About Istanbul

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 6th International Railway and Light Rail Systems, Infrastructure and Logistics Fair in Istanbul about the planned route of Kanal Istanbul, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım said: “We are currently working on five routes for Kanal Istanbul. In the next few months, all the planning work will be completed, and we will announce the final route of the channel.”

According to consolidated financial statements Borsa Istanbul received from Turkish Airlines (THY), the profits of Europe’s leading carrier exceeded $1 billion for the first time in 2015, and net profit was declared at $1.069 billion. Operating profits were $895 million. When assessed in Turkish lira, net profits increased more than 65 percent compared to 2014, to reach TL 2.9 billion ($984.27 million). Operating profits rose more than 72 percent to reach TL 2.5 billion. Sales revenue in 2015 increased 19 percent to TL 28.8 billion.

Foreign trade deficit decreased by 13.4 percent from $4.3 to $3.8 billion in January 2016 when compared to January 2015, according to data released jointly by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) and the Ministry of Customs and Trade. Thus, in January, exports were $9.6 billion with a 22 percent decrease, and imports were $13.4 billion with a 19.7 percent decrease compared to January 2015. Exports coverage imports were at 71.8 percent in January compared to 73.9 percent the same month of last year.

An Arabic book fair opened here on Friday, meeting an urgent demand of Syrian refugees being sheltered in Turkey.

“With this international fair, we aim to embrace Syrian refugees who found refuge in Turkey and grant them the Arabic publications that they have long needed,” said Cezmi Akgul, manager of Turkey’s Semerkand publishing house and organizer of the fair.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality will implement a number of new initiatives to develog the city’s taxis to a better stage through a central control mechanism, making journeys safer and less exhausting.

Municipal officials of Istanbul are in the process of initiating a major push for reform in the country’s transportation sector to ensure that tourists and visitors to Turkey get a positive first impression of the country. Mindful of the fact that taxi drivers are usually the first people that foreign nationals encounter after landing at Turkey’s airports – and considering the nightmarish experiences expressed by travelers in travel blogs and books from across the globe – officials have decided that taxi services will be upgraded for locals and foreigners in 2016.

The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the third bridge over the Bosporus in Istanbul, will begin service starting in April or May of 2016, said the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Binali Yıldırım on Tuesday.

Construction of the bridge is about 88 percent completed, Yıldırım said, who further added that the bridge will ease Istanbul’s traffic, which has seen an enormous jump in the number of vehicles, especially in the last years.

The Facade Rehabilitation Urban Designs Application Project has been initiated and approved by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality City Council to create a modern view along Istanbul’s main arterial roads. The project will contribute to the city’s urban aesthetic and put an end to the visual pollution created by many buildings’ facades.

Tripadvisor, the world’s top travel website, has announced Istanbul as the third-best global destination after the cities of Marrakech, Morocco and Siem Reap, Cambodia. On Tuesday last week, Tripadvisor announced its Travelers’ Choice 2015 awards for destinations on its website. The “Red City” of Marrakech, Morocco’s most popular holiday destination, topped the rankings with its palaces, courtyards, mosques and serene beauty.

It has been announced that a new tourism route, which will be marked by Mimar Sinan’s masterpieces, will be established as part of the project titled “A New Tourism Route: Great Master Mimar Sinan.” For this purpose, 80 tourism guides have been trained about Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan and his works. Organized by the Culture and Directorate of Istanbul, Turkey Touring, Automobile Institution, Istanbul Guides Association (İRO) and supported by the Istanbul Development Agency, the project will be offered as a tour package to local and international tourists.

It’s been reported that real estate sales to foreigners increased by 41.7 percent, reaching 4.32 billion dollars and apartment sales to foreigners increased by 55.6 percent, reaching 18,959 apartments.

“After 12,181 apartment sales in 2013, there has been a huge increase in real estate sales to foreigners” the report says. City with highest number of apartments sold is Antalya with 6,542 apartments. 5,580 real estate sold to foreigners in Istanbul. Aydın, with 191 real estates came third. 51 real estates was sold in Muğla. Most increase compared to last year is in Istanbul.

