Istanbul – To The City

Exotic cosmopolitan cities like Istanbul with remarkable histories, cultural heritage and people have become hotspots for enthusiasts and tourists alike.


Turkey is a part of EurAsia where East meets West, cultures and history converges.


Istanbul is a city full of diversity with creative cultural arts, many food cuisines, resorts and beautiful architecture.


Istanbul (derived from the Greek phrase ‘to the city’) based in the Mamara region, is the largest city in Turkey  and was formerly known as Constantinople during the Christian Roman era. The city has a population of approx 15 million plus and is the world’s 7th largest city overall.


Background of Istanbul

The Ottoman Muslim rule commenced from 1453 CE with Istanbul becoming the capital of the Caliphate for over four centuries. The city was modernised and upgraded throughout this period, with new buildings, telecommunications, trams, water supply and electric infrastructure.


Istanbul is the central hub for economics, media, industry, culture and history, especially being prominently located for the silk road trade route, where European rail networks linked with the middle east and the sea routes. The city accounts for more 25% of the country’s GDP.


Ankara became the Turkish capital of the new nation state after the demise of the global Ottoman empire after 1923, despite Istanbul’s size, historical, cultural and contemporary importance. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk exiled the final Ottoman Sultan Mehmed VI at the end of 1922, before establishing the Republic of Turkey after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne.


Istanbul has continued to expand and grow over many decades, becoming an arts, film, music and cultural centre for global performers.


The city is a unique contemporary location full of shopping malls, modern buildings, sports stadia, schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, cafes, restaurants, parks, leisure, food cuisine, metrobus, railways, tv, radio, news and media.


Istanbul is particularly popular with internationally renowned quality sought after healthcare.


It is a modern city of 39 districts with a well connected infrastructure, an established developing road, rail, sea, air and motorway network.


The city was voted the European Capital of Culture in 2010 and had just under 13 million foreign visitors during 2015 becoming the fifth most popular destination.


Politically the country has been going through a see-saw of change, revival and public discourse. Despite, the creation of secular Turkey as a reaction to the demise of the Ottoman empire, in recent decades here has been a gradual trend towards a more public expression of faith in society. This has largely been led by the Justice and Development Party, under the auspice of President Recep Tayyip Erdagon.



Famous Places

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • The Golden Horn, in the Beyoglu district
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Genoese Citadel of Galata
  • Shore of Golden Horn
  • Galata Tower
  • Dolmabahce Palace
  • Ortakoy Mosque
  • Bosphorus Bridge
  • Levent and Maslak business areas
  • Yildiz Park
  • Gulhane Park
  • Yildiz Palace
  • Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge
  • Emirgan Park
  • Belgrad Forest
  • Ottoman Architecture (Anadoluhisari, Rumelihisari fotresses)
  • Fatih Mosque
  • Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue mosque)
  • Mahmutpasha Bazaar
  • Istanbul Cevahir
  • Istanbul University founded in 1453
  • Istanbul Technical University founded in 1773
  • Mimr Sinan Fine Arts University
  • Marmara University
  • Yeni Mosque
  • Istanbul Ataturk Airport
  • Sabiha Gokcen International Airport


The city has continued to grow and expand over many decades and centuries into a modern popular destination for the worlds tourists. It is a vibrant city housing many millions of people thriving economically, culturally and socially.


Istanbul should be a place to be visited by any person who would like to enjoy a place with an excellent climate, unique culture and heritage.


Dr Ghulam S Ashraf is a Content Writer for

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