Istanbul
Istanbul formerly known as Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey, serving as the country's economic, cultural and historic hub. The city straddles the Bosporus strait, lying in both Europe and Asia, and has a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey. Istanbul is the most populous European city and the world's 15th-largest city.
The city was founded as Byzantium (Byzantion) in the 7th century BC by Greek settlers from Megara.[9] In 330 CE, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great made it his imperial capital, renaming it first as New Rome (Nova Roma) and then as Constantinople (Constantinopolis) after himself. The city grew in size and influence, eventually becoming a beacon of the Silk Road and one of the most important cities in history.
The city served as an imperial capital for almost 1600 years: during the Roman/Byzantine (330–1204), Latin (1204–1261), late Byzantine (1261–1453), and Ottoman (1453–1922) empires. The city played a key role in the advancement of Christianity during Roman/Byzantine times, hosting four (including Chalcedon (Kadıköy) on the Asian side) of the first seven ecumenical councils (all of which were in present-day Turkey) before its transformation to an Islamic stronghold following the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE—especially after becoming the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1517.
In 1923, after the Turkish War of Independence, Ankara replaced the city as the capital of the newly formed Republic of Turkey. In 1930, the city's name was officially changed to Istanbul, the Turkish rendering of the appellation Greek speakers used since the eleventh century to colloquially refer to the city.
Over 13.4 million foreign visitors came to Istanbul in 2018, eight years after it was named a European Capital of Culture, making it the world's eighth most visited city.Istanbul is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and hosts the headquarters of numerous Turkish companies, accounting for more than thirty percent of the country's economy.
Toponymy 
The first known name of the city is Byzantium (Greek: Βυζάντιον, Byzántion), the name given to it at its foundation by Megarian colonists around 657 BCE. Megaran colonists claimed a direct line back to the founders of the city, Byzas, the son of the god Poseidon and the nymph Ceroëssa. Modern excavations have raised the possibility that the name Byzantium might reflect the sites of native Thracian settlements that preceded the fully fledged town.Constantinople comes from the Latin name Constantinus, after Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor who refounded the city in 324 CE. Constantinople remained the most common name for the city in the West until the 1930s, when Turkish authorities began to press for the use of "Istanbul" in foreign languages. Kostantiniyye (Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطينيه), Be Makam-e Qonstantiniyyah al-Mahmiyyah (meaning "the Protected Location of Constantinople") and İstanbul were the names used alternatively by the Ottomans during their rule.
The name İstanbul (Turkish pronunciation: [isˈtanbuɫ] (listen), colloquially Turkish pronunciation: [ɯsˈtambuɫ]) is commonly held to derive from the Medieval Greek phrase "εἰς τὴν Πόλιν" (pronounced Greek pronunciation: [is tim ˈbolin]), which means "to the city" and is how Constantinople was referred to by the local Greeks. This reflected its status as the only major city in the vicinity. The importance of Constantinople in the Ottoman world was also reflected by its Ottoman nickname Der Saadet meaning the "Gate to Prosperity" in Ottoman Turkish.An alternative view is that the name evolved directly from the name Constantinople, with the first and third syllables dropped.Some Ottoman sources of the 17th century, such as Evliya Çelebi, describe it as the common Turkish name of the time; between the late 17th and late 18th centuries, it was also in official use. The first use of the word Islambol on coinage was in 1730 during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I. In modern Turkish, the name is written as İstanbul, with a dotted İ, as the Turkish alphabet distinguishes between a dotted and dotless I. In English the stress is on the first or last syllable, but in Turkish it is on the second syllable (tan). A person from the city is an İstanbullu (plural: İstanbullular); Istanbulite is used in English.
History
Neolithic artifacts, uncovered by archeologists at the beginning of the 21st century, indicate that Istanbul's historic peninsula was settled as far back as the 6th millennium BCE. That early settlement, important in the spread of the Neolithic Revolution from the Near East to Europe, lasted for almost a millennium before being inundated by rising water levels.The first human settlement on the Asian side, the Fikirtepe mound, is from the Copper Age period, with artifacts dating from 5500 to 3500 BCE, On the European side, near the point of the peninsula (Sarayburnu), there was a Thracian settlement during the early 1st millennium BCE. Modern authors have linked it to the Thracian toponym Lygos, mentioned by Pliny the Elder as an earlier name for the site of Byzantium.
The history of the city proper begins around 660 BCE, when Greek settlers from Megara established Byzantium on the European side of the Bosphorus. The settlers built an acropolis adjacent to the Golden Horn on the site of the early Thracian settlements, fueling the nascent city's economy. The city experienced a brief period of Persian rule at the turn of the 5th century BCE, but the Greeks recaptured it during the Greco-Persian Wars.Byzantium then continued as part of the Athenian League and its successor, the Second Athenian League, before gaining independence in 355 BCE. Long allied with the Romans, Byzantium officially became a part of the Roman Empire in 73 CE. Byzantium's decision to side with the Roman usurper Pescennius Niger against Emperor Septimius Severus cost it dearly; by the time it surrendered at the end of 195 CE, two years of siege had left the city devastated.Five years later, Severus began to rebuild Byzantium, and the city regained—and, by some accounts, surpassed—its previous prosperity.
Architecture 
Istanbul is primarily known for its Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Despite its development as a Turkish city since 1453, it contains many ancient, Roman, Byzantine, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish monuments.
The Neolithic settlement in the Yenikapı quarter on the European side, which dates back to c. 6500 BCE and predates the formation of the Bosporus strait by approximately a millennium (when the Sea of Marmara was still a lake) was discovered during the construction of the Marmaray railway tunnel. It is the oldest known human settlement on the European side of the city. The oldest known human settlement on the Asian side is the Fikirtepe Mound near Kadıköy, with relics dating to c. 5500-3500 BCE (Chalcolithic period).
 