Turkey’s tourism revenue hit 34.4 billion USD in 2014, up by 6.2 percent over the preceding year.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute’s (TurkStat) recently released data, the country attracted some 41.4 million visitors during the last year, which spent an average of 828 USD per capita. The number of foreign visitors also registered an increase of 5.6 percent over a year earlier.

Istanbul has been picked as the third favorite European destination of choice for international travelers after London and Paris, according MasterCard’s Target Cities Index.

With 11.6 million expected visitors for the 2014-end, Istanbul also ranks seventh across the globe, according to the list topped by London for the third time in four years with 18.37 million visitors.

Now in its fourth year, the index provides a ranking of the 132 most traveled cities from around the world.

Statistics revealing the number foreign visitors in June, announced by The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, increased by %6.41 to reach 4.33 million. According to the ministry’s report the number of foreigners in the January-June period increased by %4.73, exceeding 15.23 million. Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Ömer Çelik, speaking on the matter, remarked that Turkey has been having a very successful tourism season this year. He said: “When we check the statistics, we can see the success”.

The new airport will be constructed 50 kilometers north of Istanbul on area of 7,700 hectares (19,000 acres) and will accommodate 500 aircrafts.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday laid the first stone for Istanbul’s third airport, a multi-billion-dollar project expected to create one of the world’s busiest air hubs.

As the cradle of civilisations, Turkey is surprisingly a new catch, being discovered by the foreign investors in last few decades. It is a stunning, astonishing country that offers all, history, culture, sea, natural beauty and enjoyable day&night life. Hospitable people, dynamic economy and population, it has all the necessary components to make your investment constantly rise.  Once you invest in Turkey, you will enjoy living here and having a smart investment to get profit out of.

The under-construction Gebze-Izmir Motorway is the largest ever infrastructure project in Turkey’s history. The most notable feature of the project is the 3.3 km Izmit Bay suspension bridge.

The new motorway will shorten the road distance between Gebze and Izmir by more than 140 km..

The bridge will be fourth longest suspension bridge in the world…

The Topkapı Palace, previously known as Saray-i Cedid-i Amire, received its name from one of the city wall’s gatesduring the 19th century. The construction of the Topkapi Palace began twenty years after the Conquest of Istanbul. Although its construction was compete in 1479, additions were continuously made to the palace. Having an area of 700 thousand square meters, it expands from the Ayasofya to Gülhane, and from Gülhane to Sirkeci and is surrounded with a high and wide wall, called sur-i sultani. The walls of the palace are stretched from the Sepetçiler Kasri [Mansion] to the Ahir Kapısı [Stable House Gate]. There are 28 towers over the wall. Part of the wall facing the seashore was demolished to create a railway passage in 1888. Seaside mansions also received their share from this demolition.

The Suleymaniye Complex, consisting of a large number of courtyards and a caravansarai, was constructed starting on June 13, 1550 through October 15, 1557 by Architect Sinan (the grand old master of Ottoman architecture). A total of 3,523 workers were employed during the construction of the complex. There were 1,713 Muslim employees. According to the historian Peçevi, a grand total of 96.360 filoris (gold coins) and 82.900 akçe (silver coins) was spent during the construction of the complex. Stones and columns of the complex were brought from different regions of the Ottoman Empire: Bozcaada, İzmit, Mut, Ezine, Gazze Lebanon, etc. In addition, other building materials were brought from different regions of the Ottoman Empire to be used in the complex. The Süleymaniye Complex is composed of 15 sections :

Istanbul international visitor figures hit another record in January, 2014 with an increase of 19.4%. Considering 17.8% increase in January, 2013, Istanbul’s tourist attraction is going well above the world average (19.4% in 2012, 28% in 2011).

Istanbul hosted 10,474,867 foreign tourists in 2013, holding the 6th rank city in the world.

Home to the world’s earliest settlements and numerous civilizations ranging from the tiniest of communities to the greatest of empires, Anatolia invites you to discover its ancient cities.


Situated in Alaca town in the city of Corum, Alacahoyuk predominantly shows the Hittite influence during the Bronze Age, although ruins belonging to four different cultural phases can also be seen.

