The position of İstanbul as a crossing between continents has always been a determining factor for the city. İstanbul held great importance for the historical cultures of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Black Sea. In every era, city’ s rich natural environs and uniquely beautiful topography have made it an attraction. For thousands of years, from prehistory to ancient ages to modern times, the area has hosted human settlements, and today retains its quality as an important world center. For nearly sixteen centuries, it served as the capital of four empires: the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922).

İstanbul with its unique position that connects Asia and Europe, is one of the most important cities on earth. The important waterline dividing İstanbul into two is the Bosphorus. İstanbul is both the nearest Asian city to Europe and the nearest European city to Asia. The Bosphorus Strait on which it is positioned is a connecting point of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas to the south, and of the Black Sea, and the Danube, Dnieper and Don rivers to the north. İstanbul has always been a junction of trade.

What makes İstanbul privileged, and enfolds it with an extraordinary beauty compared to other cities, is probably vibrant landscape along the Bosphorus.

İstanbul, with a population of 13.5 million, is the largest and most important city of Türkiye (commonly known by foreigners as Turkey) and that may be regarded as the leading open-air museum of Turkish culture. Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK, the founder of Modern Türkiye (one of the greatest leaders with amazing vision and an amazing power that changed an empire and civilized it) who had designated Ankara as the nation’ s capital mainly for geostrategic reasons, was a great admirer of İstanbul. During his presidency, he came to İstanbul in every opportunity. In his last days, he resided at Dolmabahçe Palace on the Bosphorus, where he could observe his beloved city. İstanbul took on its role as the important plateau in the progress of the new, modern Türkiye after the war of independence and the founding of the republic in 1923. It was the focus of his mission to create a contemporary society in line with international standards. And today, this city lying at the intersection of the hubs of Europe, Asia, Middle East and North Africa, continues to be the pride of Türkiye.

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