Names of Istanbul (Etymology of Istanbul)

The city of Istanbul, remembering the sum for general and the old city in the notable city dividers specifically has been known by various names. The most eminent names other than the advanced Turkish name are Byzantium, Constantinople, and Stamboul. Various names are related to various periods of its history, with various dialects, and with various parts of it.


Constantinople is a fumblingly long name, and at some point in the late Byzantine time frame a short form showed up Stanbul, or Istanbul (Greek urban communities, for the most part, have the Greek ladylike ‘the’ before their name which is “I” along these lines Smyrna was likewise I Smyrna and consequently Izmir).

Presently where this new name originated from is discussed, some think it’s short for conSTANtinoPOLis, some Greek think its from “Eis tin Polin” or “To the City” – the later is progressively mainstream however it disregards the way that the Greek was I Stanbul and knowing a City as “To the City” is out and out foolish (start placing it in sentences “I’m going to the Cty”) – it was frequently called “I poli” “The City” and that bodes well. Eis Ten Polin is an exemplary instance of working back from a name to design a bogus source dependent on comparative words.

In any case, there is an intriguing new hypothesis being pushed by language specialists and now I’d state this is the no doubt and this says it implies ‘ I Sten Polin’, which generally interprets as “The City Within”, which means the zone inside the Walls (like the word Içkale in present-day Turkish). In the nineteenth century, Turks would in general call the city it Der-es Saadet (the spot of happiness), Istanbul was a mainstream ‘short name’, incidentally it appears to have been more utilized by Greeks than Turks.

At that point after the Greco-Turkish War and during the early republic under Ataturk, the name “Constantinople” supposedly represented the Greek case to the city and the Turkish government started to do effectively demoralize the name. Simultaneously “Der es Saadet” was far to ‘Stool’ for the new dynamic Republic, SO they chose “Istanbul” as the unparalleled name.

Names in Historical Sequence


As indicated by Pliny the Elder the principal name of Byzantium was Lygos. This may have been the name of a Thracian settlement arranged on the site of the later city, close to the point of the landmass (Sarayburnu).


Byzantion (Βυζάντιον), Latinized as Byzantium, was established by Greek pioneers from Megara in 667 BC. The name is accepted to be of Thracian or Illyrian source and in this manner to originate before the Greek settlement. It might be gotten from a Thracian or Illyrian individual name, Byzas. Antiquated Greek legend alludes to an unbelievable ruler of that name as the pioneer of the Megarian pilgrims and eponymous organizer of the city.

After its fall, the name “Byzantine Empire” began being utilized by the West to allude toward the Eastern Roman Empire whose capital the city had been. This use was presented by the German history specialist Hieronymus Wolf in 1555, a century after the realm had stopped to exist. During the hour of the domain, the term Byzantium was utilized distinctly for the city, not for the realm that is dominated.

Augusta Antonina

The city was called Augusta Antonina (Greek: Αυγούστα Αντωνινή) for a concise period in the third century AD. The Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (193–211) presented the name out of appreciation for his child Antoninus, the later Emperor Caracalla.

New Rome

Before the Roman sovereign Constantine, the Great made the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire on May 11, 330, he embraced a significant development venture, basically modifying the city on a grand scale, mostly demonstrated after Rome. Names of this period included ἡ Νέα, δευτέρα Ῥώμη “the New, second Rome”, Alma Roma Ἄλμα Ῥώμα, Βυζαντιάς Ῥώμη, ἑῴα Ῥώμη “Eastern Rome”, Roma Constantinopolitan.

The Third Canon of the First Council of Constantinople (360) alludes to the city as New Rome. The expression “New Rome” fit East-West polemics, particularly with regards to the Great Schism, when it was utilized by Greek essayists to push the contention with (the first) Rome. New Rome is likewise still a piece of the official title of the Patriarch of Constantinople. A postcard, c. 1905, alludes to the city as Constantinople, and the downtown as Stamboul.


Kōnstantinoúpolis (Κωνσταντινούπολις), Constantinopolis in Latin and Constantinople in English, was the name by which the city turned out to be soon more generally known, to pay tribute to Constantine the Great who built up it as his capital. It is first authenticated in legitimate use under Emperor Theodosius II (408–450). It remained the central authority name of the city all through the Byzantine time frame, and the most widely recognized name utilized for it in the West until the mid-twentieth century. It was likewise utilized (counting its Kostantiniyye variation) by the Ottoman Empire until the appearance of the Republic of Turkey.

