Country Information

Istanbul is the largest city of the Republic of Turkey, located in the north-west of the country, which is the only city in the world that lies on two continents. In the west, Istanbul is bordered by the province of Tekirdag, in the east - Kocaeli. From the south it is bathed by the waters of the Sea of ​​Marmara, and from the north by the waters of the Black Sea. The central regions of the metropolis are spread along the shores of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, which separates the European part of Istanbul from the Asian. The area of ​​the city is 5461 km2, the height above sea level is 40 meters, the population is more than 20 million people.

The first settlements on the site of modern Istanbul date back to 600 BC. The city of Kalkedon (now Kadikoy district) was founded by Dorians from Megara on the Asia Minor coast of the Bosphorus, a colony on the European coast was founded several decades later. The Greek colony received the name "Byzantium" by the name of the leader of the colonists. In 196, Byzantium assisted the rival Emperor Septim, for which he was completely destroyed, and became part of the Roman Empire. Later Septim Cruel rebuilt the city. In 324 AD, Emperor the Great Constantine rebuilt the proud and erected new walls, and then declared the city the capital of the Roman Empire. In 394, the city began to bear the name of Constantinople.

For a long time, Constantinople was the capital of Byzantium, which became the center of Eastern Christianity. In the VII-IX centuries, the city withstood 8 sieges from the Arabs. Serious damage to Constantinople caused the Crusaders, who captured him in 1204 during the IV Crusade. The last rise of Byzantium and Constantinople was associated with the rule of the Paleologo dynasty, which began in 1259. The first attacks of the Turks, headed by Sultan Mehmed II, date to 1450. In 1453, after a long siege, Constantinople submitted to Sultan Mehmed II, who declared the city the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Mehmed’s policy was aimed at the peaceful coexistence of Muslims and Christians. Many Byzantine monuments of the city were rebuilt, the Orthodox church of St. Sophia was turned into a mosque, and the gray-sultan palace appeared on the cape in Golden Horn Bay. In the XVI-XVIII centuries, Istanbul became one of the richest cities in Europe. It was built many mosques, madrasas and palaces that have survived to this day. At the end of the First World War, Istanbul was occupied by the British and French. On September 13, 1923, Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) declared Ankara the capital of Turkey. Modern Istanbul remains the center of cultural and spiritual life in Turkey, the largest tourist center located on the border of Europe and Asia.

Istanbul is a museum city with buildings of various eras: this is the famous Bosphorus Bridge, which stretches along the Black Sea as a symbol of good-neighborly relations between Europe and Asia; the center of political and sports events of ancient times; and Topkapi Palace; and the famous Hagia Sophia; and the magnificent Blue Mosque; and the fortress of Edikule and much more.

Modern Istanbul is a huge metropolis, which combines modern buildings and ancient architecture, which creates a unique flavor that can be found only here. This is a large trading port, where tourists and businessmen from all over the world come together.