Istanbul, Turkey Overview

Istanbul, Turkey Overview

According to abbreviationfinder, Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey, and covers in hilly terrain on the European and on the Asian side of the Bosporus as well as on the Marmara Sea; Istanbul has (2018) 14.67 million residents (1477: about 70,000, 2nd half of the 16th century: 400,000, 1915: 860,600, 1950: 983,000, 1965: 1.74 million, 1985: 5, 49 million, 2000: 8.8 million residents).

The core of the city lies on the peninsula belonging to Europe between the Sea of ​​Marmara, the Bosphorus Bay called the Golden Horn and the southern exit of the Bosphorus; The urban area of ​​Istanbul also includes the Prince Islands off the Asian coast in the Sea of ​​Marmara and numerous once independent municipalities on the south bank of the Kocaeli Peninsula and the Bosporus, such as Kartal, Pendik, Beykoz, Sarıyer.

Administrative and cultural institutions

As a cultural and economic center, Istanbul is the “secret” capital of Turkey; Capital of Istanbul Province; Seat of numerous foreign consulates and the ecumenical patriarch, to which a number of Orthodox churches, especially émigré churches, have subordinated, and the seat of an Armenian archbishop. 31 universities (including 8 state), Research Institute for Oceanography and Geography, Marmara Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research, Goethe Institute, Department of the German Archaeological Institute, Orient Institute, Austrian Cultural Institute Istanbul, Dutch Historical and Archaeological Institute, Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes, International Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA). In May 2008 the governments of Germany and Turkey signed the founding agreement for a German-Turkish university (beginning of teaching: 2013). One of the numerous manuscript libraries is the Süleimaniye Library with over 65,000 manuscripts. Istanbul has several theaters and opera houses (State Opera, State Symphony Orchestra).

The museums include the archaeological museum with the museum of ancient oriental art (Eski Şark Eserleri Müzesi), the museum of Turkish and Islamic art (Türk Ve Islam Eserleri Müzesi), the mosaic museum (Büyük Saray Mozaik Müzesi), the carpet museum (Vakıf Halı Müzesi), the museum for painting and sculpture (Resim ve Heykel Müzesi), the Museum of Modern Art (Istanbul Modern), the Hagia Sophia Museum (Agyasofya Müzesi), the Military Museum (Askeri Müze), the Naval Museum (Deniz Müzesi) and the Sultan’s Palace (Topkapi -Serail; now a museum). The main features of the seraglio are still the original layout of Sultan Mehmed II. (since around 1465): Individual building around four courtyards lying in one axis. From the 16th century onwards, the courtyard’s increasing need for private rooms led to the interlaced development of the harem on the northwest side of the 2nd and 3rd courtyards. On a garden terrace over the headland behind the 3rd courtyard, individual pavilions (Köşk) have been built, especially since the 17th, but also in the 19th century.


Services predominate in the city’s economic life; Istanbul is the largest market and transhipment point in the country, stock exchange, headquarters of wholesalers, transport, banking, agencies, press and publishing as well as an art and cultural center and an attraction for international tourism. There are several traditional shopping areas such as: B. the bazaars Kapalı Çarşı (covered bazaar) and Misr Çarşı (Egyptian bazaar in Eminönü) as well as shopping streets in the European style (e.g. İstiklâl Caddesi with the Çiçek Pasajı in Beyoğlu, Ak Merkez in Etiler). The artisanal and industrial operations mainly produce foodstuffs and textiles (wool and cotton spinning and weaving mills, hemp spinning mill, silk weaving mill, chemical fiber mill, carpet manufacture), process metals and manufacture leather and artificial leather goods as well as ceramic products.


The port of Istanbul specializes in container handling. Instead of the historic port facilities in the Golden Horn (which have largely given way to urban redevelopment today), new facilities have been built along the Bosporus and on the coast of the Marmara Sea; free production zone. Istanbul is the hub for traffic between Europe and Western Asia. Between the historic Sirkeci railway station (on the European side) and Haydarpaşa, the starting point of the Anatolian Railway until 2012, there are ferry connections across the Bosphorus. In 2013, an earthquake-proof underwater tunnel (1.4 km long, 56 m below sea level) was opened for intercontinental light rail traffic, which is also to be expanded as an international rail link. This Bosporus tunnel is part of the so-called »Marmaray Project« (total length of the modernized railway system about 76 km, 13.6 km of which underground; construction will probably be completed by the end of 2017) between Halkalı (on the European side) and Gebze (on the Asian side). There are two suspension bridges over the Bosphorus for road traffic: the first Bosphorus bridge (Boğazi Köprüsü, largest span 1,074 m, total length 1,560 m) was opened in 1973, the second Bosphorus bridge (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Köprüsü, largest span 1,090 m, total length 1,510 m) in 1988. A third Bosphorus bridge (Yavuz Sultan Selim Köprüsü, Span 1,408 m, total length 2,164 m) was opened south of the first in 2016.

The Galata Bridge (completed in 1992, replaces the one built in 1912; first bridges in 1845, 1863, 1877) and the Ataturk Bridge and the Fatih Bridge, over which the old bypass highway runs to the Bosphorus Bridge, lead across the Golden Horn. Another motorway bridge crosses the Haliçtal further east. Ships and buses play an important role in inner-city traffic, and in the Beyoğlu district, the 606.5 m long underground funicular, which went into operation in 1874, plays an important role. A tram and five-line rapid transit metro network is being expanded. Ataturk International Airport is located on the edge of the European part of Istanbul (near Yeşilköy on the Marmara Sea). Another international civil airport in Istanbul (Sabiha Gökçen Airport; opened in 2002) is located on the Asian side 40 km from Kadiköy / Üsküdar in Pendik / Kurtköy.

Istanbul, Turkey Overview

Comments are closed.