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All You Need to Know About 1999 Istanbul Earthquake

The 1999 Istanbul Earthquake is a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that took place near the Gölcük district of Kocaeli at 03:01:40 on August 17, 1999. Due to the 37-second 1999 Istanbul Earthquake, 17 thousand people lost their lives and more than 500 thousand people were left homeless. Istanbul, Kocaeli, Istanbul, Yalova, Bursa, and Sakarya were the places where the material and moral effects of the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake were felt the most.

The earthquake that caused massive destruction in the most advanced and extensive industrial field of Turkey caused serious danger due to the leak in the oil refinery in Kocaeli. On 19 October 1999, the authorities announced that 17,127 people died and 43,959 people were injured in the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake. Some sources suggested that the number of people who died was around 45 thousand. In the report dated September 1999, it was stated that 120 thousand houses became unusable, 30 thousand houses were badly damaged, 2 thousand buildings collapsed and 4 thousand buildings were damaged. The report also noted that 300,000 people were homeless.

1999 Istanbul Earthquake occurred on the North Anatolian Fault Line. The Anatolian Plate is cramped between the Eurasian and Arabian Plates and shifts approximately 2 to 2.5 cm westward each year. major earthquakes occurred on the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey occurs and East Anatolian Fault. Due to the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake, a 150 km-long break occurred in the fault line extending from Düzce to İzmit Bay. In the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake, especially the Avcılar district of Istanbul was severely damaged due to the sedimentary rock ground.

Due to the earthquake, 20 viaducts, 5 tunnels, and some overpasses on the European E-road E80 were destroyed. The Istanbul Earthquake created 2.5 meters of tsunami waves in the Sea of ​​Marmara. 155 people lost their lives due to the tsunami. 24 to 48 hours after the 1999 earthquake in Istanbul, welfare associations from 12 countries came to Turkey. A special team came from England to stop the leak in the Tüpraş Refinery. US President Bill Clinton visited Istanbul and Izmit.

There are many interesting and unexplained events allegedly happened during the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake. But the veracity of these narratives is controversial and there is no evidence that they are true. Many people say that on the night that connects August 16, 1999, to August 17, 1999, there were enough stars in the sky as if they could be caught with hand. There are also some rumors that a fireball was seen around Izmit Bay during the earthquake. Some people say that he witnessed paranormal events on the morning of 1999.

Detailed Information About 1999 Istanbul Earthquake

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake that occurred in 1999 on the night of August 16 to 17 was recorded as the second-largest earthquake in the history of Turkey. The earthquake, whose epicenter was Gölcük, was felt throughout the Marmara Region. The earthquake that occurred with the breaking of the North Anatolian Fault Line caused the loss of life and property in Istanbul, Bolu, Bursa, Eskişehir, Kocaeli, Sakarya, and Yalova. The earthquake that occurred on the western side of the North Anatolian Fault line which passes through the northern regions of Turkey started at 03:01 am on Tuesday, 17 August 1999, and lasted 45 seconds.

The epicenter of the earthquake was announced as the Gölcük district of İzmit. Its size is 7.6 according to the Richter scale by the US Geological Survey (USGS); It was measured as 7.8 by the Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory. However, today the magnitude of the earthquake is generally accepted as 7.4, which was announced in the first statements, and this measure is used. August 17th earthquake in Turkey in terms of size was recorded as the second largest earthquakes occurred. It was determined that the earth’s crust moved to the right during the 17-kilometer-deep shaking and broke along a 120-kilometer line.

Geological View of 1999 Istanbul Earthquake

In the report published three months after the earthquake, the Chamber of Geological Engineers wrote that the areas passing over the fault shifted to the right and forward by about 4 meters. In the same report, it was stated that after the rupture in the main epicenter in Gölcük, it is thought that another earthquake base in the Arifiye region located further east on the same fault zone may have been activated. About three months after the 17 August earthquake, another earthquake occurred, this time on 12 November, on the North Anatolian Fault Line, with Düzce as its epicenter. 845 people died in Düzce Earthquake, which was 7.2 magnitude and lasted 30 seconds.

These two earthquakes within three months over magnitude 7 occurred, risk, and especially to occur in the south of the fault line in Istanbul has caused more to the discussion of measures to be taken against the expected break in Turkey. August 17th earthquake, as well as population density, should also affect Turkey’s most important region in terms of economic activity. According to official figures, 18 thousand 373 people lost their lives and 48 thousand 901 people were injured in the earthquake. 5 thousand 840 people also disappeared. However, local people argue that the loss of life is much higher. Unofficial sources claim that the loss of life was around 50 thousand.

In some places, such as Gölcük, Değirmendere, and Karamürsel, located in the south of İzmit Bay, the parts close to the beach being submerged under sea waters due to an earthquake are shown as the most important factor that makes it difficult to determine the loss of life and damage. According to the statement made by the Prime Ministry Crisis Center a few months after the earthquake, most casualties were in Gölcük with approximately 4,500 people. While the recorded loss of life in Kocaeli was 4 thousand, approximately 2 thousand 500 people died in Yalova and Sakarya. 976 people lost their lives in the Avcılar district of Istanbul, which was affected by the earthquake.

In the report published in July 2010 by the Assembly Research Commission Established to Investigate the Risk of Earthquake and Determine the Measures to be Taken in Earthquake Management, it was stated that 364,905 houses and workplaces were destroyed or damaged at various levels in the earthquake. A significant portion of the casualties was the result of buildings being destroyed or severely damaged. The Chamber of Geological Engineers, in its report published in 1999, listed the three most important factors that increase the loss of life as follows:

  • Active Fault Zone: Although the active fault line is known in advance, the dense settlement and high population potential along this line have increased the damage and loss of life. As it moves away from the fault zone, it is observed that there is no or very little damage especially on the slopes and mountain foothills.
  • Wet Alluvial Ground: Between Bolu and Yalova, the fault zone and its immediate surroundings are composed of extremely soft and loosely attached clay, sand, and gravel deposits and alluvial ground. Such floors have negative features that will increase the current earthquake intensity several times.
  • Construction faults: The zone is within the boundaries of the 1st-degree earthquake zone. In this case and while complying with earthquake regulations is compulsory, a significant part of the heavy damage and high-rate casualties in earthquakes are caused by construction errors, incorrect foundation designs that do not comply with the ground conditions, bad workmanship and building material defects and rottenness used in construction.

Economical Outcomes of 1999 Istanbul Earthquake

The August 17 earthquake also had serious negative effects on the economy. According to the calculations made by different institutions, the economic cost of the earthquake varies between 12 and 20 billion dollars. The State Planning Organization calculates this cost as 15-19 billion dollars, the World Bank as 12-17 billion dollars, and the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) as 17 billion dollars. After the earthquake, the need for external resources increased, especially due to restructuring efforts, and the suspension of production activities for a while in the industrial zone caused the economy to shrink.

Turkey’s largest oil refinery Tüpraş took the fire for days. Some studies show that the impact of the 1999 earthquake was among the effective reasons for the 2001 economic crisis. After the first shock caused by the earthquake was over, the focus was on search and rescue activities in the first place and debris removal after a while. In addition to public organizations such as the Red Crescent and Civil Defense Units, private and voluntary groups such as the Search and Rescue Team (AKUT) also played an active role in aid efforts. In addition, aid workers came from many countries, including Britain, Greece, the USA, and Japan.

At that time, the coalition government formed by the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Motherland Party (ANAP), and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was heavily criticized for being late in sending aid teams and supplies to the places hit by the earthquake. It took days for rescuers to reach some places. Debris removal efforts continued for months at some points. After August 17, the earthquake has become the subject of Turkey’s most important agenda item. The government under the prime minister Bülent Ecevit has enacted a series of legal regulations both to be used in post-earthquake relief and rescue efforts and to eliminate the effects of the economic damage caused by the earthquake. Among the arrangements made were the following:

  • A number of new taxes were introduced, especially the Special Communication Tax, and most of these taxes are still in effect.
  • The National Earthquake Council, consisting of 20 scientists and researchers, was established but was dissolved in 2007.
  • Earthquake containers were placed in many points of Istanbul and meeting areas were determined. Most of the determined gathering areas were later opened to development.
  • Earthquake insurance has been made compulsory
  • The number of search and rescue teams across Turkey increased
  • A number of changes were made to the zoning laws. After the earthquake, the earthquake resistance principles and control rules of the buildings were changed. In 2007, 2012, and finally, in 2019, serious changes were made in the regulations.

The Heavy Loss Caused by the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake

It has been 21 years since the painful earthquake of 17 August 1999, when tens of thousands of people died, were injured and disabled, and the economy was hit hard. The Marmara earthquake, whose epicenter was in Gölcük district of Kocaeli, and occurred at 03.02 local times, was felt in a wide area from Ankara to Izmir. According to official reports, 17 thousand 840 people died, 23 thousand 781 people were injured and 505 people were disabled in the earthquake of 7.4 magnitudes, which lasted about 45 seconds. In the earthquake that caused great loss of life and property, 285 thousand 211 houses and 42 thousand 902 workplaces were badly damaged.

While most citizens were caught in the earthquake sleep that took place in the late evening, the buildings not being made resistant to earthquakes, especially in Kocaeli Gölcük, and the use of wrong and incomplete materials caused a high loss of life and property. Turkey’s place in the Marmara earthquake, which is an important industrial region, has caused significant financial damage in wide geography, was a blow to the national economy. About 23 percent of Turkey’s population was living and 34 percent of GDP was being created in the area where the earthquake was effective.

Considering factors such as 46 percent of the value-added created in the industry emerged in the earthquake zone, 58 percent of the tax revenues in the budget occurred in the region affected by the earthquake, and the region’s per capita being higher than the average of the country, financial losses are more clearly revealed. The economic effects of the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake were a blow to the macro-economic indicators such as GDP, employment, growth, and public expenditure as well as the tourism sector that provide a significant amount of foreign currency entry for the economy. After the 1999 Istanbul earthquake, Turkey’s tourism revenues decreased by 40 percent compared to the previous year.

In various studies conducted by the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TÜSİAD), State Planning Organization (SPO), and the World Bank, the values ​​of the macroeconomic costs of the 1999 Gulf Earthquake and the impact of the earthquake on the economy are clearly seen. The impact of the earthquake on the economy is $ 17 billion according to TUSIAD, $ 15-19 billion according to SPO, and $ 12-17 billion according to the World Bank. In this context, according to the evaluation of TÜSİAD, the earthquake caused the loss of 9 percent of the GDP, while this number is 8 to 10 percent according to the SPO, and 6.3 to 9 percent according to the World Bank.

Cash assistance of 161.6 trillion Liras was received for the damages caused by the Marmara earthquake, and 156.6 trillion Liras were spent. According to the examination of the earthquake accounts of the Prime Ministry Inspection Board, the amount accumulated in the central account opened with Ziraat Bank for the earthquake that took place on 17 August 1999 reached 161 trillion 665.6 billion Liras as of October 1, 2001. A total of 156 trillion 520.4 billion Lira was spent from this account, while the rest was transferred to the Disaster Fund, the Disaster Regional Coordinator, and other institutions and organizations for post-earthquake services.

After the Marmara earthquake, a loan of approximately 3.5 billion dollars was obtained from various countries and international financial institutions. With the loans provided from abroad, a total of 75 projects and sub-projects were financed for the earthquake zone, where Kocaeli, Istanbul, Bolu, Düzce, Yalova, and Sakarya are located. The credits in question were generally used in the earthquake region for housing construction and new housing networks, new hospital constructions and rehabilitation of health units, primary school constructions, renewal of transportation systems, especially rail and road, and financing support to SMEs. Even though, it was really tough to get back to normal life after such a horrible event. Still, helps and aids from the environment is very good both for social solidarity and for togetherness. That is why all countries, even every person who can, should help the people affected by an event like this.

Quantitative Information About 1999 Istanbul Earthquake

The 17 August earthquake was felt throughout the Marmara Region, in a wide area from Ankara to Izmir. According to official reports, there were 17,480 deaths and 23,781 injuries. 505 people were disabled. 285,211 houses and 42,902 workplaces were damaged. In addition, with 133,683 collapsed buildings, approximately 600,000 people were left homeless. Approximately 16,000,000 people were affected by the earthquake to varying degrees. Therefore, it is one of the most important events which deeply influenced the recent history of Turkey. The earthquake is one of the biggest earthquakes of the last century in terms of both the size, the width of the affected area, and the material losses it caused. The fact that the earthquake occurred in the Marmara Region, which is an important industrial zone of the country, and affected very wide geography caused great difficulties in the country.

The earthquake, measuring 7.5 Mw on the Richter scale, occurred at 3:02 am, in the region described by 40.70 north latitude and 29.91 east longitude, 11 km southeast of Izmit. Although the magnitude of the earthquake has been reported by various institutions at different values, the magnitude of the moment intensity varies around Mw = 7.5 and the surface wave magnitude Ms = 7.7. In the Gölcük earthquake with official figures; While a total of 17.480 people lost their lives – 270 in Bolu, 268 in Bursa, 86 in Eskişehir, 981 in Istanbul, 9.477 in Kocaeli, 3.891 in Sakarya, 2.504 in Yalova and 3 in Zonguldak, in the Survey Report of the Assembly that was published in 2010, the number of buildings destroyed and severely damaged in this earthquake was corrected as 96.796 houses and 15.939 workplaces in addition to 48 thousand 901 injured and 505 disabled people.

The fact that the earthquake occurred in the Marmara Region, an important industrial zone of the country, and affected very wide geography, caused great difficulties in the country. The earthquake occurred on August 17, 1999, at 3:02 am, in the region defined by 40.70 north latitude and 29.91 east longitude, 11 km southeast of Izmit. Although the magnitude of the earthquake has been reported by various institutions at different values, the magnitude of the moment intensity varies around Mw = 7.5 and the surface wave magnitude Ms = 7.7.

  • Body Wave Intensity = 6.3 (USS)
  • Surface Wave Intensity = 7.8 (USGS)
  • Moment Intensity = 7,5 (Kandilli, USGS, General Directorate of Disaster Affairs, Earthquake Research Department, DGCA-DAD)
  • Record Duration Intensity = 6.7 (Kandilli)

It was determined by the investigations that the focal depth of the earthquake was 10-15 km and a fault movement occurred around 120 km with right-slip. After the main earthquake wave, many aftershocks with magnitudes of 4.0-5.0 occurred. Nearest momentum has shifted to the earthquake epicenter, General Directorate of Disaster Affairs Earthquake Research established all across Turkey by the Office of Records and Strong Motion Network, which is operated in a station that is taken from Izmit Meteorological Station. Accordingly, the maximum acceleration is 163 mG in the north-south direction, 220 mG in the east-west direction, and 123 mG in the vertical direction. All three components are of comparable size to each other.

