Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, accounting for financial, cultural and historical center of the country. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, the historic and commercial center to be located on the European side and about one third of the population lives in the Asian part of Eurasia. With population 14,38 million people, The city is one of the largest conurbations in Europe and the largest in the Middle East and one of the largest cities of the world. The city is located within the limits of the homonymous municipality metropolitan.
Istanbul is built on the ancient Greek city of Byzantium, so named from Byzas Megara, who found it in the year 667 B.C.. From 330, during the Byzantine Empire was called Constantinople, retained its name after its conquest by the Turks in the Ottoman Empire, until the years of the Turkish Republic. It is built on both sides of the Golden Horn at the southern entrance of the narrow Strait of Bosporus, that a length of approximately 35 km. connects the Black Sea to the north with the Sea of Marmara to the south. It is in this way the only city in the world located on two continents, Europe (Eastern Thrace) and Asia. The modern city is divided into three main areas include the old Istanbul, the Beioglou area district Galata Tower and Taksim, and Scutari with other suburbs on the opposite Asian side of the Bosporus.
Throughout the ages was the capital of three successive empires: the Roman, the Byzantine Empire (324 -1453), the short-lived Latin (1204-1261) and Ottoman (1453-1922) resulting in the emergence of cultures in a composite presence today. As capital of the Byzantine Empire was the center of the Greek element for more than a thousand years. The historical city, with important monuments, owned by 1985 the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Major attractions are Hagia Sophia, Eptapyrgio and Byzantine walls, the church and the source of Life Giving Spring, the Patriarchate building, Lantern and Topkapi Palace, Sylejmani Mosque and Sultan Ahmet Mosque ("Blue glass").
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