There are numerous ancient monuments in the city.The most ancient is the Obelisk of Thutmose III (Obelisk of Theodosius). Built of red granite, 31 m (100 ft) high, it came from the Temple of Karnak in Luxor, and was erected there by Pharaoh Thutmose III (r. 1479–1425 BCE) to the south of the seventh pylon. The Roman emperor Constantius II (r. 337–361 CE) had it and another obelisk transported along the River Nile to Alexandria for commemorating his ventennalia or 20 years on the throne in 357. The other obelisk was erected on the spina of the Circus Maximus in Rome in the autumn of that year, and is now known as the Lateran Obelisk. The obelisk that would become the Obelisk of Theodosius remained in Alexandria until 390 CE, when Theodosius I (r. 379–395 CE) had it transported to Constantinople and put up on the spina of the Hippodrome there.[147] When re-erected at the Hippodrome of Constantinople, the obelisk was mounted on a decorative base, with reliefs that depict Theodosius I and his courtiers. The lower part of the obelisk was damaged in antiquity, probably during its transport to Alexandria in 357 CE or during its re-erection at the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 390 CE. As a result, the current height of the obelisk is only 18.54 meters, or 25.6 meters if the base is included. Between the four corners of the obelisk and the pedestal are four bronze cubes, used in its transportation and re-erection.
 
Next in age is the Serpent Column, from 479 BCE. It was brought from Delphi in 324 CE, during the reign of Constantine the Great, and also erected at the spina of the Hippodrome. It was originally part of an ancient Greek sacrificial tripod in Delphi that was erected to commemorate the Greeks who fought and defeated the Persian Empire at the Battle of Plataea (479 BCE). The three serpent heads of the 8-meter (26 ft) high column remained intact until the end of the 17th century (one is on display at the nearby Istanbul Archaeology Museums).
 
Built in porphyry and erected at the center of the Forum of Constantine in 330 CE to mark the founding of the new Roman capital, the Column of Constantine was originally adorned with a sculpture of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great depicted as the solar god Apollo on its top, which fell in 1106 and was later replaced by a cross during the reign of Byzantine emperor Manuel Komnenos (r. 1143–1180)

There are traces of the Byzantine era throughout the city, from ancient churches that were built over early Christian meeting places like the Hagia Irene, the Chora Church, the Monastery of Stoudios, the Church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, the Church of Theotokos Pammakaristos, the Monastery of the Pantocrator, the Monastery of Christ Pantepoptes, the Hagia Theodosia, the Church of Theotokos Kyriotissa, the Monastery of Constantine Lips, the Church of Myrelaion, the Hagios Theodoros, etc.; to public places like the Hippodrome, the Augustaion, or the Basilica Cistern. The 4th century Harbor of Theodosius in Yenikapı, once the busiest port in Constantinople, was among the numerous archeological discoveries that took place during the excavations of the Marmaray tunnel.

However, it is the Hagia Sophia that fully conveys the period of Constantinople as a city without parallel in Christendom. The Hagia Sophia, topped by a dome 31 meters (102 ft) in diameter over a square space defined by four arches, is the pinnacle of Byzantine architecture. The Hagia Sophia stood as the world's largest cathedral in the world until it was converted into a mosque in the 15th century. The minarets date from that period.Because of its historical significance, it was reopened as a museum in 1935. However, it was re-converted into a mosque in July 2020.

Over the next four centuries, the Ottomans transformed Istanbul's urban landscape with a vast building scheme that included the construction of towering mosques and ornate palaces. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), another landmark of the city, faces the Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome of Constantinople). The Süleymaniye Mosque, built by Suleiman the Magnificent, was designed by his chief architect Mimar Sinan, the most illustrious of all Ottoman architects, who designed many of the city's renowned mosques and other types of public buildings and monuments.

Among the oldest surviving examples of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul are the Anadoluhisarı and Rumelihisarı fortresses, which assisted the Ottomans during their siege of the city. Over the next four centuries, the Ottomans made an indelible impression on the skyline of Istanbul, building towering mosques and ornate palaces.

