About Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the largest metropolises in the world. It is also the cultural, economic, and financial centre of Turkey. Istanbul is a city of contrasts and harmony where mosques coexist with churches, synagogues and remnants of the Roman Empire still stand alongside Ottoman monuments and Neolithic sites. It extends both on the Europe (Thrace) and Asia (Anatolia). It is the only city in the world which stands over two continents which are separated by a narrow strait; the Bosphorus. Thus, it is a gate to West as well as a gate to the East.



Having previously served as the capital of the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire, the city offers a culturally and historically rich context.

Istanbul was selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2010 and the European Capital of Sports for 2012.



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