 in 1990, to 282,444 in 2009. Gebze accounts for 15% of...

 at the eastern end of the city. The 44 km long line has 28 stations and the trip takes 65 minutes. 720,000 passengers use the urban rail lines on the European side of the city every day.

Trams


Trams first entered service in Istanbul on 3 September 1869, at the Tophane – Ortaköy line. In 1871 the Azapkapı – Galata; Aksaray – Yedikule; Aksaray – Topkapı; and Eminönü – Aksaray lines entered service. Other lines that entered service in the late 19th century included the Voyvoda Caddesi – Kabristan Sokağı – Tepebaşı – Taksim – Pangaltı – Şişli line; the Bayezid – Şehzadebaşı line; the Fatih – Edirnekapı – Galatasaray – Tünel line; and the Eminönü – Bahçekapı line. Since 1939 the trams of the city are operated by the İETT. On 12 August 1961, the historic red trams of Istanbul were removed from the city's European side; and on 14 November 1966, they were removed from the city's Asian side. Towards the end of 1990, replicas of these historic red trams were put in service along the İstiklal Avenue
Istiklal Avenue
İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends...

 between Taksim
Taksim Square
Taksim Square situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network...

 and Tünel
Tünel
The Tünel is a short underground railway line in Istanbul, Turkey. It is an underground funicular with two stations, connecting the quarters of Karaköy and Beyoğlu. Located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the underground railway tunnel goes uphill from close to sea level and is about 555...

, which is a single 1.6 km-long (1640 m) line. On 1 November 2003, another nostalgic tram line (T3) was reopened on the Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n part of Istanbul between Kadıköy
Kadiköy
Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of İstanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus...

 and Moda
Kadiköy
Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of İstanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus...

. It has 10 stations on a 2.6 km long route. The trip takes 21 minutes.

A fast tram (T1) was put in service in 1992 on standard gauge track with modern cars, connecting Sirkeci
Sirkeci
Sirkeci is an area in the Eminönü neighborhood of the Fatih district of the city of Istanbul, Turkey. It has evolved as the place name of the area in Eminönü surrounding Sirkeci Station, the Southeastern long distance passenger train terminus in Europe for the Orient Express.The neighborhood...

 with Topkapı
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign....

. The line was extended on one end from Topkapı to Zeytinburnu
Zeytinburnu
Zeytinburnu is a working class neighbourhood, municipality and district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, on the shore of the Marmara Sea just outside the walls of the ancient city, beyond the fortress of Yedikule...

 in March 1994, and on the other end from Sirkeci to Eminönü
Eminönü
Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, now a neighbourhood of Fatih district. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminönü covers the point on which the Byzantine capital was built. The Galata Bridge crosses the Golden Horn...

 in April 1996. On 30 January 2005 it was extended from Eminönü to Fındıklı, crossing the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 through the Galata Bridge
Galata Bridge
The Galata Bridge is a bridge that spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey. From the end of the 19th century in particular, the bridge has featured in Turkish literature, theater, poetry and novels.-History:...

 for the first time after 44 years. A final extension to Kabataş
Kabatas, Istanbul
Kabataş is a quarter of Beyoğlu municipality in Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated on the European shore of the Bosphorus, between Beşiktaş and Karaköy.-References:* Istanbul.com - -External links:*...

 was opened in June 2006. The line has 24 stations on a length of 14 km. Service was initially operated with 22 LRT vehicles built by ABB, now reassigned to other lines; while stations were provided with temporary high platforms. These vehicles were replaced by 55 low-floor Bombardier
Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation is the rail equipment division of the Canadian firm, Bombardier Inc. Bombardier Transportation is one of the world's largest companies in the rail-equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. Its headquarters are in Berlin, Germany....

 Flexity Swift
Flexity Swift
The Flexity Swift tram is a family of urban and inter-urban light-rail vehicles manufactured by Bombardier Transportation for a wide number of customers across Europe...

 trams in 2003. An entire trip takes 42 minutes. The daily transport capacity is 155,000 passengers. The amount of investment totaled US$110 million. In September 2006, a second tram line (T2) was added, running west from Zeytinburnu
Zeytinburnu
Zeytinburnu is a working class neighbourhood, municipality and district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, on the shore of the Marmara Sea just outside the walls of the ancient city, beyond the fortress of Yedikule...

 to Bağcılar
Bagcilar
Bağcılar is a working class suburban district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is located behind Bahçelievler on the European side of the city, between the two major ring roads, the TEM and the E5...

. Service on this line is operated with 14 ABB LRT cars. Stations have high platforms at the level of the car floor.

Funiculars



Istanbul is served by two underground funicular railways
Funicular
A funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.-Operation:The basic principle of funicular...

, of very different ages and styles. The older of these lines is the Tünel (1875)
Tünel
The Tünel is a short underground railway line in Istanbul, Turkey. It is an underground funicular with two stations, connecting the quarters of Karaköy and Beyoğlu. Located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the underground railway tunnel goes uphill from close to sea level and is about 555...

. Inaugurated on 17 January 1875, the Tünel is the second-oldest subterranean
Underground Railroad
The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

 urban rail line
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 in the world after the London Underground (1863)
London Underground
The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

 (arguably third in the world, if one counts Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

's abandoned Atlantic Avenue Tunnel
Cobble Hill Tunnel
The Cobble Hill Tunnel of the Long Island Rail Road is an abandoned railroad tunnel beneath Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn, New York City. When open, it ran for about between Columbia Street and Boerum Place...

) and the first subterranean urban rail line in continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

 (though the first full subway line with multiple underground stations
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

 in continental Europe was the Line 1
Line 1 (Budapest Metro)
The Metro 1 is the oldest line of the Budapest Metro system.Known in Budapest simply as "the underground" , it is the second oldest underground railway in the world , and the first on the European mainland. It was built from 1894 to 1896...

 of the Budapest Metro
Budapest Metro
The Budapest Metro is the rapid transit system in the Hungarian capital Budapest. It is the second-oldest underground metro system in the world after the London Underground. Its iconic Line 1, dating from 1896, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002.-Lines:The Metro consists of three lines,...

, twenty-one years later). The Tünel is 573 m (1,879.92 ft) long with an altitude difference of 60 m and no intermediate stations between Karaköy
Karaköy
Karaköy, the modern name for the ancient Galata, is a commercial neighborhood in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, located at the northern part of the Golden Horn mouth on the European side of Bosphorus....

 and Tünel Square. It has been continuously in service since 1875. Two trains run on a single rail every 3.5 minutes, and a trip takes 1.5 minutes. Making 64,800 trips, totaling 37,066 kilometres a year, the Tünel carries 15,000 passengers per day.

