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Wikipedia

Istanbul

For other uses, see Istanbul (disambiguation).

Istanbul ( ,US also ; Turkish: İstanbul ()) is the largest city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. The city straddles the Bosphorus strait, and lies in both Europe and Asia, with a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey. Istanbul is the most populous city in Europe, and the world's fifteenth-largest city.

Istanbul

Contents

Main article: Names of Istanbul

The first known name of the city is Byzantium (Greek:Βυζάντιον, Byzántion), the name given to it at its foundation by Megarian 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, 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 (Ottoman Turkish: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 (Turkish pronunciation: (), colloquially Turkish pronunciation: ) is commonly held to derive from the Medieval Greek phrase"εἰς τὴν Πόλιν" (pronounced Greek pronunciation: ), 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, 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. In modern Turkish, the name is written as İstanbul, with a dotted İ, as the Turkish alphabet distinguishes between a dotted and dotless I. 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.

Main article: History of Istanbul
This large keystone might have belonged to a triumphal arch at the Forum of Constantine (present-day Çemberlitaş).

Neolithic 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 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 period, with artifacts dating from 5500 to 3500 BCE, On the European side, near the point of the peninsula (Sarayburnu), 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 as an earlier name for the site of Byzantium.

The history of the city proper begins around 660 BCE, when Greek settlers from Megara established Byzantium on the European side of the Bosphorus. The settlers built an acropolis adjacent to the Golden Horn on the site of the early Thracian settlements, fueling the nascent city's economy. The city experienced a brief period of Persian rule at the turn of the 5th century BCE, but the Greeks recaptured it during the Greco-Persian Wars. Byzantium then continued as part of the Athenian League and its successor, the Second Athenian League, before gaining independence in 355 BCE. Long allied with the Romans, Byzantium officially became a part of the Roman Empire in 73 CE. Byzantium's decision to side with the Roman usurper Pescennius Niger against Emperor Septimius Severus 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

Main article: Constantinople
Originally built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and later rebuilt by Justinian the Great after the Nika riots in 532, the Hagia Irene is an Eastern Orthodox Church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. It is one of the few Byzantine era churches that have not been converted into mosques.
The construction of the Aqueduct of Valens began during the reign of the Roman emperor Constantius II and was completed in 373 during the reign of emperor Valens.
The Porta Aurea (Golden Gate) of the walls of Constantinople was used by Byzantine emperors.

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, which was later permanently divided between the two sons of Theodosius I upon his death on 17 January 395, when the city became the capital of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

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 which was built during the reign of Justinian the Great and remained the world's largest cathedral for a thousand years. Constantine also undertook a major renovation and expansion of the Hippodrome of Constantinople; 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. 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, 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.

Originally a church, later a mosque, the 6th-century Hagia Sophia (532–537) by Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral (1507) in Spain.
Created in 1422 by Cristoforo Buondelmonti, this is the oldest surviving map of Constantinople.

Constantinople began to decline continuously after the end of the reign of Basil II in 1025. The Fourth Crusade was diverted from its purpose in 1204, and the city was sacked and pillaged by the crusaders. They established 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 mosaics in Hagia Sofia and Kariye, were created.

Various economic and military policies instituted by Andronikos II, such as the reduction of military forces, weakened the empire and left it vulnerable to attack. In the mid-14th-century, the Ottoman Turks 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, was killed), Sultan Mehmed II "the Conqueror" captured Constantinople and declared it the new capital of the Ottoman Empire. Hours later, the sultan rode to the Hagia Sophia and summoned an imam to proclaim the Islamic creed, 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 equivalent of the Caesar of Rome) and the Ottoman state was reorganized into an empire.

Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic eras

Following the conquest of Constantinople, Mehmed II immediately set out to revitalize the city. Cognizant that revitalization would fail without the repopulation of the city, 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 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. Like many monarchs before and since, Mehmed II transformed Istanbul's urban landscape with wholesale redevelopment of the city center. There was a huge new palace to rival, if not overshadow, the old one, a new covered market (still standing as the Grand Bazaar), porticoes, pavilions, walkways, as well as more than a dozen new mosques. Mehmed II turned the ramshackle old town into something that looked like an imperial capital.

Social hierarchy 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 epidemics of sickness that blighted Istanbul.

View of the Golden Horn and the Seraglio Point from Galata Tower

The Ottoman Dynasty claimed the status of caliphate in 1517, with Constantinople remaining the capital of this last caliphate for four centuries. Suleiman the Magnificent's reign from 1520 to 1566 was a period of especially great artistic and architectural achievement; chief architect Mimar Sinan designed several iconic buildings in the city, while Ottoman arts of ceramics, stained glass, 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 and eventually to the Tanzimat period, which produced political reforms and allowed new technology to be introduced to the city. Bridges across the 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.

Two aerial photos showing the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, taken from a German zeppelin on 19 March 1918

Sultan Abdul Hamid II was deposed with the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 and the Ottoman Parliament, closed since 14 February 1878, was reopened 30 years later on 23 July 1908, which marked the beginning of the Second Constitutional Era. A series of wars in the early 20th century, such as the Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912) and the Balkan Wars (1912–1913), plagued the ailing empire's capital and resulted in the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état, which brought the regime of the Three Pashas.

The Ottoman Empire joined World War I (1914–1918) on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. The deportation of Armenian intellectuals on 24 April 1915 was among the major events which marked the start of the Armenian genocide during WWI. Due to Ottoman and Turkish policies of Turkification and ethnic cleansing, the city's Christian population declined from 450,000 to 240,000 between 1914 and 1927. The Armistice of Mudros was signed on 30 October 1918 and the Allies occupied Constantinople on 13 November 1918. The Ottoman Parliament was dissolved by the Allies on 11 April 1920 and the Ottoman delegation led by Damat Ferid Pasha was forced to sign the Treaty of Sèvres on 10 August 1920.[citation needed]

A view of Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street) in the late 1920s. Completed in 1892, the Ottoman Central Bank headquarters is seen at left. In 1995 the Istanbul Stock Exchange moved to İstinye, while numerous Turkish banks have moved to Levent and Maslak.

Following the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922), the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara abolished the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, and the last Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed VI, was declared persona non grata. Leaving aboard the British warship HMS Malaya on 17 November 1922, he went into exile and died in Sanremo, Italy, on 16 May 1926. The Treaty of Lausanne was signed on 24 July 1923, and the occupation of Constantinople ended with the departure of the last forces of the Allies from the city on 4 October 1923. Turkish forces of the Ankara government, commanded by Şükrü Naili Pasha (3rd Corps), entered the city with a ceremony on 6 October 1923, which has been marked as the Liberation Day of Istanbul (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 became the Republic's first President. 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.[page needed]

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 of Istanbul.

A panoramic view of the Ottoman era city from Galata Tower in the 19th century (image with notes)
Further information: Geography of Turkey and Geology of Turkey
Satellite view of Istanbul and the strait of Bosporus

Istanbul is located in north-western Turkey and straddles the strait Bosporus, which provides the only passage from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean via the Sea of Marmara. Historically, the city has been ideally situated for trade and defense: The confluence of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn provide both ideal defense against enemy attack and a natural toll-gate. Several picturesque islands—Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, Kınalıada, 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 5,343 square kilometers (2,063 sq mi).

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 537 meters (1,762 ft) high.

The nearby North Anatolian Fault 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. 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 codes, most recently in 2018, requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction.

Climate

Microclimates of Istanbul according to Köppen–Geiger classification system
View of Levent from Kanlıca across the Bosphorus

Istanbul has a borderline Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa, Trewartha Cs), humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa, Trewartha Cf) and oceanic climate (Köppen Cfb, Trewartha Do) under both classifications. It experiences cool winters with frequent precipitation, and warm to hot (mean temperature peaking at 20 °C (68 °F) to 25 °C (77 °F) 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. Consequently, Istanbul's temperatures almost always oscillate between −5 °C (23 °F) and 32 °C (90 °F), and most of the city does not experience temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) 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.

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. 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.

Because of its hilly topography and maritime influences, Istanbul exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates. Within the city, rainfall varies widely owing to the rain shadow of the hills in Istanbul, from around 600 millimeters (24 in) on the southern fringe at Florya to 1,200 millimeters (47 in) 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 plants to the coasts.

Despite the fact that it does not have the cold winters typical of such cities, Istanbul averages more than 60 centimeters (24 in) of snow a year, making it the snowiest major city in the Mediterranean basin. This is largely caused by lake-effect snow, 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 5–8 centimeters (2.0–3.1 in) per hour.

The highest recorded temperature at the official downtown observation station in Sarıyer was 41.5 °C (107 °F) and on 13 July 2000. The lowest recorded temperature was −16.1 °C (3 °F) on 9 February 1929. The highest recorded snow cover in the city center was 80 centimeters (31 in) on 4 January 1942, and 104 centimeters (41 in) in the northern suburbs on 11 January 2017.

Climate data for Kireçburnu, Istanbul (normals 1981–2010, extremes 1929–2018, snowy days 1996-2011)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22.4
(72.3)
24.6
(76.3)
29.3
(84.7)
33.6
(92.5)
36.4
(97.5)
40.2
(104.4)
41.5
(106.7)
40.5
(104.9)
39.6
(103.3)
34.2
(93.6)
27.8
(82.0)
25.5
(77.9)
41.5
(106.7)
Average high °C (°F) 8.5
(47.3)
8.7
(47.7)
10.9
(51.6)
15.5
(59.9)
20.1
(68.2)
25.0
(77.0)
26.9
(80.4)
27.2
(81.0)
23.8
(74.8)
19.2
(66.6)
14.2
(57.6)
10.4
(50.7)
17.5
(63.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.8
(42.4)
5.5
(41.9)
7.3
(45.1)
11.2
(52.2)
15.7
(60.3)
20.5
(68.9)
22.9
(73.2)
23.4
(74.1)
19.9
(67.8)
15.8
(60.4)
11.0
(51.8)
7.8
(46.0)
13.9
(57.0)
Average low °C (°F) 3.5
(38.3)
2.9
(37.2)
4.4
(39.9)
7.8
(46.0)
12.2
(54.0)
16.7
(62.1)
19.7
(67.5)
20.4
(68.7)
16.8
(62.2)
13.2
(55.8)
8.5
(47.3)
5.5
(41.9)
11.0
(51.8)
Record low °C (°F) −13.9
(7.0)
−16.1
(3.0)
−11.1
(12.0)
−2.0
(28.4)
1.4
(34.5)
7.1
(44.8)
10.5
(50.9)
10.2
(50.4)
6.0
(42.8)
0.6
(33.1)
−7.2
(19.0)
−11.5
(11.3)
−16.1
(3.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 99.5
(3.92)
82.1
(3.23)
69.2
(2.72)
43.1
(1.70)
31.5
(1.24)
40.6
(1.60)
39.6
(1.56)
41.9
(1.65)
64.4
(2.54)
102.3
(4.03)
110.3
(4.34)
125.1
(4.93)
849.6
(33.45)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 18.4
(7.2)
19.1
(7.5)
9.9
(3.9)
trace 0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
trace 14.1
(5.6)
61.5
(24.2)
Average precipitation days(≥ 0.1 mm) 16.9 15.2 13.2 10.0 7.4 7.0 4.7 5.1 8.1 12.3 13.9 17.5 131.3
Average snowy days(≥ 0.1 cm) 4.5 4.7 2.9 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 2.7 15.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 68.2 89.6 142.6 180.0 248.0 297.6 319.3 288.3 234.0 158.1 93.0 62.0 2,180.7
Mean daily sunshine hours 2.2 3.2 4.6 6.0 8.0 9.6 10.3 9.3 7.8 5.1 3.1 2.0 5.9
Mean daily daylight hours 10 11 12 13 14 15 15 14 12 11 10 9 12
Percent possible sunshine 22 29 38 46 57 64 69 66 65 46 31 22 46
Average ultraviolet index 2 2 4 5 7 8 9 8 6 4 2 1 5
Source:
Climate data for Florya, Istanbul (normals 1981–2010, extremes 1950–2021, snowy days 1990-2005)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.7
(67.5)
24.0
(75.2)
25.1
(77.2)
29.6
(85.3)
33.8
(92.8)
39.2
(102.6)
40.0
(104.0)
39.4
(102.9)
37.5
(99.5)
34.0
(93.2)
28.0
(82.4)
22.5
(72.5)
40.0
(104.0)
Average high °C (°F) 8.6
(47.5)
8.8
(47.8)
11.3
(52.3)
16.5
(61.7)
21.5
(70.7)
26.4
(79.5)
28.9
(84.0)
29.1
(84.4)
25.1
(77.2)
19.9
(67.8)
14.5
(58.1)
10.5
(50.9)
18.4
(65.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 6.0
(42.8)
5.8
(42.4)
7.9
(46.2)
12.3
(54.1)
17.2
(63.0)
22.0
(71.6)
24.6
(76.3)
24.9
(76.8)
21.0
(69.8)
16.5
(61.7)
11.5
(52.7)
8.0
(46.4)
14.8
(58.7)
Average low °C (°F) 3.4
(38.1)
2.9
(37.2)
4.5
(40.1)
8.1
(46.6)
12.9
(55.2)
17.6
(63.7)
20.3
(68.5)
20.7
(69.3)
17.0
(62.6)
13.2
(55.8)
8.5
(47.3)
5.5
(41.9)
11.2
(52.2)
Record low °C (°F) −12.6
(9.3)
−9.0
(15.8)
−7.1
(19.2)
−2.8
(27.0)
0.5
(32.9)
4.7
(40.5)
10.0
(50.0)
9.0
(48.2)
7.4
(45.3)
−0.6
(30.9)
−2.9
(26.8)
−6.8
(19.8)
−12.6
(9.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 77.8
(3.06)
72.3
(2.85)
59.1
(2.33)
44.8
(1.76)
41.9
(1.65)
35.9
(1.41)
30.0
(1.18)
43.2
(1.70)
39.3
(1.55)
90.0
(3.54)
85.7
(3.37)
103.0
(4.06)
723.1
(28.47)
Average precipitation days(≥ 0.1 mm) 17.0 16.8 15.1 10.3 7.7 5.9 3.4 5.1 8.4 11.7 12.1 16.3 129.8
Average snowy days(≥ 0.1 cm) 2.7 3.5 0.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.0 8.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 78.9 79.1 117.0 149.2 196.3 214.9 247.3 224.3 167.0 121.8 90.0 70.3 1,756.1
Mean daily sunshine hours 2.5 2.8 3.8 5.0 6.3 7.2 7.9 7.2 5.5 3.9 3.0 2.3 4.8
Percent possible sunshine 25 26 32 42 45 48 52 51 46 35 30 25 38
Source:
Climate data for Bahçeköy, Istanbul (normals and extremes 1981–2010, snowy days 1990-1999)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25.3
(77.5)
27.3
(81.1)
27.2
(81.0)
33.6
(92.5)
34.4
(93.9)
36.6
(97.9)
38.7
(101.7)
38.0
(100.4)
38.2
(100.8)
35.7
(96.3)
28.0
(82.4)
23.8
(74.8)
38.7
(101.7)
Average high °C (°F) 7.6
(45.7)
8.3
(46.9)
10.2
(50.4)
16.4
(61.5)
20.6
(69.1)
25.0
(77.0)
26.4
(79.5)
26.6
(79.9)
23.7
(74.7)
19.0
(66.2)
14.2
(57.6)
9.8
(49.6)
17.3
(63.2)
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.6
(40.3)
4.0
(39.2)
5.9
(42.6)
10.3
(50.5)
15.4
(59.7)
19.8
(67.6)
21.5
(70.7)
21.6
(70.9)
18.1
(64.6)
14.1
(57.4)
9.5
(49.1)
6.3
(43.3)
12.6
(54.7)
Average low °C (°F) 1.3
(34.3)
1.1
(34.0)
2.5
(36.5)
6.4
(43.5)
10.6
(51.1)
14.7
(58.5)
17.0
(62.6)
17.9
(64.2)
13.9
(57.0)
10.7
(51.3)
6.8
(44.2)
3.4
(38.1)
8.9
(47.9)
Record low °C (°F) −16.0
(3.2)
−15.4
(4.3)
−10.6
(12.9)
−3.1
(26.4)
0.9
(33.6)
5.7
(42.3)
7.8
(46.0)
8.0
(46.4)
3.1
(37.6)
−1.2
(29.8)
−4.3
(24.3)
−9.8
(14.4)
−16.0
(3.2)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 163.7
(6.44)
112.5
(4.43)
101.3
(3.99)
68.3
(2.69)
55.8
(2.20)
47.4
(1.87)
45.3
(1.78)
71.9
(2.83)
79.6
(3.13)
119.0
(4.69)
164.3
(6.47)
188.3
(7.41)
1,217.4
(47.93)
Average precipitation days(≥ 0.1 mm) 15.8 14.2 12.9 10.1 8.3 6.9 5.8 5.9 7.4 12.6 15.4 19.8 135.1
Average snowy days(≥ 0.1 cm) 4.6 5.2 1.7 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 4.0 16.2
Source:
Climate data for Istanbul
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) 8.4
(47.1)
7.7
(45.9)
8.3
(46.9)
10.2
(50.4)
15.5
(59.9)
21.3
(70.3)
24.6
(76.3)
24.9
(76.8)
22.8
(73.0)
18.4
(65.1)
13.8
(56.8)
10.5
(50.9)
15.5
(60.0)
Source: Weather Atlas

