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The largest city of Turkey. Founded by the Roman emperor Constantine on the site of the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium, and called Constantinople after him (only in 1930 became the name 'Istanbul' official), it became the eastern capital of the Roman Empire and later the capital of the Byzantine Empire. After the Fall of Byzantium (1453) it became part of and soon capital of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. During the Byzantine period it was also known as Byzantium.

The old city is mainly located on the Bosporus strait, which separates Europe from Asia and the Black Sea from the Marmara Sea. However, the modern city is much larger and covers both European and Asian sides of Bosporus. The famous touristic places are Sariyer, Eyüp and Taksim on the European side, and Beykoz, Üsküdar, Kadiköy, Moda and Bostanci the Princes' Islands on the Asian side. Although Istanbul is no longer the capital of Turkey, it is still the major city in Turkey's industry, commerce and culture and the most important import and export center.

Places to visit