Topkapı Palace, dating back to 1465, is the oldest seat of government surviving in Istanbul. Mehmed the Conqueror built the original palace as his main residence and the seat of government.The present palace grew over the centuries as a series of additions enfolding four courtyards and blending neoclassical, rococo, and baroque architectural forms. In 1639, Murad IV made some of the most lavish additions, including the Baghdad Kiosk, to commemorate his conquest of Baghdad the previous year.Government meetings took place here until 1786, when the seat of government was moved to the Sublime Porte. After several hundred years of royal residence, it was abandoned in 1853 in favor of the baroque Dolmabahçe Palace. Topkapı Palace became public property following the abolition of monarchy in 1922.After extensive renovation, it became one of Turkey's first national museums in 1924.
The imperial mosques include Fatih Mosque, Bayezid Mosque, Yavuz Selim Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque), and Yeni Mosque, all of which were built at the peak of the Ottoman Empire, in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the following centuries, and especially after the Tanzimat reforms, Ottoman architecture was supplanted by European styles. An example of which is the imperial Nuruosmaniye Mosque. Areas around İstiklal Avenue were filled with grand European embassies and rows of buildings in Neoclassical, Renaissance Revival and Art Nouveau styles, which went on to influence the architecture of a variety of structures in Beyoğlu—including churches, stores, and theaters—and official buildings such as Dolmabahçe Palace.
Aksaray
Aksaray is a neighborhood in Istanbul, Turkey. Aksaray is a part of the district of Fatih. It is so named because it was founded by migrants from Aksaray in central Turkey, deported there in the 15th century by Mehmet II to repopulate the city after the its conquest. It also borders the neighborhood of Eminönü around the Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque. Aksaray has a modern appearance, with many hotels and shops, mostly active in trade with Russia and Romania.
Avcilar
Avcilar is a district of Istanbul, Turkey, out of town on the European side of the city, just to the west of the Küçükçekmece inlet of the Sea of Marmara.
History
The Marmara coast road bridges the mouth of the inlet, always an important route in wartime. Therefore, when preparing the conquest of Istanbul the Ottoman forces were keen to populate the Küçükçekmece area with the Turks, the Turkish presence in the area dates from this period.
The road from Istanbul to Europe has become increasingly important ever since and by the time of the population exchange with Greece at the founding of the Turkish Republic there were 50 Greek families in the village, the property they vacated was then used as a military depot. Little is left of this history; the church had long been converted to a mosque and was pulled down in 1977 for a new mosque to be built; fountains and ruins have disappeared. There is some remaining Ottoman architecture including a hunting lodge belonging to the sultans, (the name Avcılar means 'hunters' in Turkish) because actual hunters used to live in this area to protect the villages and some traditional farmhouses.
Bakirkoy
Bakirkoy is a neighbourhood, municipality and district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey. The quarter is densely populated, has a residential character and is inhabited by an upper middle class population. The municipality of Bakırköy is much larger than the quarter and also includes several other neighbourhoods, such as Yeşilköy, Yeşilyurt, Ataköy. Bakırköy lies between the D.100 highway (locally known as E-5) and the coast of the Sea of Marmara.
Bakırköy has a large psychiatric hospital called "Bakırköy Ruh ve Sinir Hastalıkları Hastanesi", and is an important shopping and commercial center.
History 
In the Byzantine period Bakırköy was a separate community outside Constantinople, a well-watered pleasant seaside retreat from the city, and was called Hebdomon (Greek: Ἕβδομον, "the Seventh", i.e. seven Roman miles from the Milion, the mile-marker monument of Constantinople). Here - where nowadays the Ataköy Marina lies - the Emperor Valens built one of the two Imperial Palaces bearing the name of Magnaura, while Justinian erected another Palace named Jucundianae, also placed near the seaside.Two churches, dedicated respectively to St. John the Evangelist and to St. John Baptist the Forerunner, the latter hosting the head of the Saint and burial place of the Emperor Basil II, were also erected here.
 
Hebdomon was a place of military exercise and concentration in what became known in Greek as the Kampos tou Tribounaliou (Greek: Κάμπος τοῦ τριβουναλίου) (in Latin Campus Tribunalis), where several Roman and Byzantine Emperors were elected through acclamation by the army. Among them were Valens, Arcadius, Honorius, Theodosius II, Phocas, Nikephoros II Phokas.The Campus lay in the valley of Veli Efendi, where now the horse race course lies.The imperial court came often to the Hebdomon to attend military parades, to welcome the Emperor coming back from campaign, or to pray in the large church of St. John Baptist the Forerunner.

Later the place acquired the name of Makrohori (Greek: Μακροχώρι "Long Village"), which was adapted to Makriköy (Turkish: Köy "village") in the Ottoman period, when many large houses were built there. Yesilkoy (San Stefano), located within the present boundaries of the district, was occupied by the Russians in 1877-1878, and the Treaty of San Stefano was signed there on 3 March 1878. By the pre-First World War period it was known as a holiday resort for residents within Constantinople proper.
 
In 1925 the ancient denomination was changed to Bakırköy ("Copper Village") by a law suppressing place names of non-Turkish derivation. It was a district in Beyoğlu province between 1923 and 1926 and also at that time included the present Avcılar, Bağcılar, Bahçelievler, Başakşehir, Esenler, Güngören and Küçükçekmece districts, the western boroughs of Zeytinburnu and until 1957 a small part of the Arnavutköy district. It was the biggest district of Turkey before the separation of Küçükçekmece.