In the recent past, severe earthquakes occurred in this region in 1943, 1957, 1967, including the Adapazarı epicenter. When we look at the history of the past, there are big earthquakes in this region every 30 years on average. After the 1999 earthquake, the expectation of earthquakes of various magnitudes in certain periods and various magnitudes is due to the characteristic feature of this fault line. After the earthquake, some regulations such as compulsory earthquake insurance were introduced.

The 99 earthquakes that affected the Marmara Region had a great impact all over the world. In total, 52 countries helped. Those countries are Germany, the United States of America, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Algeria, Morocco, Finland, France, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Sweden, Italy, Japan, Cyprus. Greek part, TRNC, Hungary, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Greece.

A Remarkable Research on the 1999 Istanbul Earthquake

Scientists from Boğaziçi and Stanford University reached new findings in the research on the usability of pioneering tremors in earthquake prediction in the light of the findings of the August 17 earthquake. According to the research, a total of 18 forescent earthquakes with magnitudes 0.9 to 2.8 occurred in a seismic station a few kilometers away from the earthquake outer center, recorded 44 minutes before the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. The last leading earthquake occurred just before the big break. According to the research results, the 1999 earthquake occurred with the domino effect of the earthquakes on the fault.

Academics from Boğaziçi University and Stanford University conducted a new study by reviewing the data on the 17 August 1999 Izmit earthquake, in which more than 17 thousand people died. In the new study, published in the June 2018 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, it was discussed whether the possibility of a larger earthquake could be predicted by the leading tremors before the earthquake.

A study previously published in Science magazine in 2011 concluded that the 1999 Izmit Earthquake came after a series of small pioneering tremors, and these pioneering tremors were potential warning signs that a major earthquake would occur. However, joint research conducted by scientists from Boğaziçi and Stanford Universities has yielded staggering results about whether the pioneering tremors have an impact on earthquake prediction.

“We evaluated the 1999 Izmit earthquake and seismic data with new techniques that were not used that day,” said Dr. Fatih Bulut, a faculty member at Boğaziçi University Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute, Department of Geodesy. As a result of our research, we found that the forerunners were like any other small earthquake. “There was no distinctive indication of the way these pioneering tremors occurred, indicating that a major earthquake would happen,” he said.

“We want to find a scientifically valid way to warn the public before an earthquake occurs,” said William Ellsworth, a professor of geophysics, who participated in the research from the Stanford University School of Earthquake, Energy and Environmental Sciences. However, our research does not reach an optimal result in terms of earthquake prediction. Despite this, thanks to the pioneering tremors, we have become able to understand the earthquake onset physics in much more detail. ” Adding that in at least half of all major earthquakes, earthquakes occur after small leading tremors, Ellsworth said, “The predictability of the earthquake through these pioneering tremors depends on the separation of these pioneering tremors from ordinary earthquakes. “The research, published in the June issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, opens a whole new window on the way the earthquake occurs.”

Stating that they focused on the question of how earthquakes occur in the research, Fatih Bulut said, “The main objectives of this study were to understand the onset physics of earthquakes and to examine the predictability of earthquakes with pioneering tremors, which have been discussed for a long time. Pioneering tremors are one of the most important data sources that provide an explanation for how earthquakes occur. In 2011, French and Turkish geoscientists conducted a study for Science magazine analyzing the pioneering tremors of the 7.6 magnitude earthquake that took place on August 17th. According to the research, a total of 18 precursor earthquakes with magnitudes between 0.9 and 2.8 occurred at a seismic station a few kilometers away from the earthquake outer center, recorded 44 minutes before the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. “The last pioneering earthquake occurred just before the big break,” he explained.

According to the analysis of the Scientific research, the pioneering earthquakes occurred at a point about 15 kilometers below the earth, very close to the beginning of the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. In addition, the similarities in waveform and depth were interpreted as the benefit of 18 pioneering earthquakes occurred at the same point. Therefore, the researchers concluded that a “slow slip” occurred in the Izmit Earthquake. In other words, the rapid acceleration of the slide triggered the 7.6 magnitude earthquake. Research by monitoring similar slow slip events in Turkey and other active fault lines in the world can provide timely warnings were predicting big earthquakes before they occur. In our research, we decided to test this idea. “We have clearly seen that this is not the case with the results we have reached and that the 1999 Earthquake cannot be predicted by pioneering tremors.”

Instead of relying on data from a seismic station, Fatih Bulut and William Ellsworth used data from 10 stations, 100 kilometers in diameter, of the earthquake outer center that recorded the 1999 earthquake. Stating that they were able to determine the exact location of the earthquakes with the data they received from these 10 stations, Fatih Bulut said, “Since 44 minutes before the main earthquake, we detected a total of 26 pioneering earthquakes moving from west to east along the fault line. We have seen that all pioneering earthquakes occurred at close but different points from the fault line and none of them repeat. Our result shows that an earthquake occurs by triggering another earthquake at another adjacent point, as we call the multi-part rupture model.

In a sense, the 1999 earthquake occurred with the domino effect of the earthquakes on the fault. Thousands of occurring each year in the vanguard of the Izmit earthquake in Turkey can be distinguished from small earthquakes that have any qualifications. “The last earthquake that occurred one after another triggered the 7.6 magnitude earthquake,” he said. Fatih Bulut and William Ellsworth concluded that the slow sliding event had no effect in triggering the Izmit Earthquake and that the leading earthquakes were unqualifiable. Emphasizing that all the leading earthquakes occurred in different places along the fault line, William Ellsworth said, “None of these were repeating in a way that a great earthquake was coming.

Science research authors were overly optimistic about this, but what they claimed did not happen. Whether leading or not, we cannot say whether there will be a locally negligible small earthquake after a small earthquake or a large earthquake affecting a large area like the 1999 Izmit Earthquake. We do not even know why some major earthquakes have leading earthquakes but some do not. We continue our research on these issues. “The way to move forward is to make observations very close to the earthquake source with advanced instrumental equipment.”

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How Istanbul Was Conquered: The History of the Conquest of Istanbul

The Conquest of Istanbul was carried out on May 29, 1453, by the Ottoman sultan of the period, 21-year-old Mehmet II, and the Janissary Army under his command. With the conquest of Istanbul, the Byzantine Empire, which was the continuation of the 1500-year-old Roman Empire, fell apart and migration to the Christian world started in the city. Conquest of Istanbul is also the day when the Middle Ages ends and the New Age begins. The conquest of Istanbul is also of great importance in terms of military history. From ancient times until that time, city walls and city walls were the greatest means of defense that protected cities against the occupation. However, the Ottoman Army, using black powder during the war, managed to destroy the city walls.

With the siege of the Ottoman Empire, the huge cannons specially designed by the Sultan were launched. Byzantine attempts to repair the breaches that were opened when the cannon shots began to make breaches in the city walls at night. Suggesting that Istanbul cannot be taken without entering the Golden Horn, Sultan II. Mehmed thinks that the artilleries that are fired should be developed and launched to their target with a curved landing by inclining in the air and plans and draws accordingly. A wide road is opened from Dolmabahçe to the ridges of Beyoğlu is laid secretly along the way. Ships are launched overnight by walking from the land. II Mehmed orders a major offensive on 29 May. On Tuesday, 29 May 1453, Istanbul surrenders to the Ottoman troops.

After two attacks that started on the night of May 29 and continued until close to morning, a general attack started on Tuesday, May 29; The real result was the gap opened between Topkapı and Edirnekapısı and the central branch where the peddler was located was attacking here. The first general attack lasted two hours, followed by the second general attack lasted an hour and a half, and no result was obtained yet; the defenders also worked hard, killing those who climbed the stairs and climbed the walls with Grojuva fire and other means; No success was achieved in attacks on other arms.

Thereupon, the janissaries and reserve forces in the central branch were put forward as the last trump card. This time the pastor himself was with the janissaries; the emperor was also on this front; Meanwhile, Jüstinyani, the commander-in-chief who defended the walls with great determination, was injured in his hand and arm, and he withdrew by abandoning the defense, despite the emperor’s request, because he was more likely to lose blood. During this attack, the janissaries went as far as the ditch. The Pâdishah stopped them there and sent them to the attack under the auspices of the arrows and archers; the janissaries crossed the moat and stood against it.

Emperor Constantine XI defended the city with great determination despite many troubles and betrayals, and although he was offered to escape by sea, he refused and died near his soldier and for the defense of his country. Constantine was between forty-nine and fifty years old at his death. The number of prisoners taken after the conquest of Istanbul was about fifty thousand.

How Istanbul Was Conquered I: Siege Preparations

With the Ottoman expansion of his territory in the region, when Mehmet II took the throne, Istanbul was surrounded. The Byzantine Empire tightened chains to the Golden Horn during the siege and reinforced its navy. Another means of defense of Byzantium was the Grejuva. The Grejuva was not extinguished in water and was to be used effectively in both land and sea warfare. In order not to suffer during the siege, provisions, and ammunition storages were reinforced; The number of guards and soldiers from various countries was increased and the city walls were strengthened. Along with three galleys, 200 soldiers and ammunition were sent by the Papacy, and 30 ships were reported to be prepared for the expedition.

In January 1453, together with two ships, 700 soldiers under the command of the Genoese commander Giovanni Giustiniani came to help. Guistiniani was appointed commander in chief by the emperor Constantine. If the battle ended in Byzantine victory, the island of Limnos would be given to Giustiniani. The main element in the defense plan of Byzantium was the walls of Istanbul. The walls of Istanbul were not designed only against an attack from the land; The seaside of the city was also completely surrounded by walls. Today, the area known as Sarayburnu was completely isolated from the sea.

Heavy cannons were built to be used by the Ottomans during the siege. The “Shahi” ball, which was built by an engineer named Urban, who was kidnapped by sewers from Byzantine dungeons, was one of them, its single shot was around 550 kilograms and the length of the ball was 8 meters and its circumference was 2.5 meters. In order to completely disconnect Istanbul from the sea and to prevent any aid from the city during the siege, II. Mehmet found it necessary to build the Rumeli Fortress opposite Anadolu Hisarı.

There are various opinions about the size of the Ottoman army, according to Hammer it was 250,000, according to Barbaro 160,000, and according to Sfrantzes and Dukas 200,000 soldiers. The Ottoman Navy was also prepared to support the sea during the siege; There are different opinions about the existence of the fleet given under the command of Baltaoğlu Süleyman Pasha; Dukas says 300 and Georgios Francis says 160. Before the siege, some castles and towns around the city were captured by 10,000 soldiers under the command of Karaca Pasha.

On April 6, 1453, the Ottoman land army was positioned in front of the city walls, extending from the Golden Horn to the Marmara. The Ottoman army destroyed the suburbs around the city before the attack. The weakest parts of the walls were identified in order to choose where the guns would be deployed. Two days after the deployment of the cannons, the Ottoman Navy under the command of Baltaoğlu Süleyman Pasha captured Prinkipos (Büyükada) and Antigoni (Burgaz Island) and a Byzantine castle in Tarabya.

After the deployment of the balls, II. Mehmet sent his vizier Veli Mahmud Pasha to Emperor Constantine and demanded the surrender of the city. Constantine said he was sworn to protect the city, but that he could pay taxes if asked. Ottoman artillery fire began on April 12, 1453. According to many sources, these cannons, which were seen as powerful for their period, were making a great noise and demoralizing the defenders of the city. Ottoman cannons were loaded in about two hours, so artillery fire was not frequent. II. Mehmet wanted the cannons to be fired more frequently, and as a result, a cannon exploded, the master Urban and those around him died.

Although a repair shop was established in the camp to maintain the cannons, according to the historian Hammer, the shattered ball could not be repaired due to Urban’s death. Ottoman artillery fire continued until April 18. On April 18, at the point where the Ottoman central army was located, a breach was opened in the first and second walls on the sides of Bayrampaşa Stream. By order of Mehmet II, the ditch in front of the walls was filled with stones and sandbags. The Ottoman army launched a night attack. War towers were built by the order of Mehmet II to support the attack.

However, the Ottomans did not get any results from the night attack; the marching towers caught fire with Grejuvas, and the Ottoman soldiers who managed to climb the walls faced stubborn defense. In the same days, the Ottomans also launched a sea offensive; The Ottoman navy, which collapsed in front of the Golden Horn on April 15, 1453, could not break the chain due to the defense of Byzantine and allied navies and had to retreat. The failure of both attacks raised morale on the Byzantine side.

How Istanbul Was Conquered II: Sea Battle

On April 20, the aid fleet, consisting of a Byzantine and three Genoese galleons commanded by captain Flantanellas, approached Istanbul. II. Mehmet 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 motionless when the wind ceased off the coast of 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, the 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. Having seen 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 the help of two Venetian ships took shelter in the harbor and successfully delivered its aid to Constantinople. The next day, Mehmet II went to the navy command with ten thousand horsemen to account for the defeat. 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 brought to the vacant captain.

After the failure of the attacks on the city, the galleons that brought aid broke through the Ottoman navy and II. Mehmet held meetings with statesmen and commanders. Repeating that European states would come to help at the meeting, Çandarlı Halil Pasha suggested that the siege be lifted and that Byzantium be subjected to 70,000 Ducat gold tax. However, other people, including Mehmet II’s brother-in-law Zağanos Pasha and his teacher Molla Gürani objected to this proposal. Despite this, nobody could make any proposals about how to enter the Golden Horn at the meeting. 14 years before Mehmet ascended the throne, Venetian commander Gattamelata took his ships from the Adige to Lake Garda by land. It is estimated that this event is taken as an example in the operation of ships from land.

First, Zağanos Pasha was ordered to build a bridge over the Golden Horn to establish a land connection between Galata and Constantinople walls. However, it was thought that this bridge would be vulnerable to Byzantine and allied ships in the Golden Horn. Thereupon II. Mehmet ordered the Ottoman navy in front of the Diplonsion (today’s Beşiktaş) to slide in front of the Galata walls and land on the Golden Horn. Additionally, cannons were placed on the dominant hills around Galata to hit the Golden Horn walls and the navy on the Golden Horn. The distance the ships would pass was 2 to 4 kilometers and it was forested; The trees on the route were cut down and then the trees were fixed on the soil by lubricating with the olive oil given by the Genoese.

The Genoese followed a policy of balance throughout the war and helped both the Byzantine and the Ottoman sides. Before the ships were executed, Ottoman artillery deployed on Galata sides bombarded the ships in the Golden Horn. The ships were sailed on the night of April 21-22 so that the Byzantines would not notice. Meanwhile, in a diverting way, a large breach was opened around St Romanos Gate. Those in the city that night were busy closing this gap. In the morning, 72 Ottoman warships were successfully landed and the chain that closed the Golden Horn was dysfunctional. The Ottomans started the construction of the wooden bridge, the second stage of the plan. On April 24, a galley of Giustiniani approached to burn the ships but was sunk by Ottoman artillery.

