ABOUT ISTANBUL

İstanbul is a world city at the point of intersection of Europe and Asia, the settlement date of which extends for 300,000 years; the historical date about 3,000 years, and the date of becoming a capital,1,600 years. Through the ages the city has hosted various civilizations and cultures, has preserved its cosmopolitan structure, where people of many religions, languages, and ethnic origins have lived together for centuries and it has become a unique mosaic in the historical process. İstanbul is one of the rare sites in the world that have succeeded in being the center in every area for long periods of time, and it is a world capital from the past to the current day

İstanbul, which makes continents meet, is also a world-embracing congress city with its own wealth of history and nature, its being an international center of arts and culture, accessibility, alternatives of accommodation, professional services, price policies, and the quality of its convention centers.

İstanbul is the financial capital and the heart of the economy of Turkey because of its strategic location. The city generates almost 40 percent of Turkey’s GDP and its annual contribution to the state budget is about 40 percent. As the country’s largest industrial center, İstanbul employs approximately 20 percent of the country’s industrial labor. Some of the city’s main industrial products are food processing, textile production and oil products. İstanbul is also the most important export gate of Turkey with 36% of Turkey’s total exportation activity. (http://icvb.org.tr/istanbul-facts-figures)

In 2011 and 2012, İstanbul ranked top in the world for congresses of over 500 delegates. The next target is to keep its place among the top 3 ranking congress cities in Europe and the top 5 in the world, and to attempt global leadership every year. İstanbul puts its existing values in action as a tourism potential and it hosts national and international organizations with high numbers of participants.

HAGIA SOPHIA MUSEUM

Hagia Sophia is a unique architectural monument being a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque and now a museum. For nearly thousand years, it is the largest enclosed space in the world and has been a place of attraction by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art.

   

TOPKAPI PALACE

The palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments and is a major tourist attraction today, containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword. A UNESCO World Heritage Site as “the best examples of ensembles of palaces of the Ottoman period”

   

BASILICA CISTERN

The cistern was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in A.D. 542 on the other side of the Hippodrome to meet the Great Palace water requirements. Nowadays, it is a museum and an exhibition hall, as well as hosting concerts and poetry readings

   

HAGIA EIRENE

Hagia Eirene ranks as the first church built in İstanbul. It reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. As for today, it is a concert hall located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace. It is open as a museum every day except Monday but requires special permission for admission

   

BLUE MOSQUE

The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in İstanbul.

   

GRAND BAZAAR

Built in the 15th century, the huge bazaar is located in the middle of İstanbul’s historical center with its streets lying beneath high domes. This is the marketplace of the tale of a thousand and one nights, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

   

DOLMABAHÇE PALACE

The Dolmabahce Palace was The Ottoman imperial palace during the 19th century. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, resided there late in his life. The 45,000sqm palace cost a mere five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tones of gold— 14 tones of which went into the decoration alone.

   

İSTİKLAL STREET

At the heart of İstanbul, İstiklal Street is a 24-hours live zone in İstanbul. During daytime, you will meet thousands of people, doing their business, shopping or just walking around. When the day turns into night, you will again meet thousands of people walking around the street, going to restaurants and night clubs along the street. To experience daily life in İstanbul, İstiklal Street should be visited

   

ORTAKÖY SQUARE

Artists gather every Sunday to exhibit their works in a street gallery. The variety of people creates a lively scene. Sample a tasty morsel from one of the street vendors. There is a church, a mosque and a synagogue that have existed side by side for hundreds of years – a tribute to Turkish tolerance at the grass roots.

   

RUMELIAN CASTLE

Rumelihisarı (Rumelian Castle) is a fortress located in the Sarıyer district of İstanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosphorus. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople. The Castel is now a museum and an open-air theater for various concerts at festivals during the summer months.

   

ISTANBUL MODERN ART MUSEUM

The museum offers a wide array of services in a multifaceted İstanbul, including permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, photography gallery, library, cinema center, cafe and a design store. In addition, the Museum also offers video educational and social programmes.

   

MAIDEN’S TOWER

Maiden’s Tower is also known as Kizkulesi which is located at the entrance of the Bosphorus Strait and today it became the symbol of İstanbul. This tower has been in service as a lighthouse, a watchtower, a traffic control center and a prison in its lifetime and after its restoration now it is open as a several-flat tower for tourist attraction... an observation terrace, gift store, a small Bosphorus Museum, tea/coffee house and restaurant