Climate change

Further information: Climate change in Turkey

As with virtually every part of the world, climate change is causing more heatwaves, droughts, storms, and flooding in Istanbul. Furthermore, as Istanbul is a large and rapidly expanding city, its 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, and from the cool temperate zone to the warm temperate/subtropical zone in the Trewartha climate classification. If trends continue, sea level rise is likely to affect city infrastructure, for example Kadıkoy metro station is threatened with flooding.Xeriscaping of green spaces has been suggested, and Istanbul has a climate-change action plan.

A view of Topkapı Palace, the inner core of which was built in 1459–1465, from across the Golden Horn, with the Prince Islands in the background
Çırağan Palace (1867) briefly served as the Ottoman Parliament building between 14 November 1909 and 19 January 1910, when it was damaged by fire. It was restored between 1987 and 1992 and was reopened as a five-star hotel in the Kempinski Hotels chain.

The Fatih district, which was named after Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (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, across the medieval Genoese citadel of Galata on the northern shore. The Genoese fortifications in Galata were largely demolished in the 19th century, leaving only the Galata Tower, to make way for the northward expansion of the city. Galata (Karaköy) is today a quarter within the Beyoğlu (Pera) district, which forms Istanbul's commercial and entertainment center and includes İstiklal Avenue and Taksim Square.

Dolmabahçe Palace, the seat of government during the late Ottoman period, is in the Beşiktaş district on the European shore of the Bosphorus strait, to the north of Beyoğlu. The Sublime Porte (Bâb-ı Âli), which became a metonym for the Ottoman government, was originally used to describe the Imperial Gate (Bâb-ı Hümâyun) at the outermost courtyard of the 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) and other Viziers were, and where foreign diplomats were received. The former village of Ortaköy is within Beşiktaş and gives its name to the Ortaköy Mosque on the Bosphorus, near the 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 and Maslak, Istanbul's main business districts.

Originally outside the city, yalı residences along the Bosphorus are now homes in some of Istanbul's elite neighborhoods.

During the Ottoman period, Üsküdar (then Scutari) and Kadıköy 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 gecekondus (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 and urban renewal projects have been taking place, such as the one in Tarlabaşı; some of these projects, like the one in Sulukule, 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 and Yıldız Park were originally included within the grounds of two of Istanbul's palaces—Topkapı Palace and Yıldız Palace—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 in Anatolia, opposite Yıldız Palace in Europe. Along the European side, and close to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, is Emirgan Park, which was known as the Kyparades (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 to the Safavid Emir Gûne Han in the 17th century, hence the name Emirgan. The 47-hectare (120-acre) park was later owned by Khedive Ismail Pasha of Ottoman Egypt and Sudan in the 19th century. Emirgan Park is known for its diversity of plants and an annual tulip festival is held there since 2005. The AKP government's decision to replace Taksim Gezi Park with a replica of the Ottoman era Taksim Military Barracks (which was transformed into the Taksim Stadium in 1921, before being demolished in 1940 for building Gezi Park) sparked a series of nationwide protests in 2013 covering a wide range of issues. Popular during the summer among Istanbulites is Belgrad Forest, spreading across 5,500 hectares (14,000 acres) 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.

Panoramic view of Istanbul from the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. Several landmarks—including Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, and Dolmabahçe Palace—can be seen along their shores.

Architecture

Sultan Ahmed Mosque is known as the Blue Mosque due to the blue İznik tiles which adorn its interior. The Obelisk of Thutmose III (Obelisk of Theodosius) is seen in the foreground.
Galata Tower dominates the skyline of the medieval Genoese citadel at the north of the Golden Horn.

Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, and despite its development as a Turkish city since 1453, contains a vast array of ancient, Roman, Byzantine, Christian, Muslim and Jewish monuments.

The Neolithic settlement in the Yenikapı quarter on the European side, which dates back to c. 6500 BCE and predates the formation of the Bosporus strait by approximately a millennium (when the Sea of Marmara 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, with relics dating to c. 5500-3500 BCE (Chalcolithic period).

The lower walls of the Sphendone, the curved grandstand of the Hippodrome, which was originally built by the Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century and was later enlarged by emperor Constantine the Great.

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 Temple of Karnak in Luxor, and was erected there by Pharaoh Thutmose III (r. 1479–1425 BCE) to the south of the seventh 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 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 (r. 379–395 CE) had it transported to Constantinople and put up on the spina of the Hippodrome there. When re-erected at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the obelisk was mounted on a decorative base, with reliefs that depict 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.

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, and also erected at the spina of the Hippodrome. It was originally part of an 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 8-meter (26 ft) high column remained intact until the end of the 17th century (one is on display at the nearby Istanbul Archaeology Museums).

Built in 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 Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos, the Monastery of the Pantocrator, the Monastery of Christ Pantepoptes, the Hagia Theodosia, the Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa, the Monastery of Constantine Lips, the Church of Myrelaion, the Hagios Theodoros, etc.; to public places like the Hippodrome, the Augustaion, or the Basilica Cistern. The 4th century Harbor of Theodosius in Yenikapı, once the busiest port in Constantinople, was among the numerous archeological discoveries that took place during the excavations of the Marmaray tunnel.

Built by Ottoman sultans Abdülmecid and Abdülaziz, the 19th-century Dolmabahçe, Çırağan, Beylerbeyi and Küçüksu palaces on the Bosporus were designed by members of the Armenian Balyan family of court architects.

It is the Hagia Sophia, however, that fully conveys the period of Constantinople as a city without parallel in Christendom. The Hagia Sophia, topped by a dome 31 meters (102 ft) 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, was designed by his chief architect Mimar Sinan, 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, 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, rococo, and baroque architectural forms. In 1639, Murad IV made some of the most lavish additions, including the Baghdad Kiosk, to commemorate his 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. 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 imperial mosques include Fatih Mosque, Bayezid Mosque, Yavuz Selim Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque), and Yeni Mosque, all of which were built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the following centuries, and especially after the Tanzimat reforms, Ottoman architecture was supplanted by European styles. An example of which is the imperial Nuruosmaniye Mosque. Areas around İstiklal Avenue were filled with grand European embassies and rows of buildings in Neoclassical, 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.

Istanbul's districts extend far from the city center, along the full length of the Bosphorus (with the Black Sea at the top and the Sea of Marmara at the bottom of the map).

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 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 Islamic judges and imams led the city under the auspices of the Grand Vizier. 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) across the city. Pera (now Beyoğlu) 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.

Statue of Atatürk in Büyükada, the largest of the Prince Islands to the southeast of Istanbul, which collectively form the Adalar (Isles) district of Istanbul Province

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, Ekrem İmamoğlu has been the Mayor of Istanbul since 27 June 2019.

A view of Taksim Square with the Republic Monument (1928) designed by Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica and Taksim Mosque

With the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Istanbul Province having equivalent jurisdictions, few responsibilities remain for the provincial government. Similar to 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 Governor of Istanbul Province since 26 October 2018.

Historical populations
Pre-Republic
YearPop.
10036,000
361300,000
500400,000
7th c.150–350,000
8th c.125–500,000
9th c.50–250,000
1000150–300,000
1100200,000
1200150,000
1261100,000
135080,000
145345,000
1500200,000
1550660,000
1700700,000
1815500,000
1860715,000
1890874,000
1900942,900
Republic
YearPop.±% p.a.
1925881,000
1927691,000−11.44%
1935740,800+0.87%
1940793,900+1.39%
1945845,300+1.26%
1950983,000+3.06%
19601,459,500+4.03%
19651,743,000+3.61%
19702,132,400+4.12%
19752,547,400+3.62%
19802,853,500+2.30%
19855,494,900+14.00%
19906,620,200+3.80%
19947,615,500+3.56%
19978,260,400+2.75%
20008,831,800+2.25%
200711,174,200+3.42%
201514,657,434+3.45%
201614,804,116+1.00%
201715,029,231+1.52%
201815,067,724+0.26%
201915,519,267+3.00%
Sources: Jan Lahmeyer 2004,Chandler 1987, Morris 2010,Turan 2010
Pre-Republic figures estimated

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 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 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, hosting19 percent 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 seventh-largest city proper in the world, and the second-largest urban agglomeration in Europe, after Moscow. The city's annual population growth of1.5 percent 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 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, Central and Eastern Anatolia regions due to internal migration since the 1950s. People registered in Kastamonu, Ordu, Giresun, Erzurum, Samsun, Malatya, Trabzon, Sinop and 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

Main article: Religion in Istanbul
Syrian nationals in districts of Istanbul

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 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 less than 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. 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 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 non-believers who did not believe the rules and requirements of a religion. 24% of the surveyed also identified themselves as "religious conservatives". More than 90% of Istanbul's population are Sunni Muslims and Alevism forms the second biggest religious group.

Built by Suleiman the Magnificent, the Süleymaniye Mosque (1550–1557) was designed by his chief architect Mimar Sinan, the most illustrious of all Ottoman architects.

Into the 19th century, the Christians of Istanbul tended to be either Greek Orthodox, members of the Armenian Apostolic Church or Catholic Levantines. Greeks and Armenians form the largest Christian population in the city. While Istanbul's Greek population was exempted from the 1923 population exchange with Greece, changes in tax status and the 1955 anti-Greek pogrom prompted thousands to leave. Following 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 Assyrians live in Istanbul.

There are 234 active churches in the city, including the Church of St. Anthony of Padua on İstiklal Avenue, in the district of Beyoğlu (Pera).

The majority of the Catholic Levantines (Turkish: Levanten) in Istanbul and Izmir are the descendants of traders/colonists from the Italian maritime republics of the Mediterranean (especially Genoa and Venice) and France, who obtained special rights and privileges called the Capitulations from the Ottoman sultans in the 16th century. The community had more than 15,000 members during 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 Karaköy, Beyoğlu 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 Jews in Europe, Ottoman Jews were allowed to work in any profession. 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 and 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.

