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Are Istanbul Airport Taxis Safe?

Taxis are commercial automobiles that usually carry passengers within the city and the fare is determined by taximeters. Taxis are widely used during transportation from Istanbul airports to the city center. Taxis provide great convenience when you arrive in the city and people expect to take the shortest route to avoid overpayment. But the reliability of taxis is discussed in all metropolises around the world. So, what should we pay attention to when using a taxi in Istanbul?

Taking a taxi in Istanbul is an affordable, simple, and convenient way of transport. However, all drivers are not reliable. Luckily, most of them are fair, but there is an increasing number of instances where tourists get hustled in Istanbul while taking a taxi ride. Before going to the city, it is necessary to do some research. It will help you to learn safe ways to find a taxi from airports, to be informed about the normal prices you can pay for a taxi that will take you to various districts of Istanbul, to download smartphone applications that you can use when calling a taxi.

Taxi Types at the Taxi Stands of Istanbul Airports

There are 3 types of taxis from airports. Yellow, turquoise, and black taxis. The most commonly used and the standard one is the yellow taxis.  Turquoise taxis take comfort one step further. Black taxis are suitable for crowded groups and those who want a luxurious journey.

  • The regular yellow local taxis are C Segment ones (such as Fiat Aegea, Dacia Sandero, Renault Clio, etc.). 
  • Turquoise taxis (like VW Passat, Skoda Superb, Opel Insignia, etc.) are those from the D segment. 
  • Black taxis (like Mercedes E180, Mercedes Vito, etc.) are VIP and E segment taxis. 

Turquoise taxis account for 15%, and black taxis are 100% more expensive than yellow taxis. In other words, for a journey of 100 TL in yellow taxis, the passenger will pay 115 TL in turquoise taxis and 200 TL in black taxis.

Are There Taxi Scams in Istanbul?

Sadly, as in many parts of the globe, taxi scams are a major issue in Turkey. While there are really good taxi drivers, during the day you can come across a poor driver. It would be a safe way to stop scams by having a cab firm that your hotel agrees with instead of on-road taxis. 

Here Are the 9 Tips & Things You Might Need to Be Careful About

  • Before taking the taxi, you can do a little research about the route you will go to and have information about how many kilometers it will take.
  • Be careful about choosing a taxi. Make sure that the license plate is written on the vehicle’s doors and roof. These are legal and registered taxis, if you encounter a problem, you can reach the taxi stand and complain as long as you know the license plate.
  • While getting in or out of the taxi, you can write down the license plate and the name of the station or take a picture with your phone and save it.
  • Look for the meter once you are safely seated in the taxi. Istanbul’s taximeters are normally placed behind a shift stick. You can get out immediately if the taxi does not have a meter. Some cab drivers will try to make you reason for the breaking of the meter to get you to settle to a fixed price. Do not fall for the trick of this. If the cab has a meter, when you reach the car, it should read 5 TL ($ 0,61).
  • Not many taxi drivers speak English in Turkey, so at times you might run into non-understanding. You can determine your route with navigation applications (such as Google Maps) from your smartphone and give the necessary guidance to the taxi driver.
  • Share the attitudes and behaviors if there’s any you are uncomfortable with the driver. Explain clearly that if it is going fast, it should go slow, if the sound of the music is very clear, it should be turned down, it would be better to open the window if the interior of the vehicle is stuffy. You can use Google Translate to do that. It is not rude at all.
  • There are some additional fees you will pay in addition to the taxi fare in Istanbul. These are valid for bridge, highway, and bus terminal entrance and exit fees. It is added to your taxi fare, don’t be surprised.
  • It is not compulsory to leave a tip for taxi drivers in Istanbul. If the driver also carried your luggage and luggage, you can leave a tip.
  • You can pay by credit card in any taxis in Istanbul.

How Does the Taxi Fare Work at Airports in Istanbul?

At Istanbul Airport, taxis serve in front of the passenger exits of the Domestic and International terminals. 

Taxi fares at Istanbul Airport are calculated by adding the km price above the starting price. 

When you want to reach your destination by taxi from Istanbul Airport, you can get information from taxi drivers over the approximate km. 

In Istanbul Airport taxis, the same tariff is valid 24 hours a day. But in the city, there are day & night tariffs.

There are some additional fees you will pay in addition to the taxi fare in Istanbul. These are valid for bridge, highway, and bus terminal entrance and exit fees. It is added to your taxi fare, don’t be surprised.

•           Yellow Taxi: Opening fee is 0,61 $; km fee is 0,38 $ and short distance travel is 1,60 $ (to prevent people from taking taxis for too short distances).

•           Turquoise Taxi: Opening fee is 0,71 $; km fee is 0,44 $ and short distance travel is 1,84 $ .

•           Black (VIP) Taxi: Opening fee is 1,05 $; km fee is 0,65 $ and short distance travel is 2,72 $.

How Much Will I Pay When I Take a Taxi From Istanbul Airport?

For Yellow (Standard) taxis, approximate taxi fares between Istanbul New Airport and some districts:

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Taksim: 22 $ – 25 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Esenler Bus Station: 18 $ – 20 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Tüyap fair center: 17 $ – 20 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport and – Sultan Ahmet Mosque: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Bakırköy IDO pier: 19 $ – 22 $

)Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Kadıköy: 27 $ – 30 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Eminönü: 20 $ – 25 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Şişli: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Beşiktaş: 21 $ – 24 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – 4. Levent: 20 $ – 22 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Mecidiyeköy: 20 $ – 23 $

Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport – Aksaray: 20 $ – 22 $

*These charges are written according to best-case scenarios and low traffic. The price of waiting for a minute is 0,055 $. This may be because of heavy traffic or your request to make someone or someone waiting for you.

How Much Will I Pay When I Take a Taxi From Istanbul Airport?

For Yellow (Standard) taxis, approximate taxi fares between Sabiha Gökçen and some districts:

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Taksim: 18 $ – 19 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Esenler Bus Station: 25 $ – 26 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Harem Bus Station: 16 $ – 17 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen and – Sultan Ahmet Mosque: 20 $ – 23 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Çekmeköy: 12 $ – 13 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Kadıköy: 14 $ – 15 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Üsküdar: 15 $ – 16 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Ataşehir: 11 $ – 13 $

Taxi fare between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Mecidiyeköy: 15 $ – 16 $

* These charges are written according to best-case scenarios and low traffic. The price of waiting for a minute is 0,055 $. This may be because of heavy traffic or your request to make someone or someone waiting for you.

How Can I Arrange My Transfer Between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport?

•           One option is to go from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by Havaist Airport Buses. These buses run at certain times. The distance between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport is approximately 70 km. The approximate journey time between Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport by Havaist Buses is 75 – 85 minutes. This time may vary depending on weather and road conditions. Havaist Airport Buses Ticket price between Sabiha Gökçen Airport – Istanbul New Airport: 4,55 $.

•           Another option is to get from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by airport taxis. The approximate journey time from Istanbul Airport to Sabiha Gökçen Airport by taxi is around 45 – 55 minutes. It may vary according to weather and road conditions. Taxi fare between Istanbul Airport Sabiha Gökçen Airport: 30 $ – 33 $.

Can I Take Uber From Airports in Istanbul?

In Istanbul, is Uber available? Sadly, the answer to the question is no. Why doesn’t Uber serve in Istanbul, though? Uber did, in fact, want to serve in Istanbul. Uber was available in Istanbul until 2019; Uber’s presence was not allowed, however. In recent years, Uber has survived many legal problems; and finally, after the court’s decision in 2019, Uber is completely inaccessible from Turkey.

Are There Apps That Provide Services Like Uber in Istanbul?

Although we hear the name of Uber a lot, many platforms serve like it. Here is an alternative transport service operating in Turkey.

Uber alternative taxi applications in Istanbul:

•           iTaksi

•           Careem Taxi Calling Application

•           BiTaksi


iTaksi is an application created by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In the application, you can see the approximate distance and price by specifying your destination before calling a taxi. However, these fees can change during the journey. Because the application gives an approximate fee. There are 3 different taxi types in iTaksi. Classic yellow taxis, more comfortable turquoise taxis, and black taxis with a feeling of VIP transport. There is also an advanced iTaksi complaint line.


Careem application, downloaded more than 10 million times in the Google Play Store, stands out with its modern Caarem tools. Careem taxi drivers who use the application are called captains, not drivers. So it’s like calling Uber captain instead of Uber driver. According to user comments, it is more useful and professional than the applications we described above. You can also make a reservation in advance in the application.

The features of the application include important features such as seeing the estimated price, payment by credit card, and viewing driver information. Besides, you can see where the captain you summoned is. Turkey’s Careem communication system based on user feedback is quite good. However, there are still situations where captains do not want to come when they see your destination. 


With more than 1 million downloads, BiTaksi is the application with the highest score on our list with 4.6 points. The application, which is popular in Istanbul and Ankara, also draws attention to its features. During the taxi call process, you can choose the yellow taxi and the BiTaksi turquoise taxis. After calling a taxi, BiTaksi driver information; You can see information such as driver photo, name, vehicle brand, and model.

One of the best parts of the application is that the drivers have their own scores. So you can see how many points the driver received from the passengers he carried before. For Istanbulites, the question of whether it is BiTaksi or iTaksi may have come to mind. Obviously, it is useful to decide this by looking at user comments. Basically, the only difference between BiTaksi, iTaksi is that they are different companies.

In summary, there are several ways to reach the city center from Istanbul airports. If you want to use a taxi and have some doubts about its safety, this article is likely to guide you. As long as you follow the suggestions such as checking the plates on the doors, looking at the taximeter display, taking notes about the route you will go to in advance, or saving it to your phone, your journey will be smooth.

In addition, there are 3 types of taxis that we can use from airports in Istanbul. As stated in the article, the average prices of standard yellow taxis vary according to the distance and traffic density of the districts. At the same time, there are many applications with English language support that you can use for taxi transportation at Istanbul airports.

We wish you a safe and enjoyable trip in Istanbul.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Doing These: Essential Activities in Istanbul

Culture is one of the main components of Istanbul’s travel industry. With its 8,500 years of history and culture, Istanbul has consistently stood out and facilitated a large number of guests. In response to this continuing interest today, Istanbul brings together the cultural dynamism of the age with its residents, modern art museums, galleries, streets hosting artists and concert venues, festivals; It offers all the opportunities it has regarding cultural tourism, which permeates every field of art. So what are the activities that you should not leave Istanbul without doing?

Located between two continents, Istanbul offers many choices in terms of activities to be done. However, if you have only a few days to spend in the city, do not skip the top activities in this article. I recommend you to rent a car for an efficient Istanbul tour. Traveling by public transport can tire those with limited time. However, since public transportation is very developed in Istanbul, you can easily reach the central locations by alternatives such as tram, metro, and Metrobus.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Doing These on the European Side

  • Bosphorus Tour in Ortaköy

Of course, the first thing you need to do in Istanbul is to take a ride on the Bosphorus line. There are numerous alternatives on both the European and Asian sides of the city to see this great excellence that separates the city into two. To visit the best locations of this novel course, you can come to Ortaköy and hop on one of the pontoons beginning the visit from here. Visits from better places, for example, Eminönü and Kadıköy are likewise composed in the city to investigate the Bosphorus, however, as per numerous voyagers, Ortaköy is the best. Besides, heavenly flavors, for example, prepared potatoes and waffles are sitting tight for you here. I think the best thing to do in summer must be a tour of the Bosphorus. When your tour is over, don’t forget to rest and have a drink at Bebek beach.

  • Fish & Bread in Eminönü

In Eminönü, one of the oldest districts of the city, you can have a fast and delicious feast from the fish and bread boats on the beach. If you want to visit and explore historical areas, the Spice Bazaar, where you can find various spices, is right here. In my opinion, eating fish and bread in Eminönü is one of the most beautiful things to do in Istanbul in winter. Another thing to do in Eminönü is to buy dried fruits and coffee. Dried nuts sold on the streets of the historical district and Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi’s delicious coffee, which goes back a long way, are the favorite of local and foreign tourists. However, I definitely recommend you to see the bazaars and shops in Eminönü. Especially in Doğubank, you can find most electronic items you are looking for at affordable prices.

  • Palace Tours

You should definitely see historical palaces such as Topkapı and Dolmabahçe in Istanbul, which served as the capital of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire for many years. You can witness the places where the most important events in history took place during your palace tour, where you can also participate in one of the guided tours. Do not forget that you have to spend almost a day to fully visit these palaces, which are spread over a very large area. In the meantime, be sure to have a museum card with you while going to many historical places. So you can enjoy it without paying entrance fees to most places.

  • Sultanahmet Tour

After visiting the Topkapı Palace, you can first rest in Gulhane Park and then go down to Sultanahmet Square and see the magnificent Blue Mosque, visit the Hagia Sophia Museum and the Basilica Cistern. You can take lots of photos in these places, each of which is a masterpiece of architecture and art. It is a must in Istanbul. In addition, you can stay in beautiful historical hotels in this region, even for 1 night. However, don’t forget to stop by the Grand Bazaar within walking distance. You can find everything you are looking for in the historical bazaar.

  • Enjoying Coffee in Nişantaşı

Nişantaşı, one of the most important districts of Istanbul, is a frequent destination for many local and foreign travel lovers. It is a beautiful district where you can feel like you are in many cities in Europe, not only for shopping but also for walking around the stone streets. Nişantaşı, one of the most beautiful districts of the European side, is one of the best addresses to enjoy Istanbul. Here, you can visit luxury stores and drink your coffee in stylish cafes. If you want to go down to some green areas and walk around the park, Maçka Park, which is right next to it, is among the best options in this regard.

  • Tea and Sahlep at Pierre Loti

If you get away from the Bosphorus and come towards the Golden Horn, admirable beauties await you here. Take the cable car to Pierre Loti and order yourself a cup of tea. Especially in the early morning hours or in the evening before the sun goes down, you cannot get enough of the view from here. You can even get lost in the footsteps of the historical region by descending from Pierre Loti to the Golden Horn and walking all the way to Eminönü.

  • Photography in Balat

Balat was not one of the popular places in recent years. But whatever happened, it was one of the most curious places in 2019. With its cute cafes, historical buildings, and colorful houses, it is a place where you should spare at least half a day. Especially, it is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods to take photos in Istanbul. It is a full photographic place. If you ask me, Balat is one of the places that must be visited on the weekend in Istanbul. Don’t forget to see the antique shops and live auctions.