There is little remaining of historical significance in the area: what there is includes a cistern (Fildamı Sarnıcı),[9] a powder house from the 17th century (today used as Yunus Emre Kültür Merkezi in Ataköy), the Greek Orthodox church of Saint George (consecrated on May 2, 1832) and a Greek school, the central mosque and fountain of 1875, an Armenian Church and school and the resting place of the Muslim saint Zuhurat Baba, a Turkish soldier who died during the conquest of Constantinople. His resting place is often visited by women on Fridays. The seafront is now a popular location for tea gardens, clubs and restaurants, (although the beaches have been unusable for decades).

After 1960, the population increased rapidly. As a result of this rapid growth; In the 1950s, rural settlements such as Güngören, Kocasinan and Sefaköy quickly turned into slums with title deeds. A similar development took place in Esenler, Yenibosna and Yeşilbağ around Halkalı in the 1970s. However, Küçükçekmece was the first settlement within the borders of Bakırköy district that showed rapid development and became a separate municipality in 1956.
Bakırköy became a popular residential area in the late 19th century after the construction of a railroad connection to İstanbul and until the 1970s was one of the most relaxed and desirable locations in the city. It is still populated by Istanbul's upper middle-class (tradespeople, bureaucrats, the retired).
Some parts of Bakırköy are very pleasant residential areas, particularly the streets from the hospital downwards to the sea. The planned satellite town of Ataköy to the west of Bakırköy centre is very tidy indeed, and was one of Turkey's first planned residential developments. Ataköy contains much social infrastructure including the Galleria shopping center and yacht marina.
 
Places of interest 
Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Yeşilköy World Trade Center Istanbul
Yeşilköy Bakirkoy Synagogue
Bakırköy Carousel Shopping Center
Bakırköy Galleria Ataköy
Ataköy Beyti Restaurant
Florya
Besiktas
Besiktas is a district and municipality of Istanbul, Turkey, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus strait. It is bordered on the north by Sarıyer and Şişli, on the west by Kağıthane and Şişli, on the south by Beyoğlu, and on the east by the Bosphorus. Directly across the Bosphorus is the district of Üsküdar.
The district includes a number of important sites along the European shore of the Bosphorus, from Dolmabahçe Palace in the south to the Bebek area in the north. It is also home to many inland (and relatively expensive, upper-middle class) neighborhoods such as Levent and Etiler. Some of its other well-known neighborhoods include Yıldız, Kuruçeşme, Ortaköy, and Arnavutköy.
 
Beşiktaş' historic commercial centre is the Beşiktaş [tr] quarter and Çarşı (literally, "marketplace"), which adjoins the small Abbasağa Park. Running in the north-south direction, Barbaros Boulevard is a major feeder road for the inner-city motorway O-1 and the Bosphorus Bridge, terminating at the important public transport hub of Zincirlikuyu. Büyükdere Avenue also runs through the district.
 
Although it is a relatively small district of Istanbul, both in terms of population and area, Beşiktaş is one of the city's most important areas due to its business and shopping areas, historic sites, universities, scenic views of the Bosphorus strait, and feeder roads for the Bosphorus and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges passing through it. The district is also the leading financial center of Turkey. In a 2013 ranking of Turkish districts, Beşiktaş placed first overall due to its high quality of life, prosperity, and cultural level.

Beşiktaş is also the highest ranking Turkish district in terms of the Human Development Index, with an HDI of 0.864, while also ranking first in the individual indexes for income and education.The municipality is taking part in the Cities4Europe campaign and has qualified as a "European 12 Star City".
Places of interest
Beşiktaş is home to many historic and modern places of interest. Among the most notable are Dolmabahçe Palace, Çırağan Palace, Yıldız Palace, and Ortaköy Mosque. The Levent neighborhood is home to many modern shopping malls and office buildings. Some of Turkey's tallest buildings are located in the area, along Büyükdere Avenue.
Historical Places 
Abbas Ağa Mosque
 Akaretler Row Houses
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha
Memorial Bebek Mosque
Çırağan Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Clock Tower
Esma Sultan Mansion
Feriye Palace Hatice Sultan Palace
Istanbul Naval Museum
Ihlamur Palace
Makruhyan Armenian School
Malta Kiosk
Naime Sultan Mansion
Orhaniye Barracks
Ortaköy Mosque
Ortaköy Kethuda Hammam
Sinan Pasha Mosque
Tomb of Hayreddin Barbarossa
 Yahya Efendi Lodge
Yıldız Hamidiye Mosque
Yıldız Park
Yıldız Porcelain Factory
Yıldız Palace
Yıldız Clock Tower
Beyazit
Beyazıt Square (Turkish: Beyazıt Meydanı) is a square in the district of Fatih, situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey. It is officially named Freedom Square (Hürriyet Meydanı), but is known as Beyazıt Square after the Bayezid II Mosque on one side of it. The Square is the former site of the Forum of Theodosius built by Constantine the Great.On one side of the square is the main entrance of Istanbul University; the Beyazıt Tower is on the university's campus and can be seen from the square.The current form of the square was designed by Turgut Cansever.
The square has been the site of political protests, including some in 1969 known as Bloody Sunday, and a terrorist attack in 1978 (Beyazıt Massacre). In 1915 twenty Armenian activists were hanged in the square (The 20 Hunchakian gallows).