As a country full of traces of various cultures that have influenced their time and geography, Turkey has a cultural heritage with roots going as deep as the first civilizations ever recorded in history. Home to a mosaic of people that have built empires, the country’s riches are so extraordinarily diverse that visitors can experience a modern way of life, while at the same time catching a glimpse of the distant past.

Official Name of Country Republic of Turkey
Capital City Ankara
Government Parliamentary Democracy
Population 75 million (2011)
Labor Force (Population) 26.7 million (2011)
Median Age 29.7 (2011)
Official Language Turkish
President Abdullah Gul
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Area 783,562.38 km²
Coordinates 39° 55′ North, 32° 50′ East
Time Zone GMT +2
Neighboring Countries Bulgaria, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia
Major Cities (Population) Istanbul (13.3 million), Ankara (4.8 million), Izmir (3.9 million), Bursa (2.6 million), Adana (2.1 million)
Climate Temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters
Telephone Code +90
Country Code Top-Level Domain .tr
Electricity Voltage 220 V, 50 Hz
Currency Turkish Lira (TRY)
Financial Center Istanbul
GDP USD 772 billion (2011-Current Prices)
GDP Per Capita USD 10,444 (2011)
Exports Value USD 135 billion (2011)
Imports Value USD 241 billion (2011)
Tourism Revenue USD 23 billion (2011)
Tourist Number 31.5 million (2011)
Foreign Direct Investment USD 15.9 billion (2011)
Number of Companies with Foreign Capital 29,283 (2011)
Inflation Rate 10.4% (CPI-2011)
Major Exports Markets Germany (10.3%); Iraq (6.2%); UK (6.0%); Italy (5.8%); France (5.0%) (2011)
Major Imports Sources Russia (9.9%); Germany (9.5%); China (9.0%); USA (6.7%); Italy (5.6%) (2011)
Trade Agreements
  • Customs Union Agreement with the EU
  • Free Trade Agreements with Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia, EFTA member countries (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Serbia, Syria, Tunisia


Istanbul is Europe’s third and world’s 21st biggest city. As researches demonstrates, if these trends continue, Istanbul will be the most crowded city of Europe by 2020. Despite its population of more than 12 million people as well as the mass of visitors coming from various different countries, the city is enlisted among the safest cities in the world despite its highly dense population. This gives a sense of peace to citizens and visitors alike as the city’s historical heritage carries them through the ages.

Cemeteries, Mausoleums, Dervish Lodges (Westernization and Republic Period)

Edirnekapı Cemetery

This is on of the oldest cemeteries of the city. The cemetery was originally formed with the graves of the Ottomen Empire soldiers , who died as martyrs during the conquest of the Constantinople. The tombstones from 15th and 16th century , stoneworks, headgears and callgraphies maket his cemetery an open air museum. The martyrs of Balkan Wars and the World War I are buried here. There is also a section for martyrs of 16th March , fire martyrs , and old fire brigades. The roadworks of 1950s hae destroyed many important tombstones and tombs. It is the second largest cemetery of the city after Karacaahmet Cemetery.

When it comes to “Historic and Sightseeing Places”, it is quite hard to choose between all of the “must-see and must-do’s in Istanbul… So here it is a list to ease your tour planning efforts… But Top 20 is just a quick glimpse of Istanbul, only to give you the idea of the richness of the history, diversity culture, and daily life…

No matter, if you have limited time or much time to discover, here is a priority list…

City Walls and Gates

Most of the walls, which were built throughout history, did not survive.The fisrt walls were built in 657 BC.These walls starting from Sirkeci and following Sarayburnu and Marmara shore used to reach the hills on which Hagia Sophia was found.During the reign of Constantne the great (306-337) the city which spanned from Marmara shore to Golden Horn was encircled by walls.

From the City of Ages, to the European Capital of Culture 2010 : Istanbul

During the excavation works of the Marmara Subway project, a settlement has been discovered. It brings to light the 8500 years of historical development of Istanbul as a settlement and civilization center. Because of its strategic position , Istanbul was the capital city of several civilizations. In the ancient ages Istanbul was a city state and it had to visit the Romans for developing and its golden age.

The fabled capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires is a glittering, glorious muddle of influences and impulses. United Airlines Hemispheres senior editor JACQUELINE DETWILER wrote her experience in Istanbul.