After the incident, those on the Byzantine side gathered at St Maria Church and found it necessary to make a second attack and burn the ships. The attack was to be carried out at night under the command of Venetian captain Jacomo Coco. Galata Genoese, who postponed the attack for one day on the pretext of preparing the ships for the attack, took advantage of the time they had saved and conveyed the plan secretly to Mehmet II. Learning of the plan, II Mehmet ordered the ships in the Golden Horn to be reinforced and two more guns to be placed on the shores. On the night of April 28, two or three ships loaded with Grejuvas under the command of Jacomo Coco approached the Ottoman ships. But the Ottoman navy, aware of the attack, opened fire; Coco’s ship was sunk.

The other galley under the command of Cabriel Trivixan did not notice what was happening to Coco’s ship due to the noise of the guns and continued to move forward. Ottoman artillery hit this galley as well; a hole was drilled in the hull, but the galley was prevented from getting water, as the two crews squeezed their capes into the hole. On the other hand, a ship of the Ottomans was burned and the captured sailors were killed, visible from the city. In retaliation, the Byzantines executed 260 prisoners in their hands and put their severed heads on the walls.

How Istanbul Was Conquered III: Artillery Fires

After the Ottoman ships fend off the Byzantine counterattacks on the Golden Horn, the artillery deployed in Galata began to bomb the walls along with the ships in the Golden Horn. Thereupon, the Byzantines had to move soldiers to the Golden Horn walls. Still, the Ottoman artillery could not demolish the walls due to the long distance. Of the 150 shots, only 1 was hit and a woman died. Relieved that the Golden Horn walls were not damaged, the Byzantines placed two cannons on the walls of the Golden Horn on May 3 to protect their ships under heavy fire. As a result of the fire opened, two Ottoman ships were sunk. The answer of the Ottomans was to bring these two cannons under fire by bringing three cannons to the opposite shore. Despite the ongoing conflict day and night, neither side could destroy each other’s cannons.

While the mutual bombardment continued on the Golden Horn, the walls around St Romanos were also being bombed. The increasing number of walking towers were higher than the city walls and small cannons were placed in them, and the Ottoman soldiers prevented the gaps opened by these towers. The ditches filled with fragments falling from the walls gave the Ottoman army the opportunity to attack. Byzantine defense continued to inflict losses on the Ottomans; four moving towers were burned. Considering that the walls were sufficiently worn, Mehmet II launched an attack on the evening of May 6. But no result was achieved and the army, which suffered heavy losses, retreated. After this attack, the most worn part of the walls, St. Romanos was reinforced with some 400 Venetian sailors.

After that, artillery fire concentrated on the walls between Kaligaria Gate (Eğri Kapı) and Blakernai Palace. The Ottoman army, which entered the breaches opened on May 12, was repelled as a result of the training of Byzantine reserves, although they prevailed at first. Then, another attack was carried out; In this too, the Ottomans withdrew without getting results due to the Byzantine force of a thousand people coming to help from Caligari. On the morning of May 19, the Ottoman army brought a walking tower higher than the city walls near the Adrianapolis Gate. It consisted of a wooden skeleton covered with layers of ox/camel skin and the gaps of the skeleton were filled with soil, thanks to this tower, where arrows and small cannonballs could not damage, the ditches were filled with earth while shooting arrows at the soldiers on the wall.

On the same day, the Ottoman army built a bridge of tied barrels where the Golden Horn contracted; In order not to be destroyed by a fire that the Byzantines could open, it was not extended to the Kynegos Gate on the Golden Horn walls. The Byzantine side had to deploy soldiers on the Golden Horn walls despite the possibility of extending this unfinished bridge to the Kynegos Gate. On May 21st, the entire Ottoman fleet came to the Golden Horn, the townspeople, who thought that the general attack would begin, panicked, and bells were ringed in churches; However, as there was no land attack, the Ottoman navy returned a few hours later. According to the Venetian doctor Barbaro, who was in the city during the siege, the walls were being bombed every day; The artillery he described was throwing a 544-pound shot, and each shot caused panic in the city.

On the morning of May 16, the guards, hearing voices from underground around the Kaligaria Gate, noticed that the Ottoman sewers were digging a tunnel and began digging a tunnel themselves to stop it. When the two tunnels met in a short time, the underground war started; The fire deliberately started by the Byzantine sewers who were in charge of destroying the tunnel of the Ottomans at all costs caused the death of the Ottoman sewers and the collapse of both tunnels. On May 21, Ottoman sewers opened a second tunnel around the Kaligaria Gate, which lacked watchtowers, and it was also noticed by those in the city; As in the previous tunnel, the Ottoman sewers, who predicted that the Byzantine sewers would start a fire again, set their tunnels on fire without giving them a chance, causing the death of the Byzantine sewers along with them.

The next day, another tunnel was discovered in the same place; With the hot oil spilled by the guards, the sewers were killed and the tunnel set on fire, the same day an as yet undiscovered Ottoman tunnel collapsed. Engineer Jean Grant, who was among the defenders of the city, started to work to find out if there were other tunnels, and as we entered the last week of the siege, several more Ottoman tunnels were discovered every day; On May 23-24-25, other tunnels were found in the same place. The tunnel noticed on 25 May reached under the walls; If destroyed, the walls could collapse; Byzantine sewers were content to wall the tunnel.

How Istanbul Was Conquered IV: The Final Offensive

After the fleet landed on the Golden Horn, the famine that started in the city, the underground wars, and the towering high above the walls, the Ottoman army had begun to prepare for the final attack. On 23 or 24 May II. Mehmet sent his brother-in-law İsfendiyaroğlu Kasım Bey to Emperor Constantine as an ambassador. It was stated that if they surrendered, Constantine and his family could safely go wherever they wanted, the lives and properties of the people would not be touched, and lastly, friendly relations would be established with the Paleologos dynasty, but if they did not surrender, the emperor and other nobles would be killed, the people of the city would be captured, and the army would be allowed to plunder.

The emperor refused to surrender the city but stated that he was ready to pay taxes. Despite the concerns of Grand Vizier Çandarlı Halil Pasha, it was decided to continue the siege and to make the last attack on 29 May. The decision and day of the attack were announced to the Ottoman army; If the city was conquered, it was declared by the sultan that all soldiers had the right to plunder the city for three days. In addition, the sultan declared that he would award the first soldier to rise on the walls, but also execute those who escaped from the war; After the pillage permit was issued, festivities started in the Ottoman army and tents and ships were illuminated; Takbir voices were rising so that those in the city could hear.

Sultan Mehmet divided his army into three groups; the first group consisted of elders and Christians, the second group of Muslim peasants and torments who joined the army, and the third group of janissaries. It is recorded that each group consists of approximately 50 thousand soldiers. Most of the army was in front of the severely damaged St Romanos Gate. Emperors Constantine and Giustiniani were also waiting with their troops to defend this line. On Tuesday, May 29, the Ottoman army prayed before sunrise and the Mehter team began to play the assault anthem. The primary task of the first group of the elderly and Christians was to move the stairs to the walls.

The battle started before sunrise, but the stairs erected on the walls were immediately toppled by the Byzantine soldiers, and the soldiers approaching the walls were killed by throwing stones and arrows. The attack of this group lasted two hours. This group, most of which was destroyed, started to flee towards the camp. But the order given by II Mehmet the day before was executed; The fleeing soldiers were slaughtered and forced to return to the walls. The turn was in the second group consisting of the main combat soldiers, and this group’s attack started. The attack was increasingly concentrated around St Romanos, but the soldiers of the second group could not climb the walls or erect the stairs.

Byzantine soldiers repelled all attacks using hot oil, Grejuva, arrows, and stones. The second group was also exhausted and this had a positive effect on the morale of the Byzantine forces; After an hour and a half of war, some soldiers from the second group also started to flee. Those who escaped from the war also faced the executions of their commanders and Sultan Mehmet II punished a few fugitives with his mace. Mehmet II approached the walls with his janissaries, the last group remaining in his hands. Byzantine troops were tired now, vigorous and experienced janissaries reached the walls without breaking their ranks; When the Kerkoporta Gate, which was opened on the orders of Constantine for the counterattack the night before, allowed about fifty Ottoman soldiers to enter, the morale of the Byzantine soldiers deteriorated.

At that time, the great Ottoman cannon was fired and a passage was opened for the Janissaries, and the clash of the Janissaries and Byzantine soldiers began in the dust cloud. The Ottoman soldiers who managed to enter the watchtower were destroyed and the Byzantine soldiers, who saw that they repel the Janissaries, began to enjoy the victory, but the Ottoman cannon fired again; The offensive of the remaining Ottoman troops had begun. The first wall, which did not have any resistance, was captured by the Ottomans, and the janissaries, who secured this place with the support of the torments, started the attack on the second wall with all their might.

Both walls were in ruins and fighting was ongoing. With the effect of the defeat, the Piya Gate in the south also fell and the pillage of the Ottoman soldiers began. The weight of the army was moving towards the center of the city, the wealth there was greater, and the bannermen wanted to plant the Ottoman flags as soon as possible. By noon, the city had fallen and loot started, but the resistance continued in the walls of the Golden Horn, the bastions of Vasileos, Leon, Alexius; Although the Golden Horn walls were dropped later, the three bastions continued to resist. These three bastions defended by Cretan sailors surrendered, and the sailors were given permission by Mehmet II to return to their homes.

Mehmet II, with his viziers and commanders, entered the city through St Romanos Gate (Topkapı). Coming in front of Hagia Sophia II. Mehmet fell prostrate and kissed the ground and asked the crowd who took refuge in the church to go out, saying that they would only be made slaves; their souls were left untouched. It is mentioned in historical sources that he examined the mosaics and valuable marbles in Hagia Sophia. Meanwhile, when he saw a soldier trying to dismantle the marble, he reacted and said that the buildings in the city were his property. Despite the three-day pillage he had given to the soldiers before the attack, he ordered the looting to be finished immediately and those who disobeyed to be executed.

Best Books About the History of Istanbul You Can Buy Online

How Istanbul Get Its Name: The Historical Development of Istanbul’s Name

Conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453, Istanbul has hosted different empires for centuries. Istanbul, which has an important place in world history, preserves this situation today. It is one of the most crowded and largest cities in the world. Istanbul, located at the confluence of European and Asian continents, has a long history. So, where does the name of Istanbul, home to three great empires, come from? In the following paragraphs, you will learn about the historical development of Istanbul, where many cultures and religions live together and witnessed many historical moments.

Istanbul has been given various names throughout history. These names varying in different times of history are Byzantion, Augusta Antonina, Nova Roma, Constantinople, Konstantiniyye, and the present Istanbul. The Ottomans used the name Istanbul with the sound “i”, which was used as a change in the pronunciation of the names “Istinpol”, “Estanbol”, “Istinbolin”, “Stinboli”, and “Sitanpul” used in the Roman period. Later, they named it Islâmbol, which means the center of Khilafah. Over time, its transition to Turkish became Istanbul.

Byzantion is the first known name of Istanbul. In 667 BC, Dorian Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara in Ancient Greece established a colony in today’s Istanbul and the new colony is named after their king Byzas or Byzantas. It is also referred to as Byzantium in some sources. Byzantium is the Latinized version of the city given by the Romans when they conquered it in the 1st century AD. Augusta Antonina is the short term name of the city, which was named by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in honor of his son Antonius.

When the Roman Emperor Constantine I was declared the capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD, he named the city Nova Roma, which means “New Rome” in Latin. With the death of Emperor Constantine, I in AD 337, the name of the city was changed to Constantinople, which means “city of Constantine” in his honor. Constantinople remained the city’s official name throughout the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. But Constantinople was referred to by the locals only as (Polis), which means “city” in Greek. After Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror conquered the city in 1453, the city was declared the fourth capital of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantinople continued to be used for a long time. After the Republic of Turkey was established on 29 October 1923, foreigners continued to use the name Constantinople instead of Istanbul for 7 more years.

Kostantiniyye is the Arabic form of Constantinople. It is the most known and most used name in the Islamic world. Constantinople, which means “city of Constantine” in Greek, means “the place of Constantine” in Kostantiniyye Arabic. However, in some periods, the Ottoman authorities used names such as Dersaadet (Arabic: “Happiness Gate”), Darâliye (Arabic: “Yüce Kapı”), Bâb-ı Âli (Arabic: “Yüce Kapı”), and Pâyitaht (Persian: “The Leg of the Throne” or “Capital”).

The Historical Development of the Istanbul and Its Names

Istanbul has a settlement history of 300,000 years, a metropolitan history of around 3000 years, and a capital history of 1600 years. Throughout the century, it has been the sole ruler of the region in its wide geography from the Danube River in the west to the Persian Empire in the east. The first traces of human culture were found during the excavations carried out in the Yarimburgaz Cave, located on the edge of Küçükçekmece Lake. It is believed that Neolithic and Chalcolithic people lived around the lake during this period.

Megara residents are accepted as the first significant settlers. Istanbul was founded as an ancient Greek city-state called Byzantion during this period. Soon it grew stronger. It was captured by the Roman Empire. The establishments of the present Istanbul were laid in the seventh century BC. The city of “Byzantion” was founded by the people of Megara in 667 BC. By displaying a city-state structure for a long time, Byzantium became a dominant power in the entire ancient Greek region thanks to economic development due to its strategic location.

In this period, Istanbul will be Byzantium, Latinized, and become one of the important cities of the Roman Empire as Byzantium, its name will change and it will become the capital of the Roman Empire as Constantinople. Byzantion passed into the hands of the Roman Empire in 196 BC. Especially during the Emperor Vespasian period, its name is Byzantium in Latin. In 196, he was punished and severely damaged by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus for making an agreement with the Persian Emperor Pescennius; the city is rebuilt throughout. It was declared the capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 330.

Istanbul’s capital history began 65 years before the separation of the Roman Empire into East-West. Byzantion was made the capital of the Roman Empire as ‘Nova Roma (New Rome)’ at the request of Emperor Constantine the Great in 330, and the name of the city was changed from Byzantium to Constantinople after the death of the emperor. Constantinople, which replaced Rome with its invasion and collapse, becomes the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the successor state of the Roman Empire, which was divided into two in 395. During this period, Istanbul will become the capital of the Byzantine Empire as Constantinople.

Constantinople became the capital of the state in 395, which was first established as the Eastern Roman Empire and later became the Byzantine Empire after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Constantinople is also the brightest and richest city in the world in the early Middle Ages. Constantinople, which was occupied by Latins between 1204-1261, became a part of the Latin Empire. It was the capital of the Byzantine Empire until 1453 after the Latin rule. Istanbul will be the capital of a great world empire during the Ottoman period, and it will dominate the lands spanning three continents for more than 400 years.

