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) , postal_code_type =
Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes including spaces or punctuation, included in a postal ...
, postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European side)
+90 216 (Asian side) , registration_plate = 34 , blank_name_sec2 =
GeoTLD A geographic top-level domain (often shortened as geographic TLD or geoTLD) is any of an unofficial group of top-level domains A top-level domain (TLD) is one of the Domain name, domains at the highest level in the hierarchical Domain Name Sys ...
, blank_info_sec2 = .ist, .istanbul , website =
, blank_name = GDP (Nominal) , blank_info = 2019 , blank1_name =  - Total , blank1_info =
US$ The United States dollar (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, ...
237 billion , blank2_name =  - Per capita , blank2_info =
US$ The United States dollar (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, ...
15,285 , blank3_name =
HDI The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and ot ...
(2019) , blank3_info = 0.846 (very high) ·
1st First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill, ...
, timezone = TRT , utc_offset = +3 , module = , name = , government_type =
Mayor–council government The mayor–council government system is a system of organization of local government that has an executive mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, rega ...
, governing_body =
Municipal Council of Istanbul The Municipal Council of Istanbul ( Turkish: ''İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediye Meclisi'') is the ultimate decision making organ of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Although there are no exclusive elections held for the Municipal Council, t ...
Istanbul ( , ; tr, İstanbul ), formerly known as
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
, is the
largest city The United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, ...
in
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. The city straddles the
Bosporus File:Bosphorus aerial view.jpg, Aerial view of the Bosporus taken from its northern end near the Black Sea (bottom), looking south (top) toward the Marmara Sea, with the city center of Istanbul visible along the strait's hilly banks. The Bosp ...

Bosporus
strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Most commonly i ...

strait
, and lies in both
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
and
Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area of , about 30% of Earth's total lan ...

Asia
, with a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey. Istanbul is the
most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities proper, the extent of their urban area, or the ...
in Europe, and the world's fifteenth-largest city. Founded as
Byzantion Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc-gre, Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark A ...

Byzantion
by colonists in the 7th century BCE, and renamed by
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...

Constantine the Great
first as
New Rome New Rome (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as o ...
(''Nova Roma'') during the official dedication of the city as the new
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...

Roman
capital in 330 CE, which he soon afterwards changed to Constantinople (''Constantinopolis''), the city grew in size and influence, becoming a beacon of the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade route A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. The term can also be used to refer to trade over bodies of ...

Silk Road
and one of the most important cities in history. It served as an imperial capital for almost sixteen centuries, during the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...

Roman
/
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
(330–1204),
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
(1204–1261),
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It surviv ...
(1261–1453), and
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
(1453–1922) empires. The city was instrumental in the advancement of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
during Roman and Byzantine times, hosting four (including
Chalcedon Chalcedon ( or ; , sometimes transliterated as ''Chalkedon'') was an ancient maritime town of Bithynia, in Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula ...
(
Kadıköy Kadıköy (; known in classical antiquity and during the Roman Empire, Roman and Byzantine Empire, Byzantine eras as Chalcedon, in gr, Χαλκηδών), is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district in the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey, on ...
) on the Asian side) of the
first seven ecumenical councils #REDIRECT First seven ecumenical councils#REDIRECT First seven ecumenical councils In the history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its various denominatio ...
(all of which were in present-day Turkey), before its transformation to an
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...
ic stronghold following the
Fall of Constantinople The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως , translit=Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs ; tr, İstanbul'un Fethi, lit=Conquest of Istanbul ) was the capture of the capital Capi ...
in 1453 CE, especially after becoming the seat of the
Ottoman Caliphate The Ottoman Caliphate ( ota, خلافت مقامى, tr, hilâfet makamı; "the office of caliphate"), under the Ottoman dynasty The Ottoman dynasty ( tr, Osmanlı Hanedanı) was made up of the members of the imperial House of Osman ( ota, ...
in 1517. In 1923, after the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military and ethnic cleansing ...
,
Ankara Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over ...

Ankara
replaced the city as the capital of the newly formed
Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Republic of Turkey
. In 1930, the city's name was officially changed to Istanbul, an appellation
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
speakers used since the eleventh century to colloquially refer to the city. Over foreign visitors came to Istanbul in 2018, eight years after it was named a
European Capital of Culture A European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members ha ...

European Capital of Culture
, making it the world's eighth most visited city. Istanbul is home to several
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
s, and hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish companies, accounting for more than thirty percent of the country's
economy An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ( ...
.


Toponymy

The first known name of the city is ''
Byzantium Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc-gre, Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark A ...

Byzantium
'' ( el, Βυζάντιον, ''Byzántion''), the name given to it at its foundation by colonists around 657 BCE. Megaran colonists claimed a direct line back to the founders of the city, Byzas, the son of the god Poseidon and the nymph Ceroëssa. Modern excavations have raised the possibility that the name Byzantium might reflect the sites of native Thracian settlements that preceded the fully fledged town. Constantinople comes from the Latin name Constantinus, after
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...

Constantine the Great
, the Roman emperor who refounded the city in 324 CE. Constantinople remained the most common name for the city in the West until the 1930s, when Turkish authorities began to press for the use of "Istanbul" in foreign languages. ''Kostantiniyye'' ( ota, قسطنطينيه), ''Be Makam-e Qonstantiniyyah al-Mahmiyyah'' (meaning "the Protected Location of Constantinople") and ''İstanbul'' were the names used alternatively by the Ottomans during their rule. The name ''İstanbul'' (, colloquially ) is commonly held to derive from the
Medieval Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek language between the end of Classical antiquity in the 5th–6th centuries and the end of the Middle Ages, conventionally dated to the Fall of Constantino ...
phrase (pronounced ), which means "to the city" and is how Constantinople was referred to by the local Greeks. This reflected its status as the only major city in the vicinity. The importance of Constantinople in the Ottoman world was also reflected by its Ottoman nickname ''Der Saadet'' meaning the "Gate to Prosperity" in Ottoman Turkish. An alternative view is that the name evolved directly from the name ''Constantinople'', with the first and third syllables dropped. Some Ottoman sources of the 17th century, such as
Evliya Çelebi Derviş Mehmed Zillî (25 March 1611 – 1682), known as Evliya Çelebi ( ota, اوليا چلبى), was an Ottoman Empire, Ottoman explorer who travelled through the territory of the Ottoman Empire and neighboring lands over a period of forty yea ...
, describe it as the common Turkish name of the time; between the late 17th and late 18th centuries, it was also in official use. The first use of the word ''Islambol'' on coinage was in 1730 during the reign of Sultan
Mahmud I Mahmud I ( ota, محمود اول, tr, I. Mahmud, 2 August 1696 13 December 1754), known as Mahmud the Hunchback, was the Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic a ...
. In modern
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
, the name is written as ''İstanbul'', with a dotted İ, as the
Turkish alphabet The Turkish alphabet ( tr, ) is a Latin-script alphabet A Latin-script alphabet (Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet) is an alphabet that uses Letter (alphabet), letters of the Latin script. The 21-letter archaic Latin alphabet and the 23-letter c ...

Turkish alphabet
distinguishes between a dotted and
dotless I I, or ı, called dotless I, is a letter used in the Latin-script alphabet, Latin-script alphabets of Azerbaijani alphabet, Azerbaijani, Crimean Tatar alphabet, Crimean Tatar, Gagauz alphabet, Gagauz, Kazakh alphabets, Kazakh, Tatar alphabet, Tata ...
. In English the stress is on the first or last syllable, but in Turkish it is on the second syllable (''tan''). A person from the city is an ''İstanbullu'' (plural: ''İstanbullular''); ''Istanbulite'' is used in English.


History

Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
artifacts, uncovered by archeologists at the beginning of the 21st century, indicate that Istanbul's historic peninsula was settled as far back as the 6th millennium BCE. That early settlement, important in the spread of the
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
from the Near East to Europe, lasted for almost a millennium before being inundated by rising water levels. The first human settlement on the Asian side, the Fikirtepe mound, is from the
Copper Age The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...
period, with artifacts dating from 5500 to 3500 BCE, On the European side, near the point of the peninsula (
Sarayburnu Sarayburnu ( tr, Sarayburnu, meaning ''Cape Palace''; known in English as the Seraglio Point) is a promontory quarter separating the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , posta ...
), there was a Thracian settlement during the early 1st millennium BCE. Modern authors have linked it to the Thracian toponym ''Lygos'', mentioned by
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, ...

Pliny the Elder
as an earlier name for the site of Byzantium. The history of the city proper begins around 660 BCE, when Greek settlers from
Megara Megara (; el, Μέγαρα, ) is a historic town and a municipality in West Attica, Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 mill ...

Megara
established
Byzantium Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc-gre, Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark A ...

Byzantium
on the European side of the Bosphorus. The settlers built an
acropolis An acropolis (Ancient Greek: ἀκρόπολις, ''akropolis''; from ''akros'' (άκρος) or ''akron'' (άκρον), "highest, topmost, outermost" and ''polis'' (πόλις), "city"; plural in English: ''acropoles'', ''acropoleis'' or ''acropol ...

acropolis
adjacent to the
Golden Horn 300px, The Golden Horn as seen from Galata Bridge The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus F ...

Golden Horn
on the site of the early Thracian settlements, fueling the nascent city's economy. The city experienced a brief period of
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
rule at the turn of the 5th century BCE, but the Greeks recaptured it during the
Greco-Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
. Byzantium then continued as part of the
Athenian League The Athenian League was an English amateur An amateur (; ; ) is generally considered a person who pursues a particular activity or field of study independently from their source of income. Amateurs and their pursuits are also described as popul ...
and its successor, the
Second Athenian LeagueThe Second Athenian League was a maritime confederation of Aegean city-states from 378 to 355 BC and headed by Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in ...
, before gaining independence in 355 BCE. Long allied with the Romans, Byzantium officially became a part of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
in 73 CE. Byzantium's decision to side with the
Roman usurper Roman usurpers were individuals or groups of individuals who obtained or tried to obtain power by force and without legitimate legal authority. Usurpation was endemic during the Roman imperial era, especially from the crisis of the third century# ...
Pescennius Niger Gaius Pescennius Niger (c. 135 – 194) was Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles throughout history. Often when a gi ...
against Emperor
Septimius Severus Lucius Septimius Severus (; 11 April 145 – 4 February 211) was Roman emperor from 193 to 211. He was born in Leptis Magna (present day Al-Khums, Libya) in the Roman province of Africa (Roman province), Africa. As a young man he advanced thro ...
cost it dearly; by the time it surrendered at the end of 195 CE, two years of siege had left the city devastated. 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 and the Byzantine Empire

Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...

Constantine the Great
effectively became the emperor of the whole of the Roman Empire in September 324. Two months later, he laid out the plans for a new, Christian city to replace Byzantium. As the eastern capital of the empire, the city was named '' Nova Roma''; most called it Constantinople, a name that persisted into the 20th century. On 11 May 330, Constantinople was proclaimed the capital of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, which was later permanently divided between the two sons of
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
upon his death on 17 January 395, when the city became the capital of the . The establishment of Constantinople was one of Constantine's most lasting accomplishments, shifting Roman power eastward as the city became a center of Greek culture and Christianity. Numerous churches were built across the city, including
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=), officially known as the Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque ( tr, Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi, آياصوفيا  كبير جامع  شريف), and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia (; ; ) and for ...

Hagia Sophia
which was built during the reign of
Justinian the Great Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός, Ioustinianós; 11 May 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ...
and remained the world's largest cathedral for a thousand years. Constantine also undertook a major renovation and expansion of the
Hippodrome of Constantinople Sultanahmet Square ( tr, Sultanahmet Meydanı), or the Hippodrome of Constantinople ( el, Ἱππόδρομος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Hippódromos tēs Kōnstantinoupóleōs, la, Circus Maximus Constantinopolitanus, tr ...
; accommodating tens of thousands of spectators, the hippodrome became central to civic life and, in the 5th and 6th centuries, the center of episodes of unrest, including the
Nika riots The Nika riots ( el, Στάσις τοῦ Νίκα ''Stásis toû Níka''), Nika revolt or Nika sedition took place against Emperor Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48 ...
. 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 and the advance of Islam. During most of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, the latter part of the Byzantine era, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city on the European continent and at times the largest in the world. Constantinople is generally considered to be the center and the "cradle of Orthodox
Christian civilization Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious gr ...
". Constantinople began to decline continuously after the end of the reign of Basil II in 1025. The
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in La ...
was diverted from its purpose in 1204, and the city was sacked and pillaged by the crusaders. They established the
Latin Empire The Latin Empire, also referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was a feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the ...

Latin Empire
in place of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire. Hagia Sophia was converted to a Catholic church in 1204. The Byzantine Empire was restored, albeit weakened, in 1261. Constantinople's churches, defenses, and basic services were in disrepair, and its population had dwindled to a hundred thousand from half a million during the 8th century. After the reconquest of 1261, however, some of the city's monuments were restored, and some, like the two
Deesis In , and in later art generally, the Deësis or Deisis (, ; el, δέησις, "prayer" or "supplication"), is a traditional ic representation of or : enthroned, carrying a book, and flanked by the and , and sometimes other saints and angels. ...