  • Journey to History in Galata

Galata Tower, known to have been built during the Genoese period, is located in the immediate vicinity of İstiklal Caddesi and Beyoğlu. You can have your meal at the restaurant located in the tower where Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew down to Üsküdar or you can go here just to watch the view. Galata is also one of the increasingly active centers of the city in recent years. You can visit the galleries open nearby, shop at boutiques, or taste some of the city’s most delicious coffees. And at the end of the day, you can stay in the beautiful hotels of the Galata Region.

  • Walking in Taksim

If you ask what to do in Istanbul, probably 90 out of 100 people will somehow direct you to Taksim. Actually, I wrote this part on purpose. Since it is one of the spots in Istanbul that never shuts off and one of the spots that outsiders appreciate. Without a Taksim, Istanbul cannot be complete. Concerning Taksim, You can walk around Istiklal Street, participate in an introduction at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, or visit exhibitions, for instance, the Museum of Innocence or the Pera Museum. In Taksim, where religious shrines are also sided by side, you can stop by the Church of St. Anthony. However, you can visit Madame Tussauds Museum, which is among the places to visit in 2020 and one of the popular museums of recent years. In this museum, you can see wax sculptures of different artists/celebrities from all over the world.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Doing These on the Asian Side

  • Istanbul from Camlica Hill

In order to fully understand Istanbul and see the city from above, be sure to go to Camlica Hill in a winter month. Watch the European side of Istanbul, which is under the snow, first. Since its location will be on the Anatolian side, you can start your trip on this side from Çamlıca. The historical peninsula would be on your left. I am not even talking about the beautiful Bosphorus view in front of you.

  • Scenery View in Moda

If you go to the Anatolian side with one of the ferries that you can take from places such as Beşiktaş and Eminönü, you should definitely stop by Moda, which is one of the most beautiful districts of the city and is located in the immediate vicinity of Kadıköy. With its tea gardens, parks, and tranquil atmosphere along the beach, Moda is literally a corner of peace. This region is one of the favorite places in Istanbul to live in.

  • Visit the Islands

Comprising of various islands like Heybeli Ada, Büyükada, Kınalı Ada, and Burgaz Ada, the Istanbul islands are otherwise called Prince Islands. The purpose behind this is their utilization as outcast spots for Byzantine rulers long ago. Nowadays, islands became a top choice of guests, particularly in hot seasons, with their verifiable houses and special marvels. To visit them, you should use ships from the other side of the Bosphorus. Be prepared to sacrifice one whole day for this visit. Islands are calm spots to go particularly with youngsters, yet I recommend you to visit on non-weekend days rather than at the end of the week.

  • Tour in Bagdat Street

Bagdat Street which is one of the longest streets of Turkey is one of the places worth seeing on the Anatolian side. Cafes and restaurants located on the street, where you can find the most famous brands in the world, make it a center of attraction with delicious eating and drinking alternatives at all hours of the day. If you descend from the street towards the coast, you can take a walk in places such as Caddebostan, Suadiye, and Fenerbahçe against the magnificent view of the island. After a stroll on Bağdat Street, you can go to Kadıköy and end the day by chatting with your friends in one of the many places here.

  • Enjoying Maiden’s Tower

The Maiden’s Tower, which is an absolute necessity for Istanbul, is entirely agreeable with its nightfall and the perspective on the Historical Peninsula, particularly in the late spring evening. You can value a dazzling perspective by looking against the chronicled legend of numerous years and feeling the awesome breeze of the Bosphorus. You can even show up at the Maiden’s Tower by vessels and have dinner. I can say with significant serenity that it is one of the most wonderful stops to go with your sweetheart, particularly in Istanbul.

Don’t Ever Leave Istanbul Without Diving into the History

  • Take the ferry from Kadıköy to Beşiktaş

Taking one of the ferries operating between two continents is undoubtedly a very beautiful, cheap, and enjoyable activity that can be done in Istanbul. If you are on the Anatolian side, you should view the Haydarpaşa Train Station, Dolmabahçe and Topkapı Palaces, as well as Galata Tower, and other palaces on the coasts of the sea until you get on the ferry riding from Kadıköy to Beşiktaş and arrive in Beşiktaş. If you are on the European side, this time you can enjoy the same line by getting on Beşiktaş. Do not forget to buy bagels and throw them to the seagulls before you get on the ferry.

  • Eat baked potatoes overlooking Ortaköy Mosque

When you say Istanbul, the first sight that comes to mind is the view that includes the Ortaköy Mosque and the Bosphorus Bridge. One of the must-haves of activities in Istanbul is to take your baked potato prepared with the ingredients you like from the baked potato makers lined up at the entrance of Ortaköy, relax and spoon your baked potatoes. It is also very enjoyable to sip your tea while playing backgammon in the cafes in this region or to feed the pigeons in the square.

  • Tour Emirgan Grove during the tulip season

Visiting Emirgan Grove, especially during the Tulip season in April and May, is one of the most visually fascinating activities to be held in Istanbul. Emirgan Grove is one of the green and forested places preferred by Istanbulites who want to escape from the chaos of Istanbul on the weekend and leave the arms of nature. In Emirgan Grove and Park, you can take wonderful photos with colorful flowers, tulips in the season, trees with special motifs, and the Bosphorus view, you can have a picnic, enjoy breakfast in one of the 3 mansions, or enjoy eating and drinking at other meals.

  • Explore Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue in the Beyoglu district is one of Istanbul’s oldest areas, is one of Turkey’s busiest and most famous streets. The street, which has preserved its fame since the 19th century, stretches between Tünel and Taksim Square. People from different countries create cultural mosaic on this street. Tourists who come to Istanbul for sightseeing prefer to stay in hotels close to İstiklal Street.

Here you can shop as you wish and find a cafe to sit when you get tired. The street where people of all ethnic backgrounds go and visit has an attitude that fascinates everyone. Istiklal Avenue becomes colorful every day with friends, families, and lovers in arms. This street, where loves are lived and loves end, has not neglected to be a source of inspiration for many people. He decorated the lines of poems that have been the subject of songs. İstiklal Avenue is a summary of the unspeakable Istanbul. It makes you feel like you. If you cannot decide what to do on your weekend, you can choose Istiklal Avenue.

  • Go to Galata Tower

Galata Tower shows itself all alone in all that chaos and crowd in Pera, one of the most chaotic regions of Istanbul. It appears and disappears at the end of each street extending from Karaköy to İstiklal Street. Or, on a ferry ride, it winks like a pearl ruby in all those ugly concrete chunks that it’s there. It is a little troubled, too. As if it is longing for his old days. Unless you visit the tower and look at Istanbul through his eyes, Istanbul is actually not Istanbul. It still commemorates Hazerfan, winking at the ships passing through the Bosphorus, and standing quietly in the heart of Istanbul, like an old confidant that you will lean on despite all the past experiences. Go to the tower after all these stories.

  • Visit the Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar is an arcade, made in the classical Ottoman style, consisting of a combination of two bazaars with its feature of being the “Double Bazaar”. The Spice Bazaar was built in the “L” plan scheme with successive rows of stones and bricks in the Ottoman Classical style. The branches of these two bazaars that join by giving the “L” plan scheme are longer in the east-west direction. At the point where the long and short sides meet, there is a prayer square covered with a cross vault. The arches carrying the vault were not attached to the walls, instead of bearing legs were used. There is a clerk lodge next to the southeast one of these pillars. The main entrances of the Spice Bazaar are the entrances at the ends of the two major branches. The entrances at the ends of these two large branches are two-story structures with six porticoes. In addition, the door of the bazaar opening to Tahmis Street has a portico and two floors. Apart from this main entrance, the other two entrances are opposite each other.

  • Go to Rahmi Koç Museum

When you reach Eminönü, you can meet the Rahmi Koç Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in Istanbul. You can visit the nostalgic Fenerbahce ferry, ride the historical tram and train, and browse classic cars in the Rahmi Koc Museum which was opened in 1994 with the support of businessman Rahmi Koc and which is the first major museum dedicated to the history of the industry, transport, and communications.

  • Browse miniature works in Miniatürk

It is conceivable to venture out from Galata Tower to Hagia Sophia, from Sümela Monastery to Rumeli Fortress, from Selimiye Mosque to Safranbolu Houses, from Amasya Yalıboyu Houses to the Ruins of Nemrut Mountain, or wave to Beylerbeyi Mansion while crossing the Bosphorus Bridge on foot in Miniatürk, a miniature artifact park displaying 128 models from Turkey and Ottoman geography.

  • Take a photo of the sultan in costume at the Basilica Cistern

A visit to the Historic Peninsula is a must for activities to be held in Istanbul. You can also visit the incredible water storage from the Byzantine time frame, called the Basilica Palace, and sit on the throne of the sultan and the sultan wearing Ottoman clothes and take photos. It’s guaranteed to have fun while taking photos 🙂

  • Be enchanted by the architecture of the 8th wonder of the world, Hagia Sophia Museum

Visiting Hagia Sophia, one of the leading architectural wonders in the world with its style and structure, as well as its dizzying dome and incredible mosaics is one of the most beautiful activities to be done in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia is the 8th wonder of the world as it is a museum with a really huge number of visitors every year.

Don’t Leave Istanbul Without Visiting These Museums

  • Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Istanbul Modern Art Museum is a museum that houses interdisciplinary activities and aims to transport Turkey’s artistic creativity to the masses and share the cultural identity of Turkey with the international art scene. As the first private museum to organize modern and contemporary art exhibitions in Turkey, in 2004, on the shores of the Bosphorus, it was founded on an area of ​​8,000 square meters. It offers a versatile service area with its temporary and permanent exhibition halls, photo gallery, video, educational and social programs, library, cinema, café, and design store.

  • Chora Museum

The Chora Museum, which takes its name from the Greek word Khora, meaning outside the city (rural area), is among the best-preserved Byzantine works to date. The church, whose construction coincided with the 5th century, was used as a palace chapel in important religious ceremonies. Mosaics and frescoes in Chora are the most lovely instances of the last time of Byzantine artistic creation. Chora was utilized as a church after the victory of Istanbul in 1453, it was changed over into a mosque by Vizier Hadim Ali Pasha in 1511. It was converted into a museum in 1945, and the mosaics and frescoes made by the American Byzantine Institute between 1948-1958 were uncovered.

  • Istanbul Archeology Museum

The Istanbul Archeology Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, with more than one million works belonging to various cultures. It is built in the 19th century. The museum has a different aspect though; Istanbul Archeology Museums comprise three exhibition halls: The prehistoric studies Museum, Ancient Oriental Works Museum, and Enameled Kiosk Museum.

The Old Oriental Works Museum, which was built in 1883 by Osman Hamdi Bey is the first Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi (Academy of Fine Arts) in Turkey. On the other hand, the Enameled Kiosk Museum was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1472 as a summer mansion and was chosen as the richest and most important Museum of Turkey in Europe in 1992 where it is awarded as the “Museum of the Year” by the Council of Europe in the competition, in which 45 museums participated.

  • Sakıp Sabancı Museum

Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum is in Emirgan, probably the most seasoned settlement of the Bosphorus, in Istanbul. The Atlı Köşk, which was used as a permanent residence by Sakıp Sabancı in 1966, hosted Sakıp Sabancı’s rich calligraphy and painting collection for many years and was allocated to Sabancı University in 1998 to be converted into a museum with the collections and items it contains.

  • Istanbul Maritime Museum

Istanbul Maritime Museum which is Turkey’s largest museum in the maritime field is one of the world’s leading museums in terms of the diversity of the collection it includes. There are approximately 20,000 works in his collection. Maritime Museum, which is connected to the Navy, was the first military museum established in Turkey. The main exhibition building has 3 floors and 4 large halls and 17 rooms in the building are used as exhibition areas.

  • Ancient Oriental Works Museum

In the Museum of Ancient Orient within the Archeology Museum, cultural artifacts brought from the Ottoman rule Egypt and the Middle East countries and findings of Anatolian civilizations before the First World War are exhibited. The museum, which contains artifacts from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Anatolian cultures, as well as items from the Ancient and New Sumerian ages, also has a very rich, rare cuneiform collection of 70 thousand plates.

  • Dogancay Museum

Dogancay Museum, Turkey’s first museum of contemporary art, opened doors to the public in 2004. The museum, located in a 150-year-old five-story historical building in Beyoğlu, displays the works of Adil Doğançay with a small retrospective of his son’s, Burhan Doğançay’s works. The works of the artist in the museum cover his fifty years of artistic development, starting with his early figurative paintings, to his works and photographs inspired by the city walls.

  • Divan Literature Museum

Divan Literature Museum, built on the hunting farm of Beylerbeyi İskender Pasha in 1491, has been an important center of science and literature circles for many years in the Ottoman period. Many people gathered around the Mevlevihanes studied in many branches of fine arts and made a long talk of themselves in the scientific field. The Mevlevihane, located at the beginning of the slope that goes down to Yüksekkaldırım in Beyoğlu district, is the oldest Mevlevihane in Istanbul. The Mevlevihane built as a complex; It consists of dervish cells, sheik’s office, and sultan’s hall, bacılar section, library, a public fountain, timing room, kitchen, tombs, and treasury.

  • Warehouse Museum

During the expropriation of palaces and mansions, which are important architectural works of the Ottoman Empire, items that were taken to the warehouses because they could not find a place in the new decorations, are now exhibited at the Warehouse Museum. Objects belonging to crystal-glass and metal tableware, weapons, various writing sets, porcelain, old telephones, cinema machines, kitchen equipment, heating tools, curtain cornices, silk fabrics, and cushions are exhibited in the museum. Periodical exhibitions are featured in the Dolmabahçe Art Gallery affiliated with the museum.

  • Press Museum

In the halls of the Press Museum, it is possible to observe the evolution of press technology from the beginning. You can make a nostalgic trip among lithography samples, flat printing machine, rotary letterpress enterotype, proofing benches, guillotine, old typewriters, telexes, telephotos for free.