A second funicular line, the Kabataş-Taksim Funicular, entered service on 29 June 2006, connecting Kabataş
Kabatas, Istanbul
Kabataş is a quarter of Beyoğlu municipality in Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated on the European shore of the Bosphorus, between Beşiktaş and Karaköy.-References:* Istanbul.com - -External links:*...

 and Taksim
Taksim Square
Taksim Square situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network...

. This system connects the Seabus
Ido
Ido is a constructed language created with the goal of becoming a universal second language for speakers of different linguistic backgrounds as a language easier to learn than ethnic languages...

 station and the tram stop
Tram stop
A tram stop is a place designated for a tram to stop so passengers can board or alight it. Tram stops share most characteristics of bus stops, but because trams operate on rails, they often include railway platforms, especially if stepless entries are provided for accessibility...

 in Kabataş to the metro station at Taksim Square
Taksim Square
Taksim Square situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network...

. It is about 600 meters long and climbs approximately 60 meters in 110 seconds, carrying 9,000 passengers per day.

Light rail


The Istanbul LRT
Istanbul LRT
This article is about the M1 and T4 lines. For the M2 line, see the article M2.The Istanbul LRT , which consists of the M1 and T4 lines, is a light metro system in Istanbul with a total length of 32 km There are 36 stations, including 12 underground and 3 viaduct...

 is a light rail transit
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 system consisting of 2 lines. The first line (M1) began service on 3 September 1989 between Aksaray and Kartaltepe. The line was further developed step-by-step and reached Atatürk Airport
Atatürk International Airport
Atatürk International Airport is the major international airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Opened in 1924 and located in Yeşilköy, on the European side of the city, it is west of the city centre. In 1980, the airport was renamed to Atatürk International Airport in honor of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the...

 on 20 December 2002. The other line (T4) was opened in 2007 between Edirnekapı and Mescid-i Selam. There are 36 stations, including 12 underground and 3 viaduct stations, on the line's 32 km length. The lines are totally segregated from other traffic, without level crossing
Level crossing
A level crossing occurs where a railway line is intersected by a road or path onone level, without recourse to a bridge or tunnel. It is a type of at-grade intersection. The term also applies when a light rail line with separate right-of-way or reserved track crosses a road in the same fashion...

s, and run underground for 10.4 km. Service is operated with LRT vehicles built by ABB in 1988.

Metro



Construction works of the Istanbul Metro
Istanbul Metro
The Istanbul Metro, or the M2, is a mass-transit underground railway network that serves the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Founded in 2000, it now includes 13 stations. The system currently consists of a single north-south line...

 (M2) began in 1992 and the first completed section between Taksim
Taksim Square
Taksim Square situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major shopping, tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network...

 and 4. Levent
Levent
Levent is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is a part of the municipality of Beşiktaş which is situated to the north of the Golden Horn, at the western shore of the Bosporus strait.Levent is in direct...

 entered service on 16 September 2000. This section of the line is 8.5 km (5.3 mi) long and has 6 stations. In 2000, there were 8 Alstom
Alstom
Alstom is a large multinational conglomerate which holds interests in the power generation and transport markets. According to the company website, in the years 2010-2011 Alstom had annual sales of over €20.9 billion, and employed more than 85,000 people in 70 countries. Alstom's headquarters are...

-built 4-car train sets in service, which ran every 5 minutes on average and transported 130,000 passengers daily. On 30 January 2009, the first train sets built by Eurotem
EUROTEM
EUROTEM, alternatively Hyundai EURotem, is a joint enterprise between Hyundai Rotem of South Korea and TÜVASAŞ of Turkey which was founded in 2006 and started production in December 2007....

 entered service. Eurotem will build a total of 92 new wagons for the M2 line. As of 30 January 2009, a total of 34 train sets, each with 4 cars, were being used on the M2 line.

A northern extension from 4. Levent to Maslak
Maslak
Maslak is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is an exclave of the municipality of Şişli, though being far north and actually closer to the municipalities of Beşiktaş and Sarıyer.Maslak is in direct competition...

 was opened on 30 January 2009. The southern extension of the M2 line from Taksim to Yenikapı
Yenikapi
Yenikapı is a port and a neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey, in the metropolitan district of Fatih on the European side of the Bosphorus and along the southern shore of the city's historically central peninsula....

, across the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 on a bridge and underground through the historic peninsula
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, has thus far been completed up to the Şişhane station in Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

, which also entered service on 30 January 2009. At Yenikapı the M2 network will intersect with the extended light metro
Istanbul LRT
This article is about the M1 and T4 lines. For the M2 line, see the article M2.The Istanbul LRT , which consists of the M1 and T4 lines, is a light metro system in Istanbul with a total length of 32 km There are 36 stations, including 12 underground and 3 viaduct...

 and suburban train
Regional rail
Commuter rail, also called suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates between a city center, and the middle to outer suburbs beyond 15km and commuter towns or other locations that draw large numbers of commuters—people who travel on a daily basis...

 lines, and with the Marmaray tunnel.

At present, the M2 line has 10 stations in service on the European side of the city; while 6 new stations on the European side and 16 new stations on the Asian side are currently under construction. The trip between the Şişhane station in Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 and the Atatürk Oto Sanayi station in Maslak
Maslak
Maslak is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is an exclave of the municipality of Şişli, though being far north and actually closer to the municipalities of Beşiktaş and Sarıyer.Maslak is in direct competition...

 is 15.65 km (9.7 mi) long and takes 21 minutes. The total length of the European side of the M2 line will reach 18.36 km (11.4 mi) when all 16 stations from Hacıosman to Yenikapı will be completed; not including the 936 metres long Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 metro bridge, the 0.6 km long Taksim-Kabataş tunnel connection with the Seabus
Ido
Ido is a constructed language created with the goal of becoming a universal second language for speakers of different linguistic backgrounds as a language easier to learn than ethnic languages...

 port, the 0.6 km long Yenikapı-Aksaray tunnel connection with the LRT network
Istanbul LRT
This article is about the M1 and T4 lines. For the M2 line, see the article M2.The Istanbul LRT , which consists of the M1 and T4 lines, is a light metro system in Istanbul with a total length of 32 km There are 36 stations, including 12 underground and 3 viaduct...