Deesis
mosaics in Hagia Sofia and Kariye, were created. Various economic and military policies instituted by , such as the reduction of military forces, weakened the empire and left it vulnerable to attack. In the mid-14th-century, the
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks (or Osmanlı Turks, tr, Osmanlı Türkleri) were the Turkish language , Turkish-speaking people of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299–1922/1923). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks remains scarce, but the ...
began a strategy of gradually taking smaller towns and cities, cutting off Constantinople's supply routes and strangling it slowly. On 29 May 1453, after an eight-week siege (during which the last Roman emperor,
Constantine XI Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus ( el, Κωνσταντῖνος Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος, ''Kōnstantinos Dragasēs Palaiologos''; 8 February 1405 – 29 May 1453) was the last Byzantine emperor, reign ...
, was killed),
Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...

Sultan
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
"the Conqueror" captured Constantinople and declared it the new capital of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. Hours later, the sultan rode to the Hagia Sophia and summoned an imam to proclaim the , converting the grand cathedral into an imperial mosque due to the city's refusal to surrender peacefully. Mehmed declared himself as the new '' Kayser-i Rûm'' (the
Ottoman Turkish Ottoman Turkish ( ota, لِسانِ عُثمانى, , ; tr, Osmanlı Türkçesi) was the standardized register (sociolinguistics), register of the Turkish language used in the Ottoman Empire (14th to 20th centuries CE). It borrowed extensively, ...
equivalent of the
Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of anc ...
of Rome) and the Ottoman state was reorganized into an empire.


Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic eras

Following the conquest of Constantinople,
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
immediately set out to revitalize the city. Cognizant that revitalization would fail without the repopulation of the city,
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
welcomed everyone–foreigners, criminals, and runaways– showing extraordinary openness and willingness to incorporate outsiders that came to define Ottoman political culture. He also invited people from all over
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
to his capital, creating a cosmopolitan society that persisted through much of the Ottoman period. Revitalizing Istanbul also required a massive program of restorations, of everything from roads to
aqueducts Aqueduct may refer to: Bridges *Aqueduct (bridge) Aqueduct of Vanvitelli, Italy, built by Luigi Vanvitelli. It is a World Heritage Site and one of the finest examples of an aqueduct in Europe. Aqueducts or water bridges are bridges constructe ...
. Like many monarchs before and since,
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
transformed Istanbul's urban landscape with wholesale redevelopment of the city center. There was a to rival, if not overshadow, the old one, a new covered market (still standing as the ), porticoes, pavilions, walkways, as well as more than a dozen new mosques.
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
turned the ramshackle old town into something that looked like an imperial capital.
Social hierarchy Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such as Object (philosophy), objects, ev ...
was ignored by the rampant plague, which killed the rich and the poor alike in the sixteenth century. Money could not protect the rich from all the discomforts and harsher sides of Istanbul. Although the Sultan lived at a safe remove from the masses, and the wealthy and poor tended to live side by side, for the most part Istanbul was not zoned as modern cities are. Opulent houses shared the same streets and districts with tiny hovels. Those rich enough to have secluded country properties had a chance of escaping the periodic
epidemic An epidemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
s of sickness that blighted Istanbul. The
Ottoman Dynasty The Ottoman dynasty ( tr, Osmanlı Hanedanı) was made up of the members of the imperial House of Osman ( ota, خاندان آل عثمان, Ḫānedān-ı Āl-i ʿOsmān), also known as the Ottomans ( tr, Osmanlılar). According to Ottoman tr ...
claimed the status of
caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
in 1517, with Constantinople remaining the capital of this last caliphate for four centuries.
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان سليمان, Ḳā ...

Suleiman the Magnificent
's reign from 1520 to 1566 was a period of especially great artistic and architectural achievement; chief architect
Mimar Sinan Mimar Sinan ( ota, معمار سينان, translit=Mi'mâr Sinân, , ) ( 1488/1490 – July 17, 1588) also known as Koca Mi'mâr Sinân Âğâ, ("Sinan Agha (title), Agha the Grand Architect" or "Grand Sinan") was the chief Ottoman Empire ...
designed several iconic buildings in the city, while Ottoman arts of
ceramics A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. It ...
,
stained glass File:Oostende Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk Rosette.jpg, 300px, Outside-view of a stained glass of the Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk from Ostend (Belgium), built between 1899 and 1908 The term stained glass refers to coloured glass as a material and to ...

stained glass
,
calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek language, Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a Visual arts, visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad-tipped instrument, brush, or other writing instrument. A contemporary call ...

calligraphy
, and miniature flourished. The population of Constantinople was 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 ( ota, محمود ثانى, Mahmud-u s̠ānī, tr, II. Mahmud; 20 July 1785 – 1 July 1839) was the 30th of the from 1808 until his death in 1839. His reign is recognized for the extensive administrative, military, and fiscal ref ...

Mahmud II
and eventually to the ''
Tanzimat The Tanzimat (; ota, تنظيمات, translit=Tanzimāt, lit=Reorganization, ''see'' nizām) was a period of reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word i ...
'' period, which produced political reforms and allowed new technology to be introduced to the city. Bridges across the
Golden Horn 300px, The Golden Horn as seen from Galata Bridge The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus F ...

Golden Horn
were constructed during this period, and Constantinople was connected to the rest of the European railway network in the 1880s. Modern facilities, such as a water supply network, electricity, telephones, and trams, were gradually introduced to Constantinople over the following decades, although later than to other European cities. The modernization efforts were not enough to forestall the
decline of the Ottoman Empire In the late eighteenth century, the () faced numerous enemies. In response to these threats, the empire initiated a period of internal reform which came to be known as the , which succeeded in significantly strengthening the Ottoman central stat ...
. Sultan
Abdul Hamid II Abdul Hamid II or Abdülhamid II ( ota , عبد الحميد ثانی, Abdü’l-Ḥamîd-i-sânî; tr, II. Abdülhamid; 21 September 1842 10 February 1918) reigned as the 34th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire - the las ...
was deposed with the
Young Turk Revolution The Young Turk Revolution (July 1908) of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ota, دولت عليه عثمانيه ', literally "The Sublime Ottoman State"; Modern Turkish: ' or '; french: Empire ottoman) (''Osmanean Têrut´iwn'', me ...
in 1908 and the
Ottoman Parliament The General Assembly ( tr, Meclis-i Umumî (French romanization: "Medjliss Oumoumi" ) or ''Genel Parlamento''; french: Assemblée Générale) was the first attempt at representative democracy by the Imperial Government (Ottoman Empire), imperial ...
, closed since 14 February 1878, was reopened 30 years later on 23 July 1908, which marked the beginning of the
Second Constitutional Era The Second Constitutional Era ( ota, ايکنجى مشروطيت دورى; tr, İkinci Meşrûtiyyet Devri) of the Ottoman Empire was established after the 1908 Young Turk Revolution which forced Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Abdulhamid II to restore t ...
. A series of wars in the early 20th century, such as the
Italo-Turkish War The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War ( tr, Trablusgarp Savaşı, "Tripolitanian War", it, Guerra di Libia, "War of Libya") was fought between the and the from 29 September 1911, to 18 October 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy capture ...
(1911–1912) and the
Balkan Wars The Balkan Wars consisted of two conflicts that took place in the Balkan Peninsula in 1912 and 1913. Four Balkan states defeated the Ottoman Empire in the First Balkan War. In the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria fought against all four original comb ...

Balkan Wars
(1912–1913), plagued the ailing empire's capital and resulted in the , which brought the regime of the
Three Pashas The Three Pashas also known as the Young Turk triumvirate or CUP triumvirate consisted of (1874–1921), the (prime minister) and ; (1881–1922), the ; and (1872–1922), the Minister of the , who effectively ruled the after the . According ...

Three Pashas
. The Ottoman Empire joined
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
(1914–1918) on the side of the
Central Powers The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,german: Mittelmächte; hu, Központi hatalmak; tr, İttifak Devletleri / ; bg, Централни сили, translit=Tsentralni sili was one of the two main coalitions that fought World W ...
and was ultimately defeated. The
deportation of Armenian intellectuals on 24 April 1915 The deportation of Armenian intellectuals, sometimes known as Red Sunday ( Western hy, Կարմիր կիրակի ''Garmir giragi''), is conventionally held to mark the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. Leaders of the Armenian community in the ...
was among the major events which marked the start of the
Armenian genocide The Armenian Genocide (Terminology of the Armenian Genocide, other names) was the systematic mass murder and ethnic cleansing of around 1 million ethnic Armenians from Asia Minor and adjoining regions by the Ottoman Empire and its ruling ...

Armenian genocide
during WWI. Due to Ottoman and Turkish policies of
Turkification Turkification, Turkization, or Turkicization ( tr, Türkleştirme), describes both a cultural and language shift whereby populations or states adopted a historical Turkic people, Turkic culture, such as in the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish natio ...
and
ethnic cleansing Ethnic cleansing is the systematic forced removal of ethnic, racial, and religious groups from a given area, with the intent of making a region ethnically homogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the Science, science ...
, the city's
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...
population declined from 450,000 to 240,000 between 1914 and 1927. The
Armistice of Mudros Concluded on 30 October 1918 and taking effect at noon the next day, the Armistice of Mudros ( tr, Mondros Mütarekesi) ended hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info p ...
was signed on 30 October 1918 and the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
occupied Constantinople on 13 November 1918. The
Ottoman Parliament The General Assembly ( tr, Meclis-i Umumî (French romanization: "Medjliss Oumoumi" ) or ''Genel Parlamento''; french: Assemblée Générale) was the first attempt at representative democracy by the Imperial Government (Ottoman Empire), imperial ...
was dissolved by the Allies on 11 April 1920 and the Ottoman delegation led by
Damat Ferid Pasha Damat Mehmed Adil Ferid Pasha ( ota, محمد عادل فريد پاشا tr, Damat Ferit Paşa;‎ 1853 – 6 October 1923), known simply as Damat Ferid Pasha, was an Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine gi ...
was forced to sign the
Treaty of Sèvres The Treaty of Sèvres (french: Traité de Sèvres) was a 1920 treaty signed between the Allies of World War I and the Ottoman Empire. The treaty ceded large parts of Ottoman territory to France, the United Kingdom, Greece and Italy, as well ...
on 10 August 1920. Following the
Turkish War of Independence The Turkish War of Independence "War of Liberation", also known figuratively as ''İstiklâl Harbi'' "Independence War" or ''Millî Mücadele'' "National Struggle" (19 May 1919 – 24 July 1923) was a series of military and ethnic cleansing ...
(1919–1922), the
Grand National Assembly of Turkey The Grand National Assembly of Turkey ( tr, ), usually referred to simply as the TBMM or Parliament ( tr, or ''Parlamento''), is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Const ...

Grand National Assembly of Turkey
in
Ankara Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over ...

Ankara
abolished the
Sultanate This article includes a list of successive Muslim state An Islamic state is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associati ...
on 1 November 1922, and the last
Ottoman Sultan The sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a Royal and noble ranks, position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", derived from the verbal noun ', mea ...
,
Mehmed VI Mehmed VI Vahideddin ( ota, محمد سادس ''Meḥmed-i sâdis'' or ''Vahîdeddin''; tr, VI. Mehmed or ; 14 January 1861 – 16 May 1926), also known as Şahbaba () among the Osmanoğlu family The Osmanoğlu family are the members of th ...
, was declared ''
persona non grata In diplomacy, a ' (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
''. Leaving aboard the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and ...
on 17 November 1922, he went into exile and died in
Sanremo Sanremo (; lij, Sanrémmo(ro) or , ) or San Remo is a city and comune on the Mediterranean coast of Liguria, in northwestern Italy. Founded in Roman times, it has a population of 55,000, and is known as a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of Italian Peninsula, a peninsula delimited by the Alps and List of islands of Italy, several islands surrounding it, whose ...

Italy
, on 16 May 1926. The
Treaty of Lausanne A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relation ...
was signed on 24 July 1923, and the
occupation of Constantinople The occupation of Constantinople ( tr, İstanbul'un İşgali; November 13, 1918 – October 4, 1923), the capital of the Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF ...
ended with the departure of the last forces of the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
from the city on 4 October 1923. Turkish forces of the Ankara government, commanded by (3rd Corps), entered the city with a ceremony on 6 October 1923, which has been marked as the ''Liberation Day'' of Istanbul (
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
: ''İstanbul'un Kurtuluşu'') and is commemorated every year on its anniversary. On 29 October 1923 the Grand National Assembly of Turkey declared the establishment of the Turkish Republic, with Ankara as its capital.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Kemal Atatürk (or alternatively written as Kamâl Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal PashaHe was known for most of his lifetime as Mustafa Kemal, but is referred to in this article as Atatürk for readability reasons. Surname Law (Turkey), until 193 ...

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
became the Republic's first
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
. According to historian Philip Mansel: : after the departure of the dynasty in 1925, from being the most international city in Europe, Constantinople became one of the most nationalistic....Unlike Vienna, Constantinople turned its back on the past. Even its name was changed. Constantinople was dropped because of its Ottoman and international associations. From 1926 the post office only accepted Istanbul; it appeared more Turkish and was used by most Turks. A 1942 wealth tax assessed mainly on non-Muslims led to the transfer or liquidation of many businesses owned by religious minorities. From the late 1940s and early 1950s, Istanbul underwent great structural change, as new public squares, boulevards, and avenues were constructed throughout the city, sometimes at the expense of historical buildings. 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, and many previously outlying villages and forests became engulfed into the
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cul ...

metropolitan area
of Istanbul.