Ekrem İmamoğlu of the CHP is the 32nd and current Mayor of Istanbul, elected in 2019.

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 elected Mayor of Istanbul in 1994.[citation needed] In the run-up to local elections in 2019, Erdoğan claimed 'if we fail in Istanbul, we will fail in Turkey'.

The contest in Istanbul carried deep political, economic and symbolic significance for Erdoğan, whose election of mayor of Istanbul in 1994 had served as his launchpad. For Ekrem İmamoğlu, winning 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, large-scale anti-AKP government protests began in İstanbul and spread throughout the nation. This trend first became evident electorally in the 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 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 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 won the vote with 48.77% of the vote, against Yıldırım's 48.61%, but the elections were contorversially annulled by the Supreme Electoral Council due to AKP's claim of electrol fraud. In the re-run İmamoğlu gathered 54.22% of the total vote and widend the defeat margin. Similar trends and electoral successes for the opposition were also replicated in Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Mersin, Adana and other metropolitan areas of Turkey.[citation needed]

Administratively, Istanbul is divided into 39 districts, more than any other province in Turkey. Istanbul Province sends 98 Members of Parliament to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which has a total of 600 seats. For the purpose of parliamentary elections, Istanbul is divided into three electoral districts; two on the European side and one on the Asian side, electing 28, 35 and 35 MPs respectively.[citation needed]

Main article: Economy of Istanbul
A view of Dolmabahçe Palace and the skyscrapers of Levent financial district in the background. Providing the only sea route to the Black Sea, the Bosporus is the world's busiest waterway that is used for international navigation.
A view of Levent financial district from Istanbul Sapphire. Levent, Maslak, Şişli and Ataşehir are the main business districts in the city.

Istanbul had the eleventh-largest economy among the world's urban areas in 2018, and is responsible for30 percent of Turkey's industrial output,31 percent of GDP, and47 percent of tax revenues. The city's gross domestic product adjusted by PPP stood atUS$537.507 billion in 2018, with manufacturing and services accounting for36 percent and60 percent of the economic output respectively. Istanbul's productivity is110 percent higher than the national average. Trade is economically important, accounting for30 percent of the economic output in the city. In 2019, companies based in Istanbul produced exports worth$83.66 billion and received imports totaling$128.34 billion; these figures were equivalent to47 percent and61 percent, 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 than200 million tons of oil passing through it each year. International conventions guarantee passage between the Black and the Mediterranean seas, even when tankers carry oil, LNG/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.

4th Vakıf Han (left) and Deutsche Orientbank AG (right) in Sirkeci

Shipping is a significant part of the city's economy, with73.9 percent of exports and92.7 percent 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 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 stock exchange in Turkey, Borsa Istanbul, which was originally established as the Ottoman Stock Exchange in 1866.

Ottoman Central Bank Head Office (1892) on Bankalar Caddesi

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 4th Vakıf Han building in Sirkeci) to İstinye, in the vicinity of 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 Turkey, currently headquartered in Ankara.

13.4 million 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 most visited museum in the city, bringing in more than$30 million in revenue each year.

Main article: Culture of Istanbul
Yalı houses on the Bosporus are among the frequently used settings in Turkish television dramas (dizi).

Istanbul was historically known as a cultural hub, but its cultural scene stagnated after the Turkish Republic shifted its focus toward 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.

The Istanbul Archaeology Museums, founded by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1891, form Turkey's oldest modern museum.

Beyoğlu 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 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. Istanbul also became the heart of 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 (1963), 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, Bebek, and Kadıköy. The city has 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.

Around three million people visit İstiklal Avenue on weekend days

The Grand Bazaar, in operation since 1461, is among the world's oldest and largest covered markets. Mahmutpasha Bazaar is an open-air market extending between the Grand Bazaar and the 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 won the Cityscape Architectural Review Award in the Commercial Built category in 2006.

İstinye Park in İstinye and Zorlu Center near Levent are among the newest malls which include the stores of the world's top fashion brands.

Along İstiklal Avenue 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 (particularly in neighborhoods like Ortaköy, Bebek, Arnavutköy, Yeniköy, Beylerbeyi and Çengelköy). Kumkapı along the Sea of Marmara has a pedestrian zone that hosts around fifty fish restaurants.

The Princes' Islands, 15 kilometers (9 mi) 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 foodscape of the city 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, Beşiktaş, Şişli and Kadıköy districts.

Istanbul is home to some of Turkey's oldest sports clubs. 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 SK and 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, Beşiktaş, Darüşşafaka, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray, İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor and Büyükçekmece—that play in the premier-level 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 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 and 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 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 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, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 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 SK, and Fenerbahçe who have won numerous European and World Championship titles.[citation needed]

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.[unreliable source?] The last race of the 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.

Küçük Çamlıca TV Radio Tower is the tallest structure in the city.

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, Posta and Sözcü, the country's top four papers, are all headquartered in Istanbul, boasting more than 275,000 weekly sales each. Hürriyet's 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 and Jamanak and the bilingual weekly Agos in Armenian and Turkish.[citation needed]

TRT Istanbul Radio

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 over90 percent of the country's population, but onlyRadio 2 is based in Istanbul. Offering a range of content from educational programming to coverage of sporting events,Radio 2 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 (97.2 FM). The state-runRadio 3, 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 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 are other stations in Istanbul that offer a mix of news and series; NTV (partnered with U.S. media outlet MSNBC) and 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.

Further information: Education in Turkey
Main entrance gate of Istanbul University, the city's oldest Turkish institution, established in 1453.

In 2015, more than 57,000 students attended 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, 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 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 (all but Galatasaray University) and French.[clarification needed]

View of Kuleli Military High School (1845–2016)

Istanbul is also home to several conservatories and art schools, including Mimar Sinan Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1882.

Main article: Utilities in Istanbul

Istanbul's first water supply systems date back to the city's early history, when aqueducts (such as the Valens Aqueduct) deposited the water in the city's numerous cisterns. At the behest of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Kırkçeşme water supply network was constructed; by 1563, the network provided 4,200 cubic meters (150,000 cu ft) of water to158 sites 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, now the art museum SantralIstanbul, was Istanbul's sole source of power between 1914 and 1952.

The Silahtarağa Power Station, a 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 from23 megawatts in 1923 to a peak of120 megawatts 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 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 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 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.

The Grand Post Office in Sirkeci, Istanbul, was designed by Vedat Tek in the Turkish neoclassical style of the early 20th century.

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 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 had137 hospitals, of which 100 were private.[needs update] 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 from6 percent to23 percent between 2005 and 2009. Many of these private hospitals, as well as some of the public hospitals, are equipped with high-tech equipment, including 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 a40 percent increase between 2007 and 2008). Laser eye surgery is particularly common among medical tourists, as Turkey is known for specializing in the procedure.

Istanbul's motorways network are the O-1, O-2, O-3, O-4 and O-7. The total length of Istanbul Province's 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 15 July Martyrs (First Bosphorus) Bridge, and the O-2 is the city's outer ring road, crossing the 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 carried400,000 vehicles each day. The 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 (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, 14.6-kilometer (9.1 mi) 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 nostalgic and modern tram systems

Istanbul's local public transportation system is a network of commuter trains, trams, funiculars, metro lines, buses, bus rapid transit, and ferries. Fares across modes are integrated, using the contactless Istanbulkart, introduced in 2009, or the older 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 a nostalgic route and a faster modern tram line, which now carries265,000 passengers 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 and İstiklal Avenue along a steep 573-meter (1,880 ft) track; a more modern funicular between Taksim Square and Kabataş began running in 2006.

Marmaray commuter rail at Ayrılıkçeşmesi station

The Istanbul Metro comprises eight lines (the M1, M2, M3, M6, M7 and M9 on the European side, and the M4 and M5 on the Asian side) with several other lines (M8, M12 and 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 Sea of Marmara, is part of intercontinental commuter rail line in Istanbul, from 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, accommodating2.2 million passenger trips each day. The 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.[non-primary source needed]

Originally opened in 1873 with a smaller terminal building as the main terminus of the Rumelia (Balkan) Railway of the Ottoman Empire, which connected Istanbul with Vienna, the current Sirkeci Terminal building was constructed between 1888 and 1890, and became the eastern terminus of the Orient Express from Paris.

International rail service from Istanbul launched in 1889, with a line between Bucharest and Istanbul's 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 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 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 of15,000 buses and600,000 passengers, serving destinations as distant as Frankfurt.

Istanbul had three large international airports, two of which are currently in active service for commercial passenger flights. The largest is the new Istanbul Airport, opened in 2018 in the Arnavutköy district to the northwest of the city center, on the European side, near the 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 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 O-7, and it will eventually be linked by two lines of the Istanbul Metro.

Sabiha Gökçen International, 45 kilometers (28 mi) 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 handled14.7 million passengers in 2012, a year after Airports Council International named it the world's fastest-growing airport. Atatürk had also experienced rapid growth, as its20.6 percent rise in passenger traffic between 2011 and 2012 was the highest among the world's top 30 airports.

Istanbul Atatürk Airport, located 24 kilometers (15 mi) west of the city center, on the European side, near the 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 handled61.3 million passengers in 2015, which made it the third-busiest airport in Europe and the eighteenth-busiest in the world in that year.

Flora and fauna

The natural vegetation cover of the Bosporus region is made up of temperate broadleaf and mixed forests and pseudo-maquis'. Chestnut, oak, elm, linden, ash and locust comprises the most prominent tree genera. The most important species belonging to maquis formation are laurel, terebinth, Cercis siliquastrum, broom, red firethorn, and oak species such as Quercus cerris and Quercus coccifera. Apart from the natural flora Platanus orentalis, horse chestnut, cypress and stone pine make up the introduced species that got 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 Sea of Marmara play a vital role for migrating fish and other marine animals between Mediterranean, Marmara and Black Sea. Bosporus hosts pelagic, demersal and semipelagic fish species and more than 130 different taxa have been documented in the strait. Bluefish, bonito, sea bass, horse mackerel and 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.[dubiousdiscuss]Common bottlenose dolphin (Turkish: afalina), short-beaked common dolphin (Turkish: tırtak) and harbor porpoise (Turkish: mutur) make up the marine mammals presently found in the Bosporus and surrounding waters, though since 1950's the number of dolphin observations has become increasingly rare. Mediterranean monk seals were present in Bosporus, and Princes' Islands and 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. .

Street cats in the city

Wild land mammals are mainly concentrated in the northern forested areas of Istanbul. Roe deer, wild boars, foxes, coyotes, martens, badgers, wolves, weasels, wildcats, squirrels and 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: 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. As of 2019[update] the city's mean 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), and regularly happen in urban lakes such as Lake Büyükçekmece and Küçükçekmece. In June 2021 a marine mucilage wave allegedly caused by water pollution spread to Sea of Marmara.