, and the 13.6 km long Marmaray tunnel.

On the Asian side, construction of the 21.66 km (13.5 mi) long M2 line from Kadıköy
Kadiköy
Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of İstanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus...

 to Kartal
Kartal
Kartal is a district of Istanbul, Turkey located on the Asian side of the city, on the coast of the Marmara Sea between Maltepe and Pendik. The mayor is Altınok Öz . Despite being far from the city centre, Kartal is heavily populated now. . Total land area is 147,000 m² which includes some...

 continues, which will have a total of 16 stations. The Marmaray tunnel (Bosporus undersea railway tunnel) will connect the metro lines of the Asian and European parts of the city. According to the scheduled construction timeline, the tunnel will enter service in 2013.

Bus rapid transit


Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit
Bus rapid transit is a term applied to a variety of public transportation systems using buses to provide faster, more efficient service than an ordinary bus line. Often this is achieved by making improvements to existing infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling...

 (also known as metrobus or quality bus) is a useful public transportation system in Istanbul.

Fine arts



Istanbul is becoming increasingly colourful in terms of its rich social, cultural, and commercial activities. While world famous pop stars fill stadiums, activities like opera, ballet and theatre continue throughout the year. During seasonal festivals, world famous orchestras, chorale ensembles, concerts and jazz legends can be found often playing to a full house.
The Istanbul International Film Festival
Istanbul International Film Festival
The Istanbul International Film Festival is the first and oldest international film festival in Turkey, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts , a non-profit organisation. It is held every year in April in movie theaters in Istanbul, Turkey...

 is one of the most important film festivals in Europe, while the Istanbul Biennial
Istanbul Biennial
The International Istanbul Biennial is a contemporary art exhibition, held every two years in Istanbul, Turkey, since 1987. The biennial is organised by the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. The Biennial aims to create a meeting point in İstanbul in the field of visual arts between artists...

 is another major event of fine arts.

Annually Istanbul hosts music and opera festivals. These festival are an outgrowth of Turkey's government policy starting in the early 1930s to introduce and instutionalize the teaching and performing of polyphonic music and opera. The policy was implemented using highly acclaimed musicologists, performers, composers, etc. who were at risk in their native Germany. Among them were Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher, music theorist and conductor.- Biography :Born in Hanau, near Frankfurt, Hindemith was taught the violin as a child...

, Licco Amar, Carl Ebert
Carl Ebert
Carl Ebert was a German theatre and opera producer and administrator.-Biography:He worked as an actor and theatre director in Germany from 1915 to 1927, directing Brecht's In The Jungle of Cities in Darmstadt in 1927...

, and Ernst Praetorius. They are part of a music and opera directorate bound to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Istanbul Modern
Istanbul Modern
The Istanbul Modern Art Museum, aka Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, is a museum of contemporary art in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, inaugurated on December 11, 2004, prominently featuring the work of Turkish artists...

 frequently hosts the exhibitions of renowned Turkish and foreign artists. Pera Museum
Pera Museum
The Pera Museum , is a private art museum and gallery located in Istanbul, Turkey, which was established in 2005 by the "Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation". Suna Kıraç is the youngest daughter of the late Turkish tycoon Vehbi Koç, and İnan Kıraç her husband...

 and Sakıp Sabancı Museum
Sakip Sabanci Museum
The Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is a private fine arts museum in Istanbul, Turkey, dedicated to calligraphic art, religious and state documents, as well as paintings of the Ottoman era. The museum was founded by Sakıp Sabancı, and was opened in June 2002...

 have hosted the exhibitions of world famous artists and are among the most important private museums in the city. The Doğançay Museum
Dogançay Museum
The Doğançay Museum, Turkey’s first modern art museum, officially opened its doors to the public in 2004. It is housed in a historic 150-year-old five-story building located in the heart of bustling Beyoğlu district of Istanbul...

 – Turkey’s first contemporary art museum – is dedicated almost exclusively to the work of its founder Burhan Doğançay
Burhan Dogançay
-Biography:Burhan Dogançay obtained his artistic training from his father Adil Doğançay, and Arif Kaptan, both well-known Turkish painters. In his youth, Dogançay played on the Turkish Gençlerbirliği soccer team. In 1950, he received a law degree from the University of Ankara, Turkey...

. The Rahmi M. Koç Museum on the Golden Horn is an industrial museum that exhibits historic industrial equipment such as cars and locomotives from the 19th century and early 20th century, as well as boats, submarines, aircraft, and other similar vintage machines from past epochs.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum, established in 1881, is one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. The museum contains more than 1,000,000 archaeological pieces from the Mediterranean basin
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

, the Balkans, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Istanbul Mosaic Museum contains the late Roman and early Byzantine floor mosaics and wall ornaments of the Great Palace of Constantinople
Great Palace of Constantinople
The Great Palace of Constantinople — also known as the Sacred Palace — was the large Imperial Byzantine palace complex located in the south-eastern end of the peninsula now known as "Old Istanbul", modern Turkey...

. The nearby Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is a museum located in Sultanahmet Square in Eminönü district of Istanbul, Turkey. Constructed in 1524, the building was formerly the palace of İbrahim Pasha, who was the first grand vizier to Suleiman the Magnificent....

 displays a vast collection of items from various Islamic civilisations. Sadberk Hanım Museum
Sadberk Hanim Museum
The Sadberk Hanım Museum is a private museum located at the Bosporus in Büyükdere neighborhood of Sarıyer district in Istanbul, Turkey, which was established by the Vehbi Koç Foundation in memory of Vehbi Koç’s deceased wife Sadberk. The museum is open every day except Wednesdays.-Buildings:The...

 contains a wide variety of artifacts
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

, dating from the earliest Anatolian civilisations to the Ottomans.

Occasionally, in November, the Silahhane (Armory Hall) of Yıldız Palace
Yildiz Palace
Yıldız Palace is a vast complex of former imperial Ottoman pavilions and villas in Istanbul, Turkey, built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used as a residence by the Sultan and his court in the late 19th century.- Origin :...

 hosts the Istanbul Antiques Fair, which brings together rare pieces of antiques from the Orient and Occident. The multi-storey Mecidiyeköy Antikacılar Çarşısı (Mecidiyeköy Antiques Bazaar) in the Mecidiyeköy quarter of Şişli
Sisli
Şişli is one of 39 districts of Istanbul, Turkey. Located on the European side of the city, it is bordered by Beşiktaş to the east, Sarıyer to the north, Eyüp and Kağıthane to the west, and Beyoğlu to the south...

 is the largest antiques market in the city, while the Çukurcuma neighbourhood of Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 has rows of antiques shops in its streets. The Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and half a million visitors daily.- History :...

