55 Facts About Istanbul


Istanbul is the most populous European city, and the world's 15th-largest city.

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Istanbul is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish companies, accounting for more than thirty percent of the country's economy.

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Kostantiniye and Istanbul were the names used alternatively by the Ottomans during their rule.

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Istanbul invited people from all over Europe to his capital, creating a cosmopolitan society that persisted through much of the Ottoman period.

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The population of Istanbul began to rapidly increase in the 1970s, as people from Anatolia migrated to the city to find employment in the many new factories that were built on the outskirts of the sprawling metropolis.

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Istanbul has a borderline Mediterranean climate, humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa, Trewartha Cf) and oceanic climate (Koppen Cfb, Trewartha Do) under both classifications.

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Istanbul's weather is strongly influenced by the Sea of Marmara to the south, and the Black Sea to the north.

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Furthermore, as Istanbul is a large and rapidly expanding city, its urban heat island has been intensifying the effects of climate change.

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Much of the Asian side of the Bosphorus functions as a suburb of the economic and commercial centers in European Istanbul, accounting for a third of the city's population but only a quarter of its employment.

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The Turkish government has ambitious plans for an expansion of the city west and northwards on the European side in conjunction with the new Istanbul Airport, opened in 2019; the new parts of the city will include four different settlements with specified urban functions, housing 1.

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Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture.

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Since 2004, the municipal boundaries of Istanbul have been coincident with the boundaries of its province.

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The city, considered capital of the larger Istanbul Province, is administered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, which oversees the 39 districts of the city-province.

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Small settlements adjacent to major population centers in Turkey, including Istanbul, were merged into their respective primary cities during the early 1980s, resulting in metropolitan municipalities.

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Istanbul experienced especially rapid growth during the second half of the 20th century, with its population increasing tenfold between 1950 and 2000.

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Istanbul has been a cosmopolitan city throughout much of its history, but it has become more homogenized since the end of the Ottoman era.

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Into the 19th century, the Christians of Istanbul tended to be either Greek Orthodox, members of the Armenian Apostolic Church or Catholic Levantines.

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Istanbul became one of the world's most important Jewish centers in the 16th and 17th century.

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Ottoman Jews in Istanbul excelled in commerce, and came to particularly dominate the medical profession.

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Politically, Istanbul is seen as the most important administrative region in Turkey.

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The contest in Istanbul carried deep political, economic and symbolic significance for Erdogan, whose election of mayor of Istanbul in 1994 had served as his launchpad.

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The first government defeat in Istanbul occurred in the 2017 constitutional referendum, where Istanbul voted 'No' by 51.

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Administratively, Istanbul is divided into 39 districts, more than any other province in Turkey.

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Istanbul Province sends 98 Members of Parliament to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, which has a total of 600 seats.

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Istanbul had the eleventh-largest economy among the world's urban areas in 2018, and is responsible for of Turkey's industrial output, of GDP, and of tax revenues.

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In 2019, companies based in Istanbul produced exports worth and received imports totaling ; these figures were equivalent to and, respectively, of the national totals.

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Istanbul has three major shipping ports – the Port of Haydarpasa, the Port of Ambarli, and the Port of Zeytinburnu – as well as several smaller ports and oil terminals along the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara.

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Istanbul has been an international banking hub since the 1980s, and is home to the only active stock exchange in Turkey, Borsa Istanbul, which was originally established as the Ottoman Stock Exchange in 1866.

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In 1995, keeping up with the financial trends, Borsa Istanbul moved its headquarters to Istinye, in the vicinity of Maslak, which hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish banks.

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Istanbul has more than fifty museums, with the Topkapi Palace, the most visited museum in the city, bringing in more than in revenue each year.

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Istanbul expects 1 million tourists from cruise companies after the renovation of its cruise port, known as Galataport in Karakoy district.

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Istanbul was historically known as a cultural hub, but its cultural scene stagnated after the Turkish Republic shifted its focus toward Ankara.

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Istanbul became the heart of Turkey's nascent film industry, although Turkish films were not consistently developed until the 1950s.

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Since then, Istanbul has been the most popular location to film Turkish dramas and comedies.

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The most prominent of the festivals that evolved from the original Istanbul Festival is the Istanbul Biennial, held every two years since 1987.

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Istanbul has an active nightlife and historic taverns, a signature characteristic of the city for centuries, if not millennia.

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Akmerkez was awarded the titles of "Europe's best" and "World's best" shopping mall by the International Council of Shopping Centers in 1995 and 1996; Istanbul Cevahir has been one of the continent's largest since opening in 2005; Kanyon won the Cityscape Architectural Review Award in the Commercial Built category in 2006.

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Istanbul is famous for its sophisticated and elaborately-cooked dishes of the Ottoman cuisine.

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Istanbul has seven basketball teams—Anadolu Efes, Besiktas, Darussafaka, Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor and Buyukcekmece—that play in the premier-level Turkish Basketball Super League.

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Istanbul Park was a venue of the World Touring Car Championship and the European Le Mans Series in 2005 and 2006, but the track has not seen either of these competitions since then.

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Istanbul Sailing Club, established in 1952, hosts races and other sailing events on the waterways in and around Istanbul each year.

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Istanbul has long-running Armenian language newspapers, notably the dailies Marmara and Jamanak and the bilingual weekly Agos in Armenian and Turkish.

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Istanbul's airwaves are the busiest in Turkey, primarily featuring either Turkish-language or English-language content.

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Istanbul is home to the headquarters of several Turkish stations and regional headquarters of international media outlets.

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Istanbul-based Star TV was the first private television network to be established following the end of the TRT monopoly; Star TV and Show TV remain highly popular throughout the country, airing Turkish and American series.

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Kanal D and ATV are other stations in Istanbul that offer a mix of news and series; NTV and Sky Turk—both based in the city—are mainly just known for their news coverage in Turkish.

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The BBC has a regional office in Istanbul, assisting its Turkish-language news operations, and the American news channel CNN established the Turkish-language CNN Turk there in 1999.

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Istanbul has more than 93 colleges and universities, with 400, 000 students enrolled in 2016.

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Istanbul is home to several conservatories and art schools, including Mimar Sinan Academy of Fine Arts, founded in 1882.

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Today, Istanbul has a chlorinated and filtered water supply and a sewage treatment system managed by the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration.

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Istanbul's local public transportation system is a network of commuter trains, trams, funiculars, metro lines, buses, bus rapid transit, and ferries.

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International rail service from Istanbul launched in 1889, with a line between Bucharest and Istanbul's Sirkeci Terminal, which ultimately became famous as the eastern terminus of the Orient Express from Paris.

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Istanbul had three large international airports, two of which currently serve commercial passenger flights.

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The largest is the new Istanbul Airport, opened in 2018 in the Arnavutkoy district to the northwest of the city center, on the European side, near the Black Sea coast.

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The presence of feral cats in Istanbul is noted to be very prevalent, with estimates ranging from a hundred thousand to over a million stray cats.

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