Istanbul- Introduction and History

Istanbul- Introduction and History

Istanbul- Introduction

Istanbul where two contitents meet, Europe and Asia, the city which was the first one to see the closure of the Middle Ages. This city is definitely the symbol of the new Era. Additionally, the city was always a rising sun over Europe in history. Istanbul is the most crowded city in Turkey. Moreover, it was the capital cities of most dominant Empires in the world.

So, Turkey has seven different geographical regions. Basically, these are Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, Southern Anatolia, and Southeastern Anatolia. Furthermore, Istanbul locates in Marmara Region.

As we mentioned before, the city has two regions- Europe and Asia divided by Bosphorus. Moreover, these two sides represent different cultures, histories and more on. Basically, history mainly comes from the Europe side. However, there are many good historical and secret places that should be explored on the Anatolian side. As a promise, you’ll be finding these places very soon on this website!!

Istanbul Galata tower
The fantastic Galata Tower

Additionally, this beautiful city was constructed on seven hills by the surrounded walls during Constantinople. Moreover, there are many hills out of the city walls. On the west, there are two cities as border neighbors- Tekirdag and Kirklareli; on the south, Kocaeli stands as border neighbor. In the meantime, this beautiful city is driven by many industries- the heart of finance, music, tourism, history, automotive, aviation and many more.

Istanbul Population

Over 15 million people live in this great city [1]. Please note that this is an official number, the city is growing too fast and the population number may change day by day. Moreover, these numbers mean that Istanbul has a population of ~20% of Turkey and it is more crowded than a lot of countries in the world.

Istanbul Districts

The city had 32 districts before 2009. However, there are 39 districts in Istanbul as of now. Moreover, 25 of 39 is on the European side and the other 14 is on the Anatolian side. Additionally, since the city is growing too fast, we assume there will be more districts in the near future. Here is the Istanbul districts list. [2,3]

Istanbul- Climate Overview

So, we can say that the climate is warm during winter and general behavior looks like the Mediterranean. However, the climate is also affected by the Black Sea and many periods in winter can be pretty cold. During summertime, this beautiful city is mostly hot. As expected, the best season to visit Istanbul is spring and fall. But this also depends on your expectation. For instance, a person who only lives in a hot environment might prefer to see this city in a snowy season, moreover, this could be vice versa. For this reason, we can only say that “This city is always great and fascinating”.

If you are more interested in climate, check this article out- Best Time to Visit Istanbul for more info [4].

A sunny day in Polonezkoy
A sunny day in Polonezkoy

Istanbul- History

Byzantium

There is no clear evidence of what was happening in Istanbul before 3000 BC, it is believed that settlement started with Greek colonists. King Byzas led them in the 7th century BC. Moreover, this city center located in near Topkapi Palace Region. On the other hand, the site of Byzantium was located to serve as a transit and trade point between the continents [5].

Roman Empire (330-395)

Byzantium became part of Romans. Moreover, they selected Istanbul as new capital after Rome due to strategical importance. Constantinople or ‘City of Constantine’ was its new name.

The Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire (395–1204)

After the death of Theodosius I, his sons divided the empire into two and Istanbul was the capital city of Byzantine for a long period [6]. Moreover, Byzantines constructed many monuments in this period and expanded the territory.

Latin Empire (1204-1261)

Catholic Latin Empire conquered the city in 1204. Right after the conquest of the city, the Latins completely rejected the Byzantine economic administration [7]. Furthermore, this period was very dark for the city considering multiple factors such as finance, defense, etc..

The Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire (1261–1453)

Constantinople was eventually recaptured from its last Latin ruler, Baldwin II, by Byzantine forces under Michael VIII Palaeologus in 1261 [8].

Ottoman Empire (1453-1922)

After multiple attempts to conquer Constantinople by different Sultans from Ottomans, Sultan II. Mehmed was the one who closes Middle Ages and conqueror of Constantinople after 53 days siege. This was one of the major movement from Ottomans since they expanded thru Northern Anatolian [9]. As interesting info, Sultan II. Mehmed was only 21 years old during the conquest. Right after this conquest, the capital of the Ottoman Empire has been changed to Constantinople and re-named as Istanbul. As we will talk thru, monuments are both combinations of Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. Also, Sultan Mehmed and Suleyman the Magnificient are the chief architects of Istanbul.

Turkish Republic (1923- )

After World War I (WWI) and consequent Independence War which was led by Ataturk- father of Turk; even the city is still part of Turkey, but not the capital anymore. Due to the rapid population increase, it was necessary to reconstruct the city. So, the city has amazingly grown and a lot of construction took place.

After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the style of the city has been a little bit changed due to modernization activities [10]. However, a lot of urban still reflect the history very well.

Additionally, in 2010, the city was selected as a European Culture Capital [11].

Istanbul- Conclusion

In conclusion, this amazing city consists of an unbelievable history. As we explained, the city has great monuments and structure. As our team’s general idea, Istanbul is our favorite place even we traveled to more than 20 countries in the world.

We wish you an enjoyable trip to this fantastic city!

References:

  1. http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/istanbul-population/
  2. https://www.nufusu.com/il/istanbul-nufusu
  3. https://www.citypopulation.de/php/turkey-istanbul.php
  4. https://www.istanbulfantasy.com/best-time-to-visit-istanbul/
  5. https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-middle-east/byzantine-empire
  6. https://www.thoughtco.com/istanbul-was-once-constantinople-1435547
  7. https://about-history.com/the-latin-empire-of-constantinople-1204-1261/
  8. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Constantinople
  9. http://www.theottomans.org/english/history/history1400.asp
  10. https://www.lonelyplanet.com/turkey/istanbul/history#138795
  11. http://www.istanbulkulturturizm.gov.tr/EN-174376/istanbuls-history-and-introducing.html

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!