  1. Where governor's office is located.
  2. Istanbul straddles both Europe and Asia, with its commercial and historical centre and two-thirds of the population in Europe, the rest in Asia. Since Istanbul is a transcontinental city, Moscow is the largest city entirely within Europe.
  3. The foundation of Byzantion (Byzantium) is sometimes, especially in encyclopedic or other tertiary sources, placed firmly in 667 BCE. Historians have disputed the precise year the city was founded. Commonly cited is the work of 5th-century-BCE historian Herodotus, which says the city was founded seventeen years after Chalcedon, which came into existence around 685 BCE. Eusebius concurs with 685 BCE as the year Chalcedon was founded, but places Byzantion's establishment in 659 BCE. Among more modern historians, Carl Roebuck proposed the 640s BCE and others have suggested even later. The foundation date of Chalcedon is itself subject to some debate; while many sources place it in 685 BC, others put it in 675 BCE or even 639 BCE (with Byzantion's establishment placed in 619 BCE). Some sources refer to Byzantium's foundation as the 7th century BCE.
  4. Historians disagree—sometimes substantially—on population figures of Istanbul (Constantinople), and other world cities, prior to the 20th century. A follow-up to Chandler & Fox 1974,Chandler 1987, pp. 463–505 examines different sources' estimates and chooses the most likely based on historical conditions; it is the source of most population figures between 100 and 1914. The ranges of values between 500 and 1000 are due to Morris 2010, which also does a comprehensive analysis of sources, including Chandler (1987); Morris notes that many of Chandler's estimates during that time seem too large for the city's size, and presents smaller estimates. Chandler disagrees with Turan 2010 on the population of the city in the mid-1920s (with the former suggesting 817,000 in 1925), but Turan, p. 224, is used as the source of population figures between 1924 and 2005. Turan's figures, as well as the 2010 figure, come from the Turkish Statistical Institute. The drastic increase in population between 1980 and 1985 is largely due to an enlargement of the city's limits (see the Administration section). Explanations for population changes in pre-Republic times can be inferred from the History section.
  5. In the Ottoman period the inner core of the city, inside the city walls, came to be known as "İstanbul" in Turkish and "Stamboul" in the West. The whole city was generally known as Constantinople or under other names. See Names of Istanbul for further information.
  6. Based on state register data, which is unchangable and inhereted from the family. A married women is also registered to her husband's province.
  7. UEFA does not apparently keep a list of Category 4 stadiums, but regulations stipulate that only these elite stadiums are eligible to host UEFA Champions League Finals, which Atatürk Olympic Stadium did in 2005, and UEFA Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup) Finals, which Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium did in 2009. Türk Telekom Arena is noted as an elite UEFA stadium by its architects.
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Istanbul Language Watch Edit For other uses see Istanbul disambiguation Istanbul ˌ ɪ s t ae n ˈ b ʊ l IST an BUUL 7 8 US also ˈ ɪ s t ae n b ʊ l IST an buul Turkish Istanbul isˈtanbuɫ listen is the largest city in Turkey and the country s economic cultural and historic center The city straddles the Bosphorus strait and lies in both Europe and Asia with a population of over 15 million residents comprising 19 of the population of Turkey 4 Istanbul is the most populous city in Europe b and the world s fifteenth largest city Istanbul IstanbulMegacity Metropolitan municipalityClockwise from top the Bosphorus Bridge connecting Europe and Asia Maiden s Tower Dolmabahce Palace Levent business district Galata Tower Ortakoy Mosque the Hagia SophiaEmblem of Istanbul Metropolitan MunicipalityIstanbulLocation within TurkeyShow map of TurkeyIstanbulLocation within EuropeShow map of EuropeIstanbulLocation within AsiaShow map of AsiaIstanbulIstanbul Earth Show map of EarthCoordinates 41 00 49 N 28 57 18 E 41 01361 N 28 95500 E 41 01361 28 95500 Coordinates 41 00 49 N 28 57 18 E 41 01361 N 28 95500 E 41 01361 28 95500CountryTurkeyRegionMarmaraProvinceIstanbulProvincial seat a Cagaloglu FatihDistricts39Government TypeMayor council government BodyMunicipal Council of Istanbul MayorEkrem Imamoglu CHP GovernorAli YerlikayaArea 1 2 Urban2 576 85 km2 994 93 sq mi Metro5 343 22 km2 2 063 03 sq mi Highest elevation 3 537 m 1 762 ft Population 31 December 2020 4 Megacity Metropolitan municipality15 462 452 Rank1st in Turkey Urban15 149 358 Urban density5 879 km2 15 230 sq mi Metro density2 894 km2 7 500 sq mi Demonym s Istanbulite Turkish Istanbullu Time zoneUTC 3 TRT Postal code34000 to 34990Area code s 90 212 European side 90 216 Asian side Vehicle registration34GDP Nominal 2019 5 TotalUS 237 billion Per capitaUS 15 285HDI 2019 0 846 6 very high 1stGeoTLD ist istanbulWebsiteibb wbr istanbul www wbr istanbul wbr gov wbr trUNESCO World Heritage SiteOfficial nameHistoric Areas of IstanbulCriteriaCultural i ii iii iv Reference356bisInscription1985 9th Session Extensions2017Area765 5 ha 1 892 acres Founded as Byzantion by Megarian colonists in 657 BCE 9 and renamed by Constantine the Great first as New Rome Nova Roma during the official dedication of the city as the new Roman capital in 330 CE 9 which he soon afterwards changed to Constantinople Constantinopolis 9 10 the city grew in size and influence becoming a beacon of the Silk Road and one of the most important cities in history It served as an imperial capital for almost sixteen centuries during the Roman Byzantine 330 1204 Latin 1204 1261 Byzantine 1261 1453 and Ottoman 1453 1922 empires 11 It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times before its transformation to an Islamic stronghold following the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE 12 In 1923 after the Turkish War of Independence Ankara replaced the city as the capital of the newly formed Republic of Turkey In 1930 the city s name was officially changed to Istanbul an appellation Greek speakers used since the eleventh century to colloquially refer to the city 13 Over 13 4 million foreign visitors came to Istanbul in 2018 eight years after it was named a European Capital of Culture making the city the world s fifth most popular tourist destination 14 Istanbul is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites and hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish companies accounting for more than thirty percent of the country s economy 15 16 Contents 1 Toponymy 2 History 2 1 Rise and fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire 2 2 Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic eras 3 Geography 3 1 Climate 3 1 1 Climate change 4 Cityscape 4 1 Architecture 5 Administration 6 Demographics 6 1 Ethnic and religious groups 7 Politics 8 Economy 9 Culture 9 1 Leisure and entertainment 10 Sports 11 Media 12 Education 13 Public services 14 Transportation 15 Environment 15 1 Flora and fauna 15 2 Pollution 16 International relations 17 See also 18 Notes 19 References 19 1 Bibliography 20 External linksToponymyMain article Names of Istanbul Column of Constantine 17 The first known name of the city is Byzantium Greek Byzantion Byzantion the name given to it at its foundation by Megarian colonists around 657 BCE 9 18 Megaran colonists claimed a direct line back to the founders of the city Byzas the son of the god Poseidon and the nymph Ceroessa 18 Modern excavations have raised the possibility that the name Byzantium might reflect the sites of native Thracian settlements that preceded the fully fledged town 19 Constantinople comes from the Latin name Constantinus after Constantine the Great the Roman emperor who refounded the city in 324 CE 18 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 Ottoman Turkish قسطنطينيه Be Makam e Qonstantiniyyah al Mahmiyyah meaning the Protected Location of Constantinople and Istanbul were the names used alternatively by the Ottomans during their rule 20 The name Istanbul Turkish pronunciation isˈtanbuɫ listen colloquially Turkish pronunciation ɯsˈtambuɫ is commonly held to derive from the Medieval Greek phrase eἰs tὴn Polin pronounced Greek pronunciation is tim ˈbolin which means to the city 21 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 22 An alternative view is that the name evolved directly from the name Constantinople with the first and third syllables dropped 18 Some Ottoman sources of the 17th century such as Evliya Celebi 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 23 In modern Turkish the name is written as Istanbul with a dotted I as the Turkish alphabet distinguishes between a dotted and dotless I In English the stress is on the first or last syllable but in Turkish it is on the second syllable tan 24 A person from the city is an Istanbullu plural Istanbullular Istanbulite is used in English 25 HistoryMain article History of Istanbul See also Timeline of Istanbul history This large keystone might have belonged to a triumphal arch at the Forum of Constantine present day Cemberlitas 17 Neolithic 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 26 That early settlement important in the spread of the Neolithic Revolution from the Near East to Europe lasted for almost a millennium before being inundated by rising water levels 27 26 28 29 The first human settlement on the Asian side the Fikirtepe mound is from the Copper Age period with artifacts dating from 5500 to 3500 BCE 30 On the European side near the point of the peninsula Sarayburnu there was a Thracian settlement during the early 1st millennium BCE Modern authors have linked it to the Thracian toponym Lygos 31 mentioned by Pliny the Elder as an earlier name for the site of Byzantium 32 The history of the city proper begins around 660 BCE 9 33 c when Greek settlers from Megara established Byzantium on the European side of the Bosphorus The settlers built an acropolis adjacent to the Golden Horn on the site of the early Thracian settlements fueling the nascent city s economy 39 The city experienced a brief period of Persian rule at the turn of the 5th century BCE but the Greeks recaptured it during the Greco Persian Wars 40 Byzantium then continued as part of the Athenian League and its successor the Second Athenian League before gaining independence in 355 BCE 41 Long allied with the Romans Byzantium officially became a part of the Roman Empire in 73 CE 42 Byzantium s decision to side with the Roman usurper Pescennius Niger against Emperor Septimius Severus cost it dearly by the time it surrendered at the end of 195 CE two years of siege had left the city devastated 43 Five years later Severus began to rebuild Byzantium and the city regained and by some accounts surpassed its previous prosperity 44 Rise and fall of Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire Main article Constantinople Originally built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and later rebuilt by Justinian the Great after the Nika riots in 532 the Hagia Irene is an Eastern Orthodox Church located in the outer courtyard of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul It is one of the few Byzantine era churches that have not been converted into mosques The construction of the Aqueduct of Valens began during the reign of the Roman emperor Constantius II and was completed in 373 during the reign of emperor Valens The Porta Aurea Golden Gate of the walls of Constantinople was used by Byzantine emperors 45 Constantine the Great effectively became the emperor of the whole of the Roman Empire in September 324 46 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 47 On 11 May 330 Constantinople was proclaimed the capital of the Roman Empire which was later permanently divided between the two sons of Theodosius I upon his death on 17 January 395 when the city became the capital of the Eastern Roman Byzantine Empire 48 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 48 49 Numerous churches were built across the city including Hagia Sophia which was built during the reign of Justinian the Great and remained the world s largest cathedral for a thousand years 50 Constantine also undertook a major renovation and expansion of the Hippodrome of Constantinople 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 51 52 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 49 During most of the Middle Ages 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 53 54 Originally a church later a mosque the 6th century Hagia Sophia 532 537 by Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years until the completion of the Seville Cathedral 1507 in Spain Created in 1422 by Cristoforo Buondelmonti this is the oldest surviving map of Constantinople Constantinople began to decline continuously after the end of the reign of Basil II in 1025 The Fourth Crusade was diverted from its purpose in 1204 and the city was sacked and pillaged by the crusaders 55 They established the Latin Empire in place of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire 56 Hagia Sophia was converted to a Catholic church in 1204 The Byzantine Empire was restored albeit weakened in 1261 57 Constantinople s churches defenses and basic services were in disrepair 58 and its population had dwindled to a hundred thousand from half a million during the 8th century d After the reconquest of 1261 however some of the city s monuments were restored and some like the two Deesis mosaics in Hagia Sofia and Kariye were created 59 Various economic and military policies instituted by Andronikos II such as the reduction of military forces weakened the empire and left it vulnerable to attack 60 In the mid 14th century the Ottoman Turks began a strategy of gradually taking smaller towns and cities cutting off Constantinople s supply routes and strangling it slowly 61 On 29 May 1453 after an eight week siege during which the last Roman emperor Constantine XI was killed Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror captured Constantinople and declared it the new capital of the Ottoman Empire Hours later the sultan rode to the Hagia Sophia and summoned an imam to proclaim the Islamic creed converting the grand cathedral into an imperial mosque due to the city s refusal to surrender peacefully 62 Mehmed declared himself as the new Kayser i Rum the Ottoman Turkish equivalent of the Caesar of Rome and the Ottoman state was reorganized into an empire 63 Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic eras Following the conquest of Constantinople e Mehmed II immediately set out to revitalize the city Cognizant that revitalization would fail without the repopulation of the city Mehmed II welcomed everyone foreigners criminals and runaways showing extraordinary openness and willingness to incorporate outsiders that came to define Ottoman political culture 65 He also invited people from all over Europe to his capital creating a cosmopolitan society that persisted through much of the Ottoman period 66 Revitalizing Istanbul also required a massive program of restorations of everything from roads to aqueducts 67 Like many monarchs before and since Mehmed II transformed Istanbul s urban landscape with wholesale redevelopment of the city center 68 There was a huge new palace to rival if not overshadow the old one a new covered market still standing as the Grand Bazaar porticoes pavilions walkways as well as more than a dozen new mosques 67 Mehmed II turned the ramshackle old town into something that looked like an imperial capital 68 Social hierarchy was ignored by the rampant plague which killed the rich and the poor alike in the sixteenth century 69 Money could not protect the rich from all the discomforts and harsher sides of Istanbul 69 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 69 Opulent houses shared the same streets and districts with tiny hovels 69 Those rich enough to have secluded country properties had a chance of escaping the periodic epidemics of sickness that blighted Istanbul 69 View of the Golden Horn and the Seraglio Point from Galata Tower The Ottoman Dynasty claimed the status of caliphate in 1517 with Constantinople remaining the capital of this last caliphate for four centuries 12 Suleiman the Magnificent s reign from 1520 to 1566 was a period of especially great artistic and architectural achievement chief architect Mimar Sinan designed several iconic