Geography

Istanbul is located in north-western
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...

Turkey
and straddles the strait Bosporus, which provides the only passage from the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
to the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
via the . Historically, the city has been ideally situated for trade and defense: The confluence of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the
Golden Horn 300px, The Golden Horn as seen from Galata Bridge The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus F ...

Golden Horn
provide both ideal defense against enemy attack and a natural toll-gate. Several picturesque islands—
Büyükada Büyükada ( el, Πρίγκηπος or Πρίγκιπος, rendered ''Prinkipos'' or ''Prinkipo'') is the largest of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, with an area of about . It is officially a neighbourhood in the Adalar ...

Büyükada
,
Heybeliada Heybeliada or Heybeli Ada ( el, Χάλκη, ''Halki'') is the second largest of the Prince Islands in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 3499 ...

Heybeliada
, Burgazada,
Kınalıada Image:Princes Islands.png, 200px, Satellite photo of the Prince Islands (Kınalıada is the first one at top left) Kınalıada ( hy, Գնալը կղզի; el, Πρώτη, ''Proti'' 'first') is an island in the Sea of Marmara; it is the closest of ...
, and five smaller islands—are part of the city. Istanbul's shoreline has grown beyond its natural limits. Large sections of Caddebostan sit on areas of landfill, increasing the total area of the city to . Despite the myth that seven hills make up the city, there are, in fact, more than 50 hills within the city limits. Istanbul's tallest hill, Aydos, is high. The nearby
North Anatolian Fault The North Anatolian Fault (NAF) ( tr, Kuzey Anadolu Fay Hattı) is an active right-lateral Fault (geology)#Strike-slip faults, strike-slip fault in northern Anatolia, and is the Transform fault, transform boundary between the Eurasian Plate and t ...
is responsible for much earthquake activity, although it doesn't physically pass through the city itself. The fault caused the earthquakes in 1766 and
1894 Events January–March * January 4 Events Pre-1600 * 46 BC – Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman people, Roman general and statesman who played a critical role in Crisis of the ...
. The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city's infrastructure development, with over 500,000 vulnerable buildings demolished and replaced since 2012. The city has repeatedly upgraded its
building code A building code (also building control or building regulations) is a set of rules that specify the standards for constructed objects such as buildings and non-building structures. Buildings must conform to the code to obtain planning permission, ...
s, most recently in 2018, requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction.


Climate

Istanbul has a borderline
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
(
KöppenKöppen is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Bernd Köppen (born 1951), German pianist and composer * Edlef Köppen (1893–1939), German author and radio editor * Friedrich Köppen (1775–1858), German philosopher * Jan ...
''Csa,''
Trewartha Trewartha and Andrewartha are Cornish people, Cornish family names (and placename, Dexter). There are places called Trewartha in the parishes of Merther, St Agnes, Cornwall, St Agnes, St Neot, Cornwall, St Neot and Veryan. According to the ''Hand ...
''Cs''),
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
(
KöppenKöppen is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Bernd Köppen (born 1951), German pianist and composer * Edlef Köppen (1893–1939), German author and radio editor * Friedrich Köppen (1775–1858), German philosopher * Jan ...
''Cfa,''
Trewartha Trewartha and Andrewartha are Cornish people, Cornish family names (and placename, Dexter). There are places called Trewartha in the parishes of Merther, St Agnes, Cornwall, St Agnes, St Neot, Cornwall, St Neot and Veryan. According to the ''Hand ...
''Cf'') and
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen classification of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the deg ...
(
KöppenKöppen is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Bernd Köppen (born 1951), German pianist and composer * Edlef Köppen (1893–1939), German author and radio editor * Friedrich Köppen (1775–1858), German philosopher * Jan ...
''Cfb,''
Trewartha Trewartha and Andrewartha are Cornish people, Cornish family names (and placename, Dexter). There are places called Trewartha in the parishes of Merther, St Agnes, Cornwall, St Agnes, St Neot, Cornwall, St Neot and Veryan. According to the ''Hand ...
''Do'') under both classifications. It experiences cool winters with frequent precipitation, and warm to hot (mean temperature peaking at to in August, depending on location), moderately dry summers. Spring and fall are usually mild, with varying conditions dependent on wind direction. Istanbul's weather is strongly influenced by the Sea of Marmara to the south, and the Black Sea to the north. This moderates temperature swings and produces a mild temperate climate with low
diurnal temperature variation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates back millennia, though significant progr ...
. Consequently, Istanbul's temperatures almost always oscillate between and , and most of the city does not experience temperatures above for more than 14 days a year. Another effect of Istanbul's maritime position is its persistently high dew points, near-saturation morning humidity, and frequent fog, which also limits Istanbul's sunshine hours to levels closer to Western Europe. Because of its hilly topography and maritime influences, Istanbul exhibits a multitude of distinct
microclimate A microclimate (or micro-climate) is a local set of atmosphere of Earth, atmospheric conditions that differ from those in the surrounding areas, often with a slight difference but sometimes with a substantial one. The term may refer to areas as s ...
s. Within the city, rainfall varies widely owing to the rain shadow of the hills in Istanbul, from around on the southern fringe at Florya to on the northern fringe at Bahçeköy. Furthermore, while the city itself lies in USDA hardiness zones 9a to 9b, its inland suburbs lie in zone 8b with isolated pockets of zone 8a, restricting the cultivation of cold-hardy
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones located to the north and south of the tropics, Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the Geographical zone#Temperate zones, ...

subtropical
plants to the coasts. As Istanbul is only slightly rain shadowed from Mediterranean storms and is otherwise surrounded by water, it usually receives some amount of precipitation from both Western European and Mediterranean
systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, structure and purpose and expres ...
. This results in frequent precipitation during the winter months; January averages 20 days of precipitation when counting trace accumulations, 17 when using a 0.1 mm threshold, and 12 when using a 1.0 mm threshold. Precipitation is observed throughout the year; as 38% of the precipitation falls in winter, 18% in spring, 13% in summer, 31% in autumn. Summer is the driest season; However, unlike a true
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
, there is no
dry season The dry season is a yearly period of low rainfall, especially in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which moves from the northern to the southern tropics and back over the course of the year. Rain ...
. The number of rainy days in the city is approximately 131 days, and in some parts it may reach up to 152 days. Despite the fact that it does not have the cold winters typical of such cities, Istanbul averages more than of snow a year, making it the snowiest major city in the Mediterranean basin. This is largely caused by
lake-effect snow Lake-effect snow is produced during cooler atmospheric conditions when a cold air mass moves across long expanses of warmer lake water. The lower layer of air, heated up by the lake water, picks up water vapor from the lake and rises up through t ...
, which forms when cold air, upon contact with the Black Sea, develops into moist and unstable air that ascends to form snow squalls along the lee shores of the Black Sea. These snow squalls are heavy snow bands and occasionally thundersnows, with accumulation rates approaching per hour. The highest recorded temperature at the
official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/or employer, public or legally ...
downtown observation station in
Sarıyer Sarıyer () is the northernmost district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side of the city. The Sarıyer district is a huge area consisting of the villages on the European side of the Bosphorus from Rumelifeneri, down through Tarabya, Yeniköy, ...

Sarıyer
was and on 13 July 2000. The lowest recorded temperature was on 9 February 1929. The highest recorded snow cover in the city center was on 4 January 1942, and in the northern suburbs on 11 January 2017.


Climate change

As with virtually every part of the world,
climate change Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...
is causing more heatwaves, droughts, storms, and flooding in Istanbul. Furthermore, as Istanbul is a large and rapidly expanding city, its
urban heat island Image:Urban heat island.svg, 300px, Mechanism of the urban heat island effect An urban heat island (UHI) is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The temperat ...

urban heat island
has been intensifying the effects of climate change. Considering past data, it is very likely that these two factors are responsible for urban Istanbul's shift, from a warm-summer climate to a hot-summer one in the
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by German-Russian climate science, climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by K ...
, and from the cool temperate zone to the zone in the
Trewartha climate classification Trewartha and Andrewartha are Cornish family name In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. The family name may ...
. If trends continue, sea level rise is likely to affect city infrastructure, for example Kadıkoy metro station is threatened with flooding.
Xeriscaping Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping, or gardening, that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation Irrigation is the artificial process of applying controlled amounts of water to land to assist in production of crops. Irrigation help ...

Xeriscaping
of green spaces has been suggested, and Istanbul has a climate-change action plan.


Cityscape

The
Fatih Fatih (), historically Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse), Tsargrad (Slavs, Slavic), Qustantiniya (Arabic), ...

Fatih
district, which was named after Sultan
Mehmed the Conqueror Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i sānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=The Father of Conquest; tr, Fatih Sultan Mehmed), ...

Mehmed the Conqueror
(
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
: ''Fatih Sultan Mehmed''), corresponds to what was, until the Ottoman conquest in 1453, the whole of the city of Constantinople (today is the capital district and called the ''historic peninsula'' of Istanbul) on the southern shore of the
Golden Horn 300px, The Golden Horn as seen from Galata Bridge The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus F ...

Golden Horn
, across the medieval
Genoese Genoese may refer to: * a person from Genoa * Genoese dialect, a dialect of the Ligurian language * Republic of Genoa (–1805), a former state in Liguria See also

* Genovese, a surname * Genovesi, a surname * * * * * Genova (disambiguati ...
citadel of
Galata Galata is the former name of the Karaköy neighbourhood in Istanbul, which is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn. The district is connected to the historic Fatih district by several bridges that cross the Golden Horn, most notably ...

Galata
on the northern shore. The Genoese fortifications in Galata were largely demolished in the 19th century, leaving only the
Galata Tower The Galata Tower ( tr, Galata Kulesi) or with the current official name Galata Kulesi Museum ( tr, Galata Kulesi Müzesi) is a tower A tower is a tall structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a m ...

Galata Tower
, to make way for the northward expansion of the city. Galata (
Karaköy Karaköy, the modern name for ancient Galata, is a commercial quarter in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, located at the northern part of the Golden Horn mouth on the European side of Bosphorus. Karaköy is one of the oldest and most ...

Karaköy
) is today a quarter within the
Beyoğlu Beyoğlu () is a district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as the region of Pera (Πέρα, meaning "Beyond" in Greek language, Greek, F ...
(Pera) district, which forms Istanbul's commercial and entertainment center and includes
İstiklal Avenue İstiklal Avenue ( tr, İstiklal Caddesi; en, "Independence Avenue"), historically known as the Grand Avenue of Beyoğlu, Pera (Ottoman Turkish: ''Cadde-i Kebir''; el, Μεγάλη Οδός του Πέραν, Megali Odos tu Peran; french: Grand ...
and
Taksim Square Taksim Square ( tr, Taksim Meydanı, ), situated in Beyoğlu in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the ce ...

Taksim Square
.
Dolmabahçe Palace Dolmabahçe Palace ( tr, Dolmabahçe Sarayı, ) located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to ...

Dolmabahçe Palace
, the seat of government during the late Ottoman period, is in the
Beşiktaş Beşiktaş () is a List of districts in Turkey, district and List of municipalities in Turkey, municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus strait. It is bordered on the north by Sarıyer and Şişli, on the we ...

Beşiktaş
district on the European shore of the
Bosphorus File:Bosphorus aerial view.jpg, Aerial view of the Bosporus taken from its northern end near the Black Sea (bottom), looking south (top) toward the Marmara Sea, with the city center of Istanbul visible along the strait's hilly banks. The Bosp ...

Bosphorus
strait, to the north of Beyoğlu. The
Sublime Porte , was known as the Sublime Porte until the 18th century. Image:DSC04009 Istanbul - La Sublime Porta - Foto G. Dall'Orto 25-5-2006.jpg, 300px, The later Sublime Porte proper in 2006 The Sublime Porte, also known as the Ottoman Porte or High Porte ...
('), which became a
metonym Metonymy () is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of pe ...
for the Ottoman government, was originally used to describe the Imperial Gate (') at the outermost courtyard of the
Topkapı Palace The Topkapı Palace ( tr, Topkapı Sarayı; ota, طوپقپو سرايى, Ṭopḳapu Sarāyı, lit=Cannon Gate Palace), or the Seraglio, is a large museum in the east of the Fatih List of districts of Istanbul, district of Istanbul in Turkey. I ...

Topkapı Palace
; but after the 18th century, the ''Sublime Porte'' (or simply ''Porte'') began to refer to the gate of the ''Sadrazamlık'' (Prime Ministry) compound in the Cağaloğlu quarter near Topkapı Palace, where the offices of the
Sadrazam Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, ''sadr-ı aʾzam'', tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government of many sovereign states in the Islamic world.The office of grand vizier was first held by official ...

Sadrazam
(
Grand Vizier Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, صدر اعظم, sadr-ı aʾzam; tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government of many sovereign states in the Islamic world. The office of Grand Vizier was first he ...
) and other
Vizier A vizier (; ar, وزير, wazīr; fa, وزیر, vazīr), or wazir, is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in the near east. The caliphs gave the title ''wazir'' to a minister formerly called ' (secretary), who was at first merely a ...
s were, and where foreign diplomats were received. The former village of
Ortaköy style Ortaköy Mosque on the Bosphorus, as seen from the Ortaköy pier square. Image:OrtakoyMosqueBosporusIstanbul.jpg, 240px, Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge. Ortaköy (literally ''Middle Village'' in Turkish language, Turkish) in Gree ...