, edificed between 1455–1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror
Mehmed II
Mehmed II , was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from...

 also has numerous antiques shops, along with shops selling jewels, carpets and other items of art and artisanship. Historic and rare books are found in the Sahaflar Çarşısı near Beyazıt Square
Beyazit Tower
Beyazıt Tower, also named Seraskier Tower, from the name of the Ottoman ministry of War, is an 85 metre tall fire-watch tower located in the courtyard of Istanbul University's main campus on Beyazıt Square in Istanbul, Turkey, on top of one of the "seven hills" which Constantine the Great had built...

, and it is one of the oldest book markets in the world, and has continuously been active in the same location since the late Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

Live shows and concerts are hosted at a number of locations including historical sites such as the Hagia Irene
Hagia Irene
Hagia Irene or Hagia Eirene , often erroneously rendered in English as St Irene, is a former Eastern Orthodox church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. It is open as a museum every day except Monday but requires special permission for admission.-Church:The...

, Rumeli Fortress
Rumelihisari
Rumelihisarı is a fortress located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosporus. It gives the name of the quarter around it. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople...

, Yedikule Castle, the courtyard of Topkapı Palace
Topkapi Palace
The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign....

, and Gülhane Park
Gülhane Park
Gülhane Park is a historical urban park in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, Turkey, located adjacent to and on the grounds of the Topkapı Palace; the south entrance of the park sports one of the larger gates of the palace...

; as well as the Atatürk Cultural Center
Atatürk Cultural Center
Atatürk Cultural Center , called also simply as AKM, is a multi-purpose cultural center located in Taksim Square of Istanbul, Turkey...

, Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall
Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall
Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall is a concert hall located in the Harbiye neighbourhood of Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the country's major concert halls, being the first one designed for classical music. It is named after the great Turkish composer Cemal Reşit Rey, the hall is owned by the...

 and other open air and modern theatre halls.

Turkish baths



A significant culture has been developed around what is known as a Hamam, the Turkish word for a Turkish Bath. It was a culture of leisure during the Ottoman period, one of the finest example being the Çemberlitaş Hamamı
Çemberlitaş Hamamı
Çemberlitaş Hamamı is a historical Turkish Bath located on Çemberlitaş Square on Divanyolu Street, in Istanbul, Turkey. It was constructed by Mimar Sinan in 1584....

 (1584) in Istanbul, located on the Çemberlitaş (Column of Constantine) Square.
Another fine example from the 17th century is the Galatasaray Hamamı, located on the Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 district, known for the quality of service and its cleanliness.
In the Ottoman Empire, many Hamams were also actually build adjacent to mosques, as part of the "külliye" (complex). A very fine example to this is the Hamam of the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque
Kilic Ali Pasha Complex
The Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex is a group of buildings designed and built between 1580 and 1587 by Mimar Sinan, who at the time was in his 90s. The mosque itself was constructed in 1578-1580....

 built by Mimar Sinan.

Recreation


Recently, old beaches have reopened in the city. The most popular places for swimming in the city are in Bakırköy
Bakirköy
This article is about a neighbourhood in IstanbulBakırköy is a neighborhood, municipality and district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey. The quarter is densely populated, has a residential character and is inhabited by a middle class population...

, Küçükçekmece
Küçükçekmece
Küçükçekmece is a large, crowded suburb on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey 23 km out of the city, beyond Atatürk Airport. The population of the area reaches 600,000. This area covers 118 km².-Location:...

, Sarıyer
Sariyer
Sarıyer is the northernmost district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side of the city. With a long shore along the water, the district boasts both a beautiful coastline and a lush forest. The Sarıyer district is a huge area consisting of the villages on the European side of the Bosphorus from...

 and the Bosphorus. Outside the city are the Marmara Sea's Princes' Islands
Princes' Islands
The Princes' Islands , are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. The islands also constitute the Adalar district of Istanbul Province...

, Silivri
Silivri
Silivri is a city and a district in Istanbul Province along the Sea of Marmara in Turkey, outside of metropolitan Istanbul, containing many holiday and weekend homes for residents of the city. The largest city in the district is also named Silivri...

 and Tuzla; as well as Kilyos
Kilyos
Kilyos, also Kumköy, is a village located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is also a well-known seaside resort on the Black Sea coast of the European side of Istanbul Province, famous with its beaches.-Places to see:...

 and Şile
Sile
Şile is a small holiday city on the Black Sea, 70 km from the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Şile is the also the name of the district and the municipality that contain the city center of Şile...

 on the Black Sea.

The Princes' Islands
Princes' Islands
The Princes' Islands , are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. The islands also constitute the Adalar district of Istanbul Province...

 (Adalar) are a group of islands where motor transportation is prohibited, located in the Marmara Sea
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

, south of the Kartal
Kartal
Kartal is a district of Istanbul, Turkey located on the Asian side of the city, on the coast of the Marmara Sea between Maltepe and Pendik. The mayor is Altınok Öz . Despite being far from the city centre, Kartal is heavily populated now. . Total land area is 147,000 m² which includes some...

 and Pendik
Pendik
Pendik is a district of Istanbul, Turkey on the Asian side between Kartal and Tuzla, on the Marmara Sea. Its population is 625.365 and its mayor is Salih Kenan Şahin .-History:...

 districts. Pine and stone-pine
Stone Pine
The Stone Pine , is also called Italian Stone Pine, or Umbrella Pine , and Parasol Pine. It is in the pine family Pinaceae and occasionally listed under the invalid name Pinus sativa. The tree is native to the Mediterranean region...

 wooden neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

and art nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

-style Ottoman era summer mansions from the 19th century and early 20th century, horse-drawn carriages and seafood restaurants make them a popular destination. They can be reached by commuter ferries or high-speed catamaran Seabus (Deniz otobüsü) from Eminönü
Eminönü
Eminönü is a former district of Istanbul in Turkey, now a neighbourhood of Fatih district. This is the heart of the walled city of Constantine, the focus of a history of incredible richness. Eminönü covers the point on which the Byzantine capital was built. The Galata Bridge crosses the Golden Horn...

 and Bostancı
Bostanci
Bostancı is a neighbourhood of Kadıköy, located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, Turkey. The neighbourhood fronts the Sea of Marmara and is not far from the Princes' Islands. From the Bostancı shore, five islands; Kınalıada, Burgazada, Heybeliada, Büyükada, and Sivriada can be seen...