buildings in the city while Ottoman arts of ceramics stained glass calligraphy and miniature flourished 70 The population of Constantinople was 570 000 by the end of the 18th century 71 A period of rebellion at the start of the 19th century led to the rise of the progressive Sultan Mahmud II and eventually to the Tanzimat period which produced political reforms and allowed new technology to be introduced to the city 72 Bridges across the Golden Horn were constructed during this period 73 and Constantinople was connected to the rest of the European railway network in the 1880s 74 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 75 The modernization efforts were not enough to forestall the decline of the Ottoman Empire 76 Two aerial photos showing the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus taken from a German zeppelin on 19 March 1918 Sultan Abdul Hamid II was deposed with the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 and the Ottoman Parliament closed since 14 February 1878 was reopened 30 years later on 23 July 1908 which marked the beginning of the Second Constitutional Era 77 A series of wars in the early 20th century such as the Italo Turkish War 1911 1912 and the Balkan Wars 1912 1913 plagued the ailing empire s capital and resulted in the 1913 Ottoman coup d etat which brought the regime of the Three Pashas 78 The Ottoman Empire joined World War I 1914 1918 on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated The deportation of Armenian intellectuals on 24 April 1915 was among the major events which marked the start of the Armenian genocide during WWI 79 Due to Ottoman and Turkish policies of Turkification and ethnic cleansing the city s Christian population declined from 450 000 to 240 000 between 1914 and 1927 80 The Armistice of Mudros was signed on 30 October 1918 and the Allies occupied Constantinople on 13 November 1918 The Ottoman Parliament was dissolved by the Allies on 11 April 1920 and the Ottoman delegation led by Damat Ferid Pasha was forced to sign the Treaty of Sevres on 10 August 1920 citation needed A view of Bankalar Caddesi Banks Street in the late 1920s Completed in 1892 the Ottoman Central Bank headquarters is seen at left In 1995 the Istanbul Stock Exchange moved to Istinye while numerous Turkish banks have moved to Levent and Maslak 81 Following the Turkish War of Independence 1919 1922 the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara abolished the Sultanate on 1 November 1922 and the last Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI was declared persona non grata Leaving aboard the British warship HMS Malaya on 17 November 1922 he went into exile and died in Sanremo Italy on 16 May 1926 The Treaty of Lausanne was signed on 24 July 1923 and the occupation of Constantinople ended with the departure of the last forces of the Allies from the city on 4 October 1923 82 Turkish forces of the Ankara government commanded by Sukru Naili Pasha 3rd Corps entered the city with a ceremony on 6 October 1923 which has been marked as the Liberation Day of Istanbul Turkish Istanbul un Kurtulusu and is commemorated every year on its anniversary 82 On 29 October 1923 the Grand National Assembly of Turkey declared the establishment of the Turkish Republic with Ankara as its capital Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became the Republic s first President 83 84 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 85 page needed A 1942 wealth tax assessed mainly on non Muslims led to the transfer or liquidation of many businesses owned by religious minorities 86 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 87 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 of Istanbul 88 A panoramic view of the Ottoman era city from Galata Tower in the 19th century image with notes GeographyFurther information Geography of Turkey and Geology of Turkey Satellite view of Istanbul and the strait of Bosporus Istanbul is located in north western Turkey and straddles the strait Bosporus which provides the only passage from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean via the Sea of Marmara 15 Historically the city has been ideally situated for trade and defense The confluence of the Sea of Marmara the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn provide both ideal defense against enemy attack and a natural toll gate 15 Several picturesque islands Buyukada Heybeliada Burgazada Kinaliada and five smaller islands are part of the city 15 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 5 343 square kilometers 2 063 sq mi 15 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 537 meters 1 762 ft high 15 The nearby North Anatolian Fault is responsible for much earthquake activity although it doesn t physically pass through the city itself 89 The fault caused the earthquakes in 1766 and 1894 89 The threat of major earthquakes plays a large role in the city s infrastructure development with over 500 000 89 vulnerable buildings demolished and replaced since 2012 90 The city has repeatedly upgraded its building codes most recently in 2018 90 requiring retrofits for older buildings and higher engineering standards for new construction Climate Microclimates of Istanbul according to Koppen Geiger classification system View of Levent from Kanlica across the Bosphorus Istanbul has a borderline Mediterranean climate Koppen Csa Trewartha Cs humid subtropical climate Koppen Cfa Trewartha Cf and oceanic climate Koppen Cfb Trewartha Do under both classifications It experiences cool winters with frequent precipitation and warm to hot mean temperature peaking at 20 C 68 F to 25 C 77 F in August depending on location moderately dry summers 91 Spring and fall are usually mild with varying conditions dependent on wind direction 92 93 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 Consequently Istanbul s temperatures almost always oscillate between 5 C 23 F and 32 C 90 F 94 and most of the city does not experience temperatures above 30 C 86 F for more than 14 days a year 95 Another effect of Istanbul s maritime position is its persistently high dew points near saturation morning humidity 96 and frequent fog 97 94 which also limits Istanbul s sunshine hours to levels closer to Western Europe 98 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 This results in frequent precipitation during the winter months January averages 20 days of precipitation when counting trace accumulations 99 17 when using a 0 1 mm threshold and 12 when using a 1 0 mm threshold 100 Because of its hilly topography and maritime influences Istanbul exhibits a multitude of distinct microclimates 101 Within the city rainfall varies widely owing to the rain shadow of the hills in Istanbul from around 600 millimeters 24 in on the southern fringe at Florya to 1 200 millimeters 47 in on the northern fringe at Bahcekoy 102 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 plants to the coasts 95 103 Despite the fact that it does not have the cold winters typical of such cities Istanbul averages more than 60 centimeters 24 in of snow a year making it the snowiest major city in the Mediterranean basin 94 104 This is largely caused by lake effect snow 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 105 These snow squalls are heavy snow bands and occasionally thundersnows with accumulation rates approaching 5 8 centimeters 2 0 3 1 in per hour 106 The highest recorded temperature at the official downtown observation station in Sariyer was 41 5 C 107 F and on 13 July 2000 105 The lowest recorded temperature was 16 1 C 3 F on 9 February 1929 105 The highest recorded snow cover in the city center was 80 centimeters 31 in on 4 January 1942 and 104 centimeters 41 in in the northern suburbs on 11 January 2017 107 105 108 Climate data for Kirecburnu Istanbul normals 1981 2010 extremes 1929 2018 snowy days 1996 2011 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YearRecord high C F 22 4 72 3 24 6 76 3 29 3 84 7 33 6 92 5 36 4 97 5 40 2 104 4 41 5 106 7 40 5 104 9 39 6 103 3 34 2 93 6 27 8 82 0 25 5 77 9 41 5 106 7 Average high C F 8 5 47 3 8 7 47 7 10 9 51 6 15 5 59 9 20 1 68 2 25 0 77 0 26 9 80 4 27 2 81 0 23 8 74 8 19 2 66 6 14 2 57 6 10 4 50 7 17 5 63 5 Daily mean C F 5 8 42 4 5 5 41 9 7 3 45 1 11 2 52 2 15 7 60 3 20 5 68 9 22 9 73 2 23 4 74 1 19 9 67 8 15 8 60 4 11 0 51 8 7 8 46 0 13 9 57 0 Average low C F 3 5 38 3 2 9 37 2 4 4 39 9 7 8 46 0 12 2 54 0 16 7 62 1 19 7 67 5 20 4 68 7 16 8 62 2 13 2 55 8 8 5 47 3 5 5 41 9 11 0 51 8 Record low C F 13 9 7 0 16 1 3 0 11 1 12 0 2 0 28 4 1 4 34 5 7 1 44 8 10 5 50 9 10 2 50 4 6 0 42 8 0 6 33 1 7 2 19 0 11 5 11 3 16 1 3 0 Average precipitation mm inches 99 5 3 92 82 1 3 23 69 2 2 72 43 1 1 70 31 5 1 24 40 6 1 60 39 6 1 56 41 9 1 65 64 4 2 54 102 3 4 03 110 3 4 34 125 1 4 93 849 6 33 45 Average snowfall cm inches 18 4 7 2 19 1 7 5 9 9 3 9 trace 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 trace 14 1 5 6 61 5 24 2 Average precipitation days 0 1 mm 16 9 15 2 13 2 10 0 7 4 7 0 4 7 5 1 8 1 12 3 13 9 17 5 131 3Average snowy days 0 1 cm 4 5 4 7 2 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 7 15 2Mean monthly sunshine hours 68 2 89 6 142 6 180 0 248 0 297 6 319 3 288 3 234 0 158 1 93 0 62 0 2 180 7Mean daily sunshine hours 2 2 3 2 4 6 6 0 8 0 9 6 10 3 9 3 7 8 5 1 3 1 2 0 5 9Mean daily daylight hours 10 11 12 13 14 15 15 14 12 11 10 9 12Percent possible sunshine 22 29 38 46 57 64 69 66 65 46 31 22 46Average ultraviolet index 2 2 4 5 7 8 9 8 6 4 2 1 5Source 105 109 110 Climate data for Florya Istanbul normals 1981 2010 extremes 1950 2021 snowy days 1990 2005 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YearRecord high C F 19 7 67 5 24 0 75 2 25 1 77 2 29 6 85 3 33 8 92 8 39 2 102 6 40 0 104 0 39 4 102 9 37 5 99 5 34 0 93 2 28 0 82 4 22 5 72 5 40 0 104 0 Average high C F 8 6 47 5 8 8 47 8 11 3 52 3 16 5 61 7 21 5 70 7 26 4 79 5 28 9 84 0 29 1 84 4 25 1 77 2 19 9 67 8 14 5 58 1 10 5 50 9 18 4 65 2 Daily mean C F 6 0 42 8 5 8 42 4 7 9 46 2 12 3 54 1 17 2 63 0 22 0 71 6 24 6 76 3 24 9 76 8 21 0 69 8 16 5 61 7 11 5 52 7 8 0 46 4 14 8 58 7 Average low C F 3 4 38 1 2 9 37 2 4 5 40 1 8 1 46 6 12 9 55 2 17 6 63 7 20 3 68 5 20 7 69 3 17 0 62 6 13 2 55 8 8 5 47 3 5 5 41 9 11 2 52 2 Record low C F 12 6 9 3 9 0 15 8 7 1 19 2 2 8 27 0 0 5 32 9 4 7 40 5 10 0 50 0 9 0 48 2 7 4 45 3 0 6 30 9 2 9 26 8 6 8 19 8 12 6 9 3 Average precipitation mm inches 77 8 3 06 72 3 2 85 59 1 2 33 44 8 1 76 41 9 1 65 35 9 1 41 30 0 1 18 43 2 1 70 39 3 1 55 90 0 3 54 85 7 3 37 103 0 4 06 723 1 28 47 Average precipitation days 0 1 mm 17 0 16 8 15 1 10 3 7 7 5 9 3 4 5 1 8 4 11 7 12 1 16 3 129 8Average snowy days 0 1 cm 2 7 3 5 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 8 0Mean monthly sunshine hours 78 9 79 1 117 0 149 2 196 3 214 9 247 3 224 3 167 0 121 8 90 0 70 3 1 756 1Mean daily sunshine hours 2 5 2 8 3 8 5 0 6 3 7 2 7 9 7 2 5 5 3 9 3 0 2 3 4 8Percent possible sunshine 25 26 32 42 45 48 52 51 46 35 30 25 38Source 111 112 Climate data for Bahcekoy Istanbul normals and extremes 1981 2010 snowy days 1990 1999 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YearRecord high C F 25 3 77 5 27 3 81 1 27 2 81 0 33 6 92 5 34 4 93 9 36 6 97 9 38 7 101 7 38 0 100 4 38 2 100 8 35 7 96 3 28 0 82 4 23 8 74 8 38 7 101 7 Average high C F 7 6 45 7 8 3 46 9 10 2 50 4 16 4 61 5 20 6 69 1 25 0 77 0 26 4 79 5 26 6 79 9 23 7 74 7 19 0 66 2 14 2 57 6 9 8 49 6 17 3 63 2 Daily mean C F 4 6 40 3 4 0 39 2 5 9 42 6 10 3 50 5 15 4 59 7 19 8 67 6 21 5 70 7 21 6 70 9 18 1 64 6 14 1 57 4 9 5 49 1 6 3 43 3 12 6 54 7 Average low C F 1 3 34 3 1 1 34 0 2 5 36 5 6 4 43 5 10 6 51 1 14 7 58 5 17 0 62 6 17 9 64 2 13 9 57 0 10 7 51 3 6 8 44 2 3 4 38 1 8 9 47 9 Record low C F 16 0 3 2 15 4 4 3 10 6 12 9 3 1 26 4 0 9 33 6 5 7 42 3 7 8 46 0 8 0 46 4 3 1 37 6 1 2 29 8 4 3 24 3 9 8 14 4 16 0 3 2 Average precipitation mm inches 163 7 6 44 112 5 4 43 101 3 3 99 68 3 2 69 55 8 2 20 47 4 1 87 45 3 1 78 71 9 2 83 79 6 3 13 119 0 4 69 164 3 6 47 188 3 7 41 1 217 4 47 93 Average precipitation days 0 1 mm 15 8 14 2 12 9 10 1 8 3 6 9 5 8 5 9 7 4 12 6 15 4 19 8 135 1Average snowy days 0 1 cm 4 6 5 2 1 7 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 16 2Source 113 114 Climate data for IstanbulMonth Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec YearAverage sea temperature C F 8 4 47 1 7 7 45 9 8 3 46 9 10 2 50 4 15 5 59 9 21 3 70 3 24 6 76 3 24 9 76 8 22 8 73 0 18 4 65 1 13 8 56 8 10 5 50 9 15 5 60 0 Source Weather Atlas 110 Climate change Further information Climate change in Turkey As with virtually every part of the world climate change is causing more heatwaves 115 droughts 116 storms 117 and flooding 118 119 in Istanbul Furthermore as Istanbul is a large and rapidly expanding city its urban heat island has been intensifying the effects of climate change 94 Considering past data 120 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 Koppen climate classification and from the cool temperate zone to the warm temperate subtropical zone in the Trewartha climate classification 121 122 123 If trends continue sea level rise is likely to affect city infrastructure for example Kadikoy metro station is threatened with flooding 124 Xeriscaping of green spaces has been suggested 125 and Istanbul has a climate change action plan 126 CityscapeSee also Historic Areas of Istanbul and List of urban centers in Istanbul A view of Topkapi Palace the inner core of which was built in 1459 1465 from across the Golden Horn with the Prince Islands in the background Ciragan Palace 1867 briefly served as the Ottoman Parliament building between 14 November 1909 and 19 January 1910 when it was damaged by fire It was restored between 1987 and 1992 and was reopened as a five star hotel in the Kempinski Hotels chain The Fatih district which was named after Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror 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 across the medieval Genoese citadel of Galata on the northern shore The Genoese fortifications in Galata were largely demolished in the 19th century leaving only the Galata Tower to make way for the northward expansion of the city 127 Galata Karakoy is today a quarter within the Beyoglu Pera district which forms Istanbul s commercial and entertainment center and includes Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square 128 Dolmabahce Palace the seat of government during the late Ottoman period is in the Besiktas district on the European shore of the Bosphorus strait to the north of Beyoglu The Sublime Porte Bab i Ali which became a metonym for the Ottoman government was originally used to describe the Imperial Gate Bab i Humayun at the outermost courtyard of the Topkapi Palace but after the 18th century the Sublime Porte or simply Porte began to refer to the gate of the Sadrazamlik Prime Ministry compound in the Cagaloglu quarter near Topkapi Palace where the offices of the Sadrazam Grand Vizier and other Viziers were and where foreign diplomats were received The former village of Ortakoy is within Besiktas and gives its name to the Ortakoy Mosque on the Bosphorus near the Bosphorus Bridge Lining both the European and Asian shores of the Bosphorus are the historic yalis luxurious chalet mansions built by Ottoman aristocrats and elites as summer homes 129 Farther inland outside the city s inner ring road are Levent and Maslak Istanbul s main business districts 130 Originally outside the city yali residences along the Bosphorus are now homes in some of Istanbul s elite neighborhoods During the Ottoman period Uskudar then Scutari and Kadikoy were outside the scope of the urban area serving as tranquil outposts with seaside yalis 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 131 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 131 As a result of Istanbul s exponential growth in the 20th century a significant portion of the city is composed of gecekondus literally built overnight referring to illegally constructed squatter buildings 132 At present some gecekondu areas are being gradually demolished and replaced by modern mass housing compounds 133 Moreover large scale gentrification and urban renewal projects have been taking place 134 such as the one in Tarlabasi 135 some of these projects like the one in Sulukule have faced criticism 136 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 137 Istanbul does not have a primary urban park but it has several green areas Gulhane Park and Yildiz Park were originally included within the grounds of two of Istanbul s palaces Topkapi Palace and Yildiz Palace but they were repurposed as public parks in the early decades of the Turkish Republic 