Ortaköy
is within Beşiktaş and gives its name to the
Ortaköy Mosque Ortaköy Mosque ( tr, Ortaköy Camii) officially the Büyük Mecidiye Camii (Ottoman imperial mosque, Grand Imperial Mosque of Abdülmecid I, Sultan Abdülmecid) in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier squ ...

Ortaköy Mosque
on the Bosphorus, near the
Bosphorus Bridge The Bosphorus Bridge ( tr, Boğaziçi Köprüsü), known officially as the 15 July Martyrs Bridge ( tr, 15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü) and unofficially as the First Bridge ( tr, Birinci Köprü), is one of the three suspension bridges spanning ...

Bosphorus Bridge
. Lining both the European and Asian shores of the Bosphorus are the historic '' yalıs'', luxurious chalet mansions built by Ottoman aristocrats and elites as summer homes. Farther inland, outside the city's inner ring road, are
Levent Levent is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European si ...

Levent
and
Maslak Maslak is one of the main business districts of Sarıyer, Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European side) +90 21 ...

Maslak
, Istanbul's main business districts. During the Ottoman period,
Üsküdar Üsküdar (), traditionally known in Italian and English as Scutari (, in Greek language, Greek), and in classical antiquity known as Chrysopolis (Greek: Χρυσόπολις, 'Golden City'), is a large and densely populated district and munic ...

Üsküdar
(then Scutari) and
Kadıköy Kadıköy (; known in classical antiquity and during the Roman Empire, Roman and Byzantine Empire, Byzantine eras as Chalcedon, in gr, Χαλκηδών), is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district in the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey, on ...
were outside the scope of the urban area, serving as tranquil outposts with seaside ''yalıs'' and gardens. But in the second half of the 20th century, the Asian side experienced major urban growth; the late development of this part of the city led to better infrastructure and tidier urban planning when compared with most other residential areas in the city. Much of the Asian side of the Bosphorus functions as a suburb of the economic and commercial centers in European Istanbul, accounting for a third of the city's population but only a quarter of its employment. As a result of Istanbul's exponential growth in the 20th century, a significant portion of the city is composed of ''
gecekondu Gecekondu (Turkish for ''put up overnight'', plural gecekondular) is a Turkish word meaning a house put up quickly without proper permissions, a squatter's house, and by extension, a shanty or shack. Gecekondu bölgesi is a neighborhood made of ...
s'' (literally "built overnight"), referring to illegally constructed squatter buildings. At present, some ''gecekondu'' areas are being gradually demolished and replaced by modern mass-housing compounds. Moreover, large scale
gentrification Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases th ...

gentrification
and
urban renewal File:Cabrini Green Housing Project.jpg, upright=1.35, 1999 photograph looking northeast on Chicago's Cabrini–Green Homes, Cabrini–Green Public housing, housing project, one of many urban renewal efforts Urban renewal (also called urban regene ...
projects have been taking place, such as the one in Tarlabaşı; some of these projects, like the one in
Sulukule Sulukule (literally: "Water tower") is a historic quarter in the Fatih district of Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (E ...
, have faced criticism. The Turkish government also has ambitious plans for an expansion of the city west and northwards on the European side in conjunction with plans for a third airport; the new parts of the city will include four different settlements with specified urban functions, housing 1.5 million people. Istanbul does not have a primary urban park, but it has several green areas.
Gülhane Park Image:Goth Column Gulhane Istanbul March 2008b.JPG, The park's ''Goths' Column'' (Turkish language, Turkish: Column of the Goths, Gotlar Sütunu), dating from Roman times, commemorates a Roman victory over the Goths. Gülhane Park ( tr, Gülhane ...

Gülhane Park
and
Yıldız Park Yıldız Park ( tr, Yıldız Parkı) is a historical, urban park in Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the largest public parks in Istanbul. The park is located in Yıldız, Beşiktaş, Yıldız quarter between the palaces of Yıl ...
were originally included within the grounds of two of Istanbul's palaces—
Topkapı Palace The Topkapı Palace ( tr, Topkapı Sarayı; ota, طوپقپو سرايى, Ṭopḳapu Sarāyı, lit=Cannon Gate Palace), or the Seraglio, is a large museum in the east of the Fatih List of districts of Istanbul, district of Istanbul in Turkey. I ...

Topkapı Palace
and
Yıldız Palace Yıldız Palace ( tr, Yıldız Sarayı, ) is a vast complex of former imperial Ottoman Empire, Ottoman pavilions and villas in Istanbul, Turkey, built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used as a residence by the Sultan of Turkey, Sultan ...
—but they were repurposed as public parks in the early decades of the Turkish Republic. Another park, Fethi Paşa Korusu, is on a hillside adjacent to the
Bosphorus Bridge The Bosphorus Bridge ( tr, Boğaziçi Köprüsü), known officially as the 15 July Martyrs Bridge ( tr, 15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü) and unofficially as the First Bridge ( tr, Birinci Köprü), is one of the three suspension bridges spanning ...

Bosphorus Bridge
in Anatolia, opposite Yıldız Palace in Europe. Along the European side, and close to the
Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge Fatih (), historically Constantinople, is the capital List of districts of Istanbul, district of and a List of municipalities in İstanbul Province, municipality (''belediye'') in Istanbul, Turkey, and home to most of the provincial authorities ...

Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
, is
Emirgan Park The Emirgan Park ( tr, Emirgan Korusu or rarely ''Emirgan Parkı'') is a historical urban park located at the Emirgan neighbourhood in the Sarıyer Sarıyer () is the northernmost district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side of the city. Th ...
, which was known as the ''Kyparades'' (
Cypress Cypress is a common name for various coniferous trees or shrubs of northern temperateness, temperate regions that belong to the family Cupressaceae. The word ''cypress'' is derived from Old French ''cipres'', which was imported from Latin ''cypre ...

Cypress
Forest) during the Byzantine period. In the Ottoman period, it was first granted to Nişancı Feridun Ahmed Bey in the 16th century, before being granted by Sultan
Murad IV Murad IV ( ota, مراد رابع, ''Murād-ı Rābiʿ''; tr, IV. Murad, 27 July 1612 – 8 February 1640) was the Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract ...

Murad IV
to the
Safavid Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian peoples, Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often ...
Emir Emir (; ar, أمير ' ), sometimes Romanization of Arabic, transliterated amir, amier, or ameer, is a word of Arabic language, Arabic origin that can refer to a male monarch, aristocratic, aristocrat, holder of high-ranking military or politic ...

Emir
Gûne Han in the 17th century, hence the name ''Emirgan''. The park was later owned by
Khedive Khedive (, ota, خدیو, hıdiv; ar, خديوي, khudaywī) was an honorific An honorific is a title that conveys esteem, courtesy, or respect for position or rank when used in addressing or referring to a person. Sometimes, the term "honor ...

Khedive
of Ottoman Egypt and Sudan in the 19th century. Emirgan Park is known for its diversity of plants and an annual
tulip Tulips (''Tulipa'') are a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classification ...

tulip
festival is held there since 2005. The AKP government's decision to replace
Taksim Gezi Park Taksim Gezi Park is an urban park next to Taksim Square, in Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European side) +90 216 ...
with a replica of the Ottoman era
Taksim Military Barracks The Taksim Military Barracks or Halil Pasha Artillery Barracks ( tr, Taksim Kışlası or ''Halil Paşa Topçu Kışlası'') were located at the site of the present-day Taksim Gezi Park next to Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built in 18 ...
(which was transformed into the
Taksim Stadium Taksim Stadium ( tr, Taksim Stadı) was the first football stadium in Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European side) ...
in 1921, before being demolished in 1940 for building Gezi Park) sparked a series of covering a wide range of issues. Popular during the summer among Istanbulites is Belgrad Forest, spreading across at the northern edge of the city. The forest originally supplied water to the city and remnants of reservoirs used during Byzantine and Ottoman times survive.


Architecture

Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Despite its development as a
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
city since 1453, it contains many ancient, Roman, Byzantine, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish monuments. The
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
settlement in the
Yenikapı Yenikapı () is a port and a quarter in 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. Yenikapı is notable for the ongoing ...
quarter on the European side, which dates back to c. 6500 BCE and predates the formation of the
Bosporus File:Bosphorus aerial view.jpg, Aerial view of the Bosporus taken from its northern end near the Black Sea (bottom), looking south (top) toward the Marmara Sea, with the city center of Istanbul visible along the strait's hilly banks. The Bosp ...

Bosporus
strait by approximately a millennium (when the was still a lake) was discovered during the construction of the Marmaray railway tunnel. It is the oldest known human settlement on the European side of the city. The oldest known human settlement on the Asian side is the Fikirtepe Mound near
Kadıköy Kadıköy (; known in classical antiquity and during the Roman Empire, Roman and Byzantine Empire, Byzantine eras as Chalcedon, in gr, Χαλκηδών), is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district in the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey, on ...
, with relics dating to c. 5500-3500 BCE (Chalcolithic period). There are numerous ancient monuments in the city. The most ancient is the Obelisk of Thutmose III (Obelisk of Theodosius). Built of red granite, 31 m (100 ft) high, it came from the Karnak, Temple of Karnak in Luxor, and was erected there by Pharaoh Thutmose III (r. 1479–1425 BCE) to the south of the seventh pylon (architecture), pylon. The Roman emperor Constantius II (r. 337–361 CE) had it and another obelisk transported along the River Nile to Alexandria for commemorating his ''ventennalia'' or 20 years on the throne in 357. The other obelisk was erected on the ''spina (Roman circus), spina'' of the Circus Maximus in Rome in the autumn of that year, and is now known as the Lateran Obelisk. The obelisk that would become the ''Obelisk of Theodosius'' remained in Alexandria until 390 CE, when
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
(r. 379–395 CE) had it transported to Constantinople and put up on the ''spina'' of the Hippodrome there.#LH, Labib Habachi, ''The Obelisks of Egypt, skyscrapers of the past'', American University in Cairo Press, 1985, p.145-151. When re-erected at the
Hippodrome of Constantinople Sultanahmet Square ( tr, Sultanahmet Meydanı), or the Hippodrome of Constantinople ( el, Ἱππόδρομος τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Hippódromos tēs Kōnstantinoupóleōs, la, Circus Maximus Constantinopolitanus, tr ...
, the obelisk was mounted on a decorative base, with reliefs that depict
Theodosius I Theodosius I ( grc-gre, Θεοδόσιος ; 11 January 347 – 17 January 395), also called Theodosius the Great, was Roman emperor from 379 to 395. During his reign, he faced and overcame a war against the Goths and two civil wars, and ...

Theodosius I
and his courtiers. The lower part of the obelisk was damaged in antiquity, probably during its transport to Alexandria in 357 CE or during its re-erection at the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 390 CE. As a result, the current height of the obelisk is only 18.54 meters, or 25.6 meters if the base is included. Between the four corners of the obelisk and the pedestal are four bronze cubes, used in its transportation and re-erection.#WB, E.A. Wallis Budge, ''Cleopatra's Needles and Other Egyptian Obelisks,'' The Religious Tract Society, London, 1926, reprinted 1990, p.160-165. Next in age is the Serpent Column, from 479 BCE. It was brought from Delphi in 324 CE, during the reign of
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). Th ...

Constantine the Great
, and also erected at the ''spina'' of the Hippodrome of Constantinople, Hippodrome. It was originally part of an Ancient Greece, ancient Greek sacrificial tripod in Delphi that was erected to commemorate the Greeks who fought and defeated the Persian Empire at the Battle of Plataea (479 BCE). The three serpent heads of the high column remained intact until the end of the 17th century (one is on display at the nearby Istanbul Archaeology Museums). Built in porphyry (geology), porphyry and erected at the center of the Forum of Constantine in 330 CE to mark the founding of the new Roman capital, the Column of Constantine was originally adorned with a sculpture of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great depicted as the solar god Apollo on its top, which fell in 1106 and was later replaced by a cross during the reign of Byzantine emperor Manuel Komnenos (r. 1143–1180). There are traces of the Byzantine era throughout the city, from ancient churches that were built over early Christian meeting places like the Hagia Irene, the Chora Church, the Monastery of Stoudios, the Little Hagia Sophia, Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, the Pammakaristos Church, Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos, the Zeyrek Mosque, Monastery of the Pantocrator, the Eski Imaret Mosque, Monastery of Christ Pantepoptes, the Gül Mosque, Hagia Theodosia, the Kalenderhane Mosque, Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa, the Fenari Isa Mosque, Monastery of Constantine Lips, the Bodrum Mosque, Church of Myrelaion, the Church-Mosque of Vefa, Hagios Theodoros, etc.; to public places like the Hippodrome, the Augustaion, or the Basilica Cistern. The 4th century Harbour of Eleutherios, Harbor of Theodosius in
Yenikapı Yenikapı () is a port and a quarter in 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. Yenikapı is notable for the ongoing ...
, once the busiest port in Constantinople, was among the numerous archeological discoveries that took place during the excavations of the Marmaray tunnel. However, it is the
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=), officially known as the Holy Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque ( tr, Ayasofya-i Kebir Cami-i Şerifi, آياصوفيا  كبير جامع  شريف), and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia (; ; ) and for ...