. Of the nine islands, only five are settled.

Şile
Sile
Şile is a small holiday city on the Black Sea, 70 km from the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Şile is the also the name of the district and the municipality that contain the city center of Şile...

 is a distant and well-known Turkish seaside resort on the Black Sea, 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Istanbul, where unspoiled white sand beaches can be found. Kilyos
Kilyos
Kilyos, also Kumköy, is a village located in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is also a well-known seaside resort on the Black Sea coast of the European side of Istanbul Province, famous with its beaches.-Places to see:...

 is a small calm seaside resort not far from the northern European entrance of the Bosphorus at the Black Sea. The place has good swimming possibilities and has become popular in the recent years among the inhabitants of Istanbul as a place for excursions. Kilyos offers a beach park with seafood restaurants and night clubs
Nightclub
A nightclub is an entertainment venue which usually operates late into the night...

, being particularly active in the summer with many night parties and live concerts on the beach.

Shopping



Istanbul has numerous historic shopping centers, such as the Grand Bazaar
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and half a million visitors daily.- History :...

 (1461), Mahmutpaşa Bazaar
Mahmutpasa Bazaar, Istanbul
Mahmutpaşa Bazaar, is a historical bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. It is located in the area between Grand Bazaar and Eminönü in the Mahmutpaşa neighbourhood of Eminönü district. This market area, with copious small shops on both sides of the main street, is a symbol of cheap shopping in Istanbul...

 (1462) and the Egyptian Bazaar
Spice Bazaar, Istanbul
The Spice Bazaar, in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in Fatih, in the neighborhood of Eminönü, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.-History:...

 (1660). The first modern shopping mall in Turkey was Galleria Ataköy
Galleria Ataköy
Galleria Ataköy, the first modern shopping mall in Turkey, is situated in the western suburb of Ataköy, Istanbul. It was built following the recommendation of then Prime Minister Turgut Özal, who was inspired by the shopping mall Houston Galleria in Houston, Texas, USA...

 (1987), which was followed by dozens of others in the later decades, such as Akmerkez
Akmerkez
Akmerkez is a shopping mall located in the Etiler quarter of Istanbul, Turkey. It was commissioned on December 18, 1993 by a joint venture of the Akkök, Tekfen and İstikbal companies....

 (1993), which is the only mall to win both "Europe's Best" and "World's Best" awards by the ICSC
International Council of Shopping Centers
Founded in 1957, the International Council of Shopping Centers is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its 60,000 members in the U.S., Canada and more than 80 other countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders,...

; Metrocity
Metrocity
MetroCity AVM, opened on April 30 2003, is a modern shopping mall in the finance and business quarter of 1. Levent in Istanbul, Turkey, with a direct connection to 1...

 (2003); Cevahir Mall
Cevahir Mall
Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre, opened on 15 October 2005, is a modern shopping and entertainment centre located in the Şişli district of Istanbul, Turkey. Called also Şişli Kültür ve Ticaret Merkezi...

 (2005), which is the largest mall in Europe; and Kanyon Mall
Kanyon Shopping Mall, Istanbul
Kanyon is a multi-purpose complex located at Büyükdere Avenue Nr. 185 in the Levent financial district of Istanbul, Turkey. Opened on 6 June 2006, it unites a 160-store shopping mall , a 30-floor office tower and a 22-floor residential block with 179 residential apartments into a complex...

 (2006), which won the 2006 Cityscape Architectural Review
Architectural Review
The Architectural Review is a monthly international architectural magazine published in London since 1896. Articles cover the built environment which includes landscape, building design, interior design and urbanism as well as theory of these subjects....

 Award for its interesting design. İstinye Park
IstinyePark
LocationIstanbul, TurkeyCoordinates41°6'37.58"N 29°1'58.51"EOpening DateSeptember 21, 2007OwnerOrjin Group, Doğuş GroupDeveloperOrta Gayrımenkul Yatırım Yönetimi Turizm A.Ş.Number of Stores291...

 (2007) and City's Nişantaşı (2008) are two new malls that target high-end consumers and are almost exclusively dedicated to world-famous fashion brands.

Restaurants


Along with the traditional Turkish restaurants, many European and Far Eastern restaurants and numerous other cuisines are also thriving in the city. Most of the city's historic winehouses (meyhane in Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

) and pubs are located in the areas around İstiklal Avenue
Istiklal Avenue
İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends...

 in Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

. The 19th century Çiçek Pasajı
Çiçek Pasaji
Çiçek Pasajı , originally called the Cité de Péra, is a famous historic passage on İstiklal Avenue in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey...

 (literally Flower Passage in Turkish, or Cité de Péra in French) on İstiklal Avenue, which has many historic meyhanes, pubs and restaurants, was built by Hristaki Zoğrafos
Christakis Zografos
Christakis Zografos - 1896, Paris, France) was a Greek banker holding Ottoman citizenship, benefactor and one of the distinguished personalities of the Greek community of Constantinople .-Early years-Career:...

 Efendi at the former site of the Naum Theatre and was inaugurated in 1876. The famous Nevizâde Street, which has rows of historic meyhanes next to each other, is also in this area.

Other historic pubs are found in the areas around Tünel Pasajı and the nearby Asmalımescit Sokağı. Some historic neighbourhoods around İstiklal Avenue have recently been recreated, with differing levels of success; such as Cezayir Sokağı near Galatasaray High School, that has rows of pubs, cafés and restaurants playing live music.

Istanbul is also famous for its historic seafood restaurants; as an example, the Kumkapı
Kumkapi
Kumkapı is part of the Fatih district of Istanbul. It is located along the Marmara Sea. Up to recent times, Kumkapı was mostly inhabited by Armenians, who still have a community school and several churches there. It is also the seat of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople...

 neighbourhood has a pedestrian-only area that is dedicated to fish restaurants. Some 30 fish restaurants are found there, many of them among the best of the city. Also, many of the most popular and upscale seafood restaurants (with picturesque views) are found along the shores of the Bosphorus, particularly in Bebek
Bebek, Istanbul
Bebek is a historic Istanbul neighbourhood that falls within the boundaries and administration of the Beşiktaş district. It is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus and is surrounded by similarly affluent neighbourhoods such as Arnavutköy, Etiler and Rumeli Hisarı.The direct translation...

