It is the city that forms a crossroads for the world, and a connection between the two continents; Asia and Europe, it contains in its history and culture the sap of many civilizations that succeeded on ruling it. Where it was the capital of three global empires which are the Roman, Byzantine, and the Turkish Ottoman Empire, over a 120 emperors and sultans have succeeded on ruling it along over more than 1600 years.
This explains the cultural, ethnical, and religious diversity that it has today and which is considered one of the characteristics that no other city in the world has. It is also the only city that lies on the banks of two continents that are separated by the Bosphorus which connects the black sea with the Marmara Sea. The European bank is called (Thrace) , and the Asian bank is called Anatolia, they are connected by two huge- suspension bridges which are the Strait bridge and Mohammad the conqueror bridge that are considered the two main nerves (or veins , like they are extremely vital) of the city.
Istanbul's old names
The city of Istanbul which is considered as one of the oldest cities in the world was known as Byzantium and Kostantinopolis anciently, and Constantinople, and Asitana, and Dar Al Saadah (Home of Happiness) and in the Ottoman era it was called (Islam Bul) which means the city that is rich with its Islam, and it was named by its current name after the establishment of the modern Turkish republic in the year 1923 A.D. by Mustafa Kamal Ataturk. It is the fifth largest city in the world consisting of 39 districts and neighborhood inhabited by about 15 million people. Istanbul is considered to be a very big cultural, economic, and financial center in the world, it is also the touristic, industrial, financial, and economical capital of Turkey due to its highly strategic importance. And it attracts to it more tourists and admirers due to the many Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and European ruins ,besides the historical sites along with its blending with the modern architectural style including skyscrapers and modern restaurants, advanced western shops, in addition to its mesmerizing nature and its charming atmosphere .
Even though Istanbul is situated in a region known for having climate variations, it is known for having a moderate climate, in the summer the weather is hot and the levels of humidity are high, but in winter it is cold and humid in addition to rain and snow fall a lot. In spring and autumn the weather is moderate in general with some showers (it rains) sometimes.
Historic Sites in Istanbul
What distinguish Istanbul are its mosques, museums, churches, schools, colleges, palaces, and old markets (bazaars) that go back to different ages and which the aromatic scent of history smells out of it. It is also a city that is full of motion and life, you can hear the sounds of cars and the merchants wandering , and the voices of ships at the harbors, and the seagulls, forming all together a sweet Istanbulian symphony that a visitor can't miss it easily. Everyday many events are held in the city, from theater to cinema, exhibitions, concerts, and galleries for local and international artists. It is the city of art that was combined with the beauty of nature and the scent of history forming a charming combination. Every year there are numerous international conferences held in it, it was chosen in the year 2010 as the cultural capital of Europe.
People Living in Istanbul
Istanbul residents are a mix from all over the Turkish cities, who were attracted to this city due to its charm and beauty, and the wealth of opportunities in it, they are tend to earnest nature, fast, and giving more attention about the time, these characteristics were imposed on them due to the atmosphere of the city, and the fast life in it. And you can notice that when you see the huge crowds of people heading to work in the morning.
Istanbul is the treasury and the economic capital of Turkey where the headquarters of all the major banks are located, and it is of great importance for the domestic and international trade. It is enough to know that Istanbul contributes about 25% of the Turkish GDP so that we can recognize its position in the Turkish economy. Trade and industry are highly active in this city, in addition to tourism of all kinds, which is considered as the city's main economic resource. There are two large airports in Istanbul moreover the constructions for the third airport has already started, which is expected to be the largest airport in the world in addition to other large projects that the government is carrying out such as the third suspension bridge over the Busphorus, and the Istanbul's canal which will link the black sea and Marmara sea which will contribute to the increase in trade and the prices of real estate in Istanbul.
Transportation in Istanbul provides a lot of choices to those who live in it, the city has a wide train network above and under the ground. In addition to buses that travel between "Taksim" (city center) square and central areas to the suburbs according to certain numbers for every district or area. There are also private cars and yellow cabs (taxis) and water ferries that link the Asian and European parts of Istanbul and the surrounding cities.
Food Culture in Istanbul
Istanbul is a city that summarizes all Turkey and has its privacy that distinguishes it from the rest of the Turkish cities, people from all Turkish cities reside in it, and it has restaurants that serve special meals from Istanbul and other cities, there are also restaurants that serve meals from all over the world and restaurants for Arab meals, in addition to the sea food (fish) restaurants all over the Busphorus shores. It has a lot of sites that are worth visiting there is not enough space here to mention them all, we might mention them in future articles, but the most important sites are:
İmportant Places to be Visited in İstanbul
Aya Sophia museum which was transformed from a temple to a church and then to a mosque during the Ottoman era / Sultan Ahmad Mosque / the Topkapi palace where the prophet Muhammad's gown is exist / Dolma Bahja or the sultans' palace / Taksim (bisection) square in the heart of Istanbul and the independence street which is crowded and that has the world's most famous brands and restaurants / the princesses islands which can be visited through an enchanting tourist cruise / in addition to the Busphorus cruise which you can see the Asian and European banks / the Kadi Koi and Escodar areas in the Asian part / the grand pazar market, Aminonowa , and the Egyptian market that contains the most beautiful souvenirs and many kinds of spices and sweets .In addition to many other areas and huge shopping centers that you can visit, and we will mention them in more detail in other articles.