  • Atatürk Museum

Mustafa Kemal’s house, where he lived from 1918 when he left the Syrian front after World War I and came to Istanbul until May 16, 1919, when he moved to Samsun, has been serving as the “Atatürk Museum” since 1942. In the museum, Atatürk’s personal belongings and documents related to the War of Independence, as well as the works of various painters on Atatürk and the National Struggle are exhibited.

  • Military Museum

Approximately 5,000 works selected from more than 45,000 items are exhibited in the Military Museum. There are various weapons, military clothes, tents, flags, and banners, and similar military cultural assets in the collection, which is grouped from different angles such as period and subject. Among these, there are rifles, guns, cannons, and swords that constitute beautiful examples of wood and metal decoration art, armor, shields, and helmets with their elegant ornaments and inscriptions, golden tombacs that emphasize the glory of the Ottoman army, and the most precious examples of Ottoman palace tents.

  • TÜRVAK Theater Museum

At the museum, there are posters, brochures, and photographs of the theater groups signed payrolls, masks and play accessories, the accessory box used by Darülbedayi in their tours, Ottoman and Turkish flyers, tickets, and invitations. In addition to the examples of our traditional theater, the Ortaoyunu Department, Akbank Culture Collection Karagöz and Hacivat characters, Darülbedayi Tepebaşı Drama Stage Hall interior and exterior models, the play costumes of artists such as the State Theater, Altan Erbulak, and Jeyan Tözüm, and portraits of our living and separated theater people can be seen here. There are sections that shed light on the history of the theater, where the individual belongings and private documents of Muhsin Ertuğrul, who took the role of pioneering the institutional and academic identity of our theater as well.

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Who Conquered Istanbul: The Life of Mehmet the Conqueror

Mehmet II or Mehmet the Conqueror (Fatih Sultan Mehmet in Turkish) is one of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. In historical sources, his name is mentioned in the form of Muhammad, like the other sultans named Mehmet. Mehmet the Conqueror first ruled for a short period between 1444-46, then for 30 years from 1451 until his death in 1481. So, who is Mehmet the Conqueror and how old did he conquer Istanbul?

Mehmet II conquered Istanbul, the 1125-year-old capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, after four major attacks on April 19, May 6, May 12, and May 29, which lasted 53 days. He was only 21 years old when he conquered Istanbul. The conquest of Istanbul brought very important results. After the conquest of Istanbul, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror organized many expeditions on Europe in order to consolidate the dominance in the west, to expand the borders, to spread Islam to the furthest places, and to destroy the Christian unity.

The Ottoman Empire consolidated its dominance in Europe with campaigns to Serbia (1454,1459), Mora (1460), Wallachia (1462), Moldavia (1476), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Venice (1463-1479), Italy (1480), and Hungary. The Kingdom of Serbia was completely abolished and turned into an Ottoman flag, the Peloponnese was completely conquered, Wallachia was made the Ottoman province, Bosnia was taken under Ottoman rule again, Albania was captured. At the end of the 16-year Ottoman-Venetian Sea Wars, Venice agreed to sign peace. During the expedition to Italy, Otranto, which was a very important center for the conquest of Rome, was conquered but was lost back upon the death of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.

Early Life of Mehmet the Conqueror

Mehmet the Conqueror was born on March 30, 1432, in Edirne. His father was the fourth son of Murad II, and his mother was Hüma Hatun. Murat II was a ruler who attached great importance to the education of princes. In addition to names such as Molla Gürani, Molla Hüsrev, Akşemseddin, Molla Hayreddin, who are among the most famous scholars of the period, Byzantine and Italian teachers also contributed to the good education of II Mehmet. Sultan Mehmet knew Greek, Latin, and Slavic as well as Arabic and Persian.

In the spring of 1443, he was sent to Manisa as governor with his Lala Kassabzade Mahmut and Nişancı İbrahim Abdullah Bey. The death of his brother, the Governor of Amasya, Prince Alaeddin Ali Çelebi, at the end of the same year, made him the sole successor to the throne. In the spring of 1444, upon the call of II Murat, who was planning to abdicate his throne, he went to Edirne with his father. He witnessed the signing of a peace treaty with the Hungarian king, Serbian despot, and the ambassadors of Hunyadi Yanos. Then II. Murat left the throne to his son. The empire was left to rule by an inexperienced 12-year-old young man, causing great troubles at home and abroad.

Places taken in the period of Murat II in the Balkans and Anatolia were abandoned. In Edirne, rivalry and conflict arose among the pashas. The demonstrations, the Hurufi uprising of 22 September 1444, and the fire that broke out in the city caused great damage. At the same time, under the leadership of the Papacy, the Crusader army consisting of Hungarian, Polish, Wallachian, and various Balkan nations crossed the Danube River. Sultan Murat II went to Varna to fight the crusader army. Mehmet and Grand Vizier Çandarlı Halil Pasha stayed in Edirne. Sultan Murad won a great victory against the Crusaders in Varna.

Although Çandarlı Halil Pasha wanted him to come back to the throne, II. Murat did not want to depose his son and went to Manisa. Vizier Şehabeddin Şahin, Lala Nişancı İbrahim, and Zağanos Pashas were in favor of Mehmet II’s reign. Especially Zağanos Pasha advocated the conquest policies and encouraged the young sultan in this direction. Çandarlı Halil Pasha, who is in favor of pursuing a pro-peace policy, accelerated his activities to bring II Murad back to power. Among the important conquests of Fatih Sultan Mehmet are the following:

  • Anatolia

Istanbul (1453), Amasra (1459), Sinop (1460), Trabzon (1461), Konya, Karaman (1466) Eastern Anatolia (1473 Otlukbeli War).

  • Balkans

Serbia (1459) except Belgrade, Peloponnese (1460), Wallachia (1462), Bosnia (1463) Herzegovina (1483), Moldavia (1476), Albania (1478).

  • The seas

Aegean Islands (Limnos 1456, Euboea 1470, Thassos 1457, Samothrace 1457, Gökçeada 1456, Lesbos 1462), Greek Islands (Kefalonia 1479, Lefkada 1479, Zakynthos 1479), Crimea (1475).

In 1446, a great janissary revolt broke out in Edirne. The rebels declared their support for Orhan Çelebi, who was in the hands of Byzantium. The Janissary revolt was hardly suppressed. With the help of Çandarlı and some other state officials, II Murad was secretly brought from Manisa and his throne was achieved. The two-year rule of the young sultan, who was sent to Manisa in August 1446, came to an end. Mehmet II married Sitti Hatun, the daughter of Dulkadiroğlu Süleyman Bey at a magnificent wedding in Edirne in December 1450.

Upon the death of his father on February 2, 1451, he ascended the Ottoman throne for the second time on February 18, 1451, at the age of nineteen. With the throne of Sultan Mehmet, the ideas of conquering Istanbul were revived. Young Mehmet had the idea of ​​uniting the Ottoman country divided between Anatolia and Rumelia by conquering Istanbul and establishing a solid-state. Çandarlı Halil Pasha, who thought that Istanbul would lose its current position when it was taken and that the state would be damaged if the conquest was attempted and failed, opposed the conquest. Therefore, he made a lot of effort not to get into this business.

Mehmet the Conqueror and the Conquest of Istanbul

The Sultan ordered the Grand Vizier Halil Pasha to build a fortress opposite the Anatolian Fortress. Thanks to the Rumeli Fortress (Boğazkesen), which was completed in August of 1452 after four months of construction, it was aimed to cut the aid from the Black Sea, to secure the passage of the navies between Anatolia and Rumelia, and to serve as a base for the siege army when necessary. Sultan Mehmet, who handed over Firuz Aga to the command of the fortress and gave 400 janissaries to his command, returned to Edirne and had architects Muslihiddin, Sarica Sekban, and Hungarian Urban, who escaped from Byzantium and took refuge in the Ottoman Empire, poured big cannons.

Aware of the dangers created by the Byzantine presence in the middle of the Ottoman lands for the state, the young ruler called his viziers, statesmen, and scholars in Edirne one day and learned their views. Finally, he said his thoughts about Istanbul: “The bottom line is, I would like to add this city to our state. If I fail to do this, I will make it superior to losing the state for it.” The Byzantine Emperor Constantine asked for help from everywhere to defend Istanbul with the construction of the fortress. During the siege, the defense army consisted of 8-9 thousand people, three thousand of this number was composed of auxiliary forces from Venice, Genoese, Crete and Chios Islands, Spain, and Provence.

The number of soldiers of the Ottoman army is estimated to be 100-150 thousand. There is no clear information as to how many of them are members of the military and how many volunteers came for plunder. Sultan Mehmet departed from Edirne on March 23, 1453. He stood in Keşan and took the Anatolian forces passing through the Dardanelles and came in front of the walls of Istanbul on April 5, 1453. The siege operation, which started on April 6, was completed in five days. Mehmet II sent Mahmut Pasha to the emperor in accordance with the Islamic custom and called for the city to surrender without spilling blood. XI Constantine declined the offer, declaring that he had sworn to defend the city but was ready to pay taxes.

As of April 12, the shooting of big cannons started. The same day, the navy arrived in front of the Istanbul port. The first offensive lasted six days. Byzantines stretched thick chains in front of the Golden Horn and prevented the navy from entering the Golden Horn. After the failure of the first attack, Halil Pasha offered to lift the siege on the condition that the emperor pays 70,000 ducats of gold annually. This proposal was not accepted by Sultan Mehmet and his commanders. On April 20, the aid fleet, commanded by captain Flantanellas, consisting of a Byzantine and three Genoese galleons approached Istanbul. Mehmet II sent Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey to the aid fleet with 18 ships. The aid fleet, with the wind behind it, was advancing faster and the Ottoman ships could not dock.

Four galleons remained dormant when the wind cut off in the area known today as Yeşilköy; Ottoman ships reached the galleons by rowing. Due to the prolongation of the fighting, the Ottoman ships that came from behind also caught up, and the Genoese-Byzantine fleet of four ships surrounded about 150 Ottoman ships. However, superiority could not be established due to the galleons being higher than the Ottoman galleys and the inexperience of the crews on the foremost Ottoman ships. Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey, who saw heavy casualties, ordered the navy to withdraw. Seeing defeat from a dominant hill, II. Mehmet got angry and tried to preach his orders to Baltaoğlu Süleyman by riding his horse into the sea.

However, the Ottoman navy was defeated, the aid fleet continued on its way, and when the darkness came, the chain that closed the Golden Horn was loosened, and successfully delivered its aid to Constantinople by taking shelter in the harbor accompanied by two Venetian ships. The next day, Mehmet II went to the naval command to account for the defeat with ten thousand horsemen. The angry sultan who wanted to execute Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey gave up execution as a result of the begging of other statesmen, but he dismissed Baltaoğlu by beating him with his mace; Çalıbeyoğlu Hamza Bey was appointed as the vacant captain. Sultan Mehmet, who thought that the conquest would not be successful without the navy, had about 70 ships run on the road between Dolmabahçe and Kasımpaşa in one night (April 21-22) and landed them to the Golden Horn.

Cannon fire continued against the walls every day. Two more major attacks took place on 6 and 12 May. However, no result was achieved. In the fourth week of May, the news that Hungarians and a Crusader fleet were taking action spread throughout the army. The Sultan’s attempts to capture the city peacefully aroused anxiety within the army. Considering that a general attack was necessary, Mehmet sent İsfendiyaroğlu Kasım Bey to the emperor as an ambassador to surrender the city peacefully for the last time on May 23 or 24. The emperor replied to Mr. Kasım that they would not leave the city but was ready to pay taxes and make other concessions.

It is said that the sultan who heard the news said, “It is not possible to go from here. Either I will take the city or the city will capture me dead or alive.” After two attacks that started on the night of 28 May and continued until close to morning, a general attack started on Tuesday, 29 May. After four great attacks that lasted for fifty-four days on April 18, 6, 12, and 29 May, the 1125-year-old capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople, was conquered on Tuesday, 29 May 1453, before the Crusader army could come to help.

The conquest of Istanbul, which made the twenty-one-year-old Sultan Mehmet known as “the Conqueror” in history, is considered the definitive establishment of the Ottoman Empire. This historical development, which caused the Byzantine Empire to be erased from history, enabled the next great conquests of the Ottoman Empire.

Battle of Otlukbeli: The Rise of Mehmet the Conqueror

The hostility between the Ottoman and Akkoyunlu dynasties stretched back to the times of Yıldırım Bayezid and Kara Yölük Osman. While the Ottomans were allied with the Karakoyunlu, the Akkoyunlu State, on the other hand, supported Timur. Uzun Hasan married Katerina Despina (Theodora Megale Komnena), the daughter of Trabzon Emperor IV Yuhannes in 1458. Uzun Hasan sent his nephew Murat to Istanbul. He asked the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, apart from the forgiveness of the Trabzon Empire tax, the Kayseri region, and precious gifts that were given to Katerina Despina as a dowry. Fatih stated that he would personally come to the region and handle the tax business.

Fatih, Uzun Hasan, and his ally Trabzon Greek Empire took action against the Georgians in 1461. He took Koyulhisar, which Uzun Hasan captured in 1459. The Akkoyunlu army was defeated by the Ottomans in the Munzur Mountains in Erzincan. Uzun Hasan sent his mother to Fatih and an agreement was reached. Uzun Hasan remained neutral and Fatih conquered Trabzon on 26 October 1461 and ended the Greek domination in the region. From 1466, Ottoman forces entered Central Anatolia and followed the Karamanids. While the Karamanoğlu forces fled to the east, the Akkoyunlular crossed the border, and in 1472 clashes took place with the Ottoman troops. The following year, Mehmet II personally took the head of the army and marched east.

Uzun Hasan’s army was reinforced with the remnants of Karamanids. The army was a large but irregular Turkmen army. Its main strength was light cavalry and lance infantry. Uzun Hasan’s aim was to overthrow the Ottoman cavalrymen with speared pedestrians and to clamp and destroy them with his cavalry. The horsemen of the Ottoman army were Turkmen like Uzun Hasan’s. However, the janissaries, who were Ottoman infantry, were much more professional soldiers. Mehmet II wanted the cannons, which proved their strength during the conquest of Istanbul, to be used in the field war. For this purpose, light mortars were produced for the first time and they were taken to the eastern expedition.

