Became the capital of civilizations since the foundation and brought many religions and social structures together in peace.
Destroyed but each time rose again higher than ever.
Istanbul: the city of artists, emperors and sultans.
A unique city bosoming thousands of people and bridging two continents the seas…
The capital of three empires.

Discovered in 2004 with the subway construction launched in Yenikapi, the researches on the ancient graves and foot prints date back to 8000 BC. Furthermore, the excavations in the Yarimburgaz Cave refer to Palaeolithic Era while Fikirtepe and Pendik unearthed Chalcolithic Era artefacts.

A part of these revealed items are exhibited in Istanbul Archaeological Museum.

On the other hand, the settlement that laid the foundations of modern Istanbul was established by the Megarans in the 7th century BC as the legend goes. The name of the city founded by the Megarans was Byzantion. Constantinus I, a Roman emperor, changed the name to Constantinopolis when he declared the city as the capital of the empire.

After Constantinus embraced Christianity, Constantinopolis became the leading centre of culture and arts and, most times, of policy and economy throughout the Middle Ages.

The conquest of Constantinopolis was almost a destiny for the Ottoman Empire. Knowing this, the Ottomans made several attempts to siege the city. When Mehmed II conquered the city in 1453, the city bestowed the name Conqueror to the sultan while its name changed to Istanbul.

In 1453, Istanbul became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Following the conquest, one of the first endeavours of the Ottomans was the settlement and regulation of development. The city walls were repaired within a short time. Mosques, social complexes, inns and baths started to accompany the palaces and churches. As part of the agenda, the Ottomans also regulated the religious activities of non-Muslims. The Orthodox Church was taken under the Ottoman protection seven months after the conquest. Beside the Empire, 46 years of reign by Suleiman I between 1520 and 1566 signified a period of rise for also Istanbul. During this period, Istanbul acquired many priceless monuments most of which still survive today. Furnished with madrasahs, caravan inns, baths, sultan’s gardens and bridges, Istanbul acquired the look of a big city. The Halic-Galata Harbour also became the busiest harbours of the Mediterranean region during this period.

Istanbul was invaded de facto by the occupation forces during the years of the national defence of Turkey. The city was rescued on October 6, 1923.

Home to splendid works of art, a historical texture and a multicultural and multi-faith constitution, Istanbul still inspires poets, bards, painters and authors and maintains as the city of dreams.
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