After the conquest of the city by Fatih Sultan Mehmed on May 29, 1453, the capital period of the Ottoman Empire begins. The city, which was called Konstantiniyye by the Muslims, was called the ‘E Stin Polis’ (From the Capital / City) by the Greeks. The Ottomans also used this name and made it the shape of Istanbul. The Russians called the city Çarigrad (Tsar’s city), and its name in the Balkans was Stambul. On October 29, 1923, when the capital of the Republic of Turkey was declared as Ankara, Istanbul lost its capital property. In 1930, the name Constantinople was completely abolished and its official name became Istanbul.

Where Does the Name Istanbul Come From

Istanbul, whose history goes back 8,500 years with the ruins found in Yenikapı and which is “the only city that has been the capital of 3 empires in the world”, has been called different names throughout its history. After the Ottoman Empire conquered the city which was called “Byzantion” for 1004 years and “Constantinople” in 1116 years, it did not enter into a discussion about what its name would be. The name of the city, which was also called “Konstantiniyye”, “Stanpolis”, “Dersaadet”, “Asitane”, “Darülhilafe” and “Makarrı Saltanat” in the Ottoman period, was accepted as “Istanbul” after the declaration of the Republic.

The city, whose history dates back to 8500 years ago with the ruins found in Yenikapı, founded a colony by the Dorian Greek settlers from Megara in Ancient Greece in 667 BC and named the new colony “Byzantion” in honor of their king Byzas. At the point when the city was pronounced the capital of the Roman Empire in 330, it was called “Nova Roma”, signifying “New Rome” in Latin, however, this name was not embraced a lot. After the death of Emperor Constantine, I in 337, the name of the city was changed to “Constantinople” which means “Constantine’s city” in his honor. Constantinople remained the city’s official name throughout the Byzantine Empire.

After the Ottoman Empire conquered the city called “Byzantion” for 1004 years and “Constantinople” in 1116 years, it did not enter into a name fight. Experts stated that after the conquest of Istanbul by the Ottomans, there were many names, some official names were used very little and some were adopted by the public. Emphasizing whether the Ottoman sultans never stuck on the name, experts said. There is one exception to this. Sultan Mustafa III especially uses Islambol, which means the city of Islam. It is known that the most used name in the Ottoman period was “Konstantiniyye”, which was translated into the Arabic language of Constantinople.

The Origin of the Word “Istanbul”

When the city is mentioned, Istanbul within the walls comes to mind. In my opinion, it is more important where Istanbul’s name comes from than where Istanbul is. At that time, they never called the places outside the section inside the city wall Istanbul. This is the most confused and common mistake right now. It separates Eyüp from Istanbul, when the opposite shore is mentioned, Galata comes to mind, not Kadıköy. When it comes to crossing over, there is a line from Karaköy to Galata and from Galata to Kuledibi. There is no more Taksim, and there is Üsküdar. Apart from that, there are Adalar and villages on the Bosphorus, which are used seasonally. So the Bosphorus is not considered Istanbul. When it is said ‘I will go to Istanbul’, it means and separates the walls.

Experts stated that the Ottoman state used the names “Darülhilafe” meaning the center of the caliphate and “Makarri Sultanate” meaning the center of the sultanate, and “This is very convenient. The Ottoman does not directly engage in that fight, it defines a city from its function. Whoever says what, whether Constantinople or not, no matter what they say, it is Darülhilafe. It is Makarr-ı Saltanat. This reveals the tolerance of the Ottoman Empire and a self-confident state over all these discussions.

Experts stated that there is a debate about the beginning of the name Istanbul with the letter “I” or “i” and that Istanbul has two different spellings. Istanbul which is written with the letter “I” is used more in Istanbul Turkish. Emphasizing that they do not focus on which word is the truth, linguists said, “I believe that the idea of ​​preserving the city’s historical place properly, preserving its appearance and historical feature and at least being the center of a certain part of the world is more important.

Expressing that the name Istanbul, which was officially used after the Republic, comes from Greek and was a name used in the past, specialists state that the source of Istanbul is a blend of the words “stan” signifying “to the city” and “police” signifying “city”. Experts said, “Why did they say Stanpolis? Because people who came here would ask the city on the way, ‘How can we go to the city? That is why the name of the city remained ‘Stanpolis’ and transformed into Istanbul in time.” Specialists expressed that the city had numerous names, for example, Konstantiniyye, Dersaadet in the Ottoman Empire, a portion of the utilization of the name Istanbul with the republic.

The Old Names of Istanbul

I have also included the names given to Istanbul throughout history due to the discussions on the name of Istanbul, which has been in dispute from time to time by historians and has been brought to the agenda in diplomatic relations.

  • Byzantion

The city, whose history dates back to 8500 years ago with the ruins found in Yenikapı, founded a colony by the Dorian Greek settlers from Megara in Ancient Greece in 667 BC and named the new colony “Byzantion” in honor of their king Byzas.

  • Nova Roma

At the point when the city was pronounced the capital of the Roman Empire in 330, it was named “Nova Roma”, which signifies “New Rome” in Latin, yet this name was not embraced a lot.

  • Constantinople

With the death of Emperor Constantine I, the name of the city was changed to “Constantinople”, which means “the city of Constantine” in his honor. Constantinople was the official name of Istanbul all through the Byzantine Empire.

  • Stanpoli

The word ‘is ten polin’ in ancient Greek, meaning (to go) towards the city, and some of the ancient experts suggested as the etymological source of the name Istanbul.

  • Darülhilafe

In the official correspondence of the Ottoman Empire, the word “Darülhilafe” was used to mean the center of the caliphate.

  • Makari Sultanate

The word meaning the center of the reign.

  • Dersaadet

It is one of the old names of Istanbul, which signifies “the entryway of joy”.

  • Asitane

It is that this word comes from the Turkish words Astana and Balık. According to this thesis: The word Istanbul consists of two words in pure Turkish. It is formed from the words Astana (or “Asitane” in Ottoman Turkish) and Fish. The words Astana or Asitane comes from the pre-Turkish word ASKAN or ASQAN, it means belonging to heaven, beautiful place or ruling, khanate. The word ASTANABAL is more catchy and easier to say as a result of the words and idioms used by the dominant elements trying to be said by the components that have been caught and become Turkified, and the word is distorted.

  • Istanbul

Istanbul, which is called differently in various languages and civilizations, became the present name of this historically and culturally very rich settlement. It has traces from the past, from Greek and Latin cultures, as well as it is a complete Turkish word.

  • The Islamic names

The name Istanbul actually comes from the word “Islambol”, that is, “plenty of Muslims”. Turkish scientists used the word “Islam bol” on the letter envelopes and in their works until the last days of the Ottoman Empire. “Islambol” is written on the coins minted during the time of Sultan Ahmed the Third and in some of the coins and all of the coins until the period of Sultan Selim III. Istanbul has various names other than “Islambol”. “Sultanşehir”, “Belden-üt-Tayyibe” “Dergâh-ı Selâtin”, “Derseâdet”, “Asitâne”, “Dâr-ul-Islam”, “Dâr-ul-Hilâfe”, “Dâr-us-Seâde”, It has been referred to by names such as “Âsitâne-i Devlet”, “Pây-ı Taht-ı Saltanat”, “Aziz İstanbul” and one or more of these were also used together. It was known as “Byzantion”, Deutra-Roma “,” Roma Nea “,” Constantinople “,” Bulin “,” Astanbulin “, and” Istimbuli “before the Ottomans. Before the Ottoman conquest, its name among Muslims is “Constantinople”. Evliya Celebi narrates that Istanbul was founded 1600 years before the Prophet’s arrival in the world, by the son of Dawud, Hazrat Sulayman.

Controversies About the Name of Istanbul

There has been a debate going on for almost a century about the origin of Istanbul, a Turkish city name. Was the name ‘Islambol’ used for this city, where a large number of non-Muslim populations lived until the Republic and the exchange period and which has been the capital of the Orthodox faith for centuries? Since when has it been used? Did Islambol turn into ‘Istanbul’ overtime? Or is the origin of the name Istanbul even older than the establishment of the Ottoman Empire?

Finally, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech on the June 23 elections said, “This is Istanbul, also known as Islambol. This is not Constantinople, but there are those who want to see this place like this. We have 22 days against the individuals who need to see this.” This announcement went to the front indeed. Although the original form of the word Islambol, which is supposed to be ‘Islam abundant, full of Islam’ or Islambul, ‘find Islam’, is associated with the religion of Islam, experts state that this is not the origin of the word but a later folk derivation.

It is noted that this derivation was widely adopted for a period and that the word ‘Islambol’ was seen on Ottoman coins from the time of Ahmed the Third to Selim the Third (1708-1807). Another claim, which has not been given much compliment among historians, is that the expression ‘Stanbol’ is the long and troublesome name of Constantinople, which has been corrupted for practical reasons in folk language. In his work “An Essay on the etymology of the word Istanbul”, Berberian explains this claim with Turkish phonetic and harmony reasons.

In addition, Berberian explains that it is possible to see similar but different examples in Armenian works and refers to the words Istinbol and “Istanbol”, which were mentioned in Bitlisli Arakel’s elegy on the conquest of Istanbul in the 15th century. It was also noted that Simeon, a Polish traveler who lived in the 17th century, pronounced the name of the city as “Istinbol” in his works. There are many place-names derived from folk language (demotic) in the world, but the name ‘Istanbul’ is not accepted as one of them. There is a strong consensus that it is etymologically derived from the new Greek “is tin póli” (εισ την πόλι) meaning inner city, the name given to the inner city part of Istanbul compared to Galata.

The study prepared by Robert Woodhouse, who works at the Institute of Languages ​​and Comparative Culture Studies of Queensland University with Marek Stachowski, Etymology Specialist at Jagielloński University of Poland, by examining all known sources on the etymology of Istanbul, is based on a Greek-Latin agreement dated 1299 and The “Stinboli” form in the Latin text is mentioned. It is noted that in the period of 1868-1878, two different forms were formed as ‘Stambólköy’ with the termination of the Turkish ‘village’ element. At this point, the difference between Sta (n / m) sounds is thought to be due to the use of nasal passages in the pronunciation of classical Greek and modern Greek.

The basis for the precise pronunciation of the word ‘Istimboli’ in Greek in the work of Woodhouse and Stachowski is that Johannes Schiltberger from Bavaria, who was known as Europe’s first Turcologist, who spent his youth as a prisoner in the Ottoman Empire after the Niğbolu Pitch War and reflected what he saw in Anatolia in his works 30 years later. Speaking Turkish, Persian, Armenian, and Greek and considered as the Marco Polo of the Germans, Schiltberger, who was in the house of an archbishop in the Ottoman Empire for 3 months in 1426, received notes as ‘Istimboli’ from Istanbul – possibly recorded in the spoken language of the city. Turkish history professor Halil İnalcık, who is one of the few historians of the world with his contributions to Turkish-Ottoman history, does not specify the exact source, but notes that the correct form of the word is ‘İstimboli’.

Naming Process of the City From Byzantion to Istanbul

Istanbul is the most populous and economically most important city in Turkey. The 34th largest economy city in the world is the city with the highest population in Europe according to the ranking made considering the municipal borders. Istanbul, one of the oldest cities in the world, served as the capital of many civilizations such as the Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, the Latin Empire between 1204 – 1261, and the Ottoman Empire. In addition, Istanbul became the center of Islam from 1517, when the caliphate passed to the Ottoman Empire, until 1924 when it was abolished.

Istanbul has been given various names all through the ages. These city names are associated with different periods of the city’s history. These names are Byzantion, Augusta Antonina, Nova Roma, Constantinople, Konstantiniyye, and today’s Istanbul in historical order. Byzantion is the first official name of Istanbul. In 667 BC, Dorian Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara in Ancient Greece established a colony over present-day Istanbul and named the new colony Byzantion in honor of their king Byzas or Byzantas (Greek: Βύζας or Βύζαντας).

Byzantium is the Latinized version of the name of the ancient city, whose original name was Byzantion, in the 1st century AD, when the city was conquered by the Romans. Augusta Antonina is the short-term name of the city that was named by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century in honor of his son Antonius (later Roman Emperor Caracalla). When the city was declared the capital of the Roman Empire by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 330 AD, he named the city Nova Roma (Greek: Νέα Ρώμη, Nea Roma), which means “New Rome” in Latin, and this name was never adopted, although he tried to promote this name.

However, after the death of Emperor Constantine, I in AD 337, the name of the city was changed to Constantinople (Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολις, Kōnstantinoúpolis, Latinized: Constantinople) in his honor. Constantinople remained the city’s official name throughout the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. But Constantinople was referred to by the natives of the city simply as (Πόλιν, Polis), which means “city” in Greek. Even after its conquest by the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453, Constantinople remained the most common name used in the West. On 29 October 1923 after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the name became Istanbul.

Kostantiniyye (Arabic: القسطنطينية, al-Qusṭanṭiniyah, Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطينيه, Kostantiniyye) is the Arabic form of Constantinople and became the city’s most widely used name in the Islamic world. Unlike Constantinople, which means “city of Constantine” in Greek, Constantinople means “the place of Constantine” in Arabic. After the conquest in 1453, the city was declared the fourth capital of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantinople was used as the official name of the city by the Ottoman state, and this name remained in use for most of the time until the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. For instance, the Ottoman state and courts utilized titles, for example, “be-Makam-ı Darü’s-Saltanat-ı Kostantiniyyetü’l-Mahrusâtü’l-Mahmiyye” to demonstrate the wellspring of legitimate reports distributed in Kostantiniyye. That was, in those times, a consuetudinary state action.

However, in some periods, Ottoman officials were in favor of other names for the city. Especially these glorifying names were used synonymously and encouraged both for the city and for defining the Ottoman government and for diplomatic correspondence:

Dersaadet (Arabic: در سعادت, “The Door to Happiness”)
Darâliye (Arabic: در عاليه, “Supreme Gate”)
Bâb-ı Âli (Arabic: باب عالی, “The Supreme Gate”)
Asitane (Persian: آستانه, “Threshold of the State”)

Etymologically, the origin of the name Istanbul (Turkish pronunciation: [isˈtanbuɫ], and sometimes [ɯsˈtambuɫ] among the people) means “city” or “in the city” in Medieval (Byzantine) Greek (Greek pronunciation: [εἰς τὴν Πόλιν ], [is tin ˈpolin]) was formed by Turkish translation of the words. The name Istanbul has been mentioned in Arabic sources (in different ways) since the 10th century and in Turkish sources since the 11th century. In addition, the name Istanbul was used for the city in Turkish, especially among the Turkish people, even before the 1453 conquest. In the early documents of the Ottoman Empire, the name Istanbul was mentioned in Ottoman Turkish as (استان, a-sitan or i-stan), and i-stan means “land of beauty” in Arabic. In the last period of documents, it was mentioned as (استانبول, a-stan-bol, or i-stan-bul).