138 Another park Fethi Pasa Korusu is on a hillside adjacent to the Bosphorus Bridge in Anatolia opposite Yildiz Palace in Europe Along the European side and close to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge is Emirgan Park which was known as the Kyparades Cypress Forest during the Byzantine period In the Ottoman period it was first granted to Nisanci Feridun Ahmed Bey in the 16th century before being granted by Sultan Murad IV to the Safavid Emir Gune Han in the 17th century hence the name Emirgan The 47 hectare 120 acre park was later owned by Khedive Ismail Pasha of Ottoman Egypt and Sudan in the 19th century Emirgan Park is known for its diversity of plants and an annual tulip festival is held there since 2005 139 The AKP government s decision to replace Taksim Gezi Park with a replica of the Ottoman era Taksim Military Barracks which was transformed into the Taksim Stadium in 1921 before being demolished in 1940 for building Gezi Park sparked a series of nationwide protests in 2013 covering a wide range of issues Popular during the summer among Istanbulites is Belgrad Forest spreading across 5 500 hectares 14 000 acres 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 140 141 Panoramic view of Istanbul from the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara Several landmarks including Sultan Ahmed Mosque the Hagia Sophia Topkapi Palace and Dolmabahce Palace can be seen along their shores Architecture See also Architecture of Istanbul Ottoman architecture and Architecture of Turkey Sultan Ahmed Mosque is known as the Blue Mosque due to the blue Iznik tiles which adorn its interior 142 The Obelisk of Thutmose III Obelisk of Theodosius is seen in the foreground Galata Tower dominates the skyline of the medieval Genoese citadel at the north of the Golden Horn Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture and despite its development as a Turkish city since 1453 contains a vast array of ancient Roman Byzantine Christian Muslim and Jewish monuments The Neolithic settlement in the Yenikapi quarter on the European side which dates back to c 6500 BCE and predates the formation of the Bosporus strait by approximately a millennium when the Sea of Marmara was still a lake 143 was discovered during the construction of the Marmaray railway tunnel 26 It is the oldest known human settlement on the European side of the city 26 The oldest known human settlement on the Asian side is the Fikirtepe Mound near Kadikoy with relics dating to c 5500 3500 BCE Chalcolithic period The lower walls of the Sphendone the curved grandstand 144 145 of the Hippodrome which was originally built by the Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century and was later enlarged by emperor Constantine the Great There are numerous ancient monuments in the city 146 The most ancient is the Obelisk of Thutmose III Obelisk of Theodosius 146 Built of red granite 31 m 100 ft high it came from the Temple of Karnak in Luxor and was erected there by Pharaoh Thutmose III r 1479 1425 BCE to the south of the seventh pylon 146 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 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 r 379 395 CE had it transported to Constantinople and put up on the spina of the Hippodrome there 147 When re erected at the Hippodrome of Constantinople the obelisk was mounted on a decorative base with reliefs that depict Theodosius I and his courtiers 146 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 148 Next in age is the Serpent Column from 479 BCE 146 It was brought from Delphi in 324 CE during the reign of Constantine the Great and also erected at the spina of the Hippodrome 146 It was originally part of an 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 8 meter 26 ft high column remained intact until the end of the 17th century one is on display at the nearby Istanbul Archaeology Museums 149 Built in 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 17 146 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 Church of Sts Sergius and Bacchus the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos the Monastery of the Pantocrator the Monastery of Christ Pantepoptes the Hagia Theodosia the Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa the Monastery of Constantine Lips the Church of Myrelaion the Hagios Theodoros etc to public places like the Hippodrome the Augustaion or the Basilica Cistern The 4th century Harbor of Theodosius in Yenikapi once the busiest port in Constantinople was among the numerous archeological discoveries that took place during the excavations of the Marmaray tunnel 26 Built by Ottoman sultans Abdulmecid and Abdulaziz the 19th century Dolmabahce Ciragan Beylerbeyi and Kucuksu palaces on the Bosporus were designed by members of the Armenian Balyan family of court architects 150 It is the Hagia Sophia however that fully conveys the period of Constantinople as a city without parallel in Christendom The Hagia Sophia topped by a dome 31 meters 102 ft in diameter over a square space defined by four arches is the pinnacle of Byzantine architecture 151 The Hagia Sophia stood as the world s largest cathedral in the world until it was converted into a mosque in the 15th century 151 The minarets date from that period 151 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 Suleymaniye Mosque built by Suleiman the Magnificent was designed by his chief architect Mimar Sinan the most illustrious of all Ottoman architects who designed many of the city s renowned mosques and other types of public buildings and monuments 152 Among the oldest surviving examples of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul are the Anadoluhisari and Rumelihisari fortresses which assisted the Ottomans during their siege of the city 153 Over the next four centuries the Ottomans made an indelible impression on the skyline of Istanbul building towering mosques and ornate palaces Topkapi 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 154 The present palace grew over the centuries as a series of additions enfolding four courtyards and blending neoclassical rococo and baroque architectural forms 155 In 1639 Murad IV made some of the most lavish additions including the Baghdad Kiosk to commemorate his conquest of Baghdad the previous year 156 Government meetings took place here until 1786 when the seat of government was moved to the Sublime Porte 154 After several hundred years of royal residence it was abandoned in 1853 in favor of the baroque Dolmabahce Palace 155 Topkapi Palace became public property following the abolition of monarchy in 1922 155 After extensive renovation it became one of Turkey s first national museums in 1924 154 The imperial mosques include Fatih Mosque Bayezid Mosque Yavuz Selim Mosque Suleymaniye Mosque Sultan Ahmed Mosque the Blue Mosque and Yeni Mosque all of which were built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries In the following centuries and especially after the Tanzimat reforms Ottoman architecture was supplanted by European styles 157 An example of which is the imperial Nuruosmaniye Mosque Areas around Istiklal Avenue were filled with grand European embassies and rows of buildings in Neoclassical Renaissance Revival and Art Nouveau styles which went on to influence the architecture of a variety of structures in Beyoglu including churches stores and theaters and official buildings such as Dolmabahce Palace 158 AdministrationMain articles List of districts of Istanbul and List of neighborhoods of Istanbul Istanbul s districts extend far from the city center along the full length of the Bosphorus with the Black Sea at the top and the Sea of Marmara at the bottom of the map Since 2004 the municipal boundaries of Istanbul have been coincident with the boundaries of its province 159 The city considered capital of the larger Istanbul Province is administered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality MMI which oversees the 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 Islamic judges and imams led the city under the auspices of the Grand Vizier 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 across the city Pera now Beyoglu was the first area of the city to have its own director and council with members instead being longtime residents of the neighborhood 160 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 161 162 This system continued beyond the founding of the Turkish Republic with the province renamed a belediye municipality but the municipality was disbanded in 1957 163 Statue of Ataturk in Buyukada the largest of the Prince Islands to the southeast of Istanbul which collectively form the Adalar Isles district of Istanbul Province 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 164 165 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 166 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 167 The Municipal Council is advised by the Metropolitan Executive Committee although the committee also has limited power to make decisions of its own 168 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 168 169 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 166 All members of the district councils and the Municipal Council including the metropolitan mayor are elected to five year terms 170 Representing the Republican People s Party Ekrem Imamoglu has been the Mayor of Istanbul since 27 June 2019 171 A view of Taksim Square with the Republic Monument 1928 designed by Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica and Taksim Mosque With the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Istanbul Province having equivalent jurisdictions few responsibilities remain for the provincial government Similar to 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 169 172 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 173 Ali Yerlikaya has been the Governor of Istanbul Province since 26 October 2018 174 DemographicsMain article Demographics of Istanbul See also Demographics of Turkey Historical populations Pre RepublicYearPop 10036 000361300 000500400 0007th c 150 350 0008th c 125 500 0009th c 50 250 0001000150 300 0001100200 0001200150 0001261100 000135080 000145345 0001500200 0001550660 0001700700 0001815500 0001860715 0001890874 0001900942 900 RepublicYearPop p a 1925881 000 1927691 000 11 44 1935740 800 0 87 1940793 900 1 39 1945845 300 1 26 1950983 000 3 06 19601 459 500 4 03 19651 743 000 3 61 19702 132 400 4 12 19752 547 400 3 62 19802 853 500 2 30 19855 494 900 14 00 19906 620 200 3 80 19947 615 500 3 56 19978 260 400 2 75 20008 831 800 2 25 200711 174 200 3 42 201514 657 434 3 45 201614 804 116 1 00 201715 029 231 1 52 201815 067 724 0 26 201915 519 267 3 00 Sources Jan Lahmeyer 2004 Chandler 1987 Morris 2010 Turan 2010 175 Pre Republic figures estimated d 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 world s largest city 177 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 largest city in Europe from 1500 to 1750 when it was surpassed by London 178 The Turkish Statistical Institute estimates that the population of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality was 15 519 267 at the end of 2019 hosting 19 percent of the country s population 179 64 4 of the residents live on the European side and 35 6 on the Asian side 179 Istanbul ranks as the seventh largest city proper in the world and the second largest urban agglomeration in Europe after Moscow 180 181 The city s annual population growth of 1 5 percent 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 16 Istanbul experienced especially rapid growth during the second half of the 20th century with its population increasing tenfold between 1950 and 2000 182 This growth was fueled by internal and international migration Istanbul s foreign population with a residence permit increased dramatically from 43 000 in 2007 183 to 856 377 in 2019 184 185 According to 2020 TUIK data around 2 1 million people in a population of over 15 4 million have been registered f in Istanbul meanwhile the vast majority of the residents ultimately originate from Anatolian provinces especially those in the Black Sea Central and Eastern Anatolia regions due to internal migration since the 1950s 186 People registered in Kastamonu Ordu Giresun Erzurum Samsun Malatya Trabzon Sinop and 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 187 A 2019 survey found that only 36 of the Istanbul s population was born in the province 188 Ethnic and religious groups Main article Religion in Istanbul See also Assyrians in Turkey Kurds in Istanbul Bosniaks in Turkey Greeks in Turkey Armenians in Turkey Jews in Turkey and Albanians in Turkey Syrian nationals in districts of Istanbul 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 188 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 189 190 According to a 2019 KONDA study Kurds constituted around 17 of Istanbul s adult total population who were Turkish citizens 188 Although the Kurdish presence in the city dates back to the early Ottoman period 191 the majority of Kurds in the city originate from villages in eastern and southeastern Turkey 192 Zazas are also present in the city and constitute less than 1 of the total voting age population 188 Arabs form the city s other largest ethnic minority with an estimated population of more than 2 million 193 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 194 195 196 The number of refugees of the Syrian Civil War in Turkey residing in Istanbul is estimated to be around 1 million 197 Native Arab population in Turkey who are Turkish citizens are found to be making up less than 1 of city s total adult population 188 2019 survey study by 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 non believers who did not believe the rules and requirements of a religion 24 of the surveyed also identified themselves as religious conservatives More than 90 of Istanbul s population are Sunni Muslims and Alevism forms the second biggest religious group 198 188 Built by Suleiman the Magnificent the Suleymaniye Mosque 1550 1557 was designed by his chief architect Mimar Sinan the most illustrious of all Ottoman architects 152 Into the 19th century the Christians of Istanbul tended to be either Greek Orthodox members of the Armenian Apostolic Church or Catholic Levantines 199 Greeks and Armenians form the largest Christian population in the city While Istanbul s Greek population was exempted from the 1923 population exchange with Greece changes in tax status and the 1955 anti Greek pogrom prompted thousands to leave 200 Following 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 350 000 200 There are today 123 363 Armenians in Istanbul down from a peak of 164 000 in 1913 201 As of 2019 an estimated 18 000 of the country s 25 000 Christian Assyrians live in Istanbul 202 There are 234 active churches in the city 203 including the Church of St Anthony of Padua on Istiklal Avenue in the district of Beyoglu Pera The majority of the Catholic Levantines Turkish Levanten in Istanbul and Izmir are the descendants of traders colonists from the Italian maritime republics of the Mediterranean especially Genoa and Venice and France who obtained special rights and privileges called the Capitulations from the Ottoman sultans in the 16th century 204 The community had more than 15 000 members during Ataturk s presidency in the 1920s and 1930s but today is reduced to only a few hundreds according to Italo Levantine writer Giovanni Scognamillo 205 They continue to live in Istanbul mostly in Karakoy Beyoglu and Nisantasi and Izmir mostly in Karsiyaka Bornova and Buca Istanbul became one of the world s most important Jewish centers in the 16th and 17th century 206 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 206 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 206 In marked contrast to Jews in Europe Ottoman Jews were allowed to work in any profession 207 Ottoman Jews in Istanbul excelled in commerce and came to particularly dominate the medical profession 207 By 1711 using the printing press books came to be published in Spanish and Ladino Yiddish and Hebrew 208 In large part due to emigration to Israel the Jewish population in the city dropped from 100 000 in 1950 209 to 25 000 in 2020 Politics Ekrem Imamoglu of the CHP is the 32nd and current Mayor of Istanbul elected in 2019 Politically Istanbul is seen as the most important administrative region in Turkey Many politicians including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan 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 Erdogan himself was elected Mayor of Istanbul in 1994 citation needed In the run up to local elections in 2019 Erdogan claimed if we fail in Istanbul we will fail in Turkey 210 The contest in Istanbul carried deep political economic and symbolic significance for Erdogan whose election of mayor of Istanbul in 1994 had served as his launchpad 211 For Ekrem Imamoglu winning the mayorship of Istanbul was a huge moral victory but for Erdogan 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 212 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 large scale anti AKP government protests began in Istanbul and spread throughout the nation This trend first became evident electorally in the 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 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 local elections where their candidate for Mayor former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was defeated by a very narrow margin by the opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu Imamoglu won the vote with 48 77 of the vote against Yildirim s 48 61 but the elections were contorversially annulled by the Supreme Electoral Council due to AKP s claim of electrol fraud In the re run Imamoglu gathered 54 22 of the total vote and widend the defeat margin 213 Similar trends and electoral successes for the opposition were also replicated in Ankara Izmir Antalya Mersin Adana and other metropolitan areas of Turkey citation needed Administratively Istanbul is divided into 39 districts more than any other province in Turkey Istanbul Province sends 98 Members of Parliament to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey which has a total of 600 seats For the purpose of parliamentary elections Istanbul is divided into three electoral districts two on the European side and one on the Asian side electing 28 35 and 35 MPs respectively citation needed EconomyMain article Economy of Istanbul A view of Dolmabahce Palace and the skyscrapers of Levent financial district in the background 214 215 Providing the only sea route to the Black Sea the Bosporus is the world s busiest waterway that is used for international navigation 15 A view of Levent 214 215 financial district from Istanbul Sapphire Levent Maslak Sisli and Atasehir are the main business districts in the city Istanbul had the eleventh largest economy among the world s urban areas in 2018 and is responsible for 30 percent of Turkey s industrial output 216 31 percent of GDP 216 and 47 percent of tax revenues 216 The city s gross domestic product adjusted by PPP stood at US 537 507 billion in 2018 217 with manufacturing and services accounting for 36 percent and 60 percent of the economic output respectively 216 Istanbul s productivity is 110 percent higher than the national average 216 Trade is economically important accounting for 30 percent of the economic output in the city 15 In 2019 companies based in Istanbul produced exports worth 83 66 billion and received imports totaling 128 34 billion these figures were equivalent to 47 percent and 61 percent respectively of the national totals 218 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 200 million tons of oil passing through it each year 219 International conventions guarantee passage between the Black and the Mediterranean seas 220 even when tankers carry oil LNG LPG chemicals and other flammable or explosive materials as cargo In 2011 as a workaround solution the then Prime Minister Erdogan presented Canal Istanbul a project to open a new strait between the Black and Marmara seas 220 While the project was still on Turkey s agenda in 2020 there has not been a clear date set for it 15 4th Vakif Han left and Deutsche Orientbank AG right in Sirkeci Shipping is a significant part of the city s economy with 73 9 percent of exports and 92 7 percent of imports in 2018 executed by sea 15 Istanbul has three major shipping ports the Port of Haydarpasa the Port of Ambarli and the Port of Zeytinburnu as well as several smaller ports and oil terminals along the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara 15 Haydarpasa at the southeastern end of the Bosporus was Istanbul s largest port until the early 2000s 221 Since then operations were shifted to Ambarli with plans to convert Haydarpasa into a tourism complex 15 In 2019 Ambarli on the western edge of the urban center had an annual capacity of 3 104 882 TEUs making it the third largest cargo terminal in the Mediterranean basin 221 Istanbul has been an international banking hub since the 1980s 15 and is home to the only active stock exchange in Turkey Borsa Istanbul which was originally established as the Ottoman Stock Exchange in 1866 222 Ottoman Central Bank Head Office 1892 on Bankalar Caddesi 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 222 and later at the 4th Vakif Han building in Sirkeci to Istinye in the vicinity of Maslak which hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish banks 223 By 2023 the Atasehir 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 Turkey currently headquartered in Ankara 224 225 13 4 million foreign tourists visited the city in 2018 making Istanbul the world s fifth most visited city in that year 14 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 Topkapi Palace the most visited museum in the city bringing in more than 30 million in revenue each year 15 CultureMain article Culture of Istanbul Yali houses on the Bosporus are among the frequently used settings in Turkish television dramas dizi Istanbul was historically known as a cultural hub but its cultural scene stagnated after the Turkish Republic shifted its focus toward Ankara 226 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 227 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 228 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 229 When additional universities and art journals were founded in Istanbul during the 1980s artists formerly based in Ankara moved in 230 The Istanbul Archaeology Museums founded by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1891 form Turkey s oldest modern museum 231 Beyoglu 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 Istanbul Modern the Pera Museum Sakip Sabanci 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 232 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 231 Pera Museum in Beyoglu The first film screening in Turkey was at Yildiz Palace in 1896 a year after the technology publicly debuted in Paris 233 Movie theaters rapidly cropped up in Beyoglu with the greatest concentration of theaters being along the street now known as Istiklal Avenue 234 Istanbul also became the heart of Turkey s nascent film industry although Turkish films were not consistently developed until the 1950s 235 Since then Istanbul has been the most popular location to film Turkish dramas and comedies 236 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 237 Istanbul and its picturesque skyline have also served as a backdrop for several foreign films including From Russia with Love 1963 Topkapi 1964 The World Is Not Enough 1999 and Mission Istaanbul 2008 238 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 239 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 Sao Paulo Art Biennial 240 Leisure and entertainment Abdi Ipekci Street in Nisantasi and Bagdat Avenue on the Anatolian side of the city have evolved into high end shopping districts 241 242 Other focal points for shopping leisure and entertainment include Nisantasi Ortakoy Bebek and Kadikoy 243 The city has 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 Around three million people visit Istiklal Avenue on weekend days The Grand Bazaar in operation since 1461 is among the world s oldest and largest covered markets 244 245 Mahmutpasha Bazaar is an open air market extending between the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar which has been Istanbul s major spice market since 1660 Galleria Atakoy ushered in the age of modern shopping malls in Turkey when it opened in 1987 246 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 won the Cityscape Architectural Review Award in the Commercial Built category in 2006 245 Istinye Park in Istinye and Zorlu Center near Levent are among the newest malls which include the stores of the world s top fashion brands Sureyya Opera House Along Istiklal Avenue is the Cicek Pasaji Flower Passage a 19th century shopping gallery which is today home to winehouses known as meyhanes pubs and restaurants 247 Istiklal Avenue originally known for its taverns has shifted toward shopping but the nearby Nevizade Street is still lined with winehouses and pubs 248 249 Some other neighborhoods around Istiklal Avenue have been revamped to cater to Beyoglu s nightlife with formerly commercial streets now lined with pubs cafes and restaurants playing live music 250 Zorlu Center designed by EAA and Tabanlioglu Architects 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 particularly in neighborhoods like Ortakoy Bebek Arnavutkoy Yenikoy Beylerbeyi and Cengelkoy Kumkapi along the Sea of Marmara has a pedestrian zone that hosts around fifty fish restaurants 251 The Princes Islands 15 kilometers 9 mi 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 252 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 foodscape of the city 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 Beyoglu Besiktas Sisli and Kadikoy districts SportsSee also List of sport facilities in Istanbul Ataturk Olympic StadiumTurk Telekom StadiumSukru Saracoglu StadiumVodafone Park Istanbul is home to some of Turkey s oldest sports clubs Besiktas JK established in 1903 is considered the oldest of these sports clubs Due to its initial status as Turkey s only club Besiktas occasionally represented the Ottoman Empire and Turkish Republic in international sports competitions earning the right to place the Turkish flag inside its team logo 253 Galatasaray SK and Fenerbahce SK have fared better in international competitions and have won more Super Lig titles at 22 and 19 times respectively 254 255 256 Galatasaray and Fenerbahce have a long standing rivalry with Galatasaray based in the European part and Fenerbahce based in the Anatolian part of the city 255 Istanbul has seven basketball teams Anadolu Efes Besiktas Darussafaka Fenerbahce Galatasaray Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor and Buyukcekmece that play in the premier level Turkish Basketball Super League 257 Many of Istanbul s sports facilities have been built or upgraded since 2000 to bolster the city s bids for the Summer Olympic Games Ataturk Olympic Stadium the largest multi purpose stadium in Turkey was completed in 2002 as an IAAF first class venue for track and field 258 The stadium hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final and was selected by the UEFA to host the CL Final games of 2020 and 2021 which were relocated to Lisbon 2020 and Porto 2021 due to the COVID 19 pandemic 259 Sukru Saracoglu Stadium Fenerbahce s home field hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final three years after its completion Turk Telekom Arena opened in 2011 to replace Ali Sami Yen Stadium as Galatasaray s home turf 260 261 while Vodafone Park opened in 2016 to replace BJK Inonu Stadium as the home turf of Besiktas hosted the 2019 UEFA Super Cup game All four stadiums are elite Category 4 formerly five star UEFA stadiums g 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 265 Prior to the completion of the Sinan Erdem Dome in 2010 Abdi Ipekci Arena was Istanbul s primary indoor arena having hosted the finals of EuroBasket 2001 266 Several other indoor arenas including the Besiktas 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 Ulker Sports Arena which opened in 2012 as the home court of Fenerbahce s basketball teams 267 Despite the construction boom five bids for the Summer Olympics in 2000 2004 2008 2012 and 2020 and national bids for UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016 have ended unsuccessfully 268 The TVF Burhan Felek Sport Hall is one of the major volleyball arenas in the city and hosts clubs such as Eczacibasi VitrA Vakifbank SK and Fenerbahce who have won numerous European and World Championship titles citation needed Between the 2005 2011 seasons 269 and in the 2020 season 270 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 271 but on June 25 2021 it was announced that the 2021 F1 Turkish Grand Prix will take place on October 3 2021 272 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 273 274 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 275 unreliable source The last race of the Powerboat P1 World Championship on the Bosphorus took place on 19 21 June 2009 276 Istanbul Sailing Club established in 1952 hosts races and other sailing events on the waterways in and around Istanbul each year 277 278 Media Kucuk Camlica TV Radio Tower is the tallest structure in the city 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 Cagaloglu street on which the newspaper was printed Bab i Ali Street rapidly became the center of Turkish print media alongside Beyoglu across the Golden Horn 279 Istanbul now has a wide variety of periodicals Most nationwide newspapers are based in Istanbul with simultaneous Ankara and Izmir editions 280 Hurriyet Sabah Posta and Sozcu the country s top four papers are all headquartered in Istanbul boasting more than 275 000 weekly sales each 281 Hurriyet s English language edition Hurriyet 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 Haberturk are also based in Istanbul 280 Istanbul also has long running Armenian language newspapers notably the dailies Marmara and Jamanak and the bilingual weekly Agos in Armenian and Turkish citation needed TRT Istanbul Radio Radio broadcasts in Istanbul date back to 1927 when Turkey s first radio transmission came from atop the Central Post Office in Eminonu 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 282 Today TRT runs four national radio stations these stations have transmitters across the country so each can reach over 90 percent of the country s population but only Radio 2 is based in Istanbul Offering a range of content from educational programming to coverage of sporting events Radio 2 is the most popular radio station in Turkey 282 Istanbul s airwaves are the busiest in Turkey primarily featuring either Turkish language or English language content One of the exceptions offering both is Acik Radyo 94 9 FM Among Turkey s first private stations and the first featuring foreign popular music was Istanbul s Metro FM 97 2 FM The state run Radio 3 although based in Ankara also features English language popular music and English language news programming is provided on NTV Radyo 102 8 FM 283 TRT Children is the only TRT television station based in Istanbul 284 Istanbul is home to the headquarters of several Turkish stations and regional headquarters of international media outlets Istanbul based 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 285 Kanal D and ATV are other stations in Istanbul that offer a mix of news and series NTV partnered with U S media outlet MSNBC and 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 Turk there in 1999 286 EducationFurther information Education in Turkey Main entrance gate of Istanbul University the city s oldest Turkish institution established in 1453 In 2015 more than 57 000 students attended 7 934 schools 287 including the renowned Galatasaray High School Kabatas Erkek Lisesi and Istanbul Lisesi Galatasaray High School was established in 1481 and is the oldest public high school in Turkey 287 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 287 with 400 000 students 288 enrolled in 2016 The city s largest private universities include Sabanci University with its main campus in Tuzla Koc University in Sariyer Ozyegin Universitesi near Altunizade Istanbul s first private university Koc University was founded as late as 1992 because private universities were officially outlawed in Turkey before the 1982 amendment to the constitution 287 Four public universities with a major presence in the city Bogazici University Galatasaray University Istanbul Technical University the world s third oldest university dedicated entirely to engineering Istanbul University provide education in English all but Galatasaray University and French 287 clarification needed View of Kuleli Military High School 1845 2016 Istanbul is also home to several conservatories and art schools including Mimar Sinan Academy of Fine Arts founded in 1882 289 Public servicesMain article Utilities in Istanbul Further information Telecommunications in Turkey and Health care in Turkey Istanbul s first water supply systems date back to the city s early history when aqueducts such as the Valens Aqueduct deposited the water in the city s numerous cisterns 290 At the behest of Suleiman the Magnificent the Kirkcesme water supply network was constructed by 1563 the network provided 4 200 cubic meters 150 000 cu ft of water to 158 sites each day 290 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 291 Today Istanbul has a chlorinated and filtered water supply and a sewage treatment system managed by the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration Istanbul Su ve Kanalizasyon Idaresi ISKI 292 The Silahtaraga Power Station now the art museum SantralIstanbul was Istanbul s sole source of power between 1914 and 1952 The Silahtaraga Power Station a 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 293 Following the founding of the Turkish Republic the plant underwent renovations to accommodate the city s increasing demand its capacity grew from 23 megawatts in 1923 to a peak of 120 megawatts in 1956 293 294 Capacity declined until the power station reached the end of its economic life and shut down in 1983 293 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 TEAS and the Turkish Electricity Distribution Company TEDAS competes with private electric utilities 294 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 Yeni Mosque By 1876 the first international mailing network between Istanbul and the lands beyond the Ottoman Empire had been established 295 Sultan Abdulmecid I issued Samuel Morse his first official honor for the 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 296 The Grand Post Office in Sirkeci Istanbul was designed by Vedat Tek in the Turkish neoclassical style of the early 20th century 297 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 295 298 GSM cellular networks arrived in Turkey in 1994 with Istanbul among the first cities to receive the service 299 Today mobile and landline service is provided by private companies after Turk Telekom which split from the Ministry of Post Telegraph and Telephone in 1995 was privatized in 2005 295 299 Postal services remain under the purview of what is now the Post and Telegraph Organization retaining the acronym PTT 295 In 2000 Istanbul had 137 hospitals of which 100 were private 300 needs update Turkish citizens are entitled to subsidized healthcare in the nation s state run hospitals 280 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 6 percent to 23 percent between 2005 and 2009 280 301 Many of these private hospitals as well as some of the public hospitals are equipped with high tech equipment including MRI machines or associated with medical research centers 302 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 40 percent increase between 2007 and 2008 303 Laser eye surgery is particularly common among medical tourists as Turkey is known for specializing in the procedure 304 TransportationMain article Public transport in Istanbul The suspension bridges on the Bosphorus strait 15 July Martyrs Bridge Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge Istanbul s motorways network are the O 1 O 2 O 3 O 4 and O 7 The total length of Istanbul Province s 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 305 306 307 The density of expressway network is 16 8 km 100 km2 The O 1 forms the city s inner ring road traversing the 15 July Martyrs First Bosphorus Bridge and the O 2 is the city s outer ring road crossing the 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 308 In 2011 the first and second bridges on the Bosphorus carried 400 000 vehicles each day 309 The O 7 310 or Kuzey Marmara Otoyolu is a motorway that bypass Istanbul to the north The O 7 motorway from Kinali Giseleri to Istanbul Park Service has 139 2 km with 8 lanes 4x4 and from Odayeri K10 to Istanbul Ataturk Airport has 30 4 km 307 The completed section of highway crosses the Bosphorus Strait via the Yavuz Sultan Selim Third Bosphorus Bridge entered service on 26 August 2016 311 The O 7 motorway connects Istanbul Ataturk Airport with Istanbul Airport Environmentalist groups worry that the third bridge will endanger the remaining green areas to the north of Istanbul 312 313 Apart from the three Bosphorus Bridges the dual deck 14 6 kilometer 9 1 mi 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 314 Istanbul s nostalgic and modern tram systems Istanbul s local public transportation system is a network of commuter trains trams funiculars metro lines buses bus rapid transit and ferries Fares across modes are integrated using the contactless Istanbulkart introduced in 2009 or the older Akbil electronic ticket device 315 Trams in Istanbul date back to 1872 when they were horse drawn but even the first electrified trams were decommissioned in the 1960s 316 Operated by Istanbul Electricity Tramway and Tunnel General Management IETT trams slowly returned to the city in the 1990s with the introduction of a nostalgic route and a faster modern tram line which now carries 265 000 passengers each day 316 317 The Tunel opened in 1875 as the world s second oldest subterranean rail line after London s Metropolitan Railway 316 It still carries passengers between Karakoy and Istiklal Avenue along a steep 573 meter 1 880 ft track a more modern funicular between Taksim Square and Kabatas began running in 2006 318 319 Bogazici University station of the Istanbul Metro Marmaray commuter rail at Ayrilikcesmesi station The Istanbul Metro comprises eight lines the M1 M2 M3 M6 M7 and M9 on the European side and the M4 and M5 on the Asian side with several other lines M8 M12 and M11 and extensions under construction 320 321 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 322 The Marmaray tunnel together with the suburban railways lines along the Sea of Marmara is part of intercontinental commuter rail line in Istanbul from Halkali 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 323 Until then buses provide transportation within and between the two halves of the city accommodating 2 2 million passenger trips each day 324 The Metrobus a form of bus rapid transit crosses the Bosphorus Bridge with dedicated lanes leading to its termini 325 IDO 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 326 327 With additional destinations around the Sea of Marmara IDO runs the largest municipal ferry operation in the world 328 The city s main cruise ship terminal is the Port of Istanbul in Karakoy with a capacity of 10 000 passengers per hour 329 Most visitors enter Istanbul by air but about half a million foreign tourists enter the city by sea each year 330 non primary source needed Originally opened in 1873 with a smaller terminal building as the main terminus of the Rumelia Balkan Railway of the Ottoman Empire which connected Istanbul with Vienna the current Sirkeci Terminal building was constructed between 1888 and 1890 and became the eastern terminus of the Orient Express from Paris 331 International rail service from Istanbul launched in 1889 with a line between Bucharest and Istanbul s Sirkeci Terminal which ultimately became famous as the eastern terminus of the Orient Express from Paris 74 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 economic problems in Greece 332 333 After Istanbul s Haydarpasa 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 334 335 336 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 line forced the station to close in 2012 337 New stations to replace both the Haydarpasa 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 337 Private bus companies operate instead Istanbul s main bus station is the largest in Europe with a daily capacity of 15 000 buses and 600 000 passengers serving destinations as distant as Frankfurt 338 339 Istanbul had three large international airports two of which are currently in active service for commercial passenger flights The largest is the new Istanbul Airport opened in 2018 in the Arnavutkoy district to the northwest of the city center on the European side near the Black Sea coast Istanbul Airport Sabiha Gokcen Airport All scheduled commercial passenger flights were transferred from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Istanbul Airport on 6 April 2019 following the closure of Istanbul Ataturk Airport for scheduled passenger flights 340 The IATA airport code IST was also transferred to the new airport 341 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 342 343 The transfer from the airport to the city is via the O 7 and it will eventually be linked by two lines of the Istanbul Metro Sabiha Gokcen International 45 kilometers 28 mi southeast of the city center on the Asian side was opened in 2001 to relieve Ataturk Dominated by low cost carriers Istanbul s second airport has rapidly become popular especially since the opening of a new international terminal in 2009 344 the airport handled 14 7 million passengers in 2012 a year after Airports Council International named it the world s fastest growing airport 345 346 Ataturk had also experienced rapid growth as its 20 6 percent rise in passenger traffic between 2011 and 2012 was the highest among the world s top 30 airports 347 Istanbul Ataturk Airport located 24 kilometers 15 mi west of the city center on the European side near the 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 61 3 million passengers in 2015 which made it the third busiest airport in Europe and the eighteenth busiest in the world in that year 347 EnvironmentFlora and fauna Ataturk Arboretum is an arboretum and city forest located in Bahcekoy Sariyer The natural vegetation cover of the Bosporus region is made up of temperate broadleaf and mixed forests and pseudo maquis Chestnut oak elm linden ash and locust comprises the most prominent tree genera The most important species belonging to maquis formation are laurel terebinth Cercis siliquastrum broom red firethorn and oak species such as Quercus cerris and Quercus coccifera Apart from the natural flora Platanus orentalis horse chestnut cypress and stone pine make up the introduced species that got acclimatized to Istanbul 348 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 349 Turkish Straits and Sea of Marmara play a vital role for migrating fish and other marine animals between Mediterranean Marmara and Black Sea Bosporus hosts pelagic demersal and semipelagic fish species and more than 130 different taxa have been documented in the strait 350 Bluefish bonito sea bass horse mackerel and 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 351 dubious discuss Common bottlenose dolphin Turkish afalina short beaked common dolphin Turkish tirtak and harbor porpoise Turkish mutur make up the marine mammals presently found in the Bosporus and surrounding waters though since 1950 s the number of dolphin observations has become increasingly rare Mediterranean monk seals were present in Bosporus and Princes Islands and 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 352 Water pollution overfishing and destruction of coastal habitats caused by urbanization are main threats to Istanbul s marine ecology Street cats in the city Wild land mammals are mainly concentrated in the northern forested areas of Istanbul Roe deer wild boars foxes coyotes martens badgers wolves weasels wildcats squirrels and reed cats have been documented to live inside the boundaries of Istanbul Province 353 Apart from the wild land mammals Istanbul hosts a sizeable stray animal population The presence of feral cats in Istanbul 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 354 355 Rose ringed parakeet colonies are present in urban areas similar to other European cities as feral parrots and considered as invasive species 356 Pollution Air pollution in Turkey is acute in Istanbul with cars buses and taxis causing frequent urban smog 357 as it is one of the few European cities without a low emission zone As of 2019 update the city s mean air quality remains of a level so as to affect the heart and lungs of healthy street bystanders during peak traffic hours 358 and almost 200 days of pollution were measured by the air pollution sensors at Sultangazi Mecidiyekoy Alibeykoy and Kagithane 359 Algal blooms and red tides were reported in Sea of Marmara and Bosporus especially in Golden Horn and regularly happen in urban lakes such as Lake Buyukcekmece and Kucukcekmece In June 2021 a marine mucilage wave allegedly caused by water pollution spread to Sea of Marmara 360 International relationsList of twin towns and sister cities of IstanbulSee alsoOutline of Istanbul 1766 Istanbul earthquakeNotes Where governor s office is located Istanbul straddles both Europe and Asia with its commercial and historical centre and two thirds of the population in Europe the rest in Asia Since Istanbul is a transcontinental city Moscow is the largest city entirely within Europe The foundation of Byzantion Byzantium is sometimes especially in encyclopedic or other tertiary sources placed firmly in 667 BCE Historians have disputed the precise year the city was founded Commonly cited is the work of 5th century BCE historian Herodotus which says the city was founded seventeen years after Chalcedon 34 which came into existence around 685 BCE Eusebius concurs with 685 BCE as the year Chalcedon was founded but places Byzantion s establishment in 659 BCE 35 Among more modern historians Carl Roebuck proposed the 640s BCE 36 and others have suggested even later The foundation date of Chalcedon is itself subject to some debate while many sources place it in 685 BC 37 others put it in 675 BCE 38 or even 639 BCE with Byzantion s establishment placed in 619 BCE 35 Some sources refer to Byzantium s foundation as the 7th century BCE a b Historians disagree sometimes substantially on population figures of Istanbul Constantinople and other world cities prior to the 20th century A follow up to Chandler amp Fox 1974 Chandler 1987 pp 463 505 71 examines different sources estimates and chooses the most likely based on historical conditions it is the source of most population figures between 100 and 1914 The ranges of values between 500 and 1000 are due to Morris 2010 which also does a comprehensive analysis of sources including Chandler 1987 Morris notes that many of Chandler s estimates during that time seem too large for the city s size and presents smaller estimates Chandler disagrees with Turan 2010 on the population of the city in the mid 1920s with the former suggesting 817 000 in 1925 but Turan p 224 is used as the source of population figures between 1924 and 2005 Turan s figures as well as the 2010 figure 176 come from the Turkish Statistical Institute The drastic increase in population between 1980 and 1985 is largely due to an enlargement of the city s limits see the Administration section Explanations for population changes in pre Republic times can be inferred from the History section In the Ottoman period the inner core of the city inside the city walls came to be known as Istanbul in Turkish and Stamboul in the West The whole city was generally known as Constantinople or under other names See Names of Istanbul for further information 64 Based on state register data which is unchangable and inhereted from the family A married women is also registered to her husband s province UEFA does not apparently keep a list of Category 4 stadiums but regulations stipulate that only these elite stadiums are eligible to host UEFA Champions League Finals 262 which Ataturk Olympic Stadium did in 2005 and UEFA Europa League formerly UEFA Cup Finals 263 which Sukru Saracoglu Stadium did in 2009 Turk Telekom Arena is noted as an elite UEFA stadium by its architects 264 References YETKI ALANI Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyesi Retrieved 4 February 2020 Istanbul Province 5 460 85 km Land area 5 343 22 km Lake Dam 117 63 km Europe 25 districts 3 474 35 km Asia 14 districts 1 868 87 km Urban 36 districts 2 576 85 km Metro 39 districts Catalca Silivri Sile Istanbul un En Yuksek Tepeleri Hava Forumu Hava Durumu Forumu 15 April 2020 a b The Results of Address Based Population Registration System 2020 Turkish Statistical Institute 31 December 2020 Retrieved 5 February 2021 Kisi basina GSYH 2019 Turkish Statistical Institute Retrieved 30 January 2021 Sub national HDI Area Database Global Data Lab hdi globaldatalab org Wells John C 2008 Longman Pronunciation Dictionary 3rd ed Longman ISBN 978 1 4058 8118 0 Upton Clive Kretzschmar Jr William A 2017 The Routledge Dictionary of Pronunciation for Current English 2nd ed Routledge p 704 ISBN 978 1 138 12566 7 a b c d e Istanbul britannica com Encyclopaedia Britannica Mango Cyril 1991 Constantinople In 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