Istanbul

Istanbul

İstanbul
Clockwise from top: the Bosphorus Bridge connecting Europe and Asia; Maiden's Tower; a nostalgic tram on İstiklal Avenue; Levent business district; Galata Tower; Ortaköy Mosque in front of the Bosphorus Bridge; and Hagia Sophia.
Official logo of Istanbul
Emblem of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Istanbul
Location within Turkey
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Istanbul
Location within Europe
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Istanbul
Location within Asia
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Turkey, with Istanbul pinpointed at the northwest along a thin strip of land bounded by water
Istanbul
Istanbul (Earth)
Coordinates: 41°00′49″N 28°57′18″E / 41.01361°N 28.95500°E / 41.01361; 28.95500Coordinates: 41°00′49″N 28°57′18″E / 41.01361°N 28.95500°E / 41.01361; 28.95500
CountryTurkey
RegionMarmara
ProvinceIstanbul
Provincial seat[a]Cağaloğlu, Fatih
Districts39
Government
 • TypeMayor–council government
 • BodyMunicipal Council of Istanbul
 • MayorEkrem İmamoğlu (CHP)
 • GovernorAli Yerlikaya
Area
 • Urban
2,576.85 km2 (994.93 sq mi)
 • Metro
5,343.22 km2 (2,063.03 sq mi)
Highest elevation537 m (1,762 ft)
Population
 (31 December 2020)[4]
 • Megacity15,462,452
 • Rank1st in Turkey
 • Urban
15,149,358
 • Urban density5,879/km2 (15,230/sq mi)
 • Metro density2,894/km2 (7,500/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Istanbulite
(Turkish: İstanbullu)
Time zoneUTC+3 (TRT)
Postal code
34000 to 34990
Area code(s)+90 212 (European side)
+90 216 (Asian side)
Vehicle registration34
GDP (Nominal)2019[5]
 - TotalUS$ 237 billion
 - Per capitaUS$ 15,285
HDI (2018)0.828[6] (very high) · 3rd
GeoTLD.ist, .istanbul
Websiteibb.istanbul
www.istanbul.gov.tr
Official nameHistoric Areas of Istanbul
CriteriaCultural: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Reference356bis
Inscription1985 (9th session)
Extensions2017
Area765.5 ha (1,892 acres)

Istanbul (/ˌɪstænˈbʊl/ IST-an-BUUL,[7][8] US also /ˈɪstænbʊl/ IST-an-buul; Turkish: İstanbul [isˈtanbuɫ] (About this soundlisten)), historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. The city straddles the Bosphorus strait, and lies in both Europe and Asia, with a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey.[4] Istanbul is the most populous city in Europe,[b] and the world's fifteenth-largest city.

Founded as Byzantion by Megarian colonists in 660 BCE, and renamed as Constantinople in 330 CE,[9] the city grew in size and influence, becoming a beacon of the Silk Road and one of the most important cities in history. It served as an imperial capital for almost sixteen centuries, during the Roman/Byzantine (330–1204), Latin (1204–1261), Byzantine (1261–1453), and Ottoman (1453–1922) empires.[10] It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before its transformation to an Islamic stronghold following the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE.[11] In 1923, after the Turkish War of Independence, Ankara replaced the city as the capital of the newly formed Republic of Turkey. In 1930 the city's name was officially changed to Istanbul, an appellation Greek speakers used since the eleventh century to colloquially refer to the city.[12]

Over 13.4 million foreign visitors came to Istanbul in 2018, eight years after it was named a European Capital of Culture, making the city the world's fifth-most popular tourist destination.[13] 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.[14][15]

Toponymy

The first known name of the city is Byzantium (Greek: Βυζάντιον, Byzántion), the name given to it at its foundation by Megarean colonists around 660 BCE.[17] Megaran colonists claimed a direct line back to the founders of the city, Byzas, the son of the god Poseidon and the nymph Ceroëssa.[17] Modern excavations has raised the possibility that the name Byzantium might reflect the sites of native Thracian settlements that preceded the fully fledged town.[18] Constantinople comes from the Latin name Constantinus, after Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor who refounded the city in 324 CE.[17] Constantinople remained the most common name for the city in the West until the 1930s, when Turkish authorities began to press for the use of "Istanbul" in foreign languages. Kostantiniyye (Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطينيه‎), Be Makam-e Qonstantiniyyah al-Mahmiyyah (meaning "the Protected Location of Constantinople") and İstanbul were the names used alternatively by the Ottomans during their rule.[19]

The name İstanbul (Turkish pronunciation: [isˈtanbuɫ] (About this soundlisten), colloquially [ɯsˈtambuɫ]) is commonly held to derive from the Medieval Greek phrase "εἰς τὴν Πόλιν" (pronounced [is tim ˈbolin]), which means "to the city"[20] and is how Constantinople was referred to by the local Greeks. This reflected its status as the only major city in the vicinity. The importance of Constantinople in the Ottoman world was also reflected by its Ottoman nickname "Der Saadet" meaning the "gate to Prosperity" in Ottoman.[21] An alternative view is that the name evolved directly from the name Constantinople, with the first and third syllables dropped.[17] Some Ottoman sources of the 17th century, such as Evliya Çelebi, describe it as the common Turkish name of the time; between the late 17th and late 18th centuries, it was also in official use. The first use of the word "Islambol" on coinage was in 1730 during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I.[22] In modern Turkish, the name is written as İstanbul, with a dotted İ, as the Turkish alphabet distinguishes between a dotted and dotless I. In English the stress is on the first or last syllable, but in Turkish it is on the second syllable (tan).[23] A person from the city is an İstanbullu (plural: İstanbullular), although Istanbulite is used in English.[24]