Although Istanbul was not an official name during the Ottoman period, it was included in official documents and was used frequently. In addition, in the Ottoman Army, the title of Istanbul’s lord was used for the central army commander of Istanbul, and the master of Istanbul was officially used for the highest civilian judge of Istanbul. This title later became prestigious and was used informally for cultured and well-mannered Istanbulites. October 29, 1923 years after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, even in Constantinople and abroad throughout almost the first seven years of the Republic of Constantinople names continue to be used by Westerners was adapted.

However, on March 28, 1930, the name of the city was officially changed with the Turkish Postal Service Law and took the name Istanbul. The name Constantinople, on the other hand, has been completely abolished. In addition, the Turkish authorities requested foreigners to use the official name Istanbul as the only name of the city in their own language and put it into practice. With the Republican era, after Istanbul was declared the official and international name of the city, the use of the name “Constantinople” in letters or other correspondence and in international fields was prohibited. For example, if the address was written as “Constantinople” (even if Istanbul is written next to it) in the letters sent to Istanbul from abroad, these letters started to be sent back.

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When Istanbul Treaty Was Signed: All You Need to Know About Istanbul Convention

The Istanbul Treaty is a convention that requires governments that have passed the convention through their parliaments to take a series of comprehensive measures to combat violence against women and all forms of domestic violence. Each article of the convention aims to prevent acts of violence from occurring, to assist victims, and to bring perpetrators to justice. The Convention requires criminalization of different forms of violence against women, such as domestic violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and psychological violence, and to impose legal sanctions against them.

The full name of the Istanbul Convention is “The Council of Europe Convention on Prevention of and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence”. It was opened for signature in Istanbul on May 11, 2011, and entered into force on August 1, 2014. It was named this way because it was opened for signature in Istanbul. In particular, violence against women and girls and bearing the characteristic of being the first European Convention on domestic violence targeted at the Convention so far has been approved by 34 countries including Turkey. Turkey signed the Convention was opened to the signature on 11 May 2011, it has confirmed March 14, 2012. Thus, Turkey became the first country to ratify the agreement.

What Is Istanbul Convention?

The draft law showing that the Council of Europe Convention relating to combating violence against women and domestic violence is appropriate has been enacted by the approval of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Parliament) in 2011. The first signatory country was Turkey in the Istanbul Convention which was named this because it is opened for signature in Istanbul. The contract defines the concepts of violence against women, domestic violence, and gender-based violence against women.

The convention, which is the first binding document on violence against women and domestic violence in the international arena, includes the following: The Istanbul Convention includes psychological violence, stalking, physical violence, rape, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion, forced sterilization, sexual violence including rape and harassment. It covers all types of violence against women. Within the framework of the contract, domestic violence is based on the protection of women, including all kinds of acts of violence between their current or former spouse or partners, whether they live in the same house or not.

Positioning women does not require being a “family”, a marital union, or sharing the same house. Obligations brought by the contract are primarily directed at government officials. The state must ensure that its officials acting on its behalf fulfill the requirements of the Istanbul Convention. States’ responsibility is not limited to this. Regardless of whether the perpetrator of the violence is the woman’s lover, husband, father, or boss, the duty of preventing, investigating, punishing, and compensating the violence belongs to the state.

The four basic principles of the convention are the prevention of all forms of violence against women and domestic violence, protection of victims of violence, prosecution of crimes, the punishment of criminals, and finally, the implementation of holistic, coordinated, and effective cooperation policies in the field of combating violence against women. The Istanbul Convention, which is a human rights-based convention against violence against women, allows not only punishment or abolition of impunity, but also allows women to live without fear, safety, violence, and discrimination, and to be compensated for the violence they are subjected to.

Detailed Information About Istanbul Convention

First of all, it should be noted that the Istanbul Convention does not only cover women. All family members including men – especially children – are covered by these regulations and this is clearly stated in both the Istanbul Convention and law no 6284. Those who can benefit from the regulations are not women but ‘victims’ regardless of whether they are men or women. The experience gained from violent incidents in many societies has clearly shown that; Victims of violence, mostly women, hide their cases of violence for a long time, fearing the pressure of the perpetrator and mostly the social environment.

Referral to the police or other competent authority often occurs when the victim begins to fear life. Once the violence reaches this level, it works against the victim every minute. For this reason, in the case of an application for protection, the judge can order an injunction order in favor of the victim of violence as an acute measure, since the evidence will take time. This decision has nothing to do with the Criminal Procedure, nor does it mean detention in any way. The party against whom a cautionary decision has been taken is given the right to appeal against the injunction decision.

The injunction against the person who proves to the court that the alleged victimization has not occurred is immediately lifted. In addition, these measures are not considered to be in the register of individuals. It only aims at avoiding the danger of violence. As every law can be abused in some way, the abuse of this regulation results in the removal of a person from home. Although this is a grievance, on the other hand, if every report is not taken seriously, the injury and loss of life that may occur is incomparably critical.

Although the convention does not only cover women, it mostly applies to women. Because women are subjected to violence more than men (forced abortion, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment and rape, stalking, sexual harassment, domestic violence, forced marriage, forced sterilization, etc.). These types of violence stem from the unequal power relations between men and women and discrimination against women. However, men are also subjected to some forms of violence covered by the Convention, such as domestic violence and forced marriage, often to a lesser extent and often to milder forms of violence. By accepting this fact in the convention, the state parties to the convention are encouraged to apply the provisions of the convention to all victims of domestic violence, including men, children, and the elderly. States can decide whether to apply the Convention to those victims of domestic violence.

Istanbul Convention and LGBT

The Convention does not contain any provision to establish a third type or to establish or promote LGBT tendencies as legal norms. It does not set new standards regarding sexual orientation, including the legal recognition of same-sex couples. To claim that this convention causes the legitimacy of homosexual orientations is malevolent, to say the least. The concept of “sexual orientation” is only mentioned in Article 4 of the Convention. No discrimination against anyone in the fight against violence in the article; It was emphasized that violence based on gender and sexual orientation should not be accepted together with many factors such as religion, language, race, etc. The article does not contain any imposition. All people are covered by the matter. It is unthinkable to keep any person outside the umbrella of protection from violence.

The issue frequently expressed in society as “the statement of the woman” is actually the statement of the victim of violence. The victim of violence can be a woman or a man. In addition, this part is mentioned in the law numbered 6284, not in the Istanbul Convention. The basis for the statement of the victim is valid only in temporary injunctions in order to protect the victim from the threat of death and violence in accordance with Law No. 6284. Violence is an inhumane phenomenon and it is the most damaging situation for family unity. It is not possible to talk about healthy family unity in a house where continuous violence is applied. Families made up of individuals who respect each other and have love and affection are not covered by the law. In fact, the measures in question are protective or preventive measures that can be taken at the request of the person concerned when violence occurs. No contract, text of the law, or measure requires interfering with the privacy of the family unless it is needed.

Although the mediation practice is a very appropriate legal regulation in general, one of the fundamental issues is the availability of the case to the mediation process. The issue of domestic violence, in which there is an unequal balance of power, has not been considered suitable for mediation by law. Instead, family therapists and psychologists, from whom every family can easily reach and receive help, achieve very positive results in this process. Anyway, reconciling spouses is a mechanism that can often work before problems become violent. Once the violence happens, it recurs and increases greatly. Especially, a reconciliation table where women who are subjected to such constant violence will sit with the perpetrator is not a realistic ground for discussion and reconciliation.

The Concept of Gender in the Istanbul Convention

“Gender” is not homosexuality or de-sexualization. Nor does it mean denial or neglect of biological sex. The concept of gender is used to describe the roles and duties imposed by cultures and societies on men and women. Gender equality means giving equal opportunity to women and men. In other words, this phrase does not mean the third gender. As it is known, the distribution of roles and duties assigned to women and men in society may not always take place in a fair and dignified manner. The concept of gender equality comes into play as soon as these roles create victimization for a woman or a man and try to provide justice. What is aimed here is not complete equality, but an equal opportunity that will eliminate injustices. Ultimately, each country determines its own policies for this purpose.

The Istanbul Convention and Law No. 6284 do not declare women as the superior gender. On the contrary, it is a protection for women against forms of violence to which women are subjected solely because they are women, such as humiliation, second-class human substitution, forced abortion, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment, and rape, stalking, domestic violence, forced marriage, forced sterilization, etc. These discrimination situations that women are exposed to due to unequal power relations with men are not compatible with human and moral values ​​and require special protection.

However, men are also exposed to some forms of violence covered by the Convention, such as domestic violence and forced marriage, and are able to benefit from Law No. Every citizen has an equal position in the implementation of laws. It is the greatest injustice to be made to the law of this country to claim that any law makes one oppress another, especially on the basis of gender.

It is not possible to turn family disputes into a public case. There is an act that constitutes a crime in the sense of the law in all cases that turn into public cases. Committing a crime is not an issue that can be left to the free will of individuals. For example, situations such as having disagreements, arguing, and making peace with a spouse are situations in which people act with their free will. However, situations such as beating, mutilating, or killing one’s spouse are not areas where they can act with their free will and are social issues, not within the family.

How Does the Istanbul Convention Protect Women?

According to the European Parliament, one in three women in European Union member states say they have been subjected to physical or sexual violence. In short, the Istanbul Convention aims to protect women from all kinds of violence and discrimination, to promote equality between women and men, to design a comprehensive framework, policies, and measures for these purposes, and to expand international cooperation on these issues. Taking into account that violence against women is an appearance of verifiably inconsistent force relations among genders and that these inconsistent force relations lead to the predominance of men over women, discrimination against women and the prevention of women’s full advancement, its acceptance in the union is recorded.

In order to ensure that the provisions of the convention are effectively implemented, a monitoring and supervision committee called the Group of Experts on Violence Against Women and Action Against Domestic Violence known as “GREVIO” is established. The convention which was opened for signature in Istanbul on May 11, 2011, and thus named the ‘Istanbul Convention’ refers to Violence against Women and Domestic Violence Prevention and the first country signed it became Turkey. It is stated that the convention will be valid both in peacetime and in situations of armed conflict.

The contract first talks about preventive measures. Create a society in which violence cannot dare. This is also an egalitarian society. Spread gender equality to the whole of society by all means, including education. Second, you may not be able to create such a society right away, violence is an old and deep-rooted problem, treating the contracting states with understanding. If you cannot create such a society right away, he says, if there is a threat, protect women effectively and actively. In other words, it says to apply the law numbered 6284 fully for us. In the third step, it says that you could not create a preventive society, you wanted to protect the woman, but you could not, if a woman was hurt, then at least make effective prosecution and an effective criminal system, ensure justice.

Finally, the contract is no longer savvy but demanding. Even if you are doing these things, it says show me how to empower women for the future. In the convention, the definition of “violence against women” includes all forms of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence, threats of violence, and discrimination, whether it occurs “in public or private life”.

It is stated that the convention can cover girls under the age of 18. The convention obliges the parties to take “necessary legal and other measures” to prevent all kinds of acts of violence and discrimination and calls for activities to strengthen women. With the convention, the parties are obliged to include the principle of equality of women and men in their national constitutions or other relevant legislation and to ensure the implementation of this principle, to prohibit discrimination against women, and to abolish laws and practices that discriminate against women.

While the provisions of the convention are being implemented, it is emphasized that discrimination cannot be made on the basis of “sexual orientation” as well as the identity characteristics of people. State officials and institutions are required to act in accordance with the obligations of the contract. The parties are asked to allocate the necessary financial and human resources to fulfill the provisions of the contract, as well as to support the work of non-governmental organizations that play an active role in the fight against women and to cooperate with these organizations.

The Convention expresses that gatherings will take measures to help change the cultural and social standards of conduct of men and women so as to destroy biases, traditions, customs, and different practices dependent on the conviction that women are mediocre or the socially stereotypical roles of both genders. The contract refers to the concept of “honor”, saying “The parties will ensure that concepts such as culture, custom, religion, tradition or so-called ‘honor’ are not used as a justification for any act of violence within the scope of this convention.”

In the convention, the parties are asked to encourage all members of society, especially youth and men, to actively contribute to the prevention of all forms of violence. It emphasizes the importance of education in order to prevent all kinds of violence. In the official curriculum, issues such as gender equality, gender roles free from social stereotypes, mutual respect, the non-violent resolution of conflicts in personal relationships, gender-based violence against women, and respect for personality integrity are required to be included in a way adapted to students’ learning capacities.

The convention obliges the parties to take the necessary measures for the dissemination of these principles in non-formal education as well as in sports, cultural and entertainment facilities, and media. The parties are also requested to establish training programs to prevent violence in the future, especially for those who attempt domestic violence to adopt acts that exclude violence. Similarly, training programs are requested for those who attempt sexual crimes.

State Level Claims of the Istanbul Convention

The Istanbul Convention stands out amongst the international texts accepted within the scope of combating violence against women. As of March 2019, the convention has been signed by 46 states and the European Union. This new convention of the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence is an international agreement that deals with this problem, which constitutes a serious violation of human rights, in the most comprehensive way. It focuses on zero tolerance to bear this kind of violence and is a significant advance towards guaranteeing more secure living in Europe and a more extensive zone past its outskirts.

Preventing violence, protecting victims, and bringing perpetrators to justice are the cornerstones of this convention. Also, it means to change the soul and contemplations of people by welcoming each individual from the general public, particularly men and young men, to change their mentalities. Essentially, it is a re-call for greater equality between men and women; This is because the roots of violence against women are rooted in inequality between men and women in society and are sustained as a result of a culture of tolerance and denial. Here are the demands of the Istanbul Convention at the state level:


  • Changing attitudes, gender roles, and stereotypes that cause acceptance of violence against women;
  • Training of professional staff working on victims;
  • Bringing issues to light of various sorts of viciousness and their traumatic features;
  • Counting issues tending to balance in the educational program at all degrees of instruction;
  • Cooperating with NGOs, media, and the private sector in order to reach the public.


  • Of all measures, ensuring that the greatest attention is paid to the needs and safety of victims;
  • Organizing specialized support services that provide medical assistance as well as psychological and legal advice to victims and their children;
  • Provide an adequate number of shelters and free telephone helplines available around the clock.


  • Guaranteeing that brutality against women is condemned and that the essential punishments are forced;
  • Guaranteeing that the grounds of the convention, custom, religion, or honor are not acknowledged as a reason for any demonstration of savagery;
  • Guaranteeing that victims profit by unique protection measures during the examination and preliminary cycle;
  • Ensuring that law enforcement officials can immediately go to help seekers and respond competently in dangerous situations.