Beyazıt Tower, also named Seraskier Tower, from the name of the Ottoman ministry of War, is an 85-metre-tall (279 ft) fire-watch tower located in the courtyard of Istanbul University's main campus (formerly Ottoman Ministry of War) on Beyazıt Square (known as the Forum Tauri in the Roman period) in Istanbul, Turkey, on top of one of the "seven hills" which Constantine the Great had built the city, following the model of Rome.
Beyazıt Tower was ordered by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II (1808–1839), and designed by Senekerim Balyan, who built it of stone in 1828 on the place of the original wooden Beyazıt Tower, which was destroyed in a fire and was constructed earlier by the architect's brother, Krikor Balyan.
It is currently equipped with lighting system to indicate weather conditions in different colors. Red colour means snow, blue—nice and clear weather, green—rain and yellow—fog.

History
The first fire-watch tower in Beyazıt was built of timber in 1749, but it was burnt down during the 1756 Great Fire of Cibali. It was replaced by another timber tower on the same location, which was destroyed following the riots stirred by Sultan Mahmud II's decision to dissolve the Janissary Corps in 1826. The same year, another wooden tower was erected on the plot, designed and built by the palace architect Krikor Balyan, which was again set on fire by adherents of the Janissaries. Finally, the current tower, made of stone, was built in 1828 by Senekerim Balyan in Ottoman Baroque style.

The stone tower originally had a single floor of around 50 m² at the top for fire watching, which was reached through a wooden staircase of 180 steps. This watch room has 13 round arched windows. Initially, the tower had a timber roof in the form of a cone. In 1849, three floors in octagonal plan with round windows were added on the top section: one for signaling, one for signal baskets and the last one for flags. The smaller diameter of the highest three floors makes space for a terrace at the second floor. In 1889, an iron pole of 13 metres was erected on the roof. The tower was partly damaged by the earthquake of 1889 and was subsequently restored. At present, the tower has a stone roof and a wooden staircase of 256 steps.

Fire was an important threat for Istanbul and caused numerous wide scale disasters, largely because most houses in the Old City's historic quarters were made of timber. Beyazıt Tower, Galata Tower and İcadiye Fire Tower (on Vaniköy Hill) were used for spotting fire threats, as they commanded long-distance views of the city from above. The entire Old City (Yedikule, Topkapı, Kocamustafapaşa, Fatih, Beyazıt), the cross-section of the Golden Horn districts (Fener, Balat, Eminönü) and those of the Bosphorus (Tophane, Beşiktaş, Ortaköy), the entrance of the Sea of Marmara (Üsküdar, Kadıköy) and even the Princes' Islands towards the southeast of the city were within the range of watch sight from Beyazıt Tower.

Fire was signaled at daytime by lowering baskets and at night by lighting colored lamps. The number of the baskets or the number and the color of the lamps indicated the location, i.e. in which district of Istanbul the fire outbroke. As a response, the Watch Tower of Icadiye on the Anatolian side of the Bosphorus then fired 7 volleys to inform the citizens of the fire. Twenty firefighters were stationed in the Beyazıt Tower until 1923. In 1997, the structure underwent a thorough restoration.

Beyazıt Tower is still in use today as a watch-tower as well as for signaling weather forecast and maritime navigation information to the ships on the Golden Horn at night. The tower lost its importance with the development of advanced communications technology. Recently, two firefighters in three shifts are stationed in the tower for guarding purposes only. Since 1972, special permission is required to enter the tower.
Beyoglu
Beyoglu (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈbejoːɫu]) is a district on the European side of İstanbul, Turkey, separated from the old city (historic peninsula of Constantinople) by the Golden Horn. It was known as the region of Pera (Πέρα, meaning "Beyond" in Greek, French spelling Péra) surrounding the ancient coastal town Galata which faced Constantinople across the Horn. Beyoğlu continued to be named Pera during the Middle Ages and, in western languages, into the early 20th century.
According to the prevailing theory, the Turkish name of Pera, Beyoğlu, is a modification by folk etymology of the Venetian ambassadorial title of Bailo, whose palazzo was the most grandiose structure in this quarter. The informal Turkish-language title Bey Oğlu (literally Son of a Bey) was originally used by the Ottoman Turks to describe Lodovico Gritti, Istanbul-born son of Andrea Gritti, who was the Venetian Bailo in Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II (r. 1481–1512) and was later elected Doge of Venice in 1523.[3] Bey Oğlu thus referred to Lodovico Gritti, who established close relations with the Sublime Porte, and whose mansion was near the present-day Taksim Square. Located further south in Beyoğlu and originally built in the early 16th century, the "Venetian Palace" was the seat of the Bailo. The original palace building was replaced by the existing one in 1781, which later became the Italian Embassy following Italy's unification in 1861, and the Italian Consulate in 1923, when Ankara became the capital of the Republic of Turkey.
The district encompasses other neighborhoods located north of the Golden Horn, including Galata (the medieval Genoese citadel from which Beyoğlu itself originated, which is today known as Karaköy), Tophane, Cihangir, Şişhane, Tepebaşı, Tarlabaşı, Dolapdere and Kasımpaşa, and is connected to the old city center across the Golden Horn through the Galata Bridge, Atatürk Bridge and Golden Horn Metro Bridge. Beyoğlu is the most active art, entertainment and nightlife centre of Istanbul.

History 
S. Antonio di Padova on İstiklal Avenue in Beyoğlu is the largest Catholic church in Istanbul and Turkey. The area now known as Beyoğlu has been inhabited since Byzas founded the City of Byzantium in the 7th century BC, and predates the founding of Constantinople.
During the Byzantine era, Greek speaking inhabitants named the hillside covered with orchards Sykai (The Fig Orchard), or Peran en Sykais (The Fig Field on the Other Side), referring to the "other side" of the Golden Horn. As the Byzantine Empire grew, so did Constantinople and its environs. The northern side of the Golden Horn became built up as a suburb of Byzantium as early as the 5th century. In this period the area began to be called Galata, and Emperor Theodosius II (reigned 402–450) built a fortress. The Greeks believe that the name comes either from galatas (meaning "milkman"), as the area was used by shepherds in the early medieval period, or from the word Galatai (meaning "Gauls"), as the Celtic tribe of Gauls were thought to have camped here during the Hellenistic period before settling into Galatia in central Anatolia, becoming known as the Galatians. The inhabitants of Galatia are famous for the Epistle to the Galatians and the Dying Galatian statue. The name may have also derived from the Italian word Calata, meaning "downward slope", as Galata, formerly a colony of the Republic of Genoa between 1273 and 1453, stands on a hilltop that goes downwards to the sea.
Fatih
Fatih, historically Constantinople, is the capital district of and a municipality (belediye) in Istanbul, Turkey, and home to almost all of the provincial authorities (including the governor's office, police headquarters, metropolitan municipality and tax office) but not the courthouse. It encompasses the peninsula coinciding with old Constantinople. In 2009, the district of Eminönü, which had been a separate municipality located at the tip of the peninsula, was once again remerged into Fatih because of its small population. Fatih is bordered by the Golden Horn to the north and the Sea of Marmara to the south, while the Western border is demarked by the Theodosian wall and the east by the Bosphorus Strait.
Byzantine era 
Historic Byzantine districts encompassed by present-day Fatih include: Exokiónion, Aurelianae, Xerólophos, ta Eleuthérou, Helenianae, ta Dalmatoú, Sígma, Psamátheia, ta Katakalón, Paradeísion, ta Olympíou, ta Kýrou, Peghé, Rhéghion, ta Elebíchou, Leomákellon, ta Dexiokrátous, Petríon or Pétra, Phanàrion, Exi Mármara (Altımermer), Philopátion, Deúteron and Vlachernaí.
Ottoman period 
The name "Fatih" comes from the Ottoman emperor Fatih Sultan Mehmed (Mehmed the Conqueror), and means "Conqueror" in Turkish, originally from Arabic. The Fatih Mosque built by Mehmed II is in this district, while his resting place is next to the mosque and is much visited. It was on the ruins of the Church of the Holy Apostles, destroyed by earthquakes and years of war, that the Fatih Mosque was built, and around the mosque a large madrasa complex.
Fatih district by oldypak lp Fatih district view from plane Immediately after the conquest, groups of Islamic scholars transformed the major churches of Hagia Sophia and the Pantocrator (today the Zeyrek Mosque) into mosques, but the Fatih Mosque and its surrounding complex was the first purpose-built Islamic seminary within the city walls. The building of the mosque complex ensured that the area continued to thrive beyond the conquest; markets grew up to support the thousands of workers involved in the building and to supply them with materials, and then to service the students in the seminary. The area quickly became a Turkish neighbourhood with a particularly pious character due to the seminary. Some of this piety has endured until today.

Following the conquest, the Edirnekapı (meaning Edirne Gate) gate in the city walls became the major exit to Thrace, and this rejuvenated the neighbourhoods overlooking the Golden Horn. The Fatih Mosque was on the road to Edirnekapı and the Fatih district became the most populous area of the city in the early Ottoman period and in the 16th century more mosques and markets were built in this area, including: Iskender Pasha Mosque, once famous as a centre for the Naqshbandi order in Turkey); Hirka-i-Sharif Mosque, which houses the cloak of the Prophet Muhammad (The Mosque is in common use but the cloak is only on show during the month of Ramadan; the Jerrahi Tekke; The Sunbul Efendi Tekke and the Ramazan Efendi Tekke both in the Kocamustafapaşa district and the Vefa Kilise Mosque, originally a Byzantine church. The last four were named after the founders of various Sufi orders, and Sheikh Ebü’l Vefa in particular was of major importance in the city and was very fond of Fatih. Many other mosques, schools, baths, and fountains in the area were built by military leaders and officials in the Ottoman court.

From the 18th century onwards, Istanbul started to grow outside the walls, and then began the transformation of Fatih into the heavily residential district, dominated by concrete apartment housing, that it remains today. This process was accelerated over the years by fires which destroyed whole neighbourhoods of wooden houses, and a major earthquake in 1766, which destroyed the Fatih Mosque and many of the surrounding buildings (subsequently rebuilt). Fires continued to ravage the old city, and the wide roads that run through the area today are a legacy of all that burning. There are few wooden buildings left in Fatih today, although right up until the 1960s, the area was covered with narrow streets of wooden buildings.

Nowadays, the district is largely made up of narrow streets with tightly packed 5- or 6-floor apartment buildings. The confectioner Hafiz Mustafa 1864 was founded in 1864 by Hadji İsmail Hakkı Beyat what is today Hamidiye street in the district during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz.

Historical sites
Topkapı Palace - historical residence of the Ottoman sultans
Hagia Sophia - historical patriarchal cathedral of the Eastern Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire's capital city, later converted into a mosque, then a museum, then a mosque again.
Süleymaniye – the huge mosque complex of Suleiman the Magnificent; Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum – formerly the palace of Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha one of the grand viziers and husband of the Sultan's sister, Hatice Sultan Yeni Mosque (The new mosque) – the mosque that dominates the waterfront by the Galata Bridge; there is a wide open space in front where people feed the pigeons.
Grand Bazaar – as much to look at as to shop in.
Spice Bazaar – another Ottoman caravanserai, not as huge as the Grand Bazaar but right on the water, next to the Yeni Mosque; Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque – in Kadirga District (the Byzantine Sophianòn Limin in Greek).
Istanbul International Airport
Istanbul Airport (IATA: IST, ICAO: LTFM) (Turkish: İstanbul Havalimanı] is the main international airport serving Istanbul, Turkey
It is located in the Arnavutköy district on the European side of the city. All scheduled commercial passenger flights were transferred from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to Istanbul Airport on 6 April 2019, following the closure of Istanbul Atatürk Airport for scheduled passenger flights. The IATA airport code IST was also transferred to the new airport
It served more than 37 million passengers in 2021, making it the busiest airport in Europe and 13th-busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic and by serving more than 27 million international passengers the 2nd-busiest airport in the world.
 
Location 
It was decided to construct the new airport at the intersection of roads to Arnavutköy, Göktürk, and Çatalca, north of central Istanbul and between the Black Sea coast towns of Yeniköy, Tayakadın and Akpınar. The area is a 7,600-hectare (19,000-acre) region near Lake Terkos.
Some 6,172 hectares (15,250 acres) of this area was state-owned forest.

The distance between Istanbul Airport and Atatürk Airport is approximately 35 km (22 mi). The area encompassed old open-pit coal mines, which were later filled with soil. According to the Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED) report published in April 2013, there were a total of 2,513,341 trees in the area and 657,950 of them would need to be cut indispensably, while 1,855,391 trees would be moved to new places. However, the Ministry of Forest and Water Management claimed the exact number of trees cut and moved would only be revealed after construction was complete.
Kadikoy
Kadikoy known in classical antiquity and during the Roman and Byzantine eras as Chalcedon (Greek: Χαλκηδών), is a large, populous, and cosmopolitan district in the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey, on the northern shore of the Sea of Marmara. It partially faces the historic city centre of Fatih on the European side of the Bosporus. Kadıköy is also the name of the most prominent neighbourhood of the district, a residential and commercial area that, with its numerous bars, cinemas and bookshops, is the cultural centre of the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Kadıköy became a district in 1928 when it was separated from Üsküdar district. The neighbourhoods of İçerenköy, Bostancı and Suadiye were also separated from the district of Kartal in the same year[citation needed], and eventually joined the newly formed district of Kadıköy. Its neighbouring districts are Üsküdar to the northwest, Ataşehir to the northeast, Maltepe to the southeast, and Kartal beyond Maltepe.

History
 
Kadıköy is an older settlement than most of those on the Anatolian side of the city of İstanbul. Relics dating to 5500-3500 BC (Chalcolithic period) have been found at the Fikirtepe Mound, and articles of stone, bone, ceramic, jewelry and bronze show that there has been a continuous settlement since prehistoric times. A port settlement dating from the Phoenicians has also been discovered. Chalcedon was the first settlement that the Greeks from Megara established on the Bosphorus, in 685 BC, a few years before they established Byzantium on the other side of the strait in 667 BC. Chalcedon became known as the 'city of the blind', the story being that Byzantium was founded following a prophecy that a great capital would be built 'opposite the city of the blind' (meaning that the people of Chalcedon must have been blind not to see the obvious value of the peninsula on the Golden Horn as a natural defensive harbour). The fourth ecumenical church council, Council of Chalcedon, was held there in 451 AD.

Chalcedon changed hands time and time again, as Persians, Bithynians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, and Turks passed through the area, which was badly damaged during the Fourth Crusade and came into Ottoman hands in 1353, a full century before Constantinople. Thus, Kadıköy has the oldest mosque in İstanbul, built almost a century before the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

At the time of the conquest, Chalcedon was a rural settlement outside the protection of the city. It was soon put under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople courts, hence the name Kadıköy, which means Village of the Judge. In the Ottoman period, Kadıköy became a market for agricultural goods and in time developed into a residential area for people who would commute to the city by boat. According to Ottoman estimations of 1882, the district of Kadıköy had a total population of 6,733, consisting of 2,695 Muslims, 1,831 Armenians, 1,822 Greeks, 249 Jews, 92 Latins, 28 Bulgarians and 16 Catholics.
Ortakoy