As per Eldem Edhem, who composed a reference book section on Istanbul for Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire, “many” Turkish individuals from people in general just as Turkish students of history regularly see the utilization of Constantinople for the Ottoman city, notwithstanding any true exactness, as being “politically off base”.

Other Byzantine Names

Other than Constantinople, the Byzantines alluded to the city with a huge scope of privileged labels, for example, the “Sovereign of Cities” (Βασιλὶς τῶν πόλεων), additionally as a descriptive word, Βασιλεύουσα, the ‘Supreme City’. In well-known discourse, the most widely recognized method for alluding to it came to be the City (Greek: hē Polis, ἡ Πόλις, Modern Greek: I Poli, η Πόλη).

This utilization, still current today in conversational Greek and Armenian (Պոլիս, articulated “Polis” or “Bolis” in the Western Armenian vernacular predominant in the city), likewise turned into the wellspring of the later Turkish name, Istanbul (see underneath).


Kostantiniyye (Arabic and Persian: قسطنطنية, transit. Qusṭanṭinīyya, Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطينيه, transit. Ḳosṭanṭīnīye) is the name by which the city came to be known in the Islamic world. It is an Arabic calqued type of Constantinople, with an Arabic completion signifying ‘spot of’ rather than the Greek component – polis. After the Ottoman triumph of 1453, it was utilized as the most proper authority name in Ottoman Turkish and stayed being used all through more often than not up to the fall of the Empire in 1923. Be that as it may, during certain periods Ottoman specialists favored different names (see beneath).


Cedid Atlas, the primary distributed map book in the Ottoman Empire, dated 1803, alludes to the city like Istanbul. The second guide alludes to the Bosphorus as Istanbul Boğazı (Istanbul Strait). The cutting edge Turkish name Istanbul (articulated [isˈtanbuɫ]) (Ottoman Turkish: استانبول‎) is verified (in the scope of variations) since the tenth century, from the start in Armenian and Arabic (without the underlying I-) and afterward in Ottoman sources.

It gets from the Greek expression “στην Πόλη” ” [stimˈboli], signifying “in the city” or “to the city”, reinterpreted as a solitary word; a comparable case is Stimboli, Crete. It is along these lines dependent on the basic Greek use of alluding to Constantinople essentially as The City. The fuse of parts of articles and different particles into Greek spot names was regular even before the Ottoman time frame: Navarino for prior Avarino, Satines for Athens, and so on.

Comparable instances of present-day Turkish spot names got from Greek in this design is Izmit, prior Iznikmit, from Greek Nicomedia, Iznik from Greek Nicaea ([iz nikea]), Samsun (s’Amison from “se” and “Amisos”), and Istanköy for the Greek island Kos (from is tin Ko). The event of the underlying I-in these names, including Istanbul’s, is to a great extent optional epenthesis to separate syllabic consonant groups, disallowed by the phonotactic structure of Turkish, as found in Turkish istasyon from French station or ızgara from the Greek schára.

Istanbul initially was not utilized for the whole city and alluded to the bit of Istanbul inside the city dividers. Istanbul was the basic name for the city in ordinary discourse in Turkish even before the triumph of 1453, yet in authentic use by the Ottoman specialist’s different names, for example, Kostantiniyye were favored in specific settings. Consequently, Kostantiniyye was utilized on coinage up to the late seventeenth and afterward again in the nineteenth century.

The Ottoman chancellery and courts utilized Kostantiniyye as a component of mind-boggling formulae in communicating the spot of the beginning of formal archives, for example, be-Makam-ı Darü’s-Saltanat-ı Kostantiniyyetü’l-Mahrusâtü’l-Mahmiyye. In nineteenth-century Turkish book-printing, it was additionally utilized in the Impressum of books, as opposed to the remote utilization of Constantinople. Simultaneously, be that as it may,

Istanbul also was a piece of the official language, for example in the titles of the most elevated Ottoman military administrator (Istanbul ağası) and the most noteworthy common justice (Istanbul efendisi) of the city, and the Ottoman Turkish rendition of the Ottoman constitution of 1876 states that “The capital city of the Ottoman State in Istanbul. Istanbul and a few other various types of a similar name were likewise broadly utilized in Ottoman writing and verse.