While the Ottoman army was advancing through the Eastern Black Sea mountains, Uzun Hasan’s troops sneaked closer. Hasan had planned to raid in the mountains. The Ottoman reconnaissance units noticed the enemy who had been placed very close at the last moment and Mehmet II immediately ordered the order of war. The land where the two armies met was a valley split by the stream and was not at all suitable for war. The use of horses was very difficult due to the rocks and roughness. Although the Ottoman lords offered to retreat and find the plain, Mehmet II, thinking that the withdrawal maneuver would be dangerous when the enemy was so close, decided to go to war.

Prior to the war, Rumelia Governor Murat Pasha fell into the trap of Uğurlu Mehmet Bey and drowned in the Euphrates River. Although this caused great distress among the soldiers, the main battles were fought in Otlukbeli, in the Tercan Plain. In the battle with the vanguard units, Davut Pasha was victorious and defeated the Akkoyunlu vanguard troops. Later, when Zeynel Mirza, the right-wing commander of Akkoyunlu, attacked Davut Pasha, the Ottoman left-wing commander, the Governor of Karaman, Prince Mustafa, defeated their right flank and killed Zeynel Mirza by tormenting him. Thus, the Akkoyunlu right wing was defeated and dispersed. Meanwhile, the Ottoman right-wing commander, the Governor of Amasya, Prince Bayezid, first attacked Uğurlu Mehmet Bey and caused him to flee from the battlefield.

After Uğurlu Mehmet Bey withdrew, Akkoyunlu left flank Mehmet Bakır was in command. Prince Bayezid attacked Uzun Hasan after attacking him, defeating the left side of Akkoyunlu and capturing him. Unable to resist the attacks of both Prince Mustafa and Şehzade Bayezid, Uzun Hasan left a soldier who resembled him and fled from the battlefield. The land was suitable for ambushing, and Mehmet II, taking into account the delay of the reconnaissance troops to detect the enemy, let the enemy go.

The Death of Mehmet the Conqueror

Although Mehmet the Conqueror was sick, he went to Üsküdar for a new expedition. It was unknown where it was targeting. In some sources, it is claimed that he started an expedition over the Mamluks. According to some, the secret target is Italy. He died on May 3, 1481, at the age of 49, in a place called Hünkarçayırı between Üsküdar and Gebze. His death was attributed to gout. Allegations that he later died of poisoning were also made. It was alleged that the Venetians, of Jewish origin, bribed the Italian-born physician Yakup Pasha, poisoning the Conqueror. It was claimed that the men of Bayezid, who was not liked by the Janissaries, but the popular masses, madrasahs, and people of the sect, made this.

His death was kept secret for a while. His body was brought to Istanbul and was buried in his tomb in the courtyard of Fatih Mosque on Tuesday, May 22, 1481. His son Bayezid II took the throne. Fatih had two sons alive. His 34-year-old elder son Bayezid was the governor of Amasya and his younger son, 23, Cem, Konya. My vizier immediately sent messengers to both princes and informed them that their father had passed away and that they should come to Istanbul in a hurry. Prince who came to Istanbul early would ascend to the throne. The body of the Conqueror was immediately taken to Istanbul and abandoned in a deserted, unlit place in Topkapı Palace. While his sons were fighting with each other for the throne, Fatih’s body was left to rot.

In the Topkapı Palace, the sultan’s body began to smell as he was left in his clothes on hot spring days. Before the corpse was completely decomposed, Baltacilar Kethüdası Kasım and two physicians stripped the clothes, removed the internal organs, and then disinfected the body, and then buried it. Prince Bayezid buried the body in the courtyard of the mosque, which Fatih Sultan Mehmet had built in his name, right after he was declared sultan, that is, 19 days after the death of Fatih. Fatih Sultan Mehmet was the first Ottoman sultan to have his portrait painted. Gentile Bellini (1429-1507), the famous Venetian painter of the Renaissance period, came to Istanbul in 1479 at the invitation of Sultan Mehmet after the Ottoman-Venetian War that lasted for 16 years.

Bellini’s portrait of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who painted portraits of different people who lived in the palace for a while, is among his most important works. The date 25 November 1480 is written in Latin letters in the lower right corner of his table. In the same period, Nakkaş Sinan Bey, one of the important names of Ottoman miniature art, was sent to Italy for education. The “Smelling Rose” portrait of Sinan Bey, who worked on the art of painting here, on his return to Istanbul bears the traces of Renaissance painting art. In the words of Halil İnalcık, Fatih Sultan Mehmet is “the greatest statesman among the Ottoman sultans”.

In addition to his statesmanship and command, he gave great importance to the mental sciences of the period in the madrasas he opened. He wanted to revive the historical religion-philosophy debate between Ghazali and Ibn Rushd among the Ottoman messengers. Adnan Adıvar writes in his work “Knowledge in Ottoman Turks” that “With the ascension of Fatih to the throne, we begin to be a testament to the development of philosophical scientific thought among the Ottoman Turks”. In 1463, Pope Pius II wrote a letter inviting Fatih Sultan Mehmet to Christianity, who ascribed the title “Kaiser” used by the Roman emperors after the conquest of Istanbul. Whether the letter was sent is still controversial. The letter was printed in Treviso in 1475, after the death of the Pope, while the Conqueror was alive.

The Military Aspect of Mehmet the Conqueror

Mehmet II, who transferred the throne to his father in 1446, ascended the throne again when he was 19 years old. He gained experience by participating in Albanian expeditions with his father in 1448 and 1450. In 1450, he married Sitti Mükrime Hatun, the daughter of Süleyman Bey, Dulkadiroğulları Bey. When his father died on February 10, 1451, he took the throne again. The greatest desire of the conqueror of Istanbul was to conquer Istanbul. When he came back to the throne, he started preparations to realize this dream. He started with the construction of Rumelihisarı.

He made a short-term peace with the rulers of Venice, Hungary, and Bosnia. He ensured that the Genoese were neutral. Increased the number of soldiers in the army to 70 thousand. The preparation for the conquest took close to a year. And it reached the walls of Istanbul on April 6, 1453. The great siege continued for 53 days. The gates of the city were finally opened on May 29, 1453. He conquered Istanbul at the age of 21 in 1453 and destroyed the Byzantine Empire known as “indestructible”, Mehmet II received the title of “Fatih”. During the conquest, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who changed the course of the war by driving the ships from land and lowering them to the Golden Horn, closed the Middle Ages with this conquest and opened the New Age.

Fatih Sultan Mehmed organized consecutive campaigns during his reign. In 1454, Enez was taken from the Genoese. A year later the army marched to Serbia. At the end of the campaigns, Moldavia accepted the loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. In 1459, Serbia was taken to Semendire with the expedition and Serbia joined the Ottoman lands. Mora in 1460 and Amasra in 1461 was conquered. The Candaroğulları Principality was abolished in the same year. Trabzon Greek Empire also joined the Ottoman lands. The Bosnian and Lesbos victories in 1462 were followed by the conquest of Albania in 1466. After that, the Principality of Karamanoğulları was terminated.

The great struggle between the Ottomans and Venetians for many years began. Eventually, Venice had to sign an agreement with the Ottomans. During the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, Ermanak, Aksaray, İçel, Konya, Laren, Crimea, Alanya, Albania, Georgia, Circassia, Kefalonia, Ayamavra, and Zanta Islands joined the Ottoman Empire. In 1473, the Battle of Otlukbeli was fought. At the end of the war, the Akkoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan was defeated. Thus, the eastern borders of the empire were secured. Fatih Sultan Mehmet also developed the mortar system. The mortar was used at that time, but it was very important to develop it.

It is the first practice in history to shoot into the wall or to sink the ships in the navy by bouncing the fleet in the Golden Horn over the Galata walls. The first mortar cannon drew by him and the ballistic calculations made by him, the mortar invented by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in the history of military weapons, was used by the Turks for the first time in history during the conquest of Istanbul. On the other hand, even if the gun powder as a firearm does not have a serious destructive force in the general field, the fear it arouses in the soldiers and society has been the real application of psychological pressure in breaking the power of resistance in the war strategy.

It is a point that can cause serious morale to be able to bring a small force into the Golden Horn by bypassing the Byzantine strong navy, which was organized on the mouth of the Golden Horn, over the land. We see that before the success of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Han to launch these ships from land, Gazi Umur Bey, who carried 300 ships from land in the siege of Mora, was prepared to realize this success during the conquest of Istanbul. Fatih has performed and implemented the practices in the civilizations and military system before him in the most perfect and perfect way. It has proved that the success which it provided to the development of war techniques and technology can be implemented not only with firepower but also with a strategy and logistics, and set a precedent. Today it is the founder of the modern military system.

The location where Rumeli Fortress was built and the success in its construction are the biggest logistics success of the world in those centuries. It was built in a short time such as 3 months, not only the walls are built, but also the neighborhood, mosque, bath, bronze cannons, and waterways poured specifically for the fortress. In addition, while each of the three important towers that make up the Rumelihisarı exhibit a separate architectural plan and feature, the acoustic dome of the Saruca Pasha Tower, one of the most important original towers in the world, is completed within these three months. Bringing each stone by sea, especially the materials in the construction of Rumelihisarı, is an incredible example of logistics and organization.

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Istanbul or Cappadocia: City Versus Nature

Let’s say you are planning a trip to Turkey. What if you have time for just one place? Then, you are about to give a tough decision: whether you should visit Istanbul or Cappadocia? It is worth seeing these two destinations in Turkey since they all offer a lot, but it can be quite hard when you have to decide between them.

While Istanbul is a major metropolis with more than 20 million inhabitants, one of the world’s largest cities, Cappadocia is a series of rock-cut small towns in one of the world’s most geologically interesting places. They are like two different worlds, but with only an hour and a half of flight. So if you are trying to choose between Istanbul and Cappadocia and you can’t do both, here’s our guide on how to choose between Istanbul and Cappadocia.

Advantages of Visiting Istanbul Over Cappadocia

Known by many names such as “Magnificent City”, “City of Emperors” and “Roman Capital” throughout its magnificent history, Istanbul is one of the most important touristic centers of Europe. Istanbul is a perfect university city with its diverse population, colorful arts community, and wide public transportation network. Turkey is a country that has a nation renowned for its hospitality and the people of Istanbul embracing you will make you feel comfortable at home.

Istanbul, which takes its roots from the depths of history, today appears as a brand new, modern, and dynamic city. Alongside the ancient minarets and Byzantine walls, glittering shopping malls, skyscrapers, and residences stretch; The narrow cobblestone streets are adorned with bars and nightclubs that play the latest music and showcase the latest trends. With a population of over 13.8 million, spread over two continents, change never ends in this city.

Istanbul is also a financial and industrial city that produces 25% of the gross national product and plays an important role in both regional trade and cross-border relations. Turkey’s import and export gateway of the city realizes 43% of imports and 50% of the country’s total exports. Being the 34th largest economy in the world, Istanbul has also proven to be a real “business city” by hosting the 35 richest people in the world.

Istanbul is undoubtedly one of the most important cities in the world. It is possible to find Anatolia in Istanbul, as well as Europe. Of course, in this case, the fact that Istanbul consists of two continents is also effective, but it has a structure consisting of a combination of every culture in real terms. It is possible to discover all the cultural differences in Istanbul with your trip. One of the most important situations to come to Istanbul is its historical beauties. Since Istanbul is home to many long-established states, it has various historical areas.

Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, and Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, and Maiden’s Tower, which are among the Ottoman palaces, are must-see places. Istanbul is a city that smells of history. It is possible to find a historical area everywhere. There is no other city anywhere else in the world that joins two different continents. Istanbul’s combination of this reminds many people to reunite two lovers. It is possible to travel between continents with bridges in Istanbul. It hosts a very interesting image. It is possible to discover its original beauty on both sides.

There are many seaside districts in Istanbul. It is a country that attracts everyone’s attention with its sea. It is also possible to take an intercontinental tour in the sea of ​​Istanbul. By taking a Bosphorus tour, it is possible to pass under bridges and to pass in front of various historical palaces. It is possible to see the palaces, mansions and historical schools designed in a beautiful way, with a Bosphorus tour. Undoubtedly, baths, which still keep the Ottoman culture alive, are one of the main situations that attract the attention of local and foreign tourists. In addition to the cleansing culture, massage culture is also observed in the baths.

What Makes Istanbul Unique Compared to Cappadocia

It is also possible to experience a pleasant Turkish bath in Istanbul. This pleasure can be reached by visiting various baths built by Haseki Sultans. Another possibility is the bazaars. The Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar are ideal places to find products suitable for Istanbul culture. It is possible to find products in every field such as food, beverage, clothing, and jewelry. The fact that Istanbul consists of two continents has led to the discovery of various activities here. At certain times of the year, intercontinental swimming and bridge running competitions are held. It will be very enjoyable to coincide with these races. People do both fun and sports together. It is a big reason to come to Istanbul. Because this pleasure is not experienced anywhere else in the world.

It is possible to find the proverbial kitchen in every corner of Turkey in Istanbul. People who want to discover delicious and different flavors can taste these cuisines. The kitchen is a big reason to come to Istanbul. There are many delicious foods such as Turkish coffee, Turkish breakfast, baklavas, kebabs, doner kebabs, home cooking, lahmacun, Turkish yogurt, ravioli that every tourist will love. Istanbul is a city that never gets tired. It can have an energetic environment every night. Places such as Taksim, Beyoğlu, Asmalımescit, Karaköy are very energetic at night. It is one of the must-visit places for interested parties.

There are many shopping centers in Istanbul. In these shopping centers, it is possible to shop as well as to eat. In addition, various activities are held in these shopping centers. There are many artistic activities and shows in these shopping centers. People who are interested in art, shopping, and new designs can visit shopping malls in both Europe and Asia for a short discovery.

Istanbul is Turkey’s cultural treasures, a place where you can discover the traces of different cultures and civilizations at every step. While the traces of Ottoman, Byzantine, and Rome welcome visitors in the Historic Peninsula, the most important museums of our country are also located in Istanbul. Symbol structures such as Hagia Sophia Museum, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Galata Tower, and Maiden’s Tower reflect the memory of the city. Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Istanbul Airport and an important part of our country, airline passenger traffic alone meets with Turkey’s Istanbul Airport have direct flights from around the globe.