Ortakoy
 in Greek known as Agios Fokas (Άγιος Φωκάς) in the Byzantine period and Mesachorion (Μεσαχώριον, meaning "middle village") later, is a neighbourhood, formerly a small village, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, located in the middle of the European bank of the Bosphorus.
Ortaköy was a cosmopolitan area during the Ottoman era and the first decades of the Turkish Republic, with communities of Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews. Today the neighbourhood still hosts many different religious (Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, and other Christian) structures. It is also a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with its art galleries, night clubs, cafés, bars, and restaurants.
The Neo-Baroque style Ortaköy Mosque is a beautifully ornate structure, right on the jetty of Ortaköy, bordering the waters of the Bosphorus, and thus highly visible from the passing boats.
Several reputable schools, such as Kabataş Erkek Lisesi and Galatasaray University, are located in Ortaköy. The European pylon of the Bosphorus Bridge, one of the two bridges that connect the European and Asian banks of İstanbul, is also situated in this neighbourhood.
Ortaköy was the site of George W. Bush's speech during the NATO Summit of 2004, which he delivered at Galatasaray University.

History 
Ortaköy has had an important place in the daily life of the city during both the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. In the 16th century, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent encouraged the Turks to move to Ortaköy and live there, which marked the beginning of the Turkish presence in the neighbourhood. One of the oldest buildings in Ortaköy is the Turkish Bath built by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan in 1556.

The famous Ortaköy Mosque, located on the coastal pier square, was originally built in the 18th century. Later, in the 19th century, the current mosque, ordered by Sultan Abdülmecid I and designed by architects (father and son) Garabet Amira Balyan and Nigoğayos Balyan in Neo-Baroque style, was edificed between 1854 and 1856.

In 1871, Sultan Abdülaziz built the Çırağan Palace in Ortaköy, where he lived for some time. Çırağan Palace was also used as the Ottoman Parliament building until it was severely damaged by a fire in 1910. The palace was repaired and restored in the 1980s and is known today as the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Hotel, one of the most luxurious hotels in Istanbul.

The famous German architect Bruno Taut lived in a house he designed in Ortaköy. It reflected his life in exile by combining Japanese and European architectural styles.
Ortaköy's once famously cosmopolitan population began to disappear with the emigration of non-Muslim minority groups.
After the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Jewish population rapidly decreased.

The riots of 1955 caused the emigration of many members of Istanbul's minority groups, including Ortaköy's Greeks and Armenians. There are very few non-Muslims left today.
On 1 January 2017, Ortaköy was the scene of a deadly terrorist attack at the Reina nightclub, where hundreds of people were celebrating the New Year. The club was closed down and demolished in May 2017.
Sabiha Gokcen Airport
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (IATA: SAW, ICAO: LTFJ) is one of three international airports serving Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey.
Located 32 km (20 mi) southeast of the city center, Sabiha Gökçen Airport is in the Asian part of the bi-continental Istanbul and serves as the hub for AnadoluJet and Pegasus Airlines as well as a secondary base for Turkish Airlines.
The facility is named after Sabiha Gökçen, adoptive daughter of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the first female fighter pilot in the world. Although Istanbul Airport, located 63 km (39 mi) away on the European side of Istanbul, is larger, Sabiha Gökçen is still one of the largest airports in the country.

Sabiha Gökçen  was a Turkish aviator. During her flight career, she flew around 8,000 hours and participated in 32 different military operations. She was the world's first female fighter pilot,aged 23..As an orphan, she was one of the thirteen children adopted by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. She is recognized as the first female combat pilot by The Guinness Book of World Records and was selected as the only female pilot for the poster of "The 20 Greatest Aviators in History" published by the United States Air Force in 1996
Sisli
Sisli is one of the 39 districts of Istanbul, Turkey. Located on the European side of the city, it is bordered by Beşiktaş to the east, Sarıyer to the north, Eyüp and Kağıthane to the west, and Beyoğlu to the south. In 2009, Şişli had a population of 316,058
 
History
Until the 1800s, Şişli was open countryside, used for hunting, agriculture and leisure. It was developed as a middle class residential district during the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the early years of the Turkish Republic (the late 19th-early 20th centuries). French culture was an important influence in this period and the wide avenues of Şişli were lined with large stone buildings with high ceilings and art nouveau wrought-iron balconies, and which often had little elevators on wires in the middle of the stairways. This trading middle-class was composed of Jews, Greeks and Armenians, as well as some Turks, many of whom built homes in Şişli after a large fire devastated the neighbouring district of Pera (now Beyoğlu) in 1870. To this day, several families from Istanbul's local Armenian community live in the Kurtuluş neighbourhood of Şişli. The area was also popular with the Levantine trading families of this period who settled in Istanbul for trade or were contracted by the Ottoman Empire. Şişli attracted migrants from former possessions in Greece and the Balkans. In the late 19th century, Şişli was one of the first areas supplied with tramlines, electricity and natural gas. The Darülaceze orphanage and the large Şişli Etfal Hospital were built here in this period, as well as the French schools of St. Michel and Notre Dame de Sion.
 
Following the founding of the Turkish Republic in the 1920s, larger and larger buildings were built along wide avenues such as Halaskargazi Caddesi, the main road that runs through the middle of Şişli, with its little arcades of shops below tall buildings of apartments and offices. In the republican era, the area was still the residence of the middle-class, as well as traders there were now writers and poets and Şişli acquired theatres, cafes and other cultural amenities. The Hilto