Holistic policies

Ensure that all the above measures are part of comprehensive and coordinated policies, and ensure a holistic response to violence against women. The convention obliges the states parties to impose criminal or other legal sanctions for the following behaviors:

  • domestic violence (physical, sexual, psychological, or economic)
  • stalking;
  • sexual violence, including rape;
  • sexual harassment;
  • forced marriage;
  • circumcision of women;
  • forced abortion and forced sterilization.

The clear message here is that violence against women and domestic violence are not the issues to be hidden in private life. Despite what might be expected, if the casualty is the companion, accomplice, or relative of the culprit, that individual’s punishment can be additionally aggravated to emphasize the particularly traumatic effect of crimes committed within the family.

F.A.Q About Istanbul Convention

The official name of the Istanbul Convention, which was opened for signature at the Council of Ministers meeting of the Council of Europe held in Istanbul on 11 May 2011, is the Council of Europe Convention on Prevention of Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence and Combating Them. The convention, which aims to prevent violence against women and domestic violence in general, is the first international document to be legally binding on this issue.

The Istanbul Convention defines the concept of “gender” and draws attention to the existence of roles that society assigns to individuals based on gender, and structural violence against women. The convention underlines that psychological and economic violence against women is also a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination. It gives state parties responsibilities such as preventing gender-based violence, effectively investigating and prosecuting these cases of violence, adhering to the principle of equality. It sees violence as a result of inequality and reminds that policies that will ensure gender equality should be developed.

  • Does the convention disrupt the traditional family structure?

There is no definition of “family” in the contract, nor is there a regulation that encourages a certain family form or environment. The convention is to keep the initiatives to prevent violence against women and domestic violence as inclusive as possible and to ensure that measures and protection mechanisms can be used by women who are subjected to violence in all kinds such as physical, sexual, emotional, economic, whether married or not, in the home or in the public sphere.

  • Does the convention encourage homosexuality, LGBTI + marriages?

These allegations stem from the expression “sexual orientation” in the fourth article of the contract. With this article, the state parties are given the duty to implement the provisions of the convention by considering the principle of equality and without any discrimination; Naturally, this includes protecting the rights of the victim of domestic violence regardless of sexual orientation. However, the contract does not contain any phrase “encouraging homosexuality”. In addition, the convention does not impose an obligation on the state parties to support same-sex marriages.

  • Since femicide has increased since the contract was signed, can the convention be considered insufficient to protect women?

With the presence of the women’s rights struggle and binding texts such as the Istanbul Convention, it is evident that domestic violence is more visible and a strong public opinion is formed around the issue. Regardless of the political and sociological reasons behind the increase in murder cases, it is far from a realistic inference to establish causality between the signing of a contract and the increase in numbers. In a scenario where the convention and the values ​​it aims to protect cannot be internalized, the stipulated mechanisms cannot be implemented, the positive obligations imposed on the state parties are not fulfilled, it would not be the right approach to present the convention as responsible for the increasing violence against women.

  • Does the convention make men a victim based on the statement of the woman in any case?

According to Law No. 6284 on the Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence Against Women, which entered into force pursuant to the contract, the statement of the woman is taken as a basis for applying measures, not to establish a provision. The presumption of innocence remains valid during the trial. Saying “the statement of the woman is essential” means that the woman who declares that she is under the threat of violence is included in the protection mechanisms without seeking additional evidence. In other words, the statement of the woman is not a verdict, but a basis for taking protective measures and initiating an investigation.

  • Does the convention give women indefinite maintenance and victimization of men?

There is no regulation in the Istanbul Agreement regarding alimony. The provision on poverty alimony, which can be decided to be indefinite, is in Article 175 of the Civil Code. The poverty alimony that the party falling into poverty due to the divorce may demand is not a right granted to women, but poverty alimony can be awarded on the condition that it provides the conditions for men.

  • Is the convention driving men away from home and causing families to break up?

The convention imposes the obligation on the state parties to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of women, which should be guaranteed by international conventions, in particular the right to life. It reminds us that the violation of these rights is a crime and that this crime should not be excused by the importance attributed to the family institution, social values ​​, or honor discourses, and that all forms of violence should be prevented in all cases. Men who commit violence, not men, are removed from the home if deemed necessary, as the security of other members of the household cannot be ignored.

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Will Istanbul Have Another Earthquake: Expected Great Istanbul Earthquake

A growing concern: The Great Istanbul Earthquake. One of the most devastating earthquakes in history is expected to happen in Istanbul. An earthquake is expected that will stab like a dagger in the heart of almost the whole economy of a country that can be considered large, and perhaps guarantee that nothing will be the same. As the TV channels make the earthquake subject get over the ratings, the scientific side of the work is ignored as usual. An earthquake, possibly a “mega earthquake,” is presented as if it were magazine news. In this article, we will try to show you the scientific sides of the subject and explain why experts expect a major earthquake in Istanbul.

The expectation of scientists for this great Istanbul earthquake is a natural process that is completely based on scientific foundations, which can be explained with basic geology knowledge, in which no man-made product can directly interfere. Like all earthquakes that have existed so far, the expected major Istanbul earthquake will be an extremely natural event. In this article, we will show you all the details. The fact that the constant magnitude of this earthquake is mentioned is not due to the fact that Istanbul is a metropolis or that waiting for an earthquake in Istanbul is a more popular topic. It is due to the fact that the expected big earthquake will indeed be in Istanbul.

The Science of Earthquakes: Plates and Fault Lines in Istanbul

First of all, it is necessary to explain what the earthquake and fault line means. The only reason for all tectonic activity on Earth is that the Earth is a melted ball of fire. As we know, even if the Earth is a planet, it can be called a “ball of fire” due to its internal structure. However, the reason why we do not feel this is because the outer layer of the Earth is colder than inside, and the thin, “shell” on the outermost part of it, which we walk on, has cooled.

All the continents and oceans we know of are located on this thin crust. But don’t be fooled by this “solid” view of the Earth: The crust layer is 5-10 kilometers under the oceans and 30-50 kilometers under the continents; however, the radius of our planet is 6371 kilometers! In other words, the crust we are on is in the word “nothing” compared to the rest of the Earth. Let us explain it this way: When we consider the Earth, the ratio of the cooled part and the uncooled part is even less than the ratio of the peel of an orange to the fruit part we eat! So our planet has a very thin crust! Magma under the crust is a solid substance (plasma) close to liquid.

There is a large amount of heat in the hot part of the center of the Earth. This high thermal energy even causes magnetic fields and electric currents to occur! The mainland is not one piece and consists of a large number of plates (we’ll get back to this shortly). What you need to know here is that the land under our feet “floats” on this molten structure. The melt flows called convection currents caused by the molten material in the mantle cause the parts of the shell (plates) just above it to move in different directions. Convection currents are the cyclic/circular motion of magma under plates. With the movement of plates containing oceans and lands, everything on these plates also moves slowly. For example, the Anatolian plate (or the Eurasian plate in general) also is pushed from the south by the Arabian plate and the African plate.

The Tethys Ocean is the name of the ocean formed in the triangular, large, and narrowing space between the continents Laurasia and Gondwana, which formed after the disintegration of the Pangea Supercontinent. Anatolia emerged from within this ocean, and this uplift process has traditionally been studied in two stages: Paleo-Tetyan Phase and Neo-Tetyan Phase. During the latter, approximately two oceans form and begin to diverge: Bitlis Ocean and Zagros Ocean (sometimes known as Bitlis-Zagros Ocean).

Movement of the Anatolian Plate and Bitlis Ocean

This ocean disappeared between 5 and 11 million years ago, when the Arabian Plate, which broke off from Africa in the Late Miocene, moved upward, to the north, and closed this ocean. When this plate could not find a place to go, this time it started to swell and formed the mountain ranges in today’s Southeastern Anatolia. Already, the formation of mountains occurs with the breaks and twists that occur as a result of the plates colliding with each other. We see another example as a result of the northward movement of the African plate: this movement formed the Taurus Mountains. After the movement of the Arabian plate for a certain period caused the closure of the Bitlis Ocean and the formation of mountain ranges, this time it started to push Anatolia to the west.

Meanwhile, Anatolia broke off and gained a movement in the west direction. This movement, which lasted for 4 million years, divided Anatolia into two in an east-west direction. This fracture, which starts from Bingöl and reaches the Aegean Sea, is called the North Anatolian Fault Line. The phenomenon named fault line is the rupture of the earth’s crust, as we have just mentioned. These lines are “fractures” that occur in the earth’s crust as we know it! Since these fractures are empty, water fills into it, the water goes down to the hot rocks with magma, becomes hot and as it warms up again, it gushes up like hot water vapor from the teapot. We also call them hot springs. There are hot springs in all cities where the North Anatolian fault passes: Erzincan, Reşadiye, Havza, Adapazarı.

Turkey moves westward average of 20 millimeters each year. Of course, because both surfaces of the fault line are rough, sometimes they get interlocked and cannot go the way it should go. For example, if the fault, which has to advance 4 meters in 200 years on average, cannot progress, and if the installed indentations and protrusions cannot withstand 200 years of accumulation, it will break in an instant and this causes tremors. Earthquake is exactly that; When the 4-meter movement that should have been in 200 years occurs within a few seconds, we call it an earthquake. Because this extremely fast movement, although still extremely slow for the earth’s crust, creates shocking effects for the organisms that live on it. We perceive these shocks as earthquakes.

In other words, earthquakes cannot be produced by technological means; It is formed as a result of massive movements of huge lands, such as your fingernails getting caught on your clothes and breaking suddenly as a result of your application of force. No technology produced by man can give direction or shape to this. The upper part of the North Anatolian Fault Line is the Eurasian plate, the lower part is the Anatolian plate. Recall that the fault lines are the regions between these plates. The upper part is more geologically stable and much more difficult to move. For this reason, the Anatolian plate is under great stress due to intense pressure from the south and moves westward.

As we mentioned, sometimes the fault line gets stuck and the plate that needs to move cannot move because it is pushed. The pressure increases and suddenly the interlocking surface of the fault breaks and the fault “throws itself forward” 2-5 meters. In other words, the plate takes the 2-meter path, which must travel slowly in 100 years, in 30 seconds, and this causes great jolts. This is exactly what happened at 03:02 on the night of August 17, 1999. The throw was about 4-5 meters and this movement took about 45 seconds. Just as snow accumulates on the branch of a tree, it accumulates, it accumulates. Then it breaks suddenly to crack and shakes the tree very hard. And the earthquake is the geological version of this.

Earthquakes Coming Rapidly to Istanbul from the East of Anatolia

Don’t be fooled by this title. The word “rapidly” is often used a little differently from everyday life in sciences such as geology, evolution, climate, and paleontology. Normally, an event can be “fast” for a few seconds, minutes, hours, or even days. However, in such sciences, “fast” is meant for a few decades, centuries, or millennia (thousand years). Sometimes events that take place over millions of years can be referred to as “rapid”, as they normally occur much faster than the course of that event. Therefore, it is useful to pay attention to how the word “fast” is used when talking about earthquakes and earth science.

This brings us to the main point. Coaxial earthquakes of logarithmic magnitude sometimes occur on a fault line (not every earthquake series has to be this way!). It can be said that these earthquakes occur periodically. In other words, a major earthquake happens at one end of a fault line. After a few decades, big earthquakes occur again a little ahead, then a little further, then a little further. This process goes on like this and it is seen that the earthquake moves like a train along a fault line at certain intervals. One of the most obvious examples of this kind of progress used in textbooks is seen on the North Anatolian Fault Line. Another famous example is the California Fault Line.

Therefore, those who maintained that technology is a product of the earthquake in Turkey and the United States holds responsible for this technology, as the country itself should explain exactly why that same earthquake sequence. But of course, this is a completely different matter of discussion. We want to make an important caveat here: Fault lines should not be considered as a single whole! Like nothing else in the Universe, fault lines are not perfect structures. Fault lines are like matchsticks spliced ​​end to end. They are piecemeal; however, those parts constitute the whole of the fault line. Each piece that forms the fault line like a “matchstick” is called a segment.

When an earthquake occurs, only one segment breaks, but not the entire fault. One of the clearest examples of this is the 17 August 1999 earthquake. In this earthquake, only the Izmit segment of the Anatolian Fault Line was broken. Since one end of the segment is in Yalova and the other is in Adapazarı, the quartet Yalova – Gölcük – İzmit – Adapazarı experienced the real shock in the earthquake. It is precisely for this reason that the 17 August earthquake is known as both Gölcük, Yalova, İzmit and Adapazarı Earthquakes.

History of Earthquakes in the North Anatolian Fault Line

As for the earthquakes on the North Anatolian Fault. In fact, we need to talk about a large number of earthquakes; However, compared to what we will examine, earthquakes over 7 will be handled in this process in order to make the subject short. Examining the earthquake history of the North Anatolian Fault Line will clearly reveal why a giant earthquake is expected in Istanbul.

  • 1939 Erzincan Earthquake – Magnitude: 7.9

In 1939, the Erzincan earthquake occurred at the tip of the North Anatolian Fault. The magnitude of the earthquake was 7.9. As Erzincan became the center of the earthquake, most of the energy in the Erzincan segment was drained. Where did this energy go? Some of this energy was transformed into vibration, making the earth vibrate and scattered into space. Some of them were deposited in the segment just to the west, as the fault line was twisted in an east-west direction. This meant disaster for the west of Erzincan. In short, it transferred the energy on the segment to the segment just to the west, just like a relay race.

  • 1942 Niksar Earthquake – Magnitude: 7.0

3.5 years had passed since the energy transferred from the Erzincan segment emerged in the Niksar segment in the west. The year was 1942, Niksar was destroyed by a 7.0 earthquake. Of course, the Niksar segment continued with the same flag game and gave its energy to the Tosya-Ladik segment just west.

  • 1943 Tosya-Ladik Earthquake – Magnitude: 7.2

A year had passed since the Niksar earthquake, the year was 1943. Tosya-Ladik was shaken by a 7.2 earthquake. The energy in this segment was also transferred to the Gerede-Bolu segment to its west.

  • 1944 Bolu-Gerede Earthquake – Magnitude: 7.2

In 1944, Bolu-Gerede shook with a 7.2 earthquake. Energy again fled westward as usual. Because the Arabian plate was constantly pushing the beautiful Anatolia to the west.

  • 1957 Bolu-Abant Earthquake – Magnitude: 7.1

It had been 13 years that the Bolu-Abant segment, adjacent to the Bolu-Gerede segment, was broken in 1957 by an earthquake of 7.1 magnitudes.

  • 1967 Adapazarı Earthquake – Magnitude: 7.2

When the calendars showed the year 1967, the chain of earthquakes that progressed like a tsunami reappeared in Adapazarı. Adapazarı was destroyed by a 7.2 earthquake.

  • 1999 Izmit Earthquake – Magnitude: 7.4

Again, there was no earthquake for many years. The earthquake destroyed the Izmit segment in 1999 with an earthquake of 7.4.