Due to the high number of flights throughout the year and the flights of alternative airlines, it is easier to find a suitable flight ticket for Istanbul. You can easily plan your Istanbul trip with a one-way flight ticket in the range of $ 50-100 and take the first step to discover this magical city. When asked nightlife of Istanbul in Turkey, one of the first places that come to mind. Especially in İstiklal Caddesi, Şişli, Nişantaşı, and Kadıköy regions, there are popular nightclubs, bars, and entertainment venues in Istanbul. In entertainment venues where life continues for 24 hours, you can keep up with the dynamic tempo of Istanbul and experience different venues until morning.

It is possible to find something suitable for every budget and every taste in Istanbul, which lives 24 hours a day. The food culture that makes Istanbul an attractive city for foreign visitors is also reflected in street flavors. From kokoreç to wet hamburger, from doner to cold cuts, from mussels to hamburgers, you can fill your stomach with pleasure at any time. In Istanbul, which has dozens of alternatives for families with children, there are great fun places to go with children, from Vialand to Miniatürk, from Toy Museum to Aquarium. There are many options Istanbul offers to spend full time with your child.

What Can You Do in Istanbul That You Cannot Do in Cappadocia?

  • Panoramic Istanbul View: Galata Tower

Climbing up the Galata Tower, one of Istanbul’s popular historical and touristic attractions, and watching a magnificent panoramic city view is one of the must-do things in this fascinating city. Built in the 1300s, the tower overlooks Sultanahmet and the Bosphorus. When you get to the top of the tower, you can easily choose many important buildings in the city. When you come to Galata Tower, you can have dinner in the restaurant section that opens at 20:00 in the evening.

  • Witness the Living Space of the Sultans: Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace, one of the fascinating palaces of Istanbul, which is also famous for its palaces, is located next to Gulhane Park in Fatih district. Gülhane Park used to serve as the outer garden of Topkapı Palace and the park was opened to the public during the Republic period. Topkapı Palace, a work of the 15th century, was the place where sultans and their families lived during the Ottoman period. You can visit the palace, built by Mimar Sinan, Sarkis Balyan, Davut Ağa, and Acem Ali, between 09:00 and 17:00, except Tuesdays. Topkapı Palace is also known for its collection of historical artifacts, which include knowledge of important religions and are claimed to belong to some prophets. While visiting Topkapi Palace, you have to pay an additional fee to visit the harem section. In this chapter; The sultan’s private rooms, family and concubines are living spaces.

  • From the Byzantine Period to the Present: Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, whose history goes back to the 6th century, was built as a church in the Byzantine period. The building, which was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul, is today one of the most popular museums in the city. Visiting Hagia Sophia, which has a long and deep-rooted history, is one of the most popular things to do in Istanbul. You should definitely see the magnificent view of the Sultanahmet Mosque from its flamboyant exterior, its enchanting interior, the Christian mosaics on its walls, and the windows on the second floor.

  • One of the Most Beautiful Views of Istanbul: Maiden’s Tower

Located in Salacak district of Üsküdar, the Maiden’s Tower is a tower built in the early 12th century and has been the subject of many legends. Located in the middle of the Bosphorus, this small Byzantine tower is a place you can visit today to witness one of the most beautiful views of Istanbul. You can also dine in the restaurant and cafe section on the second floor of the tower.

  • Visit Magnificent Architectural Buildings: Dolmabahçe Palace

There are many palaces that you can see on your Istanbul trip. Dolmabahçe Palace is one of these palaces. Located in the Kabataş district of Beşiktaş district, the palace was built in the 19th century. Dolmabahçe Palace, located on the opposite shore of the Salacak district of Üsküdar; It is a fine example of Ottoman, Neoclassical, and Baroque architecture. Built by Garabet Amira Balyan and Evanis Kalfa, the palace is famous for its starry interior. Especially the ceiling filled with gold and crystal is worth seeing.

  • The Shopping Crowd: İstiklal Street

İstiklal Street is one of the most central places in Istanbul. Istiklal Caddesi, one of the most popular destinations for local and foreign tourists, is crowded at all hours of the day but has a quieter atmosphere in the early hours of the day. When you come to Istiklal Street, where many local and foreign clothing stores, accessories, shoes, jewelry, bags, and many other shops and shops are located, you can enjoy a pleasant shopping experience after a small discovery tour.

  • With Golden Mosaic Frames: Kariye Museum

This 1000-year-old building was formerly a part of a monastery outside the city walls of Istanbul, and today is a beautiful museum that reflects Byzantine architect. Kariye Museum, which is an old Greek Orthodox Church, is located in the Edirnekapı district in Karagümrük district. The most striking part of the Kariye Museum is its ceiling. Its gold-framed mosaics cover the entire ceiling and are one of the must-see sections in the museum.

  • Indistinguishable Fragrances: Spice Bazaar

Another important market in Istanbul is the Spice Bazaar. It is impossible not to come here and not love. Home to beautiful, colorful, and magnificent scents, the Spice Bazaar is the ideal place to find an edible gift for your loved ones on your Istanbul trip. After exploring its beautiful interior, you can also explore the exterior on the west side. In this section, you can reach many different flavors such as olives, local cheeses, vegetables, and Turkish coffee.

  • Explore the Past History Step by Step: The Archaeological Museum

Archeology museums of Istanbul are located in the area used as the outer garden of Topkapı Palace. Therefore, it is very close to many must-see places in Istanbul. The long and storied history of this fascinating city and the reign of the world’s great empires make these museums an important treasure, especially for history buffs. The Old East Museum, the Archeology Museum, and the Museum of Islamic Art are side by side and contain numerous objects related to both world culture and history.

Advantages of Visiting Cappadocia Over Istanbul

Cappadocia, which has hosted countless civilizations for millions of years, has survived to this day and has been home to legendary fairy chimneys, has a perfect location in the very center of Anatolia in Nevşehir. It is not even sincere not to admire the extinguished volcanic lava in this place where historical formations turn into a pleasure. Cappadocia needs among Turkey’s most valuable natural beauty with unparalleled geological structure as well as a mysterious story.

Cappadocia, the name of the world that turns fire and water into a legend, where lava creates a miracle, was formed by the formation of a soft layer on the surface of the lava that erupted from Erciyes Mountain, Hasan Mountain, and Güllü Mountain 60 million ago and this layer was formed by the erosion of rain and wind over time. Cappadocia, which is a fairy tale world that amazes everyone today, has turned into a true legend with its historical ruins, beauties, and stories offered by nature. If you say why should I go to Cappadocia with the values ​​it preserves behind its calm, clear, and fragile appearance, here is the answer.

Exactly 60 million years ago, with the rise of the Taurus Mountains and the compression of the Anatolian Plateau in the north, Erciyes, Hasandağı, and Göllüdağ, which was between the two, spewed lava into the region and the ashes formed a soft tuff layer. Cones formed from hard basalt rock that emerged from the erosion of rain and wind for millions of years, created natural formations that we call ‘Fairy Chimneys’ today. Awe-inspiring cultural values ​​emerge from every hidden corner of Cappadocia, which has millions of years of historical and cultural accumulation under the influence of the Hittites, Ancient Greeks, Byzantium, Seljuks, and the Ottoman Empire. Surrounded by Christian and Muslim inscriptions, churches, and mosques, there are centuries-old cultural accumulations in every corner of Cappadocia.

There are cultural riches in the invisible part of Cappadocia as well as the visible part. Underground cities of 150-200 are spread over an area of ​​25,000 km². Most of the underground cities were formed by the deep carving of soft volcanic tuffs. The techniques used for the cities built underground are still unknown. Underground cities in the region such as Derinkuyu, Özkonak, and Kaymaklı attract the attention of visitors.

There are many ways to enjoy the breathtaking surreal scenery of Cappadocia. One of them is to watch the region from a bird’s eye view. It is necessary to enjoy watching the skyline of Cappadocia, which comes to mind when it comes to balloon tours. The balloon tour, which starts with the sunrise, offers an unforgettable experience. Many boutique hotels in the Cappadocia Region were built on the originally carved cliffs. You embark on a journey through time in the fairy-tale ambiance of the hotels, which decorate the interiors of old neighborhoods and houses without spoiling the original.

What Makes Cappadocia Unique Compared to Istanbul

The pleasure of Cappadocia’s calm and unhurried life becomes even more attractive in the terraces and pools overlooking the beauty of Cappadocia. The mystical atmosphere of the boutique hotels in Cappadocia is also worth seeing. The massage rooms, pool, and jacuzzis built in historical carved rock rooms, while relaxing your body and soul, also impress with its historical ambiance. In the 3rd century, the priests made the region a lively center of religious thought and life, and in the 4th century, Cappadocia began to be known as the hometown of three great saints.

Among these three saints, Basil, the Bishop of Kayseri, did not prefer a pious life and established small settlements away from villages and towns, which can be called spiritual shelters of the societies. It marks the region where the education system focused on spirituality, which is open to visitors today as Göreme Open Air Museum, was initiated. Tokalı Church, Monastery of Nuns and Priests, St. Basil’s Chapel, Elmalı Church, St. Barbara Chapel, and Yılanlı (St. Onuphrius) Church are at the top of the list of must-see places.

Caftans, handcrafted rugs, and earthenware jugs adorned with local traces are some of Cappadocia’s cultural treasures. Custom made jugs and rugs that you can only find in Cappadocia attract the attention of foreign tourists, especially. The concerts held on the carved rocks, which are described as a natural miracle and have wonderful acoustics, also reveal the artistic side of Cappadocia. Turkish nights are organized in Cappadocia, which hosts guests from all over the world, telling the history and culture of the region.

You will find the best examples of Turkish cuisine, which is curious among the world cuisines, in Cappadocia. Many flavors are waiting for you, from Çelti kebab to jug kebab, from pumpkin seeds to locally grown vineyards. Region-specific wine varieties can be considered as the reward of Cappadocia travel. You will see the breathtaking Taurus Mountains with its silhouette, experience an adventure on the earth track, and see Cappadocia’s fascinating fairy chimneys, cave houses, and rock churches. Sometimes you will be trekking through difficult paths and sometimes you can discover landscapes that no one has noticed yet.

What Can You Do in Cappadocia That You Cannot Do in Istanbul?

  • Getting Lost in History

With the glory and tunnels of Kadı Castle in Ürgüp, while carrying the traces of the Christian community that used to live here and hid their religion freely, people are almost fascinated by the history of buildings such as Taşkın Pasha Mosque, St. Theodore Church, and Pink Valley. It is incredibly enjoyable to get lost in history for hours at the Ürgüp Museum, which opens the veils of mystery by giving a lot of information about the past. In Zelve Valley, you can witness the different formations of fairy chimneys and giant hats, especially you can see the Three Beauties closely, you can see the remains of the oldest lives in Çavuşin Village, and even touch them. You can meet the Uçhisar Castle from the ancient times of Rome, and you can listen to what has happened since Roman times. If you have time, do not miss the opportunity to see the legendary Ihlara Valley, which is half an hour away from Nevşehir.

  • Balloon Rides and Many More Adventure-filled Activities

When Cappadocia is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is to reach the sky with a balloon and watch the fairy chimneys with a bird’s eye view. Although the most entertaining activity in Cappadocia is known as the balloon tour, it is worth reminding you that you actually have many more options. If you are good with horses, you can join safari tours on horseback, explore Cappadocia with the unmatched friendship the horses offer to you, visit the abundant pottery making sites in Avanos to witness the journey of the pottery from the first production stage to the tables, you can have an extraordinary experience by making your own pots. the actual cross golf game for the first time in Cappadocia in Turkey can participate between April and October.

These games, which are performed for the first time in Cappadocia, offer you different experiences in the game of golf. While getting lost in Goreme’s valleys, you can breathe in the heart of nature with long walks. In addition to walks, you can get lost in the valley roads with ATV tours in the valleys and bring a new breath to your discoveries. ATV tours, which are accompanied by a guide and attract a lot of attention, can be done by one or two people or as a group. You can have moments of both joy and adventure with your group of friends for a few hours. In addition, if you are interested in marbling art, you can have the opportunity to make marbling with your own hands for your loved ones at the Ebru Art Center in Göreme and see various kinds of marbling works of beauty.

  • Staying in Hand-Carved Stone Houses

Unlike normal holiday resorts, Cappadocia offers you a unique accommodation experience. Forget all-inclusive hotels, resorts, holiday camps, five-star, ten-star hotels. Get ready for an experience you’ve never experienced before! These structures, which are presented by the structure and geological characteristics of the region, were built by the people who lived here in ancient times and have survived to the present day.

It is an indisputable fact that you will have a very different experience with the atmosphere that surrounds you as soon as you enter these houses built in fairy chimneys and under the ground. You can crown your Cappadocia holiday in the most beautiful way by staying in these cave hotels built into the rocks one by one. Cappadocia cave hotels gain the appreciation of the guests by adding unique decorations as well as unique architectural features.

  • Wine Tasting

Winemaking becomes inevitable in this heavenly place where the vineyards are wrapped all over. It is possible to see the wine tasting houses that host countless wine varieties everywhere you go. The wines, which are seen as a blessing that the vineyards offer to Cappadocia, fascinate the tasters. Kocabağ Wine House in Uçhisar continues to maintain the reputation of Cappadocia wines with its long-standing story and Turasan Wine House in Ürgüp with its wide variety of wines. Usually held in September each year, the Grape Harvest Festival Urgup sees a lot of attention from tourists from all over Turkey.

  • Exploring Mysterious Underground Cities

Cappadocia, which is an unprecedented place on earth with its vast valleys, fairy chimneys that catch the eye with its unique formations, and natural beauties, is also very famous for its underground cities. Each of the Cappadocia underground cities, which have survived from the times when Anatolia hosted many civilizations, almost carry traces of the past. Each of the mysterious underground cities is worth seeing. You can start your Cappadocia tour with Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu underground cities, which have managed to reach today with the possibilities of the past.

  • Tasting Different Flavors

Cappadocia, where you will embrace the Anatolian lands, has many food cultures, especially due to its location. It is possible to find a different alternative for every taste in this place where local dishes turn into a feast. Especially “Testi Kebabı” is incredibly famous in Cappadocia, where food culture is identified with the city. These local delicacies, with dried legumes and red meat, are cooked in pots that are very common in the region. The bean dish made in a pot is very popular.