, Arnavutköy
Arnavutköy
Arnavutköy is a historic neighborhood in Istanbul, Turkey, famous for its wooden Ottoman mansions and fish restaurants as well as the prestigious Robert College campus with its centennial buildings...

, Yeniköy
Yeniköy, Istanbul
Yeniköy is a neighbourhood in Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus, between the neighbourhoods of İstinye and Tarabya....

, Beylerbeyi
Beylerbeyi
Beylerbeyi is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar municipality of Istanbul, Turkey. It is located on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, to the north of the Bosphorus Bridge. It is bordered on the northeast by the neighborhood of Çengelköy, on the east by Kirazlıtepe, on the southeast by Küplüce, on the...

 and Çengelköy
Çengelköy
Çengelköy is a neighborhood in the Üsküdar district on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul, Turkey, between the neighborhoods of Beylerbeyi and Kuleli. It is mainly a residential district...

; and by the Marmara Sea
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

 shore towards the south of the city. The largest of the Princes' Islands
Princes' Islands
The Princes' Islands , are a chain of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, in the Sea of Marmara. The islands also constitute the Adalar district of Istanbul Province...

 in the Sea of Marmara (namely Büyükada
Büyükada
Büyükada is the largest of the nine so-called Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, with an area of about two square miles...

, Heybeliada, Burgazada
Burgazada
Burgazada, Burgazadası, or Burgaz shortly is the third largest of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul.It is officially a neighbourhood in the Adalar district of Istanbul, Turkey. Burgaz is a common setting and even a major theme for writer Sait Faik Abasıyanık, where he also...

 and Kınalıada
Kinaliada
Kınalıada is an island in the Sea of Marmara; it is the closest of the Princes' Islands to Istanbul, Turkey, about south. Administratively, it is a neighbourhood in the Adalar district of Istanbul....

) and Anadolu Kavağı near the northern entrance of the Bosphorus towards the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 (close to Yoros Castle
Yoros Castle
Yoros Castle is a ruined castle at the confluence of the Bosporus and the Black Sea, to the north of Joshua's Hill, in Istanbul, Turkey. It is also commonly referred to as the Genoese Castle, due to Genoa’s possession of it in the mid-15th century....

, which was also known as the Genoese Castle due to Genoa
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

's possession of it in the mid-15th century) also have many historic seafood restaurants.

Nightlife




There are many night clubs, pubs, restaurants and taverns with live music in the city. The night clubs, restaurants and bars increase in number and move to open air spaces in the summer. The areas around Istiklal Avenue
Istiklal Avenue
İstiklal Avenue or Istiklal Street is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day over the course of weekends...

, Nişantaşı
Nisantasi
Nişantaşı is a quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, comprising neighbourhoods like Teşvikiye, Osmanbey, Maçka and Pangaltı. It includes the stores of world famous brands and has many popular cafés, pubs, restaurants and night clubs. It is a part of the Şişli district...

, Bebek
Bebek, Istanbul
Bebek is a historic Istanbul neighbourhood that falls within the boundaries and administration of the Beşiktaş district. It is located on the European shores of the Bosphorus and is surrounded by similarly affluent neighbourhoods such as Arnavutköy, Etiler and Rumeli Hisarı.The direct translation...

 and Kadıköy
Kadiköy
Kadıköy is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district of İstanbul, Turkey on the Asian side of the Sea of Marmara, facing the historic city centre on the European side of the Bosporus...

 offer all sorts of cafés, restaurants, pubs and clubs as well as art galleries, theaters and cinemas. Babylon
Babylon Istanbul
Babylon Istanbul is a music venue located in Istanbul, Turkey.. It was opened by Pozitif on April 23, 1999 with a concert by John Lurie & the Lounge Lizards....

and Nu Pera in Beyoğlu
Beyoglu
Beyoğlu is a district located on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city by the Golden Horn...

 are popular night clubs both in the summer and in the winter.

The most open air summer time seaside night clubs are found on the Bosphorus, such as Sortie, Reina and Anjelique in the Ortaköy
Ortaköy
Ortaköy is a neighbourhood, formerly a small village, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, located in the middle of the European bank of the Bosphorus....

 district. Q Jazz Bar in Ortaköy offers live jazz music
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 in a stylish environment.

Venues such as Istanbul Arena in Maslak
Maslak
Maslak is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European side of the city. It is an exclave of the municipality of Şişli, though being far north and actually closer to the municipalities of Beşiktaş and Sarıyer.Maslak is in direct competition...

 and Kuruçeşme Arena on the Bosphorus frequently host the live concerts of famous singers and bands from all corners of the world. Parkorman in Maslak hosted the Isle of MTV Party
MTV
MTV, formerly an initialism of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs....

 in 2002 and is a popular venue for live concerts and rave parties in the summer.

Media


The first Turkish newspaper, Takvim-i Vekayi, was printed on 1 August 1831 in the Bâbıâli (Bâb-ı Âli, meaning The Sublime Porte) district. Bâbıâli became the main centre for print media
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

. Istanbul is also the printing capital of Turkey with a wide variety of domestic and foreign periodicals expressing diverse views, and domestic newspapers are extremely competitive. Most nationwide newspapers are based in Istanbul, with simultaneous Ankara and İzmir editions. Major newspapers with their headquarters in Istanbul include Hürriyet
Hürriyet
-External links:* * ** * *...

, Milliyet
Milliyet
Milliyet is a major Turkish daily newspaper founded in 1950.-History:Milliyet came to publishing life at the Nuri Akça press in Babıali, Istanbul as a daily private newspaper on 3 May 1950...

, Sabah
Sabah (newspaper)
Sabah is a popular Turkish daily newspaper, with a circulation of around 330,000 as of 2011. Its name means "morning" in the Turkish language originating from Arabic...

, Radikal
Radikal
Radikal is a daily Turkish language newspaper, published in Istanbul. It has been published since 1997 by Aydın Doğan's Doğan Media Group ....

, Cumhuriyet
Cumhuriyet
Cumhuriyet is a centre-left Turkish daily newspaper, founded on May 7, 1924 by journalist Yunus Nadi Abalıoğlu. Based in Istanbul, it has been situated since October 17, 2005 in Mecidiyeköy. Cumhuriyet was the last newspaper to leave the old press district Cağaloğlu...

