"Istanbul" Istanbul Ili by MrOscar
Istanbul Ili Travel Guide: 8,508 reviews and 22,542 photos
There a city lies between Asia and Europe, which was a cradle of many civilisations.... there lies a history of most cultures... It is situated on the shores of the Golden Horn and on both sides of the Bosphorus which seperates Europe and Asia and connects the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea. Being a seat of many big empires for about 1592 years, as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Since 1923, istanbul is no more a capital city, but still culturally, economically and socially modern and cosmopolitic face of Turkey.
The urban landscape of Istanbul is shaped by many communities. The religion with the largest community of followers is Islam. Religious minorities include Greek Orthodox Christians, Armenian Christians, Catholic Levantines and Sephardic Jews. According to the 2000 census, there were 2691 active mosques, 123 active churches and 26 active synagogues in Istanbul; as well as 109 Muslim cemeteries and 57 non-Muslim cemeteries. Some districts have sizeable populations of these ethnic groups, such as the Kumkapý district which has a sizeable Armenian population, the Balat district which has a sizeable Jewish population, the Fener district which has a sizeable Greek population, and some neighbourhoods in the Niþantaþý and Beyoðlu districts which have sizeable Levantine populations. In some quarters, such as Kuzguncuk, an Armenian church sits next to a synagogue, and on the other side of the road a Greek Orthodox church is found beside a mosque.
The seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople, spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church is located in the Fener (Phanar) district. Also based in Istanbul are the archbishop of the Turkish-Orthodox community, an Armenian archbishop, and the Turkish Grand-Rabbi. A number of places reflect past movements of different communities into Istanbul, most notably Arnavutköy (Albanian village), Polonezköy (Polish village) and Yenibosna (New Bosnia
Today, the city generates 55% of Turkey's trade and 45% of the country's wholesale trade, and generates 21.2% of Turkey's gross national product. Istanbul contributes 40% of all taxes collected in Turkey and produces 27.5% of Turkey's national product. In 2005 the City of Istanbul had a GDP of $133 billion. In 2005 companies based in Istanbul made exports worth $41,397,000,000 and imports worth $69,883,000,000; which corresponded to 56.6% and 60.2% of Turkey's exports and imports, respectively, in that year.
According to Forbes magazine, Istanbul had a total of 35 billionaires as of March 2008 (up from 25 in 2007), ranking 4th in the world behind Moscow (74 billionaires), New York City (71 billionaires) and London (36 billionaires).
Istanbul has two international airports: The larger one is the Atatürk International Airport located in the Yeþilköy district on the European side, about 24 kilometres (15 mi) west from the city center. When it was first built, the airport used to be at the western edge of the metropolitan area but now lies within the city bounds.
The smaller one is the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport located in the Kurtköy district on the Asian side, close to the Istanbul Park GP Racing Circuit. It is situated approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the Asian side and 45 kilometres (28 mi) east of the European city center.
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