In particular, we recommend you to taste the rice pudding cooked in a pot. Pottery made in the region also shows itself in the food culture and creates the flavors unique to Cappadocia. The local flavors of Ürgüp, Avanos, and Uçhisar and the fact that each flavor has a separate story makes Cappadocia a place to explore even more. You have the chance to try these delicious flavors in restaurants and small restaurants that you can come across almost in Cappadocia.

Best Cappadocia Balloon Puzzles That You Can Buy Online

A Vacation in Istanbul: Here is What You Need to Know

Istanbul is one of the leading cities in the world in terms of historical and natural wealth. It has created a unique order in chaos with its increasing population day by day and the urban texture that has become chaotic accordingly. Generally, touristic spots are gathered in the region called “Historical Peninsula”. Although it has been discussed to close this area to traffic in the past, no decision has been taken in this direction. You can see the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the old and the new side by side in almost every point of this city where the West and the East meet. If you dream about a vacation in Istanbul, keep reading this guide.

The most famous buildings in the city, which are among the places to visit in Istanbul, are all within walking distance. The region called the Historical Peninsula forms the borders of Byzantine Istanbul. Fatih entered the city on horseback with a great welcoming ceremony and visited Hagia Sophia. After that, Hagia Sophia was the first visit point in the city as a tradition. The rest of our list of places to visit includes the most important sightseeing spots such as Galata Tower, Istanbul Archeology Museum, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, palaces such as Topkapı Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, parks such as Gülhane Park, Emirgan Park, squares and museums. You can find detailed information about these places and more in the rest of the article.

A Vacation in Istanbul: Transportation

In Istanbul, intracity road and sea transportation are coordinated by IETT. In addition, the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Bus Corporation and minibusses play an active role in transportation. The rail system in Istanbul is coordinated by Istanbul Transportation Inc. within the body of IMM. Municipal buses, Metrobus under the IETT and metro, tram, and Marmaray services under Istanbul Transport. At the same time, transportation between some regions on the European and Asian sides and between the Islands is carried out by ferry services under IETT.

Urban transportation in the city started in 1869 with the establishment of the Dersaadet Tramway Company and the construction of the Tunnel Facilities. After being operated by foreigners for a while, this company gained a new structuring with the law numbered 3645 in 1939 under the name of Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel (IETT). There is one airport on both sides of Istanbul. Atatürk Airport serves on the European side and Sabiha Gökçen Airport on the Anatolian side. In addition, the work of the third airport in the city continues. You can reach the city from the airports by HAVABUS and the metro. To reach Atatürk Airport, you can use the Yenikapı – Airport metro line, as well as easily reach by taxi and private airline vehicles.

You can reach the Yenikapı-Airport metro by transferring from the Anatolian side by Marmaray and from the European side by Metrobus, tramway, and other metro lines. Transportation routes to Sabiha Gökçen Airport are more limited. HAVABUS departing from Kadıköy and Taksim, airport buses, and taxis are the options used for transportation. Apart from these, works are continuing to extend the Kadıköy – Tavşantepe Metro Line and to construct it up to Sabiha Gökçen. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is 14 km away from Pendik Train Station and you can reach the airport from here by taxi.

There are extensive public and private transportation opportunities in Istanbul. There are bus and metro lines, trams, ferries, and minibus options. You will need to use a token each time you board a tram, subway, or ferry covered by the public transport system. You can buy tokens from the toll booths or machines at bus, subway, or train stations. If you are going to stay in Istanbul longer than a few days, it is a good idea to have an Istanbulkart. This card can be used on public transport and gives you the option to transfer between public transport or lines for free or at a discount. Istanbulkart can be bought and refilled from all major buses, tram, or metro stations as well as some newspapers near these stations.

There are two types of public buses, the public buses operated by the private sector operating in Istanbul and the public buses operated by IETT, and you can distinguish these buses by their colors. While blue-green buses with yellow non-electronic route signs are private-public buses, buses operated by IETT appear in a wide variety of colors like red and blue buses, as well as newer green buses and double-decker buses. Metrobus is a long hybrid bus that operates on its own lane separated from all other traffic and thus saves a lot of travel time.

Sea transportation is widely used in Istanbul. With sea transportation, you can avoid traffic and witness the breathtaking beauty of the Bosphorus. Ferryboats connect the two sides of the city by sailing from several piers; In addition to these trips, there are also trips to the Islands. In addition to ferries, there are also Istanbul City Lines, sea bus (IDO), and special engine options.

A tram line (T1 line) connects Kabataş to Zeytinburnu, where you can transfer to the metro line to get to Atatürk Airport. This line has 24 stations and serves popular tourist spots like Sultanahmet and Eminönü. There are two trams operating on a separate line; Line 38 runs along the entire T1 line between Kabataş and Zeytinburnu. Line number 47 runs between Eminönü and Cevizlibağ stations. Both trams stop at stations in the Old City. In addition, there are two more tram lines connecting residential and industrial areas to the city center in the northwest: T2 line reaches Bağcılar district and the T4 line reaches Sultançiftliği district and connects to Zeytinburnu and Topkapı stations on the T1 line.

The Istanbul metro consists of two lines: the north line connects Yenikapı to Hacıosman via Mecidiyeköy and Levent. In addition, there is a funicular system that connects Taksim to Kabataş, where you can get on the ferry to get to the Anatolian side and also transfer to the tram to the old city. Another funicular system, “the Tunnel”, operates between Karaköy and İstiklal Caddesi. The tunnel is Istanbul’s first underground system and has been used since 1875. A separate south Metro line connects Aksaray to Atatürk Airport via Esenler Bus Terminal, which is the main bus terminal. On the Asian side, the M4 metro line is now operational and connects Kadıköy to Tavşanca.

A Vacation in Istanbul: Accomodation

Considered among the world’s most beautiful cities, Istanbul is also in the first place among the most popular tourist areas of Turkey. When it comes to places to visit in Istanbul or things to see in Istanbul, there are many attractive opportunities from cultural and entertainment opportunities to historical and architectural beauties, from shopping to eating and drinking, from nightlife to nature. In order to visit Istanbul, which is home to so many must-see things and is a very large city in terms of surface measurements, you should definitely make your accommodation area choice in Istanbul in the most pleasant and comfortable way.

After finding an answer to the question of where to stay in Istanbul, your business will be easier with Istanbul hotels because there are many hotel options in Istanbul that appeal to every budget and taste. “Where to stay in Istanbul?”, “Which are the ideal accommodation areas to visit Istanbul in the easiest and most comfortable way?” If you are confused by such questions, the Istanbul accommodation areas I have listed below will help you determine which region you should choose for hotel selection in Istanbul.

  • Besiktas

Beşiktaş is one of the most central and vibrant districts of Istanbul. Whether you are traveling to Istanbul for business or a touristic plan, you can choose among Beşiktaş hotels for accommodation and visit Istanbul in the most enjoyable way. If we briefly talk about the features of the Beşiktaş region, it is possible to find everything you are looking for here. There are many alternatives especially for shopping, eating and drinking, and nightlife in Beşiktaş Çarşı. Even considering details such as “Where to eat in Istanbul?” Or “Istanbul nightlife”, we can say that many special places are in Beşiktaş.

  • Ortakoy

Ortaköy is one of the most preferred regions for accommodation in Istanbul. It is definitely ideal for the answer to the question of where to stay in Istanbul, both when it comes to transportation to places to visit in Istanbul and when considering the alternatives around the hotel. If you want to be close to the most active places in Istanbul and not to be in that mess, you can book a hotel in Ortaköy.

  • Taksim

Let’s continue with Taksim, one of the most popular areas of Istanbul. Although the historical texture and atmosphere of the past do not remain today, Taksim is still the most touristic area that comes to mind when Istanbul is mentioned. Taksim, which contains culture, entertainment, shopping, eating and drinking, and many other alternatives, which can be called the most active area of ​​Istanbul day and night, is one of the places that can be preferred for accommodation in Istanbul.

  • Karakoy

Karaköy is one of my personal favorite areas in Istanbul. From shopping to eating and drinking, from museums to entertainment venues; It is a region where you can find everything you are looking for and be away from the complex of Istanbul. Especially with the changes it has gone through in recent years, it started to host many new places, both modern and traditional.

  • Eminönü and Sirkeci

Another alternative that I can recommend for those wondering where to stay in Istanbul is Eminönü and Sirkeci, which are among the most valuable districts of Istanbul. Eminönü and Sirkeci, located in the region called the Historical Peninsula, are ideal for those who love busy and dynamic areas. You can discover the spirit of Istanbul by staying in Eminönü and Sirkeci with its historical bazaars, pleasant streets, architectural textures, food, and beverage alternatives.

  • Sultanahmet

Sultanahmet is one of the most preferred regions for accommodation in Istanbul by tourists and travelers. If you want to stay in a historical area and be as close as possible to historical buildings in Istanbul, you should take a look at the Sultanahmet hotels. Sultanahmet is the most important and popular tourist area of Istanbul with its historical buildings, architectural wonders, museums, and different opportunities from shopping to eating and drinking within its borders.

  • Kadikoy

Kadıköy, the most central region of the Asian side with its shopping, eating and drinking, nightlife, culture, and entertainment opportunities, is one of the ideal recommendations we can give for the question of where to stay in Istanbul. If you want to discover the young and energetic side of Istanbul, you can look at accommodation alternatives in Kadıköy. There are many more original and innovative options in Kadıköy, instead of the classic shops, restaurants, cafes, etc. that you can find in almost every district of Istanbul.

  • Uskudar

Üsküdar, located on the opposite side of Beşiktaş, is one of the most ideal districts in terms of transportation on the Anatolian Side, considering the touristic places and the most popular places in Istanbul. If you are to ask “Where to stay in Üsküdar?”, I can say that Üsküdar Iskele surroundings (Üsküdar Sahil), Beylerbeyi and Kuzguncuk.

A Vacation in Istanbul: Activities

Visitors to Istanbul may find it difficult to grasp the size of the city at first glance. Especially foreign visitors are amazed by the abundance of options while preparing a list of activities to be done in Istanbul. There is a 24-hour life in this mega-city with a population of over 15 million. In some parts of the city, the streets are desolate at night, while in other parts the movement continues until morning. In order to fully feel the energy of Istanbul, it is necessary to spend time in Beyoğlu, Beşiktaş, Ortaköy, or Kadıköy districts in the evening. Because Sultanahmet, where historical artifacts are located, is silent after 23:00, except for the month of Ramadan. Here are the activities to be done in Istanbul:

Things to do in Istanbul include lots of walking. As a tourist guide, I recommend you to go to the places you will visit without a car as possible. The best way to get to know a city is to walk. Every street of districts such as Sultanahmet, Fener-Balat, Karaköy-Galata is full of history. If you drive to your activities in Istanbul, you may miss many details to discover.

One of the most beautiful things to do with a lover in Istanbul is to go on a Bosphorus tour. When it comes to traveling the Bosphorus by boat or ferry, we come across two options. One of them is to participate in the 1.5-hour tour with the Turyol boat. Turyol’s Bosphorus tour boats depart from Eminönü and Üsküdar. After continuing to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, they return. The second option is to go to Anadolu Kavağı by the Private Travel Ferry of the City Lines departing from Eminönü. This activity will last about 6 hours and takes your whole day. However, a 3-hour break at Anadolu Kavağı is enjoyable. You can climb Yoros Castle and eat fish by the sea.

All local and foreign visitors who come to visit Istanbul start from Sultanahmet to explore the city first. Of course, when we consider historical artifacts such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapı Palace, they are not unfair. The most important place of the Historical Peninsula, which was the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires, is of course Sultanahmet. It offers exquisite Instagram shots to those who want to visit historical monuments in Sultanahmet and take photos in Istanbul.

After a stroll in Sultanahmet, it is customary to go to the Grand Bazaar and crown the day with shopping. With its history dating back to 1461, the Grand Bazaar attracts people like a magnet. Even people who wait in long queues in Sultanahmet’s museums and get tired during the day cannot resist the desire to shop in the Grand Bazaar. The Grand Bazaar, a huge historical monument with 67 streets and more than 3000 shops, is the last representative of the traditional shopping style to date.

Fener and Balat are two districts that have become increasingly popular in recent years. These neighboring districts can be easily visited with a walking tour that will take a few hours. These two districts, which reflect the Ottoman period Istanbul in the best way, are of great historical importance. Fener Balat districts represent the mosaic structure of Istanbul with its mosques, churches, and synagogues located in neighboring streets. These districts, in which non-Muslim Ottoman citizens lived in the past, have a considerable cultural heritage. Walking Fener Balat is one of the top weekend activities in Istanbul.

Both the Anatolian and European coasts of the Bosphorus are very active on weekends. “Breakfast Culture”, which is a very large participant of Istanbul, shows itself all over the city on weekends. Although there are great breakfast facilities in Galata, Cihangir, Sultanahmet, or Kadıköy, which are not adjacent to the Bosphorus, of course, there is no substitute for breakfast on the Bosphorus. On the European side, Ortaköy, Bebek, and Rumeli Hisarı host the best breakfast places. On the other hand, the Anatolian Side is in a sweet competition with the other side, with its distinguished neighborhoods and groves such as Beylerbeyi, Çengelköy, and Anadolu Hisarı.

With the rise of tourism in Istanbul since the early 2000s, dozens of hotels were opened and historical baths were restored. The most beautiful Turkish Bath, which has been restored and brought to tourism in recent years, stands out as the Haseki Hürrem Sultan Bath, which is adjacent to Hagia Sophia. This bathhouse, which is adjacent to Sultanahmet Park, was built by Mimar Sinan in the 16th century. In addition, Çemberlitaş, Cağaloğlu, Süleymaniye, Kılıç Ali Paşa, and Galatasaray Baths are among the historical baths of Istanbul.

In the upper lines, we talked about having breakfast on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. One of the things to do in Istanbul on the weekends is having breakfast in Ortaköy; It must be one of the most enjoyable things to take a walk to Bebek or to Rumeli Fortress. Arnavutköy, which stretches between Ortaköy and Bebek, is the track where activities such as walking and jogging on the Bosphorus will be the most enjoyable. While walking from Ortaköy to Bebek, you can watch the bridges and mansions by breathing the fresh air of the Bosphorus right from the shore of the sea. You can even dive into the sea with fishermen and take great Instagram photos.

A Vacation in Istanbul: Eating and Drinking

  • Pickled water in Petek Turşuları

Just as pickles go well with every meal, it’s always the right time to drink pickle juice. Add a few pieces of your preferred pickle and enjoy this salty drink in the colorful jars around you. Petek Turşuları is in Balıkpazarı.

  • Stuffed meatballs in Sabırtaşı

Another famous street flavor of Beyoğlu is the stuffed meatballs of Sabırtaşı. It’s crispy on the outside and soft inside. We recommend that you buy two so you don’t get back on the road alone because one is never enough.

  • Turkish coffee in Mandabatmaz

The name of Mandabatmaz, located in Olivia Pass in Asmalı Mescit, is enough to describe the consistency of the coffee. Its foam is so thick that even a buffalo doesn’t really sink into it.

  • Turkish coffee at Kronotrop Coffee Bar & Roastery

Kronotrop, a third wave coffee maker, also approaches Turkish coffee with a new perspective. They don’t mix the beans, they make the coffee in copper pots. You should try the coffee of Kronotrop, which has four branches in Istanbul.

  • Kazandibi in Özkonak Muhallebicisi

Serving in Cihangir since 1962, Özkonak is very famous for its desserts, yogurt, and cream. When you enter Özkonak, which does not change its decor, you will be teleported to the past with a time machine.

  • Tadım menu at Mikla

We met the new Anatolian approach for the first time in 2012 at Mikla, thanks to Mehmet Gürs. In Mikla’s kitchen, which respects the traditions and rich flavor culture of Anatolia, the ingredients come from small local producers.

  • Karnıyarık at Şahin Restaurant

With rice and cacik on the side, Şahin Lokantası’s Karniyarik is so delicious that most of the time there is nothing left from the lunch service. But don’t forget to reserve a place for the walnut Kadayif. Şahin Restaurant is in Asmalı Mescit.

  • Nicole – Fine dining

Nicole, who is in Tomtom, cooks Turkish food with French techniques. The list of the restaurant, where you can only have a tasting menu, changes every six weeks according to seasonal ingredients.

  • Appetizers at Asmalı Cavit

Eggplant salad, hatching, fava, sea bass marinated, Lacerda, sea beans, şakşuka … You will have a hard time choosing when the tray comes before you, yes. You should also taste the leaf liver from the hot appetizers.

  • Sausage and kidney bean puree at Yeni Lokanta

As soon as you enter Yeni Lokanta, the noise of Istiklal Street will remain behind you. Do not fill your stomach with sourdough bread and burnt butter on your table. Next, we have raçanga in vine leaves, stuffed zucchini flowers, dried eggplant ravioli, and hummus. However, perhaps the most famous dish of Yeni Lokanta is Antep sausage with walnuts and warm kidney bean puree.

  • Galata Simitcisi

You can find simit around every corner in Istanbul, but few of them are as delicious as in Galata Simitcisi. The fork of this simit seller in Karaköy is also popular.

  • Mürver

At Mürver, which serves different menus at noon and in the evening, meats, seafood, and vegetables are cooked on the flame. Start with the octopus, then continue with the Thracian lamb. Enjoy it with delicious cocktails.

  • Boiled lamb in Nato Lokantası

Peers with Turkey’s NATO membership (1952), this restaurant has been offering quality service for years. Boiled lamb should not be missed. Half portion doner kebab over rice should definitely be tasted. You can also share your table with people you don’t know and have interesting conversations.

  • Neolokal

In Neolokal, located in Salt Galata, the flavors of Anatolia come before you with modern interpretations and exquisite presentations. You may not be able to decide whether your plates are more beautiful or the view of the Golden Horn in front of you.

  • Historical Karakoy Fish Restaurant

The most delicious fish grills of Istanbul are hidden in Hardware Stores Street. The must-try option is perch on paper. It is also recommended to start with shrimp skewers. Note that it is only open in the afternoon.

  • Cankurtaran Gıda

You can find a variety of cheeses, sausages, bacon, honey, and olives in this delicatessen in the Spice Bazaar. Erzincan Tulum cheese is very popular in Cankurtaran Gıda, which has not lost its line since 1964.

  • Meatballs at the famous Filibe Köftecisi

Filibe Köftecisi is very close to Marmaray Sirkeci Station, with its almost coin-sized bite-sized meatballs, blarney, and green peppers cooked on the grill. Founded in 1893, the place has been serving the same taste for more than a century.

  • Sehzade Cag Kebab

In Şehzade, one of the representatives of Erzurum’s delicious cag kebab in Istanbul, lavash, onion, paste, and yogurt will come with your meat. If you can curb yourself, don’t forget to reserve a place for stuffed Kadayif.

  • Pita with roasted meat at Hocapaşa Pidecisi

Serving in Sirkeci since 1964, the humble Hocapaşa Pidecisi’s pitas with minced meat, pastrami, roasting, and cheese are prepared in front of your eyes and cooked in a wood oven. It is especially magnificent with its fried pickles and Ayran.

A Vacation in Istanbul: Best Time to Visit

Istanbul has a structure that attracts tourists in all months of the year. The city offers different beauty in every period. The redbud trees with purple flowers in the spring and the yellowing vegetation in the autumn envelop the city streets and streets with a beauty similar to landscape paintings. Likewise, under the snow-white snow of winter, Istiklal Street has a beauty that is just as good as the Christmas cities of Europe. Some people like this city in winter, some in summer. It would not be right to make such a referral. Honestly, Istanbul is always a different beauty.

Istanbul is a city that welcomes people from all over the world, but when to go to this magical Istanbul? It is possible for every civilization to find something in Istanbul. If you are thinking about when to visit Istanbul, which spreads over 7 continents and offers different tastes in both continents, you should first decide what kind of trip you want to take. Deciding the appropriate time period for you or the events you want to catch in Istanbul will be extremely effective in your decision about the future period.

You can encounter different beauty in every period of Istanbul. Offering different pleasures throughout all four seasons, Istanbul is decorated with tulips with the arrival of spring and tulips are one of the most important symbols of this city. If you are looking for an answer to the question of when to go to Istanbul, this is perhaps the most beautiful period for Istanbul, when the streets are full of tulips. Istanbul draws attention with its yellowing leaves in the autumn period. If you want to witness Istanbul in a calmer and less touristy period, autumn can mean your season.

  • If you want to visit the Islands in Istanbul, the best time for visiting the Islands is summer. Although the Islands are a bit crowded during the summer months, the sea offers various activities. You can get beautiful and fresh food produced by the island people throughout the year. Islands are a preferable alternative for a peaceful holiday in winter.
  • If you are planning to plunder Istanbul and visit all historical monuments, summer can be a very challenging period. Therefore, take care to take your holiday in the spring months. Since Istanbul is a bit calmer and cooler during these periods, you can easily reach different places.
  • If you have a plan to shop in Istanbul and think about when to go to Istanbul, shopping mall culture is common in Istanbul and therefore you can come in every season. If you have a plan to shop at affordable prices, you can visit Istanbul at times suitable for the discount periods in the shopping malls.
  • If your aim is to visit the markets of Istanbul, then take care to be in this city in the summer; those big markets are much more chirpy in the summer.

In summary, you have the answer to the question of when to go to Istanbul. Because Istanbul has a structure that can be visited in any period. If you want to get to know Istanbul, Istanbul will open its doors to you every season. While wandering through the streets of the city, you can come across traces of Yeşilçam days, Armenian architectures, and the streets where Atatürk passed. Do not forget to raise your head and roam in Istanbul because there are descriptions in many apartments. Notes are written on the streets and apartments where poets, writers, and celebrities live, even the period in which the person was present and on which floor he lives. Istanbul is one of the special places where you can pass historical monuments. You can always find the opportunity to visit the history of Istanbul as a stone or a means of transportation called a tunnel. Istanbul is a timeless city, you get different tastes every period.

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Where Istanbul Is Located: The Geographical Location of Istanbul

Istanbul province is the largest city in Turkey and Europe. Istanbul is a city that has been the capital of many civilizations. The City of Istanbul served as the Capital of the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire, and finally the Ottoman Empire as it is known. The geography of Istanbul is at such an important point that it constitutes the transition zone between many countries. Many civilizations have lived in the city of Istanbul so far. There are ruins from 5000 BC in Istanbul, which show how old its history is. Istanbul province is also one of the few cities in the world with a population of approximately 16 million. So do you know where is Istanbul located?

Istanbul is located between 280 01 ‘and 290 55’ east longitudes and 410 33 ‘and 400 28’ north latitudes. The provincial lands of Istanbul cover a total area of ​​5,512 km2. Istanbul is a city that acts as a bridge between the European and Asian continents and is built on the two ends where they are closest to each other. These ends are Çatalca in the European continent, Kocaeli in the Asian continent; It is surrounded by Marmara and Bursa from the south, Tekirdağ from the southwest, and Kırklareli from the northwest. The real Istanbul, which is located on the peninsula between the Golden Horn and the Marmara, from which the city is named, is 253 km², and the whole is 5.712 km². Islands in the Sea of ​​Marmara are also included in the province of Istanbul.

The vegetation around Istanbul resembles the plants of the Mediterranean climate. The most common plant species in the region is “scrub”. These plants have adapted to a long dry summer. However, the hills are not bare due to the nature of the climate. The most important of the forested areas seen in patches is the Belgrad Forest, 20 km north of the city. There is no big river in Istanbul province. The largest stream is Riva Stream, which is also the largest water of the Kocaeli Peninsula. The 71 km Riva Stream takes its sources from Kocaeli province and flows in the southeast-northwest direction and flows into the Black Sea near Riva village.

The most important of the waters pouring into the Bosphorus are Küçüksu and Göksu streams. Apart from these, Kağıthane and Alibey Streams flowing into the Golden Horn, Sazlıdere flowing into Küçükçekmece Lake, Karasu Creek flowing into Büyükçekmece Lake, Trança Creek flowing into Terkos Lake are the main rivers of Istanbul. The water of the city is provided from here. The waters of Küçükçekmece (11 km²) and Büyükçekmece (16 km²) Lakes, which are located on the shores of the Marmara Sea, are salty due to their contact with the sea.

Although the summer months are generally hot and the winter months are not too cold due to the systems that affect the region, Istanbul seems to have the characteristics of the Mediterranean climate, but it has different characteristics with the influence of the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus. During the winter months, the cold-dry air mass coming from the Black Sea and the cold-rainy air mass coming from the Balkans are especially under the influence of the warm and rainy southern air masses from the Mediterranean. The cold rainy (northeaster) weather of the Black Sea and the warm (southwester) air of the Mediterranean follow each other throughout the province. There are no big temperature differences between summer and winter and day and night in the province.

Geographical Location and Strategic Importance of Istanbul

The seas and lands divided the geography of Istanbul, which is embroidered like lace, into 4 parts. Old Istanbul and Galata are located on the shores of the Golden Horn, and on both sides of the Bosphorus, formerly separate villages, now united settlement areas. Inhabited areas along the shores of the Marmara Sea, the smallest sea in the world, show the size of the city has reached. The Old City is spread over the 7 hills of a triangular peninsula surrounded by 22 km of city walls. Located in the center of the Old World, Istanbul is a very important megalopolis with its historical monuments and magnificent natural landscapes. It is the only city in the world built on two continents where the Asian and European Continents are separated by a narrow sea passage.

Having a history of more than 2500 years, Istanbul became an important trade center following its establishment in this strategic region where sea and land meet. The historical city of Istanbul is located on a peninsula surrounded by the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn on three sides. Istanbul is located between 280 01 ‘and 290 55’ east longitudes and 410 33 ‘and 400 28’ north latitudes. While the Istanbul Strait connects the Black Sea with the Sea of ​​Marmara; It separates the Asian Continent from the European Continent and divides the city of Istanbul into two. The province borders the Black Sea in the north, the high hills of the Kocaeli Mountain Range in the east, the Marmara Sea in the south, and the water divide line of the Ergene Basin in the west.

It is the fortune of Istanbul to be located at the crossroads where the main roads reach the sea, an easily defended peninsula, ideal climate, rich and generous nature, strategic control of the Bosphorus, and its geographical location in the center of the world. Istanbul has had a very important strategic importance throughout history due to its location at the confluence of two continents, being a gateway to hot climates and oceans, and being the gateway of the historical Silk Road to Europe. The city became the capital of 3 world empires, namely the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Turks, and more than 120 emperors and sultans ruled here for more than 1600 years.

Istanbul is the only city in the world with these characteristics. During the development process, the city was expanded four times, each time building further west. There was Istanbul, surrounded by 5th-century Roman period walls and built on 7 hills. But the foundations of today’s Istanbul were laid in the 7th century BC. It was rebuilt by Emperor Constantin in the 4th century AD and made the capital city; After that day, it continued its title of capital during the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods for about 16 centuries. At the same time, Istanbul, which was one of the centers of Christianity with Emperor Constantine, was considered one of the most important cities of the Islamic religion after it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453.

While it was the capital of the empires, it was the administrative center of the religions together with the state, the Eastern Christianity Patriarchate was based in this city since its establishment, and the first biggest churches and monasteries of the Christian world rose above the pagan temples here. After the conquest of Istanbul, in a century or so, artworks, mosques, palaces, schools, baths, and other facilities furnished the city and transformed it into an Islamic character, and some of the ruined churches were repaired and converted into mosques.

Istanbul Metropolitan is located on Kocaeli and Çatalca Peninsulas. Both peninsulas are eroded plateaus. While Istanbul and its surroundings were a gulf of the Sarmat inland sea at the end of the Miocene period of the III Period in geological times, in the Pliocene period the sea was withdrawn, lands emerged, and after a long erosion period with stream and wind erosion, the elevations disappeared, the abrasion-resistant quartzite hills remained and a peneplane has emerged. The valley at the place of the Bosphorus has also widened. Later, with the swelling of the northern part in the east of the Bosphorus Valley of the peneplain, and the swelling of the south part in the west, the water section lines changed, water erosion increased due to the increase in the slope of the river valleys, large streams on the east side of the Black Sea and on the west side the Marmara Sea was spilled into the seas.

As a result of the said geological movements, the area where the Metropolitan of Istanbul is located has gained the appearance of a plateau (peneplane) containing generally eroded landforms. Valleys, plains, heights (slightly wavy hilly areas), high areas, etc., which can be grouped as geomorphological units, do not have a sharp and striking appearance in the metropolitan area of ​​Istanbul for the reasons explained. On the cold side (Kocaeli Plateau), there are quartzite hills (Aydos, Kayışdağı, Alemdağ, etc.) and high areas starting from the east of the Gebze – Ömerli Dam line and continuing to rise towards the east (350m +). In this peninsula, the “water section line” is closer to the Marmara shores. In the remaining parts of the peneplain, the flow direction of the streams is mostly the Black Sea and includes wide valley-based and slightly wavy areas.

On the west side (in Çatalca or Thrace Peneplane), apart from a few hills reaching and exceeding 200 m in places from the Bosphorus to Büyükçekmece – Karacaköy line, there is also a peneplane with wide base river valleys. However, in this peninsula, the “water section line” is closer to the Black Sea this time. Rivers mostly give water to the Golden Horn, Büyük and Küçükçekmece lakes and the Marmara Sea. Terkos lake, on the other hand, gets its main water from the Istranca Mountains in the northwest. Except for Istranca, which has heights above 350 m in places, it is located to the west of Çatalca, also to the west of the Kestanelik – Belgrad Villages line, their height is 200-350 m. varying hills and ridges are outstanding.

Climate and Vegetation of Istanbul

It is not possible to evaluate the climate type in the area where the entire province of Istanbul is located in a specific climate type. Due to its geographical location and physical geography features, it has different climatic characteristics than the climates of many settlements located at the same latitude. Istanbul within the low and high-pressure zones that start from the equator on the earth and repeat twice respectively (with 41 degrees north latitude, 29 degrees east longitude), is at the border of the western winds with subtropical high-pressure zone, and low pressures of the cold-warm region or terrestrial (humidity) low winds (humid and wet). Different climatic conditions occur in winter and summer seasons with the movements of the earth.

Three types of air are dominant throughout the year in Istanbul. These are air types introduced from the north and south and calm air types. Weather types depending on east and west winds are not important. Among the three types of air, it is the type of weather that shows the highest frequency (the most blowing number) when the northern winds are dominant. There are four periods according to the seasons; Two transition cycles, one long and one short, with cold and hot cycles. The metropolitan area of ​​Istanbul consists of natural vegetation, forest, maquis (more woody maquis plant communities that have adapted to the Black Sea climate, changed, moist character) and coastal plants; Plant communities in Çatalca and Kocaeli Peninsula that adapt to the climatic conditions have developed “humid” in the north and “dry” in the south.

Kocaeli Peninsula has deciduous species such as cranberry, hazelnut, deer thistle, moth bush, medlar, wild plum, blackberry, rowan gorse, maple, elderberry, sumac, privet and bearberry, maple, arbutus, heather, laurel, mule, tar postman, and it also consists of elements such as kermes oak, laden and mastic. The tree species that characterize the humid forest are chestnut, beech, common hornbeam, and stalked oak, mostly seen in the north-east of the I. Strait, north of Alemdağ and around Polonezköy. In the region between Riva Stream and Gökdere in Ağva, stalked oak in the west and Hungarian oak in the east are the dominant species. Vegetation is related not only to climate but also to soil. While lime-free brown forest soils cover the areas where all beech troops are located, brown forest soils are seen in the areas of oak and chestnut species.

The General Location Information of Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey’s most important province in many respects, is also one of the world’s most important points in terms of its location on earth. Istanbul has an area of ​​5.220 km in the Marmara Region, facing the Black Sea in the north and surrounded by the Marmara Sea and the Golden Horn in the south. Istanbul has gained a reputation as “the city with lands on two continents” due to its lands on both sides of the Bosphorus, which is one of the most important waterways of the world, which separates the Asian Continent from the European Continent. Istanbul is approximately at the intersection of 41.8 north latitude and 29th east longitude.

A large part of today’s Istanbul is on the European side and the other part is on the Asian continent. Istanbul is an important passage area between lands and seas. It has Anatolia and the Balkan Peninsula on one side and the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea on the other. It borders the Black Sea in the north, the high hills of the Kocaeli Mountain Range in the east, the Marmara Sea in the south, and the water dividing line of the Ergene Basin in the west. The provincial area is surrounded administratively in the east and southeast with Kocaeli’s Karamürsel, Gebze central and Kandıra districts, Bursa’s Gemlik and Orhangazi districts from the south, Tekirdağ’s Çerkezköy and Saray districts from the west and northwest, as well as the Vizne district of Kırıkkale.

Istanbul has the characteristic of a plateau with its general appearance. The high plains are divided by streams. 91% of the provincial land, 74.4% of which is covered by plateaus, is suitable for agriculture. The Bosphorus, which separates the Asian and European continents, turns from north to southwest and maintains its parallelism, even though the coasts are partially closer to each other. The distance between both coasts is 29.9 km on the line between Sarayburnu and Kızkulesi. The length of the coasts is 32.2 km from the Asian side between Ahırkapı Lighthouse and Kavak Cape, and 46 km between Rumeli Lighthouse and Ahırkapı Lighthouse (including the Golden Horn). There are eleven islands connected to Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara.

Landforms Located in Istanbul

Istanbul is composed of a plateau group, squeezed between two main peneplains located in the eastern Marmara part of the Marmara Basin, and fragmented by the strait and river valleys. The foundations of its soils consist of 1st-period old rocks. In later geological times, the rise and fall, erosion, sharp ridges, steep mountains, and very rugged topography disappeared, replaced by flat areas, round hills, and low ridges.

The place where today’s Bosphorus is located was the valley of two streams, one into the Black Sea and the other into the Sea of ​​Marmara Region. During the compression and uplift that occurred between the 2nd and 3rd time, the Asian part located in the west of the valleys was hit to the south, and the Asian part located to the east of the valleys to the north. As a result of this incident, the current Bosphorus emerged with the breaking of the river valleys. The valleys formed by many streams and streams in the region and the small agricultural areas that emerged with the expansion of these valleys in places, the hills, and ridges that lost their steepness constitute the landforms of Istanbul.

It is a plateau community scattered between Istanbul, Thrace, and Kocaeli semi-plains. These plateaus are surrounded by seas from the north and south. Plateaus surrounded by seas generally extend in the west-northwest, east-southeast directions. 74% of its territory. The plateaus, which cover 4 of them and are divided into two parts by the strait, are not symmetrical in the east and west. While the plateaus to the west of the Bosphorus create a smooth and slightly wavy surface, the eastern ones are less developed and wavier. The most important plateaus in the province are Beyoğlu, Istanbul, and Üsküdar plateaus. The plateau that fills between the Bosphorus and the estuary in the province is called the Beyoğlu plateau. The plateau was largely removed by abrasion in both directions. For this reason, plateau depressions and valleys were formed by the combination of these depressions. The great ridge running in the direction of Galata-Beyoğlu-Şişli, Maslak-Darbent Büyükdere forms the waterline of the Beyoğlu plateau.

The triangle-shaped peninsula between the estuary where it was founded and the Marmara Sea is called the Istanbul plateau. It forms the highest city walls of Istanbul. The plateau of Istanbul starts from Saraburnu and extends by expanding in both directions. Beyazıt, Edirnekapı, Sarayburnu, Hagia Sophia constitute the higher parts of the Istanbul Plateau. The Istanbul plateau, like the Beyoğlu plateau, has been eroded from both sides. Although the shores of the plateau facing the Marmara are narrow and indented, it has become wider and flattened from Kum Kapı to Yenikapı.

The plateaus that fill the Asian side of Istanbul rise in steps starting from the Bosphorus and the Marmara shores. These steps end at Büyük and Küçük Çamlıca Hills. Big and Small Çamlıca Hills look like mountain peaks with their conical structures according to the flat shapes of the region. Another important plateau of Istanbul is the Üsküdar plateau. This plateau is divided into several sections with erosion grooves just like the Beyoğlu and Istanbul Plateaus. When going from Üsküdar to Ömerli and Şile direction, the plateau reaches the water section line in a short distance and loses its altitude and extends to the Black Sea.

Geographical Advantage: The Location of Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport serves as one of the most important aviation centers in the world with its strategic geographic location connecting the continents in Istanbul, at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The international air freight sector grew by 5.6% over the past 10 years worldwide, Turkey recorded 14% growth. Istanbul, which has become one of the most important flights and transfer hubs in the world, plays the leading role in this growth. According to the data of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Turkey, the number of foreign tourists coming to Istanbul increased by 17.8% in 2017 compared to the previous year. It is observed that a similar positive momentum continues in 2018 and it is predicted that the growth trend will continue.

According to the report published by the European Council of International Airports (ACI Europe), in February 2018, Istanbul Atatürk Airport was the one with the highest increase in the number of passengers among the top 5 airports in Europe, with an increase of 17.7%. Sabiha Gökçen took second place with the highest increase in passenger traffic among the airports in the Group 1 category with 15.5% after Istanbul Atatürk. In the Council’s 2018 Airport Industry Connection Report, Istanbul Atatürk Airport was ranked fifth with the number of direct connections and flight volume in flights between European airports.

In the same report, Atatürk Airport, which ranked fourth among the highest performing airports in Europe for the last 10 years, was announced as the fourth among the main flight centers with the highest connection volume. Istanbul Airport has made Istanbul, the center of wide geography stretching from the East to the West, stronger with its extremely high capacity, the rich variety of facilities, and solid infrastructure possibilities. With its strategic location on transfer routes, it operates as a center of attraction for transit flights between the USA and Europe and the Middle East, Central Asia, and Northern India via Istanbul.

Today, Istanbul Airport, which provides transportation to 120+ countries, 60+ capitals, 250+ international destinations, and 50 domestic destinations, flies to 146 destinations from different continents within 3 hours. When the airport is put into service at full capacity, flights will be arranged to more than 350 destinations. In addition to passenger transportation, Istanbul is also the hub between Asia and Europe in air cargo transportation. Cargo operations showed a significant increase of 18.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2009-2017. Istanbul Airport also serves as a center with heavy traffic for air cargo transportation.

About the Valleys Located Near Istanbul

The valleys of the Istanbul region seem quite interesting in terms of the origin and evolution of the geomorphological forms in the region on the one hand, and the formation of the Bosphorus on the other. The main valleys in the region are İstranca Stream, Karasu Stream, Sazlı Stream, Şamlar Stream, Alibey and Kağıthane creeks, Göksu Stream, Riva Stream, Ulu Dere, Gök Dere, and Çatak Stream valleys. Most of these valleys lie in a rather northwest-southeast direction. Although the valleys on the Kocaeli peninsula generally flow towards the northwest and north, those on the Çatalca peninsula open towards the southeast.

However, the fact that the valleys run parallel to each other is seen as an important fact that draws attention. Furthermore, it is observed that the valleys extend parallel to the general direction of the Istanbul massif and its cover layers, on the one hand, and to the dissymmetric ridges formed on the cover layers with peaks on the other hand. These observations show that the great valleys were formed as tufts according to the Mesozoic and tertiary layers in the region and the relief that occurred above them. As explained by the general diving of the Mesozoic layers in this area, the south-west facing slopes of the Kocaeli peninsula valleys are more inclined than the slopes facing the northeast, as well as the dissymmetric slopes on the Çatalca peninsula are related to the general slope of the Eocene layers here.

As a matter of fact, the wide valley formed by the Alibey-Kâğıthane stream system, which runs parallel to the eastern edge of the Eocene strata, was formed as a result of the evolution of an old sub-secant valley, as in the other valleys of the region. It is understood that today’s valley bottoms and stream beds were formed over-the-counter, according to the quaternary and Pliocene archaea formations that were previously collected in the valley. As for the valleys around the Bosphorus, they are gathered in three main areas, in terms of their geomorphological status, around the southern part of the Bosphorus, the southern part of the Bosphorus, and the northern circumference of the Bosphorus.

Among those around the south mouth of the Bosphorus, Maltepe Creek, Bostancı Creek, Kurbağalı Creek, Yenikapı Creek, Çırpıcı Creek, Çavuşbaşı Creek, and Uzunca Dere valleys can be seen in particular. It is understood that these valleys are seen over the sea maps with medium micas, which do not contain much detail, and it is understood that they continue under the sea, which shows that they played an important role in the formation of the gulf here, together with the main valley located at a depth of 100 meters in the same place. The apparent expanse of the valleys and the gulf must be related to the presence of the less resistant Neogene land here. The relations of the native valleys in the southern part of the Bosphorus with the Bosphorus valley are also remarkable.

Most of these have a normal junction with the Bosphorus pivot, generally forming acute angles opening towards the north. Both this situation and the leveling patterns in this part of the Bosphorus and the ridges are generally inclined towards the south; In addition, the presence of epigenetic breaches corresponding to areas where hard devon lands such as siliceous schist, lumpy limestone, dense limestone emerged suggests that a valley previously opening towards the south may exist in this part of the Bosphorus. In the northern part of the strait, it is understood that a separate valley system has been formed. In this section, some eastern subordinates such as Kabakoz, Çakal, Poyraz, Keçilik and the western subordinates named Sazlı, Garipçe, Rumelikavağı, and Sarıyer merge with the axis of the Bosphorus, rather at acute angles to the south.

This situation reminds us that there may be an old valley opening towards the northeast in this part as well. The fact that this ancient valley is suitable for the coastal valleys between the mouth of the Riva valley and Kilyos in terms of extension and flow direction seems to be a remarkable geomorphological feature. Accordingly, this northern Bosphorus valley is perhaps one of the submerged natural valleys of the Riva valley. The northern Bosphorus valley, which can be followed up to the vicinity of Büyükdere in a fairly certain way, at a stage that has not yet been determined, perhaps extended to the present mouth areas of the Göksu and Küçüksu valleys and became a continuation of them.

It seems probable that the current subdivision lines passing over the peaks of the Kocaeli peninsula and the Çatalca peninsula with high relief and finally over the epigenetic breach areas once passed between the southern Bosphorus valley system and the northern Bosphorus valley system. If a comparison is made between the body and relief shapes of the Dardanelles region and those in the Istanbul Strait region, some important differences are immediately noticeable. A monoclinal structure is dominant in the Dardanelles region.

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