As the Sun Rises in Istanbul, the first call to prayer sounds from the eastern edge of the city and ripples inward, from Asia into Europe, drifting over the ruins of several empires, past the glimmering lights of the Bosporus Bridge and the late-night stragglers still dreamily dancing on riverboats.

Istanbul’s premier Archaeology Museum is now 121 years old with a history all its own. The idea of an imperial museum in Istanbul emerged during an era when Ottoman authorities began trying to Westernize the empire.

Istanbul’s premier Archaeology Museum is now 121 years old with a history all its own. The idea of an imperial museum in Istanbul emerged during an era when Ottoman authorities began trying to Westernize the empire.

Several excursions can be arranged in Istanbul, there are many historical sites, religious sites, and museums. This magnificent city offers you everything from modern sites to historic places, you can enjoy walking in old neighborhoods along wooden houses and meet local people, or just spend your time in many ultra modern shopping malls ahead of European cities. If you follow the links on the right, you can find some example itineraries of major excursions. Some of these tours are run on regular basis daily all year around and some are only on private basis depending on the number of participants.

The ancient Constantinople was founded on seven hills surrounded by the city walls, just like Old Rome. In fact it was called as Nova Roma, meaning New Rome. Six of them lie along the Golden Horn (today’s Haliç), while the seventh lies alone about one kilometer south.

  • 1st hill was by the Seraglio, Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome; within today’s Topkapi Palace – St. Sophia Church – Blue Mosque area in Sultanahmet neighborhood.
  • 2nd hill was by the column of Constantine; within today’s Cemberlitas and Nuruosmaniye Mosque area.
  • 3rd hill was by the Forum Theodosii; within today’s Beyazit Mosque and Tower – Istanbul University – Mosque of Sultan Suleyman area.
  • 4th hill was by the Church of the Holy Apostles; within today’s Fatih (Conqueror) Mosque area in Fatih district.
  • 5th hill was by the Theotocos Pammakaristos monastery; within today’s converted Fethiye Mosque – Sultan Selim Mosque – Greek High school area.
  • 6th hill was by the Blachernae Palace; within today’s Tekfur Palace – Mihrimah Mosque area in Edirnekapi neighborhood. This was the highest of all seven of them (70 m above sea level) and originally out of the Constantinian Wall, it had its own fortification until Justinian expanded the city walls. This was the Fourteenth Region of Constantinople.
  • 7th hill was the Xerolophos Hill near the Constantinian Wall; within today’s Samatya – Capa – Cerrahpasa areas in Kocamustafapasa neighborhood.

Besides these, some other hills outside of the city walls are: Taksim hill, Yusa hill in Beykoz district, Sehitlik (martyrdom in Turkish) hill in Rumelihisar neighborhood, Maden (mines) hill in Sariyer district, Karlitepe (snow) hill in Pasabahce neighborhood, Tepebasi hill and Fetihtepe hill in Beyoglu district, Hurriyet (freedom) hill in Sisli district, Gayrettepe neighborhood, Esentepe neighborhood, Kustepe neighborhood, Nurtepe hill in Kagithane district, Sirintepe hill in Seyrantepe neighborhood, Gultepe neighborhood, Celiktepe neighborhood, Fikirtepe hill in Kadikoy district, Goztepe neighborhood, Icadiye hill in Uskudar district, Sultantepe neighborhood, Nakkastepe hill and Buyuk (big) Camlica and Kucuk (small) Camlica hills (262 and 229 meters respectively) in Kadikoy district, and Aydos hill (537 meters) in Kartal district.

Officials have commenced in drawing up legal framework for the draft law regarding the foundation of a Turkish Space Agency, which was included in the action plan of the 64th government as announced by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

According to the information obtained by Anadolu Agency (AA), the General Directorate of Aviation and Space Technologies of the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime and Communication started working on the draft law for the foundation of the Turkish Space Agency, which is planned to be submitted to Parliament in the first half of this year.

The last bridge deck for the İzmit Bay Bridge, which has become the fourth longest suspension bridge with the largest central span in the world, was installed Thursday in a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Binali Yıldırım and Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık.