Stretching out on two continents, Turkey is a paradise where one can experience the four seasons simultaneously... Whether be fond of art, history, archeology or nature, you will feel the happiness beyond desires and hopes during your stay in Turkey.
Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of a shining sea at four directions, Turkey generously offers her 8000km long shores before your eyes. Turkey is rich in flora and fauna. And we offer to you an attractive visit to Istanbul which is a huge metropolis connecting continents, cultures, religions and being home to eleven million people; and one of the greatest business and cultural center of the region. City of art and history synthesis , Istanbul is exceptionally situated on both sides of the Strait of the Bosphorus that separates Europe from Asia. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul (Constantinople) served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330-395), the Byzantine Empire (395-1204 and 1261-1453), the Latin Empire (1204-1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The "Historic Areas of Istanbul" were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
The city consists of three parts in general; On the European side, the Historic Peninsula to the south of the Golden Horn and the Galata District to the north, and the New City on the Asian side. The European side of the city is a trade and business center, whereas the Asian side is more of a residential area. The important waterline dividing Istanbul into two is the Bosphorus... The only alternative to reach the Aegean Sea and the Meditteranean Sea. Istanbul is both the nearest Asian city to Europe and the nearest European city to Asia.
Daily life in Istanbul is colorful and vibrant and continues to bustle side by side with many carefully protected Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. Istanbul is often considered the capital of Turkey in terms of commerce, entertainment, culture, education, shopping, tourism and art.
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Istanbul... An almighty city for which wars were made and millions of lives were lost through thousands of years...
The city has many architecturally significant entities. Throughout its long history, Istanbul has acquired a reputation for being a cultural and ethnic melting pot. As a result, there are many historical mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces, castles and towers to visit in the city.
The most important monuments of Roman architecture in the city include the Column of Constantine, Column of the Goths at the Seraglio Point, the Milion which served for calculating the distances between Constantinople and other cities of the Roman Empire, and the Hippodrome of Constantinople which was built following the model of the Circus Maximus in Rome.
The early Byzantine architecture followed the classical Roman model of domes and arches, but further improved these architectural concepts, as evidenced with the Hagia Sophia. It was designed by Isidorus and Anthemius as the third church to bear this name in the city, and be built on the same spot, between 532 and 537.
The Ottoman Turks built the Anatolian Castle on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in 1394, and the Rumeli Castle at the opposite (European) shore, in 1452, a year before the conquest of Constantinople.
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Istanbul is becoming increasingly colorful in terms of its rich social, cultural, and commercial activities. While world famous pop stars fill stadiums, activities like opera, ballet and theater continue throughout the year. During seasonal festivals, world famous orchestras, chorale ensembles, concerts and jazz legends can be found often playing to a full house. The Istanbul International Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals in Europe, while the Istanbul Biennial is another major event of fine arts. Istanbul Modern, located on the Bosphorus with a magnificent view of the Seraglio Point, resembles Tate Modern in many ways and frequently hosts the exhibitions of renowned Turkish and foreign artists. Pera Museum and Sakıp Sabancı Museum have hosted the exhibitions of world famous artists like Picasso, Rodin, Rembrandt and many others, and are among the most important private museums in the city. The Rahmi M. Koç Museum on the Golden Horn is an industrial museum, largely inspired by the Henry Ford Museum in the United States. It exhibits historic industrial equipment such as cars and locomotives from the 1800s and early 1900s, as well as boats, submarines, aircraft, and other similar vintage machines from past epochs.
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Along with the traditional Turkish restaurants, many European and Far Eastern restaurants and numerous other cuisines are also thriving in the city. There are thousands of alternatives for night life in Istanbul but the most popular open air summer time seaside night clubs are found on the Bosphorus, such as Reina and Anjelique in the Ortaköy district. Babylon and Nu Pera in Beyoğlu are popular night clubs both in the summer and in the winter, while The Venue in Maslak often hosts live concerts of famous rock, hard rock and heavy metal bands from all corners of the world. Parkorman in Maslak hosted the Isle of MTV Party in 2002 and is a popular venue for live concerts and rave parties in the summer. Q Jazz Bar in Ortaköy offers live jazz music in a stylish environment.