Hagia Sophia
that fully conveys the period of Constantinople as a city without parallel in Christendom. The Hagia Sophia, topped by a dome in diameter over a square space defined by four arches, is the pinnacle of Byzantine architecture. The Hagia Sophia stood as the world's largest cathedral in the world until it was converted into a mosque in the 15th century. The minarets date from that period. Because of its historical significance, it was reopened as a museum in 1935. However, it was re-converted into a mosque in July 2020. Over the next four centuries, the Ottomans transformed Istanbul's urban landscape with a vast building scheme that included the construction of towering mosques and ornate palaces. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), another landmark of the city, faces the Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome of Constantinople). The Süleymaniye Mosque, built by
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان سليمان, Ḳā ...

Suleiman the Magnificent
, was designed by his chief architect
Mimar Sinan Mimar Sinan ( ota, معمار سينان, translit=Mi'mâr Sinân, , ) ( 1488/1490 – July 17, 1588) also known as Koca Mi'mâr Sinân Âğâ, ("Sinan Agha (title), Agha the Grand Architect" or "Grand Sinan") was the chief Ottoman Empire ...
, the most illustrious of all Ottoman architects, who designed many of the city's renowned mosques and other types of public buildings and monuments. Among the oldest surviving examples of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul are the Anadoluhisarı and Rumelihisarı fortresses, which assisted the Ottomans during their siege of the city. Over the next four centuries, the Ottomans made an indelible impression on the skyline of Istanbul, building towering mosques and ornate palaces.
Topkapı Palace The Topkapı Palace ( tr, Topkapı Sarayı; ota, طوپقپو سرايى, Ṭopḳapu Sarāyı, lit=Cannon Gate Palace), or the Seraglio, is a large museum in the east of the Fatih List of districts of Istanbul, district of Istanbul in Turkey. I ...

Topkapı Palace
, dating back to 1465, is the oldest seat of government surviving in Istanbul. Mehmed the Conqueror built the original palace as his main residence and the seat of government. The present palace grew over the centuries as a series of additions enfolding four courtyards and blending neoclassical architecture, neoclassical, rococo, and Baroque architecture, baroque architectural forms. In 1639,
Murad IV Murad IV ( ota, مراد رابع, ''Murād-ı Rābiʿ''; tr, IV. Murad, 27 July 1612 – 8 February 1640) was the Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract ...

Murad IV
made some of the most lavish additions, including the Topkapı Palace#Baghdad Kiosk, Baghdad Kiosk, to commemorate his Capture of Baghdad (1638), conquest of Baghdad the previous year. Government meetings took place here until 1786, when the seat of government was moved to the Sublime Porte. After several hundred years of royal residence, it was abandoned in 1853 in favor of the baroque
Dolmabahçe Palace Dolmabahçe Palace ( tr, Dolmabahçe Sarayı, ) located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to ...

Dolmabahçe Palace
.
Topkapı Palace The Topkapı Palace ( tr, Topkapı Sarayı; ota, طوپقپو سرايى, Ṭopḳapu Sarāyı, lit=Cannon Gate Palace), or the Seraglio, is a large museum in the east of the Fatih List of districts of Istanbul, district of Istanbul in Turkey. I ...

Topkapı Palace
became public property following the abolition of monarchy in 1922. After extensive renovation, it became one of Turkey's first national museums in 1924. The Mosques commissioned by the Ottoman dynasty, imperial mosques include Fatih Mosque, Bayezid Mosque, Yavuz Selim Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque), and New Mosque (Istanbul), 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 The Tanzimat (; ota, تنظيمات, translit=Tanzimāt, lit=Reorganization, ''see'' nizām) was a period of reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word i ...
'' reforms, Ottoman architecture was supplanted by European styles. An example of which is the imperial Nuruosmaniye Mosque. Areas around
İstiklal Avenue İstiklal Avenue ( tr, İstiklal Caddesi; en, "Independence Avenue"), historically known as the Grand Avenue of Beyoğlu, Pera (Ottoman Turkish: ''Cadde-i Kebir''; el, Μεγάλη Οδός του Πέραν, Megali Odos tu Peran; french: Grand ...
were filled with grand European embassies and rows of buildings in Neoclassical, Renaissance Revival architecture, Renaissance Revival and Art Nouveau styles, which went on to influence the architecture of a variety of structures in Beyoğlu—including churches, stores, and theaters—and official buildings such as
Dolmabahçe Palace Dolmabahçe Palace ( tr, Dolmabahçe Sarayı, ) located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to ...

Dolmabahçe Palace
.


Administration

Since 2004, the municipal boundaries of Istanbul have been coincident with the boundaries of its province. The city, considered capital of the larger Istanbul Province, is administered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (MMI), which oversees the List of districts of Istanbul, 39 districts of the city-province. The current city structure can be traced back to the ''Tanzimat'' period of reform in the 19th century, before which qadi, Islamic judges and imams led the city under the auspices of the
Grand Vizier Grand vizier ( fa, وزيرِ اعظم, vazîr-i aʾzam; ota, صدر اعظم, sadr-ı aʾzam; tr, sadrazam) was the title of the effective head of government of many sovereign states in the Islamic world. The office of Grand Vizier was first he ...
. Following the model of French cities, this religious system was replaced by a mayor and a citywide council composed of representatives of the confessional groups (''millet (Ottoman Empire), millet'') across the city. Pera (now
Beyoğlu Beyoğlu () is a district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as the region of Pera (Πέρα, meaning "Beyond" in Greek language, Greek, F ...
) was the first area of the city to have its own director and council, with members instead being longtime residents of the neighborhood. Laws enacted after the Ottoman constitution of 1876 aimed to expand this structure across the city, imitating the twenty arrondissements of Paris, but they were not fully implemented until 1908 when the city was declared a province with nine constituent districts. This system continued beyond the founding of the Turkish Republic, with the province renamed a ''belediye'' (municipality), but the municipality was disbanded in 1957. Small settlements adjacent to major population centers in Turkey, including Istanbul, were merged into their respective primary cities during the early 1980s, resulting in metropolitan municipalities. The main decision-making body of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is the Municipal Council, with members drawn from district councils. The Municipal Council is responsible for citywide issues, including managing the budget, maintaining civic infrastructure, and overseeing museums and major cultural centers. Since the government operates under a "powerful mayor, weak council" approach, the council's leader—the metropolitan mayor—has the authority to make swift decisions, often at the expense of transparency. The Municipal Council is advised by the Metropolitan Executive Committee, although the committee also has limited power to make decisions of its own. All representatives on the committee are appointed by the metropolitan mayor and the council, with the mayor—or someone of his or her choosing—serving as head. District councils are chiefly responsible for waste management and construction projects within their respective districts. They each maintain their own budgets, although the metropolitan mayor reserves the right to review district decisions. One-fifth of all district council members, including the district mayors, also represent their districts in the Municipal Council. All members of the district councils and the Municipal Council, including the metropolitan mayor, are elected to five-year terms. Representing the Republican People's Party (Turkey), Republican People's Party, Ekrem İmamoğlu has been the List of mayors of Istanbul, Mayor of Istanbul since June 2019 Istanbul mayoral election, 27 June 2019. With the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Istanbul Province having equivalent jurisdictions, few responsibilities remain for the provincial government. Like the MMI, the Istanbul Special Provincial Administration has a governor, a democratically elected decision-making body—the Provincial Parliament—and an appointed Executive Committee. Mirroring the executive committee at the municipal level, the Provincial Executive Committee includes a secretary-general and leaders of departments that advise the Provincial Parliament. The Provincial Administration's duties are largely limited to the building and maintenance of schools, residences, government buildings, and roads, and the promotion of arts, culture, and nature conservation. Ali Yerlikaya has been the List of Governors of Istanbul Province, Governor of Istanbul Province since 26 October 2018.


Demographics

Throughout most of its history, Istanbul has ranked among the largest cities in the world. By 500 CE, Constantinople had somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 people, edging out its predecessor, Rome, for the List of largest cities throughout history, world's largest city. Constantinople jostled with other major historical cities, such as Baghdad, Chang'an, Kaifeng and Merv for the position of the world's largest city until the 12th century. It never returned to being the world's largest, but remained the List of largest European cities in history, largest city in Europe from 1500 to 1750, when it was surpassed by London. The Turkish Statistical Institute estimates that the population of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality was 15,519,267 at the end of 2019, hosting of the country's population. 64.4% of the residents live on the European side and 35.6% on the Asian side. Istanbul ranks as the List of cities proper by population, seventh-largest city proper in the world, and the List of metropolitan areas in Europe, second-largest urban agglomeration in Europe, after Moscow metropolitan area, Moscow. The city's annual population growth of ranks as one of the highest among the seventy-eight largest metropolises in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The high population growth mirrors an urbanization trend across the country, as the second and third fastest-growing OECD metropolises are the Turkish cities of Izmir and Ankara. Istanbul experienced especially rapid growth during the second half of the 20th century, with its population increasing tenfold between 1950 and 2000. This growth was fueled by internal and international migration. Istanbul's foreign population with a residence permit increased dramatically, from 43,000 in 2007 to 856,377 in 2019. According to 2020 Turkish Statistical Institute, TÜİK data around 2.1 million people in a population of over 15.4 million have been registered in Istanbul, meanwhile the vast majority of the residents ultimately originate from Anatolian provinces, especially those in the Black Sea Region, Black Sea, Central Anatolia Region, Central and Eastern Anatolia Region, Eastern Anatolia regions due to internal migration since the 1950s. People registered in Kastamonu Province, Kastamonu, Ordu Province, Ordu, Giresun Province, Giresun, Erzurum Province, Erzurum, Samsun Province, Samsun, Malatya Province, Malatya, Trabzon Province, Trabzon, Sinop Province, Sinop and Rize Province, Rize provinces represent the biggest population groups in Istanbul, meanwhile people registered in Sivas has the highest percentage with more than 760 thousand residents in the city. A 2019 survey found that only 36% of the Istanbul's population was born in the province.


Ethnic and religious groups

Istanbul has been a cosmopolitan city throughout much of its history, but it has become more homogenized since the end of the Ottoman era. The dominant ethnic group in the city is Turkish people, which also forms the majority group in Turkey. According to survey data 78% of the voting-age Turkish citizens in Istanbul state "Turkish" as their ethnic identity. With estimates ranging from 2 to 4 million, Kurds form one of the largest ethnic minorities in Istanbul and are the biggest group after Turks among Turkish citizens. According to a 2019 KONDA Research and Consultancy, KONDA study, Kurds constituted around 17% of Istanbul's adult total population who were Turkish citizens. Although the Kurdish presence in the city dates back to the early Ottoman period, the majority of Kurds in the city originate from villages in eastern and southeastern Turkey. Zazas are also present in the city and constitute around 1% of the total voting-age population.Arabs form the city's other largest ethnic minority, with an estimated population of more than 2 million. Following Turkey's support for the Arab Spring, Istanbul emerged as a hub for dissidents from across the Arab world, including former presidential candidates from Egypt, Kuwaiti MPs, and former ministers from Jordan, Saudi Arabia (including Jamal Khashoggi), Syria, and Yemen. The number of refugees of the Syrian Civil War in Turkey residing in Istanbul is estimated to be around 1 million. Arabs in Turkey, Native Arab population in Turkey who are Turkish citizens are found to be making up less than 1% of city's total adult population. 2019 survey study by KONDA Research and Consultancy, KONDA that examined the religiosity of the voting-age adults in Istanbul showed that 57% of the surveyed had a religion and were trying to practise its requirements. This was followed by nonobservant people with 26% who identified with a religion but generally did not practise its requirements. 11% stated they were fully devoted to their religion, meanwhile 6% were Irreligion in Turkey, non-believers who did not believe the rules and requirements of a religion. 24% of the surveyed also identified themselves as "Religious conservatism, religious conservatives". Around 90% of Istanbul's population are Sunni Islam, Sunni Muslims and Alevism forms the second biggest religious group. Into the 19th century, the Christians of Istanbul tended to be either Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox, members of the Armenian Apostolic Church or Catholic Levantines (Latin Christians), Levantines. Greeks and Armenians in Istanbul, Armenians form the largest Christian population in the city. While Istanbul's Greek population was exempted from the 1923 population exchange with Greece, Varlık Vergisi, changes in tax status and the Istanbul pogrom, 1955 anti-Greek pogrom prompted thousands to leave. Following Greek government-debt crisis, Greek migration to the city for work in the 2010s, the Greek population rose to nearly 3,000 in 2019, still greatly diminished since 1919, when it stood at 350,000. There are today 123,363 Armenians in Istanbul, down from a peak of 164,000 in 1913. As of 2019, an estimated 18,000 of the country's 25,000 Christian Assyrian people, Assyrians live in Istanbul. The majority of the Catholic ''Levantines (Latin Christians), Levantines'' (Turkish: ''Levanten'') in Istanbul and Izmir are the descendants of traders/colonists from the Italian maritime republics of the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
(especially Republic of Genoa, Genoa and Republic of Venice, Venice) and France, who obtained special rights and privileges called the Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire, Capitulations from the Ottoman sultans in the 16th century. The community had more than 15,000 members during Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Atatürk's presidency in the 1920s and 1930s, but today is reduced to only a few hundreds, according to Italo-Levantine writer Giovanni Scognamillo. They continue to live in Istanbul (mostly in Galata, Karaköy,
Beyoğlu Beyoğlu () is a district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as the region of Pera (Πέρα, meaning "Beyond" in Greek language, Greek, F ...
and Nişantaşı), and Izmir (mostly in Karşıyaka, Bornova and Buca). Istanbul became one of the world's most important Jewish centers in the 16th and 17th century. Romaniote and Ashkenazi communities existed in Istanbul before the conquest of Istanbul, but it was the arrival of Sephardic Jews that ushered a period of cultural flourishing. Sephardic Jews settled in the city after their expulsion from Spain and Portugal in 1492 and 1497. Sympathetic to the plight of Sephardic Jews, Bayezid II sent out the Ottoman Navy under the command of admiral Kemal Reis to Spain in 1492 in order to evacuate them safely to Ottoman lands. In marked contrast to History of the Jews in Europe, Jews in Europe, History of the Jews in Europe, Ottoman Jews were allowed to work in any profession. History of the Jews in Europe, Ottoman Jews in Istanbul excelled in commerce, and came to particularly dominate the medical profession. By 1711, using the printing press, books came to be published in Spanish language, Spanish and Judaeo-Spanish, Ladino, Yiddish, and Hebrew. In large part due to emigration to Israel, the Jewish population in the city dropped from 100,000 in 1950 to 25,000 in 2020.