, Zaman
Zaman (newspaper)
Zaman is a major, high-circulation daily newspaper in Turkey. It was founded in 1986 and was the first Turkish daily to go online in 1995. It contains national , international, business and other news...

, Türkiye, Akşam, Bugün, Star, Dünya, Tercüman, Güneş, Vatan, Posta
Posta (newspaper)
Posta is a mass market Turkish daily newspaper, with the second highest circulation in Turkey. It was founded in 1995 and has a daily circulation of approximately 516,000...

, Takvim, Vakit, Yeni Şafak
Yeni Safak
- Columnists :...

, Fanatik and Turkish Daily News. There are also numerous local and national TV and radio stations located in Istanbul, such as Star TV, Show TV
Show TV
SHOW TV is a nation-wide television channel in Turkey owned by Çukurova Holding. The channel was established by the Turkish businessmen Erol Aksoy and Haldun Simavi on March 1, 1992. During the last years, Show TV extended its range of viewers by adding more channels like Show Plus, Show Max and...

, Sky Türk
Sky Turk
Sky Turk is a privately owned television channel in Turkey which is a part of the Çukurova Holding media group.A sound bomb was thrown at the channel's headquarters in Topkapı, İstanbul, on October 22, 2009, which was defused by the anti-bomb squad....

, MTV Türkiye
MTV Turkey
MTV Türkiye is the Turkish subsidiary of MTV. It is operated in Turkey by Multichannel Developers.-Launch:MTV Türkiye's opening party was held on 17 November 2006 in Istanbul, with a Pussycat Dolls performance. It was officially launced on October 23, 2006...

, Fox Türkiye
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

, Fox Sports Türkiye
Fox Sports Türkiye
Fox Sports Türkiye was a division of Fox Sports that created Turkish voiceovers for Fox Sports on Digiturk channel 70 and featuring sporting events in NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, Nascar, golf, soccer...

, NTV, Samanyolu TV
Samanyolu TV
Samanyolu TV is an international TV station, with its head quarters in Istanbul. It is one of the highest rating TV channels in Turkey. It iswatched by people of Turkish origin all over the world.- Series :* Kepu Ma* Бра керм да рожат...

, Kanal D
Kanal D
Kanal D is a nation-wide television channel in Turkey and part of Doğan Holding which is owned by the Turkish media tycoon Aydın Doğan.Kanal D also runs an international channel, Euro D which is available online....

, ATV, CNBC-e
CNBC-e
CNBC-e is a hybrid business/financial and entertainment channel operated in Turkey by CNBC Europe and the NTV Group.The channel shares its name with a co-owned magazine about CNBC-e....

, CNN Türk
CNN Turk
CNN Türk is the Turkish version of the popular cable news channel CNN. CNN Türk is a nationwide channel broadcasting exclusively in Turkey, owned by Time Warner and Doğan Medya Grubu, broadcasting since October 11, 1999. It has its headquarters in Istanbul....

, Cine5
Cine5
Cine5 is the first subscription based television channel in Turkey. It was aired encrypted and primarily broadcast feature movies when it was founded on September 20, 1993. Subscribers were required to buy a decoder to watch the channel. The number of subscribers reached over half a million...

, TGRT Haber, Kanal 7, Kanal Türk, Flash TV and many others. In the city of Istanbul, there are over a hundred FM-radio stations.

Sports



During the Roman and Byzantine periods, the most important sporting events were the quadriga
Quadriga
A quadriga is a car or chariot drawn by four horses abreast . It was raced in the Ancient Olympic Games and other contests. It is represented in profile as the chariot of gods and heroes on Greek vases and in bas-relief. The quadriga was adopted in ancient Roman chariot racing...

 chariot
Chariot
The chariot is a type of horse carriage used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples. Ox carts, proto-chariots, were built by the Proto-Indo-Europeans and also built in Mesopotamia as early as 3000 BC. The original horse chariot was a fast, light, open, two wheeled...

 races that were held at the Hippodrome of Constantinople
Hippodrome of Constantinople
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with only a few fragments of the original structure surviving...

, which had a capacity to accommodate more than 100,000 spectators. Today, sports like football, basketball and volleyball are very popular in the city. In addition to Beşiktaş
Besiktas J.K.
Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü , or simply Beşiktaş , is a Turkish sports club. The club's football team is one of the major teams in Turkey. The professional sports club, founded in 1903, is based in the Beşiktaş district in Istanbul, Turkey...

, Galatasaray
Galatasaray S.K.
Galatasaray Spor Kulübü is a Turkish sports club based in Istanbul, most notable for its football section, also known as Galatasaray S.K.. It also fields teams in Athletics, Basketball, Wheelchair basketball, Volleyball, Water polo, Swimming, Rowing, Sailing, Judo, Bridge, Equestrian, Handball,...

 and Fenerbahçe, which field teams in multiple sports, several other clubs have also excelled in particular team sports; such as Efes Pilsen, Fenerbahçe Ülker
Fenerbahçe Ülker
Fenerbahçe Ülker is the professional men's basketball department of Fenerbahçe S.K., a major multisport club based in Istanbul, Turkey. The department has been sponsored by the Ülker since 2006. In 2006 Fenerbahçe S.K...

, Galatasaray Medical Park and Beşiktaş Cola Turka
Besiktas Cola Turka
Beşiktaş Milangaz is a professional basketball team of Beşiktaş J.K., which is a sports club from İstanbul, Turkey. Their home arena is the Sinan Erdem Dome with a capacity of 16,000 seats...

 in basketball; or Eczacıbaşı, Vakıfbank and Fenerbahçe in volleyball.

The Atatürk Olympic Stadium, the largest multi-purpose stadium in Turkey, is a 5-star UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 stadium and a first-class venue for track and field; having reached the highest required standards set by the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 and sports federations such as the IAAF, FIFA and UEFA. The stadium hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final
2005 UEFA Champions League Final
The 2005 UEFA Champions League Final was the final match of the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, Europe's primary club football competition. The showpiece event was contested between Liverpool of England and Milan of Italy at the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May 2005...

. The Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium
Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium
Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium is a football stadium in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey, and is the home venue of Fenerbahçe S.K.. It was inaugurated in 1908 and renovated between 1999 and 2006...

