Situated on the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is bordered to the south by the Sea of Marmara and to the north by the Black Sea. Given its strategic position, between Europe and Asia, the city found itself at the center of many battles, course of its long history. With the ancient denominations of Byzantium and Constantinople, Istanbul has played the role of capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the Ottoman Empire and even of Islam. In 1923, after the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the city was officially renamed Istanbul.
Istanbul is a unique place, where European culture meets the Asian one. In this city, you can admire modern Turkey, that of comfortable shopping centers, museums and clubs, next to the more traditional bazaars, palaces, taverns and mosques. The natural beauties of Istanbul, combined with its pleasant Mediterranean climate, complete its image of popular tourist destination.
What you can visit in the Asian side?
If you want to visit the Asian part of Istanbul, you shouldgo tothe Uskudar district were you will find the mosques built by the architect Sinan, the Iskele mosque, right at the pier, built by Solimano the Magnificent for his daughter Mihrimah, the SemsiPasa mosque, with the medersa overlooking the sea, the mosque of AtikValide, splendid with its tree-lined avenues, the shaded fountains and the domes, the Çinili mosque and hammam entirely decorated with Iznik tiles.
You should also visit the Palace of Beylerbeyi: less glorious than Dolmabahçe, it remains a true marble masterpiece overlooking the sea, surrounded by a wonderful terrace garden full of aromatic herbs of which the sultan was passionate all cloaked by one splendid panorama on the Bosphorus. In Kadıkoy there are no precise things to see, but it deserves a stop for the labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways that climb up the hillside among fruit and vegetable counters, outdoor tables, fragrant bakeries and sellers of antiques.
You should also go to the Kadikoy neighborhood, the former Greek colony, one of the oldest settlements in Istanbul. In the harbor the atmosphere is full of life, you can taste a lot of food, from the kebab, to the lemon shells.
Another attraction is the Haydarpaşa Railway Station – a neo-Renaissance building that resembles a German castle. It was built between 1906 and 1908 by a German team being given to the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II by the German ally Kaiser Wilhelm II.
The Kadikoy statue Boga Heukeli – the statue of a bull, is one of the most important in this area. Situated at Altiyol at the intersection of 6 streets, it was built in Paris in 1864 and given as a gift to the head of the Ottoman army by Kaiser Wilhelm II. It is an important meeting place for the locals.
Istanbul has more than 13 million inhabitants, making it the most populous city in Europe. With its unique fusion of East and West, which is reflected in local culture, architecture, art and gastronomy, this city will remain in your heart.