Politics

Politically, Istanbul is seen as the most important administrative region in Turkey. Many politicians, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are of the view that a political party's performance in Istanbul is more significant than its general performance overall. This is due to the city's role as Turkey's financial center, its large electorate and the fact that Erdoğan himself was 1994 Istanbul mayoral election, elected Mayor of Istanbul in 1994. In the run-up to 2019 Turkish local elections, local elections in 2019, Erdoğan claimed 'if we fail in Istanbul, we will fail in Turkey'. The March 2019 Istanbul mayoral election, contest in Istanbul carried deep political, economic and symbolic significance for Erdoğan, whose 1994 Istanbul mayoral election, election of mayor of Istanbul in 1994 had served as his launchpad. For Ekrem İmamoğlu, winning List of mayors of Istanbul, the mayorship of Istanbul was a huge moral victory, but for Erdoğan it had practical ramifications: His party, AKP, lost control of the $4.8 billion municipal budget, which had sustained patronage at the point of delivery of many public services for 25 years. More recently, Istanbul and many of Turkey's metropolitan cities are following a trend away from the government and their right-wing ideology. In 2013 and 2014, 2013–14 protests in Turkey, large-scale anti-AKP government protests began in İstanbul and spread throughout the nation. This trend first became evident electorally in the 2014 Istanbul mayoral election, 2014 mayoral election where the center-left opposition candidate won an impressive 40% of the vote, despite not winning. The first government defeat in Istanbul occurred in the 2017 Turkish constitutional referendum, 2017 constitutional referendum, where Istanbul voted 'No' by 51.4% to 48.6%. The AKP government had supported a 'Yes' vote and won the vote nationally due to high support in rural parts of the country. The biggest defeat for the government came in the 2019 Turkish local elections, 2019 local elections, where their candidate for Mayor, former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, was defeated by a very narrow margin by the opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu. İmamoğlu March 2019 Istanbul mayoral election, won the vote with 48.77% of the vote, against Yıldırım's 48.61%, but the elections were controversially annulled by the Supreme Electoral Council (Turkey), Supreme Electoral Council due to AKP's claim of electoral fraud. June 2019 Istanbul mayoral election, In the re-run İmamoğlu gathered 54.22% of the total vote and widened the defeat margin. Similar trends and electoral successes for the opposition were also replicated in
Ankara Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over ...

Ankara
, Izmir, Antalya, Mersin, Adana and other metropolitan areas of Turkey. Administratively, Istanbul is divided into list of districts of Istanbul, 39 districts, more than any other provinces of Turkey, province in Turkey. Istanbul Province sends 98 Member of Parliament#Turkey, Members of Parliament to the
Grand National Assembly of Turkey The Grand National Assembly of Turkey ( tr, ), usually referred to simply as the TBMM or Parliament ( tr, or ''Parlamento''), is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Const ...

Grand National Assembly of Turkey
, which has a total of 600 seats. For the purpose of parliamentary elections, Istanbul is divided into İstanbul (electoral districts), three electoral districts; two on the European side and İstanbul (1st electoral district), one on the Asian side, electing 28, 35 and 35 MPs respectively.


Economy

Istanbul had the List of cities by GDP, eleventh-largest economy among the world's urban areas in 2018, and is responsible for of Turkey's industrial output, of GDP, and of tax revenues. The city's gross domestic product adjusted by Purchasing power parity, PPP stood at in 2018, with manufacturing and services accounting for and of the economic output respectively. Istanbul's productivity is higher than the national average. Trade is economically important, accounting for of the economic output in the city. In 2019, companies based in Istanbul produced exports worth and received imports totaling ; these figures were equivalent to and , respectively, of the national totals. Istanbul, which straddles the Bosporus strait, houses international ports that link Europe and Asia. The Bosporus, providing the only passage from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, is the world's busiest and narrowest strait used for international navigation, with more than tons of oil passing through it each year. Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, International conventions Freedom of navigation, guarantee passage between the Black and the Mediterranean seas, even when tankers carry oil, Liquefied natural gas, LNG/Liquefied petroleum gas, LPG, chemicals, and other flammable or explosive materials as cargo. In 2011, as a workaround solution, the then Prime Minister Erdoğan presented Canal Istanbul, a project to open a new strait between the Black and Marmara seas. While the project was still on Turkey's agenda in 2020, there has not been a clear date set for it. Shipping is a significant part of the city's economy, with of exports and of imports in 2018 executed by sea. Istanbul has three major shipping ports – the Port of Haydarpaşa, the Port of Ambarlı, and the Port of Zeytinburnu – as well as several smaller ports and oil terminals along the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara. Haydarpaşa, at the southeastern end of the Bosporus, was Istanbul's largest port until the early 2000s. Since then operations were shifted to Ambarlı, with plans to convert Haydarpaşa into a tourism complex. In 2019, Ambarlı, on the western edge of the urban center, had an annual capacity of 3,104,882 Twenty-foot equivalent unit, TEUs, making it the third-largest cargo terminal in the Mediterranean basin. Istanbul has been an international banking hub since the 1980s, and is home to the only active Exchange (organized market), stock exchange in Turkey, Borsa Istanbul, which was originally established as the Ottoman Stock Exchange in 1866. In 1995, keeping up with the financial trends, Borsa Istanbul moved its headquarters (which was originally located on Bankalar Caddesi, the financial center of the Ottoman Empire, and later at the Istanbul 4th Vakıf Han, 4th Vakıf Han building in Sirkeci) to İstinye, in the vicinity of
Maslak Maslak is one of the main business districts of Sarıyer, Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European side) +90 21 ...

Maslak
, which hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish banks. By 2023, the Ataşehir district on the Asian side of the city will host the new headquarters of a number of state-owned Turkish banks, including the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Central Bank of Turkey, currently headquartered in
Ankara Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over ...

Ankara
. foreign tourists visited the city in 2018, making Istanbul the world's fifth most-visited city in that year. Istanbul and Antalya are Turkey's two largest international gateways, receiving a quarter of the nation's foreign tourists. Istanbul has more than fifty museums, with the
Topkapı Palace The Topkapı Palace ( tr, Topkapı Sarayı; ota, طوپقپو سرايى, Ṭopḳapu Sarāyı, lit=Cannon Gate Palace), or the Seraglio, is a large museum in the east of the Fatih List of districts of Istanbul, district of Istanbul in Turkey. I ...

Topkapı Palace
, the most visited museum in the city, bringing in more than in revenue each year.


Culture

Istanbul was historically known as a cultural hub, but its cultural scene stagnated after the Turkish Republic shifted its focus toward
Ankara Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the list of national capitals, capital of Turkey. Located in the Central Anatolia Region, central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over ...

Ankara
. The new national government established programs that served to orient Turks toward musical traditions, especially those originating in Europe, but musical institutions and visits by foreign classical artists were primarily centered in the new capital. Much of Turkey's cultural scene had its roots in Istanbul, and by the 1980s and 1990s Istanbul reemerged globally as a city whose cultural significance is not solely based on its past glory. By the end of the 19th century, Istanbul had established itself as a regional artistic center, with Turkish, European, and Middle Eastern artists flocking to the city. Despite efforts to make Ankara Turkey's cultural heart, Istanbul had the country's primary institution of art until the 1970s. When additional universities and art journals were founded in Istanbul during the 1980s, artists formerly based in Ankara moved in.
Beyoğlu Beyoğlu () is a district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as the region of Pera (Πέρα, meaning "Beyond" in Greek language, Greek, F ...
has been transformed into the artistic center of the city, with young artists and older Turkish artists formerly residing abroad finding footing there. Modern art museums, including İstanbul Modern, the Pera Museum, Sakıp Sabancı Museum and SantralIstanbul, opened in the 2000s to complement the exhibition spaces and auction houses that have already contributed to the cosmopolitan nature of the city. These museums have yet to attain the popularity of older museums on the historic peninsula, including the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, which ushered in the era of modern museums in Turkey, and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. The first film screening in Turkey was at
Yıldız Palace Yıldız Palace ( tr, Yıldız Sarayı, ) is a vast complex of former imperial Ottoman Empire, Ottoman pavilions and villas in Istanbul, Turkey, built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used as a residence by the Sultan of Turkey, Sultan ...
in 1896, a year after the technology publicly debuted in Paris. Movie theaters rapidly cropped up in Beyoğlu, with the greatest concentration of theaters being along the street now known as
İstiklal Avenue İstiklal Avenue ( tr, İstiklal Caddesi; en, "Independence Avenue"), historically known as the Grand Avenue of Beyoğlu, Pera (Ottoman Turkish: ''Cadde-i Kebir''; el, Μεγάλη Οδός του Πέραν, Megali Odos tu Peran; french: Grand ...
. Istanbul also became the heart of Cinema of Turkey, Turkey's nascent film industry, although Turkish films were not consistently developed until the 1950s. Since then, Istanbul has been the most popular location to film Turkish dramas and comedies. The Turkish film industry ramped up in the second half of the century, and with ''Uzak'' (2002) and ''My Father and My Son'' (2005), both filmed in Istanbul, the nation's movies began to see substantial international success. Istanbul and its picturesque skyline have also served as a backdrop for several foreign films, including ''From Russia with Love (film), From Russia with Love'' (1963), ''Topkapi (film), Topkapi'' (1964), ''The World Is Not Enough'' (1999), and ''Mission Istaanbul'' (2008). Coinciding with this cultural reemergence was the establishment of the Istanbul Festival, which began showcasing a variety of art from Turkey and around the world in 1973. From this flagship festival came the International Istanbul Film Festival and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival in the early 1980s. With its focus now solely on music and dance, the Istanbul Festival has been known as the Istanbul International Music Festival since 1994. The most prominent of the festivals that evolved from the original Istanbul Festival is the Istanbul Biennial, held every two years since 1987. Its early incarnations were aimed at showcasing Turkish visual art, and it has since opened to international artists and risen in prestige to join the elite biennales, alongside the Venice Biennale and the São Paulo Art Biennial.


Leisure and entertainment

Abdi İpekçi Street in Nişantaşı and Bağdat Avenue on the Anatolian side of the city have evolved into high-end shopping districts. Other focal points for shopping, leisure and entertainment include Nişantaşı,
Ortaköy style Ortaköy Mosque on the Bosphorus, as seen from the Ortaköy pier square. Image:OrtakoyMosqueBosporusIstanbul.jpg, 240px, Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge. Ortaköy (literally ''Middle Village'' in Turkish language, Turkish) in Gree ...

Ortaköy
, Bebek, Istanbul, Bebek, and
Kadıköy Kadıköy (; known in classical antiquity and during the Roman Empire, Roman and Byzantine Empire, Byzantine eras as Chalcedon, in gr, Χαλκηδών), is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district in the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey, on ...
. The city has List of shopping malls in Istanbul, numerous shopping centers, from the historic to the modern. Istanbul also has an active nightlife and historic taverns, a signature characteristic of the city for centuries, if not millennia. The , in operation since 1461, is among the world's oldest and largest covered markets. Mahmutpasha Bazaar, Istanbul, Mahmutpasha Bazaar is an open-air market extending between the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul, Egyptian Bazaar, which has been Istanbul's major spice market since 1660. Galleria Ataköy ushered in the age of modern shopping malls in Turkey when it opened in 1987. Since then, malls have become major shopping centers outside the historic peninsula. Akmerkez was awarded the titles of "Europe's best" and "World's best" shopping mall by the International Council of Shopping Centers in 1995 and 1996; Istanbul Cevahir has been one of the continent's largest since opening in 2005; Kanyon Shopping Mall, Istanbul, Kanyon won the Cityscape Architectural Review Award in the Commercial Built category in 2006. İstinye Park in İstinye and Zorlu Center near
Levent Levent is a neighbourhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European si ...