Çiçek Pasajı on İstiklal AvenueMost of the city's historic pubs and winehouses are located in the areas around İstiklal Avenue in Beyoğlu. The 19th century Çiçek Pasajı (literally Flower Passage in Turkish, or Cité de Péra in French, opened in 1876) on İstiklal Avenue can be described as a miniature version of the famous Galleria in Milan, Italy, and has rows of historic pubs, winehouses and restaurants. The site of Çiçek Pasajı was originally occupied by the Naum Theatre, which was burned during the Fire of Pera in 1870. The theatre was frequently visited by Sultans Abdülaziz and Abdülhamid II, and hosted Giuseppe Verdi's play Il Trovatore before the opera houses of Paris. After the fire of 1870, the theatre was purchased by the local Greek banker Hristaki Zoğrafos Efendi, and Italian architect Zanno designed the current building, which was called Cité de Péra or Hristaki Pasajı in its early years. Yorgo'nun Meyhanesi (Yorgo's Winehouse) was the first winehouse to be opened in the passage. In 1908 the Ottoman Grand Vizier Sait Paşa purchased the building, and it became known as the Sait Paşa Passage. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, many impoverished noble Russian women, including a Baroness, sold flowers here. By the 1940s the building was mostly occupied by flower shops, hence the present Turkish name Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage). After the restoration of the building in 1988, it was reopened as a galleria of pubs and restaurants.
Some historic neighbourhoods around İstiklal Avenue have recently been recreated, such as Cezayir Street near Galatasaray Lisesi, which became known as La Rue Française and has rows of francophone pubs, cafés and restaurants playing live French music.
Kanyon Mall in Levent financial district with its award-winning architecture Istanbul is also famous for its historic seafood restaurants. Many of them were originally established by the local Greeks, such as Aleko'nun Yeri (Aleko's Place) in Yeniköy on the European side of the Bosphorus, or Koço Restaurant (Kotso=Konstantin) in the Moda neighbourhood on the Asian side of the city, which also has a small Greek Orthodox ayazma (chapel) inside. The most popular seafood restaurants are generally found on the Bosphorus, such as the İskele Restaurant in the Rumelihisarı neighbourhood, which was originally a historic ferry quay, or Villa Bosphorus in Beylerbeyi, and numerous others in districts like Ortaköy, Arnavutköy, Bebek and Sarıyer on the European shoreline of the Bosphorus, or Üsküdar, Kuzguncuk, Çengelköy and Kandilli on the Anatolian shoreline. The Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, and Anadolu Kavağı near the Black Sea entrance of the Bosphorus, close to the Genoese Castle (which was known as the Ioros Castle during the Byzantine period) also have many historic seafood restaurants.
The Princes' Islands (Prens Adaları) are a group of islands in the Marmara Sea, south of the quarters Kartal and Pendik. Pine and stone-pine wooden neoclassical and art nouveau-style Ottoman era summer mansions from the 19th and early 20th centuries, horse-drawn carriages (motor vehicles are not permitted) and seafood restaurants make them a popular destination. They can be reached by ferry boats or high-speed catamaran Seabus (Deniz otobüsü) from Eminönü and Bostancı. Of the nine islands, only five are settled. Şile is a distant and well-known Turkish seaside resort on the Black Sea, 50 kilometers from Istanbul. Unspoiled white sand beaches can be found outside of Şile. Kilyos is a small calm seaside resort not far from the northern European entrance of the Bosphorus at the Black Sea. The place has good swimming possibilities and has become popular in the last years among the inhabitants of Istanbul as a place for excursions. Kilyos offers a beach park with seafood restaurants and night clubs, being particularly active in the summer with many night parties and live concerts on the beach.
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