Why Istanbul? Why now? Why Great Earthquake?

The energy released after each earthquake is modeled and mapped by geophysical engineers. There is no energy left in the earthquake segment, and there will be no major earthquakes in that segment for many years again. Of course, the earthquake is not something that ends, as plate movements continue; But big stutters and breaks, once they happen, are not repeated for a long time. But each time most of the energy is shifted to the neighboring segments of the broken segment.

The reason experts are waiting for a big earthquake in Istanbul is that these earthquakes are over 7. The reason we are so sure that a big earthquake will hit Istanbul is that the series has not surprised scientists once since the 1900s. The reason is that Istanbul is located in the next segment. No geophysical modeling done shows that these fault diffractions will turn east again. On the contrary, the point where almost all analyzes meet is common: Currently, stress is accumulating exponentially in Istanbul, and this stress becomes more and more with each passing year.

Approximately 12 bars of energy accumulated in Düzce migrated to the east with the Düzce earthquake. And where is the energy accumulated in Gebze? That energy is in the segment of Istanbul. Unfortunately, we have to face the reality: It doesn’t have much life left, there will be an earthquake soon. It is no use deceiving or consoling ourselves, we should start looking for solutions, we are even late. For example, we can say this clearly: we do not expect a serious earthquake, at least geophysically, in Izmit, Adapazarı, and Yalova in the next few centuries; However, we strongly remind you that predicting earthquakes (especially in the near term) is almost impossible and therefore people living there should never let go of caution.

But we can say that Istanbul and its immediate surroundings are on the edge of a knife and are the most dangerous areas; therefore, the risk factor of other regions is smaller next to Istanbul. The Istanbul segment has no salvation. Many experts expect this earthquake between 2019-2021. Even according to the loosest calculations, this period will not be after 2029-2031. Therefore, our advice to the people living there is to get away from the Marmara coasts. Especially those living on the coasts of Pendik, Maltepe, Kartal, and those living on the shores of Zeytinburnu, Bakırköy, and Avcılar should migrate further north if they will live in Istanbul.

In the 17 August earthquake, Avcılar suffered more, although it was farther from Zeytinburnu, Kadıköy, and Bakırköy, to the focal point of the earthquake. The reason is not that the Avcılar’s ground is not solid, as some reports have claimed; It was the collision of the reflected and refracted earthquake waves in Avcılar completely by chance. In other words, it is not clear and unpredictable where the waves will collide. However, statistically, this meeting is more likely to take place on the coast. For this reason, it is useful to stay away from the coasts.

The Difficulties of Interpreting the Expected Great Istanbul Earthquake

We mentioned that the North Anatolian Fault Line starts from Bingöl, crosses Istanbul, and reaches the Aegean Sea (Saros Bay). We have said that there are dozens of segments along this line. An interesting fact is that only two of these segments have not been broken in the last century: One is the Yedisu segment, the other is the East Marmara segment, which we are currently discussing, just below the islands.

As the author of this article, I have brought together many independent studies, including those I mentioned in this article in my thesis about the expected Istanbul earthquake. I cannot say that I came up with something new as a result of my research; however, in independent studies, I discovered that some previously unrelated pieces fit together like a puzzle. We’ll talk about this a little bit now and provide examples of a deeper analysis. There are two difficult aspects of interpreting Istanbul’s earthquake hazard, let’s talk about this first:

The first is that the fault that will affect Istanbul is under the Sea of ​​Marmara. It was not known where the fault under the Sea of ​​Marmara passed until 1999! Its discovery was made after the 1999 earthquake. In fact, the North Anatolian Fault splits into three branches after Adapazarı. The northern branch goes from Izmit Gulf, the Islands, and Florya offshore and reaches Tekirdağ. This branch is the structure that creates the Islands and the Gulf of Izmit … The middle branch passes through the Edremit gulf and goes to the Dardanelles via Bandırma. These two fault branches are the faults that make up the Marmara Sea. In other words, as the north and the middle arm move away from each other, there is a collapse in between and the sea is formed by filling with water. Today we know this sea as the Marmara Sea.

The second difficult part stems from the inability to access the sources about the old Istanbul earthquakes. There are actually resources. But because of the alphabet change and even the change of language over time, these ancient records are difficult to understand. For example, during my thesis, I found a Turkish source (a report prepared by the rulers of the time) on the 1884 Istanbul earthquake. However, this report, written 130 years ago, cannot be understood today without an interpreter. Since many researchers do not bother to have these translations done and do not know the language, it is very difficult to know where and how to access these sources; Accordingly, many findings that may guide the studies can be ignored. It is a fact that we need more translations in this field and transfer of old data to the digital environment and to make it available to the public.

Analysis of Ancient Earthquakes

As we mentioned above, the fault map under the Marmara Sea has just been made. We compile earthquakes from history books and compare them with today’s fault map, and by looking at the damage and impact area of ​​that day, we determine which earthquake is on which branch. We have six chapters on the Marmara Sea fault map. To give an example from the analysis, it can be said that a chain of thought has been passed through:

This or that earthquake happened in these six parts. For example, the earthquake that took place in 1719 affected Istanbul, but it had a greater effect on Kocaeli than Istanbul. In other words, this earthquake has only been in the gulf segment. There were people who died in Istanbul in the 1766 earthquake, but the earthquake caused more damage in Edirne. This means that the earthquake is in the western Marmara segment. Here we list all the earthquakes of these six regions (segments) in a tabular form. Then we enter the dates in these lists and find these pieces broken every few years. Considering more than 7 earthquakes:

In the bay segment; Earthquakes occurred with an interval of 189, 235, 321, 202, 221, 280 years. In other words, it was not broken for 280 years before 99 earthquakes. 14 years have passed. The bay piece will likely remain unbroken for another 200 years. In other words, the gulf period is around 200 years on average and yet in its 14th year. This means the area is currently safe from danger. From there, we come to the Adalar segment. Between the earthquakes, there are 432 years, 520 years, and 504 years. As it is now in its 504th year, it is in the last stages of its cycle. That is why the Adalar fault is very dangerous today! It has a load on it that has accumulated over a very long time. Even if we ignore the energy that the Körfez fault loaded on the Adalar fault after the 99′ earthquake, it has already reached the end of its period. So anyway, a break from this benefit is expected. This break will cause great destruction.

Similarly, the average period of the fault off Florya is 250 years and today this fault is in its 259th year. In other words, this region is also broken, in a situation that will break. The other fault branch off Silivri, that is, the period in which the fault made a northward curve in the Marmara Sea, is about 250 years and that is today in its 246th year. In the West Marmara fault, the period is 250 years and the current period is 246 years. Finally, the period of the part around Gaziköy is around 270 years. But it’s calm there. It is in the 101st year of its period because it was last broken in the 1912 earthquake. In other words, it is a piece that does not require us to wait for an earthquake anymore. There is an average of 170 years ahead of it.

The four parts running from the Islands to Gaziköy have either filled their period or are about to fill. As we mentioned in particular, the Adalar fault is in a very dangerous process. If we had known the fault network beneath the Marmara Sea in more detail, we could have done a much better analysis. Still, the point reached today is considered very good compared to 10 years ago.

Richter and Gutenberg Analysis of the Great Istanbul Earthquake

The above section was just a study. It was the combination and interpretation of the science of history and geophysics. Also, when we use the logarithmic formulas developed by Gutenberg and Richter to take the exact data related to only geophysics and give the periods and repetition numbers of earthquakes, we obtain data that exactly corresponds to the above results. Likewise, in this completely independent study, the Adalar fault, Middle Marmara and Northern branch, and West Marmara carry a high earthquake risk. To give the exact numbers, it’s 0.04 percent in the bay for 2017. So it’s close to the impossible. 79 percent in Adalar, 63 percent in Central Marmara, 66 percent in North Bend, 65 percent in West Marmara, and 0.002 percent in Gaziköy. When we examine the historical data separately, the four parts in the middle seem very dangerous, and Körfez and Gaziköy seem safe.

Putting this aside and using the relationship of Richter and Gutenberg, the inventor of the Richter scale, we make calculations on the completely new generation, precise, instrumented earthquakes, and again we see that the Körfez and Gaziköy faults are safe and the other four faults in the middle are very dangerous. While the risk analyzes for 2017 gives this result, when we consider this for 2025, the risk in the island’s fault is 85 percent. The other three dangerous pieces are increasing at the same rate. There are many small fragments between these two faults. Since 484 AD, 34 earthquakes have caused damage in Istanbul. In order to make an accurate analysis, we need to know which of these earthquakes occurred in which branch or in which parts between these two branches.

If we could examine the bottom of the Sea of ​​Marmara meter by meter, our job would be very easy. This is the first difficult part of the job. We don’t have the technology to do this. It cannot be said that we are in cooperation with countries that have the technology. Fortunately, these analyzes are taken seriously as danger bells start to ring. It is precisely for this reason that American, French, German, and Italian teams, which you hear on the news, dive into the Sea of ​​Marmara and make analyzes. They take samples from the fault line, make measurements, examine the line, and determine possible risk factors. In this way, they hope that we can make it easier for us to predict the earthquake and reduce the loss of life and property.

When we try to predict new earthquakes by using a functional relation called “Student T-Test”, which is generally used in statistics science, which is independent of these two studies, even geophysical, we reach the same percentage results for these six regions. In other words, in these three studies, risk points to the same points equally. The area that gives a red alarm is the Adalar fault. If we add to this that the 99′ earthquake directly loading the Adalar fault, the result looks even more grave.

But the worst part of the job is that when the Adalar fault is broken, its energy has already filled its rupture period, it comes to the brink of breaking and will give its energy to the middle Marmara fault. It also broke in a short time and gave its energy to the north bend, and again to the west Marmara fault after a short time. This means that there will be at least 4 major earthquakes in Istanbul that will affect all Marmara shores in the next 100 years at most!

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Who Founded Istanbul: The Establishment of Istanbul

Two centers that stand out with the historical-cultural background of the Mediterranean Basin civilizations are Rome and Istanbul. However, there are some features that make Istanbul different from Rome: While great states have been ruled from continental capitals since ancient times, Istanbul has preserved its privilege of being the only empire capital intertwined with the sea for centuries. So, do you know who found Istanbul?

Istanbul was founded in 667 BC. It is estimated that it was first established in today’s Sarayburnu, an area smaller than Topkapı Palace (approximately 10 km2). King Byzas of Megara founded Istanbul. Although the city is engaged in fishing and agriculture, it has become one of the most important trade centers in the region in a short time. Historians have found traces that it was ruled by democracy after the 5th century BC. The name Byzantion was used until it was included in the Roman Empire in AD 196.

Foundation and Brief History of Istanbul

Istanbul has had three different names throughout its history: Byzantion as a Greek colony, Constantinople as a Roman city, and Istanbul since the late Ottoman period. For many years, the Ottomans did not mind using the name Konstantiniyye, which is the Turkish version of Constantinople. Istanbul, shortly after 330 when it became the Roman capital, became the world’s most populous commercial city and has preserved its place for centuries. Faced with a disaster like the Latin Invasion in 1204, the city fell into decline. However, it became the capital of an emerging empire during the Ottoman period.

  • Ancient Greek Period

To talk about the founding date of Istanbul, we need to go back to the 600s BC, that is, the Ancient Greek period. Our story begins with the king named Byzas, who decided to emigrate from the ancient Greek city of Megara and consulted the oracle of the Temple of Apollo, as was customary at that time. The priest advises them to go east and settle in front of the Land of the Blind. Of course, Byzas and his companions do not understand anything at first.

At the end of their journey from Greece to the East, they come to the fortified position we know today as Sarayburnu (Seraglio Point). This is the nose of the Istanbul Historic Peninsula that intersects with the Bosphorus in the east. Overlooking the beautiful view of the Bosphorus from this hill, Byzas and his staff see a settlement on the Asian side of the Bosphorus in a place known today as Kadıköy. Those on the opposite shore are none other than the Greek colony that came there a few years ago. Since they did not choose the strategic point where Byzas stood, although they came first, it is concluded that the people of Chalcedon (Kadıköy) are prophetic blind people. The newly established city becomes known as Byzantion, after its founder Byzas.

Byzantion has existed for many years as a free city-state. Although it was under the protection of the Persians for a short period, it will exist for about 800 years. In 195 AD, a Roman emperor named Septimus Severus besieged the city and took it. Septimus entered Byzantion in rage and devastated it. The reason is that Byzantion supported Pescennius Niger, his rival in the fight for the throne. However, the emperor soon realizes his mistake. It is impossible not to notice the unique location of Istanbul. He reconstructs the city and builds the first known Hippodrome Square (for horse-drawn races) and Roman structures. After Septimus left the city, the Romans did not attach much importance to Byzantion for many years. Meanwhile, the name of the city, which was under Roman influence, became Byzantium with Latin influence.

  • Roman Empire Period

In order for Byzantium to be seen again on the stage of history, it will be necessary to wait until the time of Emperor Constantine’s struggle for the throne (AD 324). Because a war broke out between Constantine and Licinius, emperors of the Tetrarchy Period (quadruple rule), to become the sole leader (See: Chrysopolis War). We think that Constantine understood the importance of Istanbul in this war. He noticed that this peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water, provided a perfect defense and that the Golden Horn to its north functioned as a stagnant harbor. When solid walls were built on the western wing, which was the only side open to attack from the land, the city was almost impassable.

After Constantine (Constantine the Great) seized power alone, he decided to move the center of his empire to the safer eastern provinces. In the discovery he made for this purpose, he chose Byzantium because of his excellent position. This decision was met with great surprise in Rome. Because Byzantium was definitely not one of the most important cities of the empire at that time. However, Constantine showed his vision at this point and predicted that Istanbul would be an important crossroads in the future.

He orders his architects to overhaul the city throughout and build a majestic Roman city on seven hills. Within six years, the walls of the city were expanded six floors and various Roman structures were built. Among them are structures such as the Hippodrome, the Grand Palace, and the Constantine Forum. The city opens in 330 under the name Nova Roma (New Rome). Emperor Constantine made the city co-capital of the Empire with Rome and gave it his own name. However, the Roman Empire was divided into two with the death of Emperor Theodosius the Great in 395.

  • Byzantine Empire Period

When the Roman Empire splits in two, the city of Constantinople remains the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire, on the other hand, collapsed only 81 years after this separation, that is, in 476, due to the barbarian invasion, and the ancient capital Rome fell into the hands of the Goths. Eastern Rome lost its twin brother in the history scene and was left alone. The kings of Eastern Rome perceived themselves as Caesar and the people as Romans. The reason why this civilization is called the Byzantine Empire in today’s history books is the name given by modern-time historians by deriving from the city’s first name (Byzantium).

