ISTANBUL - TURKEY
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Istanbul
Country: TURKEY
Region: MARMARA
Postal code: 34000 to 34850
Dialing code: (+90) 212 / (+90) 216
Time zone: EET (UTC+2)
EEST (UTC+3)


Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 13.9 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe and is among the largest cities in the world by population within city limits. Istanbul's vast area of 5,343 square kilometers (2,063 sq mi) is coterminous with Istanbul Province, of which the city is the administrative capital.

Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus–one of the world's busiest waterways–in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.


Istanbul - Cosmopolitan city

General info


11.6 million foreign visitors arrived in Istanbul in 2012, making the city the world's fifth–most–popular tourist destination. The city's biggest draw remains its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but its cultural and entertainment hub can be found across the city's natural harbor, the Golden Horn, in the Beyoglu district.


Istanbul has been a cosmopolitan city throughout much of its history, but it has become more homogenized since the end of the Ottoman Empire. Still, most of Turkey's religious and ethnic minorities remain concentrated in Istanbul. The vast majority of people across Turkey, and in Istanbul, consider themselves Muslim, and more specifically members of the Sunni branch of Islam. Most Sunnis follow the Hanafi school of Islamic thought, although approximately 10 percent of Sunnis follow the Shafi'i school. The largest non-Sunni Muslim sect, accounting for 4.5 million Turks, is the Alevis; a third of all Alevis in the country live in Istanbul.[135] Mystic movements, like Sufism, were officially banned after the establishment of the Turkish Republic, but they still boast numerous followers.


Considered a global city, Istanbul is one of the major and fastest–growing metropolitan economies in the world. It hosts the headquarters of many Turkish companies and media outlets and accounts for more than a quarter of the country's gross domestic product. Hoping to capitalize on its revitalization and rapid expansion, Istanbul is currently bidding for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Istanbul with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.