Istanbul is the most crowded, financial and culturally important city in Turkey. The city is considered to be one of the oldest ones in the world. It had been the seat of power of the Roman Empire between 330-395 A.D., the Latin Empire between 1204-1261, the Eastern Roman Empire between 1453-1922, and finally the Ottoman Empire between 1453-1922. Istanbul has been given quite a few different names throughout the ages: Byzantium, Augusta Antonina, Nova Rome, Constantinople, Kostantiniyye, Islambol.
In accordance to recent excavations in the Yenikapi, the city was founded 8500 years ago. The urbanization of the settlement dates back to 3000 years ago and it became a capital almost 1600 years ago. One of the reasons why the city is so old is because the location of Istanbul is at the intersection between the continents of Europe and Asia. Throughout the ages Istanbul has been home to different civilizations and cultures. For centuries it has preserved its cosmopolitan and metropolitan structure in which people live together in harmony. Different religions, languages and races have turned it into a matchless mosaic of the historical process. For many years, Istanbul has had one of the world’s widest spaced residential areas. The city managed keep being the center of all activities and stay in power. It is the capital of the world from past to present.
Istanbul is an intercontinental city. Its part in Europe is called the European Side or Rumeli Shore. The part in Asia is called Asian side or Anatolian Side. Istanbul has a total of 39 districts, with 25 being on the European Side and the remaining 14 being on the Anatolian Side.
The city has a temperate climate. Summers in Istanbul are hot and humid, whereas winters are cold, wet and sometimes snowy. Due to humidity, the air feels hotter than in other countries during summer. The average temperature during summer ranges from 18 to 28 degrees Celsius. The hottest months are considered to be July and August. During winter the cold breezes become quite unpleasant and the temperature drops to 2 to 9 degrees Celsius. The coolest months are considered to be January and February. In general, the average temperature of the year in Istanbul is 13,7 degrees Celsius.
In order to the deal with the party system, Istanbul is governed by presidents. The city administration has three main organs:
1. The Mayor (elected every 5 years);
2. The Metropolitan Council;
3. The Metropolitan Board of Directors.
Istanbul’s total population (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and its population within the boundaries of the municipalities) is 13 710 512 people.
The city has a number of monuments and other interesting sights to behold upon. That is why it is most favored by tourists. Istanbul was given the title of European Capital of Culture in 2010.
Recommended places to visit in Istanbul
· Domlabahce Palace
· Topkapi Palace
· Yildiz Palace
· Galata Tower
· Taksim Square
· Sultanahmet Square
· Gulhale Park
· Basilica Cistern
· Rumeli Fortress
· Anatolian Fortress
· Hagia Sophia
· Grand Bazzar
· The Maiden’s Tower
· The Suleymaniye Mosque
· The Golden Horn
· Emirgan Grove