Names other than استانبول (Istanbul) had gotten out of date in the Turkish language after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. In any case, by then Constantinople was as yet utilized when composing the city’s name in Latin content. In 1928, the Turkish letters in order were changed from Arabic content to Latin content. Starting 28 March 1930, Turkey formally mentioned that different nations utilize Turkish names for Turkish urban areas, rather than different transliterations to Latin content that had been utilized in the Ottoman occasions.

Letters or bundles sent to “Constantinople” rather than “Istanbul” were never again conveyed by Turkey’s PTT, which added to the possible overall selection of the new name. In English, the name is normally stated “Istanbul”. In present-day Turkish, the name is stated “Istanbul” (dabbed I/I and dotless ı/I being two particular letters in the Turkish letter set).


“Stamboul” diverts here. For the 1931 British film, see Stamboul (film). For the now-ancient paper, see Le Stamboul. Stamboul or Stambul is a various type of Istanbul. Like Istanbul itself, structures without the underlying I-are bore witness to from at an early stage in the Middle Ages, first in Quite a while of the tenth century and Armenian ones of the twelfth. Some early sources additionally bear witness to a considerably shorter structure Bulin, in light of the Greek word Poli(n) alone without the former article. (This last structure lives on in current Armenian.)

The word-introductory I-emerged in the Turkish name as an epenthetic vowel to separate the St-consonant group denied in Turkish phonotactics. Stamboul was utilized in Western dialects to allude to the focal city, as Istanbul did in Turkish until the time it was supplanted by the authority new utilization of the Turkish structure during the 1930s for the whole city.

In the nineteenth and mid-twentieth hundreds of years, Western European and American sources frequently utilized Constantinople to allude to the city all in all, however, Stamboul to allude to the focal parts situated on the noteworthy promontory, for example, Byzantine-period Constantinople inside the dividers. An 1803 guide from Cedid Atlas alludes to the city as Islambol (however the Bosphorus is known as the Istanbul Strait on the guide)


Islambol (اسلامبول, Full of Islam) or Islambul (discover Islam) or Islam(b)ol (old Turkic: be Islam), both in the Turkish language, were people etymological adjustments of Istanbul made after the Ottoman success of 1453 to express the city’s new job as the capital of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. It is first bore witness to not long after the success, and its innovation was credited by some contemporary authors to Sultan Mehmed II himself.

Some Ottoman wellsprings of the seventeenth century, most outstandingly Evliya Çelebi, portray it as the basic Turkish name of the time. Between the late seventeenth and late eighteenth hundreds of years, it was likewise in authentic use. The main utilization of “Islambol” on coinage occurred in 1703 (1115 AH) during the rule of Sultan Ahmed III. The term Kostantiniyye still showed up, in any case, into the twentieth century.

Other Ottoman Names

Stools and remote counterparts, particularly in political correspondence, alluded to the Ottoman magnificent government with specific honorifics. Among them is the accompanying:

  • Bāb-I ʿālī (باب عالی, “The Sublime Porte”); A metonym alluding to the door of Topkapı Palace.
  • Der-I Devlet (در دولت “Homestead the State”)
  • Der-I Saʿādet (در سعادت “Homestead Felicity” or “Residence Eudaimonia”)
  • Āsitāne (آستانه “Edge”); Referring to the supreme court.
  • Pāy-taḫt or here and there Pāyitaḫt (پای تخت, “The Seat/Base of the Throne”)

The “Door of Felicity”, the “Wonderful Gate”, and the “Heavenly Porte” actually put inside the Ottoman Sultans’ Topkapı Palace and were utilized metonymically to allude to the specialists situated there, and thus for the focal Ottoman royal organization. Present-day history specialists additionally allude to the government by these terms, like well-known utilization of Whitehall in Britain. The brilliant Gate isn’t inside Topkapı castle; the organization fabricating whose entryway is named Bâb-ı Âlî is between Agia Sofia and Beyazit mosque, a colossal structure.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I love Istanbul. I have been to 10 different countries. Istanbul is in the top 3 cities. I like to play soccer too :)

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