Levent
are among the newest malls which include the stores of the world's top fashion brands. Along
İstiklal Avenue İstiklal Avenue ( tr, İstiklal Caddesi; en, "Independence Avenue"), historically known as the Grand Avenue of Beyoğlu, Pera (Ottoman Turkish: ''Cadde-i Kebir''; el, Μεγάλη Οδός του Πέραν, Megali Odos tu Peran; french: Grand ...
is the Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage), a 19th-century shopping gallery which is today home to winehouses (known as ''meyhanes''), pubs and restaurants. İstiklal Avenue, originally known for its taverns, has shifted toward shopping, but the nearby Nevizade Street is still lined with winehouses and pubs. Some other neighborhoods around İstiklal Avenue have been revamped to cater to Beyoğlu's nightlife, with formerly commercial streets now lined with pubs, cafes, and restaurants playing live music. Istanbul is known for its historic seafood restaurants. Many of the city's most popular and upscale seafood restaurants line the shores of the
Bosphorus File:Bosphorus aerial view.jpg, Aerial view of the Bosporus taken from its northern end near the Black Sea (bottom), looking south (top) toward the Marmara Sea, with the city center of Istanbul visible along the strait's hilly banks. The Bosp ...

Bosphorus
(particularly in neighborhoods like
Ortaköy style Ortaköy Mosque on the Bosphorus, as seen from the Ortaköy pier square. Image:OrtakoyMosqueBosporusIstanbul.jpg, 240px, Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge. Ortaköy (literally ''Middle Village'' in Turkish language, Turkish) in Gree ...

Ortaköy
, Bebek, Istanbul, Bebek, Arnavutköy, Yeniköy, Istanbul, Yeniköy, Beylerbeyi and Çengelköy). Kumkapı along the has a pedestrian zone that hosts around fifty fish restaurants. The Princes' Islands, from the city center, are also popular for their seafood restaurants. Because of their restaurants, historic summer mansions, and tranquil, car-free streets, the Prince Islands are a popular vacation destination among Istanbulites and foreign tourists. Istanbul is also famous for its sophisticated and elaborately-cooked dishes of the Ottoman cuisine. Following the influx of immigrants from southeastern and eastern Turkey, which began in the 1960s, the city's foodscape has drastically changed by the end of the century; with influences of Middle Eastern cuisine such as kebab taking an important place in the food scene. Restaurants featuring foreign cuisines are mainly concentrated in the
Beyoğlu Beyoğlu () is a district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as the region of Pera (Πέρα, meaning "Beyond" in Greek language, Greek, F ...
,
Beşiktaş Beşiktaş () is a List of districts in Turkey, district and List of municipalities in Turkey, municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus strait. It is bordered on the north by Sarıyer and Şişli, on the we ...

Beşiktaş
, Şişli and
Kadıköy Kadıköy (; known in classical antiquity and during the Roman Empire, Roman and Byzantine Empire, Byzantine eras as Chalcedon, in gr, Χαλκηδών), is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district in the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey, on ...
districts.


Sports

Istanbul is home to some of Turkey's oldest sports clubs. Beşiktaş J.K., Beşiktaş JK, established in 1903, is considered the oldest of these sports clubs. Due to its initial status as Turkey's only club, Beşiktaş occasionally represented the Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic in international sports competitions, earning the right to place the Turkish flag inside its team logo. Galatasaray S.K., Galatasaray SK and Fenerbahçe S.K., Fenerbahçe SK have fared better in international competitions and have won more Süper Lig titles, at 22 and 19 times, respectively. Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe have a long-standing rivalry, with Galatasaray based in the European part and Fenerbahçe based in the Anatolian part of the city. Istanbul has seven basketball teams—Anadolu Efes S.K., Anadolu Efes, Beşiktaş J.K. (men's basketball), Beşiktaş, Darüşşafaka S.K., Darüşşafaka, Fenerbahçe Men's Basketball, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray S.K. (men's basketball), Galatasaray, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor (basketball), İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor and Büyükçekmece Basketbol, Büyükçekmece—that play in the premier-level Basketbol Süper Ligi, Turkish Basketball Super League. Many of Istanbul's sports facilities have been built or upgraded since 2000 to bolster the city's bids for the Summer Olympic Games. Atatürk Olympic Stadium, the largest multi-purpose stadium in Turkey, was completed in 2002 as an International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF first-class venue for track and field. The stadium hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, and was selected by the UEFA to host the CL Final games of 2020 UEFA Champions League Final, 2020 and 2021 UEFA Champions League Final, 2021, which were relocated to Lisbon (2020) and Porto (2021) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Fenerbahçe's home field, hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final three years after its completion. Türk Telekom Arena opened in 2011 to replace Ali Sami Yen Stadium as Galatasaray's home turf, while Vodafone Park, opened in 2016 to replace BJK İnönü Stadium as the home turf of Beşiktaş, hosted the 2019 UEFA Super Cup game. All four stadiums are elite UEFA stadium categories, Category 4 (formerly five-star) UEFA stadiums. The Sinan Erdem Dome, among the largest indoor arenas in Europe, hosted the final of the 2010 FIBA World Championship, the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, as well as the 2011–12 Euroleague and 2016–17 EuroLeague Final Fours. Prior to the completion of the Sinan Erdem Dome in 2010, Abdi İpekçi Arena was Istanbul's primary indoor arena, having hosted the finals of EuroBasket 2001. Several other indoor arenas, including the BJK Akatlar Arena, Beşiktaş Akatlar Arena, have also been inaugurated since 2000, serving as the home courts of Istanbul's sports clubs. The most recent of these is the 13,800-seat Ülker Sports Arena, which opened in 2012 as the home court of Fenerbahçe's basketball teams. Despite the construction boom, five bids for the Summer Olympics—in 2000 Summer Olympics, 2000, 2004 Summer Olympics, 2004, 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008, 2012 Summer Olympics, 2012, and 2020 Summer Olympics, 2020—and national bids for UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016 have ended unsuccessfully. The TVF Burhan Felek Sport Hall is one of the major volleyball arenas in the city and hosts clubs such as Eczacıbaşı VitrA, Vakıfbank S.K., Vakıfbank SK, and Fenerbahçe Women's Volleyball, Fenerbahçe who have won numerous CEV Women's Champions League, European and FIVB Volleyball Women's Club World Championship, World Championship titles. Between the 2005–2011 seasons, and in the 2020 season, Istanbul Park racing circuit hosted the Formula One Turkish Grand Prix. The 2021 F1 Turkish Grand Prix was initially cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but on June 25, 2021, it was announced that the 2021 F1 Turkish Grand Prix will take place on October 3, 2021. Istanbul Park was also a venue of the World Touring Car Championship and the European Le Mans Series in 2005 and 2006, but the track has not seen either of these competitions since then. It also hosted the Turkish Motorcycle Grand Prix between 2005 and 2007. Istanbul was occasionally a venue of the F1 Powerboat World Championship, with the last race on the Bosphorus strait on 12–13 August 2000. The last race of the Offshore powerboat racing#UIM Powerboat GPS World Championship, Powerboat P1 World Championship on the Bosphorus took place on 19–21 June 2009. Istanbul Sailing Club, established in 1952, hosts races and other sailing events on the waterways in and around Istanbul each year.


Media

Most state-run radio and television stations are based in Ankara, but Istanbul is the primary hub of Turkish media. The industry has its roots in the former Ottoman capital, where the first Turkish newspaper, ''Takvim-i Vekayi'' (Calendar of Affairs), was published in 1831. The Cağaloğlu street on which the newspaper was printed, Bâb-ı Âli Street, rapidly became the center of Turkish print media, alongside Beyoğlu across the Golden Horn. Istanbul now has a wide variety of periodicals. Most nationwide newspapers are based in Istanbul, with simultaneous Ankara and İzmir editions. ''Hürriyet'', ''Sabah (newspaper), Sabah'', ''Posta (newspaper), Posta'' and ''Sözcü'', the country's top four papers, are all headquartered in Istanbul, boasting more than 275,000 weekly sales each. ''Hürriyets English-language edition, ''Hürriyet Daily News'', has been printed since 1961, but the English-language ''Daily Sabah'', first published by ''Sabah'' in 2014, has overtaken it in circulation. Several smaller newspapers, including popular publications like ''Cumhuriyet'', ''Milliyet'' and ''Habertürk'' are also based in Istanbul. Istanbul also has long-running Armenian language newspapers, notably the dailies ''Marmara (newspaper), Marmara'' and ''Jamanak'' and the bilingual weekly ''Agos'' in Armenian and Turkish. Radio broadcasts in Istanbul date back to 1927, when Turkey's first radio transmission came from atop the Central Post Office in Eminönü. Control of this transmission, and other radio stations established in the following decades, ultimately came under the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), which held a monopoly on radio and television broadcasts between its founding in 1964 and 1990. Today, TRT runs four national radio stations; these stations have transmitters across the country so each can reach over of the country's population, but only is based in Istanbul. Offering a range of content from educational programming to coverage of sporting events, is the most popular radio station in Turkey. Istanbul's airwaves are the busiest in Turkey, primarily featuring either Turkish-language or English-language content. One of the exceptions, offering both, is Açık Radyo (94.9 FM). Among Turkey's first private stations, and the first featuring foreign popular music, was Istanbul's Metro FM (Turkey), Metro FM (97.2 FM). The state-run , although based in Ankara, also features English-language popular music, and English-language news programming is provided on NTV Radyo (102.8 FM). TRT-Children is the only TRT television station based in Istanbul. Istanbul is home to the headquarters of several Turkish stations and regional headquarters of international media outlets. Istanbul-based Star TV (Turkey), Star TV was the first private television network to be established following the end of the TRT monopoly; Star TV and Show TV (also based in Istanbul) remain highly popular throughout the country, airing Turkish and American series. Kanal D and Atv (Turkey), ATV are other stations in Istanbul that offer a mix of news and series; NTV (Turkey), NTV (partnered with U.S. media outlet MSNBC) and Sky Turk 360, Sky Turk—both based in the city—are mainly just known for their news coverage in Turkish. The BBC has a regional office in Istanbul, assisting its Turkish-language news operations, and the American news channel CNN established the Turkish-language CNN Türk there in 1999.


Education

In 2015, more than 57,000 students attended List of schools in Istanbul, 7,934 schools, including the renowned Galatasaray High School, Kabataş Erkek Lisesi, and Istanbul Lisesi. Galatasaray High School was established in 1481 and is the oldest public high school in Turkey. Some of the most renowned and highly ranked universities in Turkey are in Istanbul. Istanbul University, the nation's oldest institute of higher education, dates back to 1453 and its dental, law, medical schools were founded in the nineteenth century. Istanbul has more than 93 colleges and universities, with 400,000 students enrolled in 2016. The city's largest private universities include Sabancı University, with its main campus in Tuzla, Koç University in
Sarıyer Sarıyer () is the northernmost district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European side of the city. The Sarıyer district is a huge area consisting of the villages on the European side of the Bosphorus from Rumelifeneri, down through Tarabya, Yeniköy, ...

Sarıyer
, Özyeğin Üniversitesi near Altunizade. Istanbul's first private university, Koç University, was founded as late as 1992, because private universities were officially outlawed in Turkey before the Constitution of Turkey, 1982 amendment to the constitution. Four public universities with a major presence in the city, Boğaziçi University, Galatasaray University, Istanbul Technical University (the world's third-oldest university dedicated entirely to engineering), Istanbul University provide education in English language, English (all but Galatasaray University) and French language, French. Istanbul is also home to several conservatories and art schools, including Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Mimar Sinan Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1882.


Public services

Istanbul's first water supply systems date back to the city's early history, when aqueduct (watercourse), aqueducts (such as the Valens Aqueduct) deposited the water in the city's numerous cisterns. At the behest of
Suleiman the Magnificent Suleiman I ( ota, سليمان اول, Süleyman-ı Evvel; tr, I. Süleyman; 6 November 14946 September 1566), commonly known as Suleiman the Magnificent in the West and Suleiman the Lawgiver ( ota, قانونى سلطان سليمان, Ḳā ...

Suleiman the Magnificent
, the Kırkçeşme water supply network was constructed; by 1563, the network provided of water to each day. In later years, in response to increasing public demand, water from various springs was channeled to public fountains, like the Fountain of Ahmed III, by means of supply lines. Today, Istanbul has a chlorinated and filtered water supply and a sewage treatment system managed by the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İstanbul Su ve Kanalizasyon İdaresi, İSKİ). The Silahtarağa Power Station, a fossil-fuel power station, coal-fired power plant along the Golden Horn, was the sole source of Istanbul's electricity between 1914, when its first engine room was completed, and 1952. Following the founding of the Turkish Republic, the plant underwent renovations to accommodate the city's increasing demand; its capacity grew from in 1923 to a peak of in 1956. Capacity declined until the power station reached the end of its economic life and shut down in 1983. The state-run Turkish Electrical Authority (TEK) briefly—between its founding in 1970 and 1984—held a monopoly on the generation and distribution of electricity, but now the authority—since split between the Turkish Electricity Generation Transmission Company (TEAŞ) and the Turkish Electricity Distribution Company (TEDAŞ)—competes with private electric utility, electric utilities. The Ottoman Ministry of Post and Telegraph was established in 1840 and the first post office, the Imperial Post Office, opened near the courtyard of New Mosque (Istanbul), Yeni Mosque. By 1876, the first international mailing network between Istanbul and the lands beyond the Ottoman Empire had been established. Sultan Abdülmecid I issued Samuel Morse his first official honor for the electrical telegraph, telegraph in 1847, and construction of the first telegraph line—between Istanbul and Edirne—finished in time to announce the end of the Crimean War in 1856. A nascent telephone system began to emerge in Istanbul in 1881 and after the first manual telephone exchange became operational in Istanbul in 1909, the Ministry of Post and Telegraph became the Ministry of Post, Telegraph, and Telephone. GSM cellular networks arrived in Turkey in 1994, with Istanbul among the first cities to receive the service. Today, mobile phone, mobile and landline service is provided by private companies, after Türk Telekom, which split from the Ministry of Post, Telegraph, and Telephone in 1995, was privatized in 2005. Postal services remain under the purview of what is now the Post and Telegraph Organization (retaining the acronym PTT). In 2000, Istanbul had , of which 100 were private. Turkish citizens are entitled to subsidized healthcare in the nation's state-run hospitals. As public hospitals tend to be overcrowded or otherwise slow, private hospitals are preferable for those who can afford them. Their prevalence has increased significantly over the last decade, as the percentage of outpatients using private hospitals increased from to between 2005 and 2009. Many of these private hospitals, as well as some of the public hospitals, are equipped with high-tech equipment, including Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI machines, or associated with medical research centers. Turkey has more hospitals accredited by the U.S.-based Joint Commission than any other country in the world, with most concentrated in its big cities. The high quality of healthcare, especially in private hospitals, has contributed to a recent upsurge in medical tourism to Turkey (with a increase between 2007 and 2008). Laser eye surgery is particularly common among medical tourists, as Turkey is known for specializing in the procedure.