Eastern Rome (i.e. Byzantium) had a deep-rooted Greek culture and Roman administrative structure. That’s why it lived for so many years. The peak of imperial history was the reign of Emperor Justinian, who built Hagia Sophia. Justinian’s great conquests in the west brought Byzantium almost to the Roman borders before the division. But the emperors that followed could not keep these borders for various reasons.

Byzantium was defeated by the Great Seljuk State, the first Turks from the East (See: Battle of Malazgirt), and lost a lot of lands. They recaptured some of the lands in the First Crusades but were occupied by the Crusaders themselves during the IV Crusade. After the Latin invasion of 1204-1261, Byzantium entered a 200-year period of collapse and could not recover again. Finally, in 1453, the Ottomans captured Constantinople, the last fortress of Byzantium, and made the city, which was in collapse, an imperial center again.

  • Ottoman Empire Period

Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who was the first Ottoman Sultan to enter the city, was a very well-educated statesman. Since he knew Byzantine history well, he wanted to see Hagia Sophia first. Since the city was not repaired in the late Byzantine period, its old buildings were not in very good condition. For this reason, it is rumored that Sultan Mehmet, who could not find the splendor he expected, was very sad. The Sultan recommends that Hagia Sophia be urgently restored and converted into a mosque. Then he starts the business of building a palace for himself. This palace is the Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet today. The palace is built on the ancient ruins of the ancient Greek city Byzantion. The elegant columns of various sizes in the palace are taken from the ancient city.

The Ottoman Empire enters a long period of ascension that will last from 1453 to 1700. So much so that the lands of the Empire spread over three continents and became the largest and most powerful state of its time. The name of the city did not change immediately, it was called Constantinople for centuries. Fatih Sultan Mehmet also used the title of Roman Emperor (Kayser-i Rum) for political reasons and was justifiably proud of having conquered the capital of Eastern Rome.

It was a natural process for Istanbul’s name to emerge and it developed in folk language. The names of many cities in Anatolia today remind them of their ancient times. Thus, Istanbul became the capital of an empire for the third time since its foundation. That is why the famous Istanbul historian Stefanos Yerasimos named his book on the history of Istanbul as the Capital of Empires. In addition, as the precious historians said, the decisions taken at the Divan-ı Humayun, located in the second courtyard of the Topkapı Palace, affected world politics.

  • Period of the Republic of Turkey

With the Karlowitz Treaty signed in 1699, the Ottoman Empire goes into a decline that will last for more than two centuries. Some Sultans want to make reforms and regulate the army, social life, laws and bring them to the developing European level, but their efforts are insufficient. Since the Ottoman Empire fell behind technologically during this period, more and more people and equity were lost in order to preserve their lands. In the 1800s, it entered a period of economic collapse, and the struggle in World War I consumed the tired empire completely.

We all know from the history books or the history of revolution lessons. While Istanbul was under the occupation of the enemy, the national struggle was carried out by the TBMM established in Ankara and was organized by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his comrades in arms. With the victory of the War of Independence and Ankara becoming the capital, Istanbul lost its feature of being the capital for the first time after 1600 years. However, Istanbul has not lost anything of its social, cultural, and geopolitical importance.

The Ottoman left a great cultural and artistic legacy, especially to the city of Istanbul. The most imposing and beautiful examples of these are the Blue Mosque and Süleymaniye Mosque, Topkapı Palace, and Dolmabahçe Palace. In addition to these, countless Palaces, Pavilions, Turkish Baths, Mosques, Madrasas, and Tombs add beauty to the beauty of Istanbul.

Important Eras of the History of Istanbul

Nobody can stay indifferent to Istanbul. It has been a unique city throughout history with its 7 hills, the sea passing through it, and the Golden Horn which is a natural harbor. The history of Istanbul is also rich in the splendor of the city. Its story is impressive since its founding legends: Byzas, who set out from Megara in Greece, wants to establish a new city. He goes to the Delphi oracle about the location. The prophet says that he will establish his city against “Land of the Blind”. While Byzas was walking around in a confused manner, looking at Khalkedon (Kadıköy) from today’s Sarayburnu, he said, “Why did these blind people set up their city in that barren place when this beautiful place was standing?. And of course, the words of Delphi oracle came to his mind. He found where to establish Istanbul.

The name, “Istanbul” was not given to the city by the Ottomans as it can be thought. It is way older. It is mentioned as a human name in the work called Fütuh’üş-Şam in the 9th century. Constantine, who replaces the city, completes and names it. In the 10th century book Tenbih it is referred to as Istinbolin. There is much other information about the name of Istanbul, some of which conflict with each other. In addition, Istanbul has been called by dozens of names such as Byzantion, Constantinople, Konstantiniyye, Darülhilafe, Dersaadet for thousands of years.

The historical backdrop of Istanbul goes back 300,000 years ago. It is thought that Neolithic and Chalcolithic people lived around Küçükçekmece Lake. Near Dudullu, tools of Lower Paleolithic Age were found, and near Ağaçlı, tools of the Middle Paleolithic Age and Upper Paleolithic Age were discovered. In 2008, during the Marmaray tube passage excavations, the remains belonging to the Polished Stone Age (6500 BC), the Copper Age (5500-3500 BC) in the excavations made in Fikirtepe were found.

Byzantion was founded in 667 BC, when King Byzas, whose legend we told above, ruled. When the Roman Empire dominated the city, Septimius Severus named the city his son Augusta Antonina for a short time. During the rule of Emperor Constantine I, the city has been proclaimed the capital of the Roman Empire. Meanwhile, the name of the city, which was changed to Nova Roma, is adopted. And in 337, with the death of Emperor Constantine I, it was turned into Constantinople.

It is between the years 324 – 1453. During this period, Istanbul turned into the managerial focus of eastern Rome. In this period; With a new architectural structure, the city has expanded and developed in every aspect. Notwithstanding a 100,000-man hippodrome (Sultanahmet Square), water facilities and ports were built. Constantine, who founded Hagia Sophia, the world’s largest cathedral, in 360; Thus, it changed the religion of the Roman Empire to Christianity and the first break with the West, which believed in the Pagan Roman religion, was in this period.

When Western Rome collapsed in 476, most of the Romans in the Western Roman Empire immigrated here. The plague epidemic in 543 killed half the population. Emperor Justinian I rebuilds the city from the beginning. Istanbul, which was attacked many times, was plundered and turned into rubble in 1204 during the 4th Crusade. The Latin era ends in 1261. Byzantine, which gradually shrank after this period, began to be surrounded by the Ottoman Empire after 1391.

The triumph of Istanbul occurred on May 29, 1453. This date, in fact, characterizes the finish of the Middle Ages. Istanbul developed rapidly during the Ottoman period. Hundreds of palaces, bazaars, mosques, schools, and baths were opened, and within 50 years Istanbul has become one of the largest cities in the world where Jews, Christians, and Muslims live in harmony. It has become a modern city with many innovations such as a bridge over the Golden Horn, a tunnel to Karaköy, railways, sea transportation in the city, the establishment of municipal organizations and hospitals.

The 2500-year capital period of Istanbul ends on October 29, 1923, with the Republic. However, from this date on, it will take firm steps towards becoming the most populous, economically, and culturally active city in the world. The share of young population in Turkey’s modernization falling more than enough space adventure Istanbul, a city that today has become integrated with many areas of the world. It is the first metropolis that comes to mind when it comes to a qualified workforce, culture, and entertainment tourism. Today, Istanbul has a total of 39 districts. 25 of these districts are on the European Side and 14 of them are on the Anatolian Side. It is one of the largest metropolises in the world in terms of economy and population with a population of 14,160,467.

The Establishment of Istanbul: Constantinus I

The city of Byzantion, which was established as a Greek colonial settlement in Sarayburnu in the 7th century BC, was connected to the Roman Empire in the 2nd century BC. However, the fate of this small Roman city changed completely when it was chosen by the Roman Emperor Constantine I (324-337) as the new capital of the empire in 330; Known as Constantinople after its founder, the city became the center of the Late Antique world. Constantinople is a capital that was founded not by a natural development process, but by conscious choice and will.

Known as Constantinople after its founder, the city became the center of the Late Antique world. This event is a turning point in the history of the city of Istanbul, which is today a world megalopolis. The city, which was the capital of the Roman Empire for 1123 years, which will be called Byzantine by modern historians after this date, was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for 470 years from 1453 to 1923. If this small Roman city at the entrance of the Bosphorus had not been the capital of these two great empires of the Mediterranean, it would not have developed in the process and become one of today’s important world cities. Roman Emperor Diocletianus (225-305) noticed the difficulties of ruling the empire from Rome as early as in the 3rd century and created a quadruple government called “Tetrarchism” by virtually separating the empire into east and west.

According to this, there would be an emperor (Augustus) in the west and east, and these emperors would rule the empire together by taking a Caesar as their side. In the first Tetrarch, the Augustus of the East was Diocletian and the Augustus of the West was Maximian; Diocletian took Galerius with them as Caesar, and Maximian took Constantius with them. Diocletian built a palace in Nicomedia (Izmit) as Augustus of the East and ruled the empire from here to a large extent. Tetrarch sculptures showing four rulers together as a sign of the rule of the Tetrarchy were made and erected in important cities. In Byzantion, this statue was standing in the square between today’s Laleli-Vezneciler.

Made of porphyry marble, this statue was built in 1204 by IV, which captured Constantinople. It was kidnapped by the Crusader Armies. The statue is today located in San Marco square in Venice. Two Augustus and two Caesars depicted as embracing each other represent the unity of the Tetrarch. Constantine I, also known as “Constantine the Great”, was born on February 27, 272 in the province of Illyricum (northwestern Balkans) as the son of Constantius, an emperor guard. Constantius was later included in the Tetrarch, as Caesar, next to Maximian, who was Augustus of the West. Constantius ensured that his son received a good education, and the young Constantinus learned Latin, Greek, and Philosophy. He spent his youth with the tetrarchs of the East, Diocletian and Galerius, at the request of his father, participated in expeditions with them, traveled all the way to Egypt, gained military experience.

The young Constantine was mainly brought up in Diocletian’s palace in Nicomedia. In 305, when two Augustus, Diocletian and Maximian left the tetrarchy, their Caesars, Galerius, and Constantius, took their place. After Constantius, the Augustus of the West, died in England in 306, his son Constantinus was declared Augustus by the army units there, but he was not accepted to study until 308. On October 28, 312, Constantine defeated Maxentius, with whom he shared power, at the Milvio Bridge near Rome, becoming the sole ruler of Western Rome. The final showdown to dominate the entire Roman Empire would pass between Constantinus and Augustus of the East, Licinius: Constantinus, who defeated Licinius in Chrysopolis (Üsküdar) on the opposite shore of Byzantion on September 18, 324, He became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire, which now covered the entire Mediterranean region.

After this victory, Constantinus came to the city of Byzantion on the opposite shore and decided to make this city the new capital of the empire. Between the years 324-330, Byzantion was rebuilt from the beginning, modeled after the Roman city, with extensive and intensive development activities. Finally, on May 11, 330, the new capital (Nea Roma) was blessed with ceremonies and announced to the world. The ceremonies starting from the Hippodrome continued until the Constantine Forum (Çemberlitaş). After this date, the city was called Constantinople after its founder. Since 330, the Roman Empire has been a state with two capitals: Roman city in the west and Constantinople in the east.

However, the emperor Constantinus was spending most of his time in his new capital, Constantinople. Constantinople was founded as a ‘world capital’ from the very beginning. Because the civilized world of Late Antiquity consisted of the Mediterranean basin and this world was ruled by the Roman Empire. So it meant the capital of the Roman Empire and the capital of the world. The city was designed in accordance with this vision, almost reconstructed from the beginning, and the outline of this first design has survived until today.

Legends about the Establishment of Istanbul

When one says the founding legend of Istanbul, several different legends come to mind. It is up to history lovers and history buffs to believe or not to believe these stories, which make history beautiful and fun.

  • Legend of King Byzas

The legend of King Byzas of Megara is the closest to the truth and accepted by historians. It is also the best-known legend. It is also said that King Byzas was the son of Poseidon, the God of the Sea, one of the most important characters of Greek Mythology. I will discuss the information about King Byzas in another article. According to the legend, King Byzas, who lived in the Megara city-state of Greece, had to leave the Greek peninsula for various reasons or was given the task of establishing a new colony. He asks the oracle of the Delphi temple where he should establish his new city. The answer he received from the prophet was “Opposite the land of the blind”.

Byzas of Megara, with his people, crosses the Bosphorus and reaches Khalkedon, which is today’s Kadıköy. Here he notices the perfect position of Sarayburnu. This peninsula, surrounded by water on 3 sides, has a perfect natural protection area. Moreover, it is obvious that it is suitable for agriculture and fishing due to its water basin. On top of that, he says, “The land of the blind mentioned by the Oracle must be here.” He passes to Sarayburnu saying “Those who establish a city here with such a good position can only be blind” and lays the foundations of one of the oldest cities in the world. This new city is referred to by the people by the name of its king: Byzantion. In some sources, it is also referred to as Byzantium.

  • Legend of the Prophet Solomon

The legend of the Prophet Solomon dates back chronologically. According to the legend, 1600 years before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, the prophet Solomon, son of David, ruled the world. Big Saydun, who was a king living on Ferenduz Island, did not pay allegiance to Prophet Solomon. Upon Saydun’s rebellion; The Prophet Solomon, the Sultan of people, jinn, animals, and all his plants, marched on Saydun with his army. While King Saydun, who was defeated in the war, died there; Her daughter Aline, the most beautiful woman on earth, was married to Solomon.

When the Sultan, who has come to the Greek peninsula, asks his unhappy wife why he is always crying, he gets an unexpected answer: His new wife Aline asks him to build a palace there and allow him to spend the rest of his life praying for his father. He also fulfills this request of Aline in Athens and comes to Sarayburnu, which was known as the Hünkar Garden at that time, and liked it very much. When admired by the air, water, and view, he built a large palace here and prayed for the protection of these places until doomsday. Prophet Solomon, who got his name written in the founding date of Istanbul in this way, goes back to Athens, according to a rumor, where he sees Aline worshiping his father, not praying for his father, and kills him and goes to Jerusalem.

  • The Legend of Yanko

Madyanoğlu Yanko Legend is another story. In an age when the time was not yet written, there lived a ruler born of the Mare: Yanko. This ruler, who was called Madyanoğlu because he was born from a mare, was very fond of pleasure and entertainment. The ruler, who fell asleep after a fun, woke up and found himself in a place with the most beautiful view, water, air, and sky: Sarayburnu! When the subjects of Madyanoğlu Yanko, who decided to stay here (old Istanbul) until he got bored and tired, informed him that they never wanted to leave this place, the great ruler instructs the establishment of a city here and he starts the work first by building a magnificent palace. In this way, the establishment and development of Istanbul begin.

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