, home of Fenerbahçe, which is also a 5-star UEFA stadium, hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final
2009 UEFA Cup Final
The 2009 UEFA Cup Final was the final match of the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, the 38th season of the UEFA Cup, UEFA's second-tier club football tournament. It was also the last final to be held under the UEFA Cup name, as the competition was rebranded as the UEFA Europa League from the 2009–10 season...

 that went down to history as the last Final of the UEFA Cup football tournament when the competition was replaced by the UEFA Europa League in the 2009–2010 season.

The Sinan Erdem Dome, the largest multi-purpose indoor arena
Arena
An arena is an enclosed area, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theater, musical performances, or sporting events. It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or all sides by tiered seating for spectators. The key feature of an arena is that the event space is the...

 in Turkey, hosted the Final of the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championship
2010 FIBA World Championship
The 2010 FIBA World Championship, hosted by Turkey, was the international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams. The tournament ran from August 28 to September 12, 2010. It was co-organized by the International Basketball Federation , Turkish Basketball Federation and the...

, and will also be the venue for the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships
2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships
The 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics will be the 15th edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics and will be held in March 9-11, 2012 at the Ataköy Athletics Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.-Bidding Process:...

 and the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships. The Abdi İpekçi Arena
Abdi Ipekçi Arena
Abdi İpekçi Arena, formerly known as Abdi İpekçi Sports Complex, is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, Turkey, situated just outside of the ancient city walls in Yedikule. Opened in 1986 after many years of interrupted construction, it is named after the...

 hosted the Final of EuroBasket 2001
EuroBasket 2001
The EuroBasket 2001 was the 32nd EuroBasket, the biennial regional basketball championship contested by European nations and held by FIBA Europe. The tournament, which was hosted by Turkey, began on 31 August 2001 and concluded with the final on 9 September 2001. Yugoslavia won the gold medal,...

, and was also the venue for the 1992 Euroleague Final Four.

Istanbul hosts several annual motorsports events, such as the Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 Turkish Grand Prix
Turkish Grand Prix
The Turkish Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race that was first held on August 21, 2005 as part of the 2005 Formula One season. It is held at the newly built Istanbul Park Circuit, constructed by famous German civil engineer Hermann Tilke...

, the MotoGP
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is the premier championship of motorcycle road racing currently divided into three distinct classes: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. The 125cc class uses a two-stroke engine while Moto2 and MotoGP use four-stroke engines. In 2010 the 250cc two-stroke was replaced...

 Grand Prix of Turkey
Turkish Grand Prix
The Turkish Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race that was first held on August 21, 2005 as part of the 2005 Formula One season. It is held at the newly built Istanbul Park Circuit, constructed by famous German civil engineer Hermann Tilke...

, the FIA
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile is a non-profit association established as the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users...

 World Touring Car Championship
World Touring Car Championship
For the video game, known as World Touring Car Championship in Japan, see TOCA World Touring CarsThe FIA World Touring Car Championship is an international Touring Car championship sanctioned by the FIA.-History:...

, the GP2
GP2 Series
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One feeder series, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, while Ecclestone also has the rights to the name GP1...

 and the Le Mans Series
Le Mans Series
The Le Mans Series is a European sports car racing endurance series based around the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and run by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest . The series was originally named the Le Mans Endurance Series, but changed its name prior to the 2006 season...

 1000 km (621 mi) races at the Istanbul Park GP Racing Circuit
Istanbul Park
Istanbul Park , also known as the Istanbul Racing Circuit or initially Istanbul Otodrom, is a motor sports race track in Akfırat County east of Istanbul, Turkey. It was inaugurated on 21 August 2005...

. From time to time Istanbul also hosts the Turkish leg of the F1 Powerboat Racing on the Bosphorus. Several annual sailing and yacht races
Yacht racing
Yacht racing is the sport of competitive yachting.While sailing groups organize the most active and popular competitive yachting, other boating events are also held world-wide: speed motorboat racing; competitive canoeing, kayaking, and rowing; model yachting; and navigational contests Yacht racing...

 take place on the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

. The Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 is where the rowing
Rowing (sport)
Rowing is a sport in which athletes race against each other on rivers, on lakes or on the ocean, depending upon the type of race and the discipline. The boats are propelled by the reaction forces on the oar blades as they are pushed against the water...

 races take place. Major clubs like Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, and major universities such as the Bosphorus University have rowing teams. Air racing
Air racing
- History :The first ever air race was held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1908. The participants piloted the only 4 airships in the U.S. around a course located at Forest Park...

 is new to the city. On 29 July 2006, Istanbul hosted the 5th leg of the spectacular Red Bull Air Race World Series, as well as the 4th leg on 2 June 2007, in both cases above the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

.

Personal sports like golf, horse riding
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 and tennis are gaining popularity as the city hosts international tournaments such as the WTA Istanbul Cup
Istanbul Cup
The İstanbul Cup is a tennis tournament held in İstanbul, Turkey. Held since 2005, this WTA Tour event is a WTA International Tournaments and is played on outdoor clay courts. From 2009, it switched to outdoor hard courts...

. For aerobics and bodybuilding, numerous fitness clubs are available. The Paintball sport has recently gained popularity and is practiced by two large clubs in the proximity of Istanbul. Martial arts and other Eastern disciplines and practices such as Aikido
Aikido
is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to...

 and Yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

 can be exercised in several centers across the city. Istanbul also hosts the annual MTB
Mountain biking
Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.Mountain biking can...

 races in the nearby Belgrad Forest
Belgrad Forest
Belgrad Forest is a mixed deciduous forest lying 15 kilometers north-west of Istanbul, Turkey. Geographically, the forest is located at the easternmost point of the Thracian Peninsula. Forest terrain is divided between Sarıyer and Eyüp districts. Several historical reservoirs lie within the forest...

 and Büyükada Island
Büyükada
Büyükada is the largest of the nine so-called Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, with an area of about two square miles...

. Two of the most prominent cycling teams of Turkey, namely the Scott/Marintek MTB Team and the Kron/Sektor Bikes/Efor Bisiklet MTB Team, are from Istanbul.

Istanbul is currently bidding
Istanbul bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics
Istanbul 2020 is a bid by Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, to be chosen by the International Olympic Committee to host the 2020 Summer Olympics....

 to host the 2020 Summer Olympics
2020 Summer Olympics
The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, will be a major international sports and cultural festival, celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games....

.

Twin towns and sister cities of Istanbul



Further reading

  • Gül, Murat. The Emergence of Modern Istanbul: Transformation and Modernisation of a City (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 242 pages; 2010). Pays particular attention to modernization under the Democratic Party government (1950–60) of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes.

External links