Transportation

Istanbul's motorways network are the Otoyol 1, O-1, Otoyol 2, O-2, Otoyol 3, O-3, Otoyol 4, O-4 and Otoyol 7, O-7. The total length of Istanbul Province's Toll road, toll motorways network (''otoyollar'') is 543 km (2021) and the state highways network (''devlet yollari'') is 353 km (2021), totaling 896 km of expressway roads (minimum 2x2 lanes), excluding secondary roads and urban streets. The density of expressway network is 16.8 km/100 km2. The O-1 forms the city's inner ring road, traversing the Bosphorus Bridge, 15 July Martyrs (First Bosphorus) Bridge, and the O-2 is the city's outer ring road, crossing the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Second Bosphorus) Bridge. The O-2 continues west to Edirne and the O-4 continues east to Ankara. The O-2, O-3, and O-4 are part of European route E80 (the Trans-European Motorway) between Portugal and the Iran–Turkey border. In 2011, the first and second bridges on the Bosphorus carried each day. The Otoyol 7, O-7 or Kuzey Marmara Otoyolu, is a motorway that bypass Istanbul to the north. The O-7 motorway from Kinali Gişeleri to Istanbul Park Service has 139.2 km, with 8 lanes (4x4), and from Odayeri-K10 to Istanbul Atatürk Airport has 30.4 km. The completed section of highway crosses the Bosphorus Strait via the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Yavuz Sultan Selim (Third Bosphorus) Bridge, entered service on 26 August 2016. The O-7 motorway connects Istanbul Atatürk Airport with Istanbul Airport. Environmentalist groups worry that the third bridge will endanger the remaining green areas to the north of Istanbul. Apart from the three Bosphorus Bridges, the dual-deck, Eurasia Tunnel (which entered service on 20 December 2016) under the Bosphorus strait also provides road crossings for motor vehicles between the Asian and European sides of Turkey. Istanbul's local public transportation system is a network of commuter rail, commuter trains, trams, funiculars, metro (rapid transit), metro lines, buses, bus rapid transit, and ferries. Fares across modes are integrated, using the contactless smart card, contactless Istanbulkart, introduced in 2009, or the older Akbil (smart ticket), Akbil electronic ticket device. Trams in Istanbul date back to 1872, when they were horse-drawn, but even the first electrified trams were decommissioned in the 1960s. Operated by Istanbul Electricity, Tramway, and Tunnel General Management (İETT), trams slowly returned to the city in the 1990s with the introduction of Istanbul nostalgic tram, a nostalgic route and a faster Istanbul modern tram, modern tram line, which now carries each day. The Tünel opened in 1875 as the world's second-oldest subterranean rail line (after London's Metropolitan Railway). It still carries passengers between
Karaköy Karaköy, the modern name for ancient Galata, is a commercial quarter in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, located at the northern part of the Golden Horn mouth on the European side of Bosphorus. Karaköy is one of the oldest and most ...

Karaköy
and İstiklal Avenue along a steep track; a more modern funicular between Taksim Square and Kabataş, Istanbul, Kabataş began running in 2006. The Istanbul Metro comprises eight lines (the M1 (Istanbul), M1, M2 (Istanbul Metro), M2, M3 (Istanbul Metro), M3, M6 (Istanbul Metro), M6, M7 (Istanbul Metro), M7 and M9 (Istanbul Metro), M9 on the European side, and the M4 (Istanbul Metro), M4 and M5 (Istanbul Metro), M5 on the Asian side) with several other lines (M8 (Istanbul Metro), M8, M12 (Istanbul Metro), M12 and M11 (Istanbul Metro), M11) and extensions under construction. The two sides of Istanbul's metro are connected under the Bosphorus by the Marmaray Tunnel, inaugurated in 2013 as the first rail connection between Thrace and Anatolia, having 13.5 km length. The Marmaray tunnel together with the suburban railways lines along the , is part of intercontinental commuter rail line in Istanbul, from Halkalı railway station, Halkalı on the European side to Gebze on the Asian side. Marmaray rail line has 76.6 km, and the full line opened on 12 March 2019. Until then, buses provide transportation within and between the two-halves of the city, accommodating passenger trips each day. The Metrobus (Istanbul), Metrobus, a form of bus rapid transit, crosses the Bosphorus Bridge, with dedicated lanes leading to its termini. İDO (Istanbul Seabuses) runs a combination of all-passenger ferries and car-and-passenger ferries to ports on both sides of the Bosphorus, as far north as the Black Sea. With additional destinations around the Sea of Marmara, İDO runs the largest municipal ferry operation in the world. The city's main cruise ship terminal is the Port of Istanbul in Karaköy, with a capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour. Most visitors enter Istanbul by air, but about half a million foreign tourists enter the city by sea each year. (n.b. Source indicates that the Topkapı Palace Museum and the Hagia Sophia together bring in , approximately in 2010, on an annual basis.) International rail service from Istanbul launched in 1889, with a line between Bucharest and Istanbul's Istanbul Sirkeci Terminal, Sirkeci Terminal, which ultimately became famous as the eastern terminus of the Orient Express from Paris. Regular service to Bucharest and Thessaloniki continued until the early 2010s, when the former was interrupted for Marmaray construction but started running again in 2019 and the latter was halted due to Greek government-debt crisis, economic problems in Greece. After Istanbul's Haydarpaşa Terminal opened in 1908, it served as the western terminus of the Baghdad Railway and an extension of the Hejaz Railway; today, neither service is offered directly from Istanbul. Service to Ankara and other points across Turkey is normally offered by Turkish State Railways, but the construction of Marmaray and the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed railway, Ankara-Istanbul high-speed line forced the station to close in 2012. New stations to replace both the Haydarpaşa and Sirkeci terminals, and connect the city's disjointed railway networks, are expected to open upon completion of the Marmaray project; until then, Istanbul is without intercity rail service. Private bus companies operate instead. Istanbul's main bus station is the largest in Europe, with a daily capacity of and , serving destinations as distant as Frankfurt. Istanbul had three large international airports, two of which currently serve commercial aviation, commercial passenger flights. The largest is the new Istanbul Airport, opened in 2018 in the Arnavutköy (district), Arnavutköy district to the northwest of the city center, on the
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
an side, near the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
coast. All scheduled commercial passenger flights were transferred from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to Istanbul Airport on 6 April 2019, following the closure of Istanbul Atatürk Airport for scheduled passenger flights. The IATA code, IATA airport code IST was also transferred to the new airport. Once all phases are completed in 2025, the airport will have six sets of runways (eight in total), 16 taxiways, and will be able to accommodate 200 million passengers a year. The transfer from the airport to the city is via the Otoyol 7, O-7, and it will eventually be linked by two lines of the Istanbul Metro. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, Sabiha Gökçen International, southeast of the city center, on the Asian side, was opened in 2001 to relieve Atatürk. Dominated by low-cost carriers, Istanbul's second airport has rapidly become popular, especially since the opening of a new international terminal in 2009; the airport handled passengers in 2012, a year after Airports Council International named it the world's fastest-growing airport. Atatürk had also experienced rapid growth, as its rise in passenger traffic between 2011 and 2012 was the highest among the world's top 30 airports. Istanbul Atatürk Airport, located west of the city center, on the European side, near the Sea of Marmara, Marmara Sea coast, was formerly the city's largest airport. After its closure to commercial flights in 2019, it was briefly used by cargo aircraft and the official state aircraft owned by the Turkish government, until the demolition of its runway began in 2020. It handled passengers in 2015, which made it the List of the busiest airports in Europe, third-busiest airport in Europe and the world's busiest airports by passenger traffic, eighteenth-busiest in the world in that year.


Environment


Flora and fauna

The natural vegetation cover of the Bosporus region is made up of temperate broadleaf and mixed forests and Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub, pseudo-maquis'. Chestnut, oak, elm, Tilia, linden, Fraxinus, ash and Robinia, locust comprises the most prominent tree genera. The most important species belonging to maquis formation are Laurus nobilis, laurel, terebinth, ''Cercis siliquastrum'', Spartium junceum, broom, Pyracantha coccinea, red firethorn, and oak species such as ''Quercus cerris'' and ''Quercus coccifera''. Apart from the natural flora Platanus orientalis, ''Platanus orentalis'', Aesculus hippocastanum, horse chestnut, Cupressus sempervirens, cypress and stone pine make up the introduced species that got Acclimatization, acclimatized to Istanbul. In a study that examined urban flora in Kartal, a total of 576 plant taxa were recorded; of those 477 were natural and 99 were exotic and cultivated. The most native taxa were in the Asteraceae family (50 species), while the most diverse exotic plant family was Rosaceae (16 species). Turkish Straits and play a vital role for Fish migration, migrating fish and other marine animals between Mediterranean, Marmara and Black Sea. Bosporus hosts Pelagic fish, pelagic, Demersal fish, demersal and semipelagic fish species and more than 130 different taxa have been documented in the strait. Bluefish, bonito, sea bass, horse mackerel and European anchovy, anchovies composes the economically important species. Fish diversity in the waters of Istanbul has dwindled in the recent decades. From around 60 different fish species recorded in the 1970s only 20 of them still survive in the Bosporus.Common bottlenose dolphin (Turkish: ''afalina''), short-beaked common dolphin (Turkish: ''tırtak'') and Harbour porpoise, harbor porpoise (Turkish: ''mutur'') make up the marine mammals presently found in the Bosporus and surrounding waters, though since the 1950s the number of dolphin observations has become increasingly rare. Mediterranean monk seals were present in Bosporus, and Princes' Islands and Tuzla, Istanbul, Tuzla shores were seal breeding areas during summer, but they have not been observed in Istanbul since the 1960s and thought to be extinct in the region. Water pollution, overfishing and destruction of coastal habitats caused by urbanization are main threats to Istanbul's marine ecology. . Wild land mammals are mainly concentrated in the northern forested areas of Istanbul. Roe deer, wild boars, foxes, coyotes, martens, badgers, Wolf, wolves, weasels, wildcats, squirrels and Jungle cat, reed cats have been documented to live inside the boundaries of Istanbul Province. Apart from the wild land mammals Istanbul hosts a sizeable stray animal population. The presence of feral cats in Istanbul (
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
: ''sokak kedisi'') is noted to be very prevalent, with estimates ranging from a hundred thousand to over a million stray cats. The feral cats in the city have gained widespread media and public attention and are considered to be symbols of the city. Rose-ringed parakeet colonies are present in urban areas, similar to other European cities as feral parrots, and considered as invasive species.


Pollution

Air pollution in Turkey is acute in İstanbul with cars, buses and taxis causing frequent urban smog, as it is one of the few European cities without a low-emission zone. the city's mean air quality index, air quality remains of a level so as to affect the heart and lungs of healthy street bystanders during peak traffic hours, and almost 200 days of pollution were measured by the air pollution sensors at Sultangazi, Mecidiyeköy, Alibeyköy and Kağıthane. Algal blooms and red tides were reported in Sea of Marmara and Bosporus (especially in
Golden Horn 300px, The Golden Horn as seen from Galata Bridge The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus F ...

Golden Horn
), and regularly happen in urban lakes such as Lake Büyükçekmece and Lake Küçükçekmece, Küçükçekmece. In June 2021 a marine mucilage wave allegedly caused by water pollution spread to Sea of Marmara.


International relations

*List of twin towns and sister cities in Turkey#I, List of twin towns and sister cities of Istanbul


See also

* Outline of Istanbul * 1766 Istanbul earthquake


Notes


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Philip Mansel, Mansel, Philip. ''Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453–1924'' (2011) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Website of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Website of the Istanbul Governorship

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: Interactive aerial photos from 1946, 1966, 1970, 1982, 2006, 2011 and 2013
– Eran Laor Cartographic Collection, The National Library of Israel
Historic Cities Research Project
{{Authority control Istanbul, Ancient Greek archaeological sites in Turkey Archaeological sites in the Marmara Region Capitals of caliphates Capitals of former nations Constantinople Holy cities Populated coastal places in Turkey Populated places along the Silk Road Port cities and towns in Turkey Roman sites in Turkey Transcontinental cities Populated places established in the 7th century BC