12 Ocak 2014 Pazar

Intresting Facts About Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest historical bazaar in the world with 4000 shops covering 61 streets.It’s the oldest and largest covered bazaar in the World.
Istanbul is the only city in the world which is both in Europe and Asia geographicaly.

The four bronze horses decorating the San Marco Cathedral in Venice were taken from Istanbul (Constantinople at that time) by the crusaders in the 13th century.
Tea has become a national drink only recently. Before that it was Turkish coffee but when it became expensive and tea leaves could be grown in the Black Sea region, tea took its place. Coffee cannot be produced in Turkey because of the unfavourable climate for its production.
Istanbul was the European Cultural capital in 2010. Two years later it became the world’s fifth-most-popular tourist destination.

Hagia Sophia was the largest church in the world for about 900 years until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. It was also one of the 20 finalists for the New 7 Wonders of the World.
A global city, Istanbul is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan economies in the world and accounts for more than a quarter of Turkey’s GDP.
And of course it’s common knowledge that Istanbul is the only city in the world to straddle two continents but still worth mentioning. The historic centre lies on the European side of the city. The Bosphorus Strait divides the city (and implicitly the two continents) and is the link between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
 The Blue Mosque is the only mosque in the city with six minarets. Legend has it that when it was built, it had one minaret more than the Grand Mosque in Mecca (four was the common maximum at that time) and this was considered disrespectful in the Muslim world. In order to solve the issue, one more minaret had to be added to the Grand Mosque.

Istanbul has the third oldest subway in the world. It was built in 1875 after the ones in London and in New York in 1863 and 1868, respectively. It is 573 meters long and it is located in the Beyoglu district.
1500'S, there were 1400 public toilets in Istanbul while in the rest of Europe there were none.
Istanbul has been the capital of some of the biggest empires: Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman. – Istanbul is one of the biggest cities in the world, with around 14 million population, which is more than 122 countries around the world. However, it’s not Turkey’s capital. Ankara has been the capital since Turkey was proclaimed a republic by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923.
Maiden's Tower also known in the ancient Greek and medieval Byzantine periods as Leander's Tower (Tower of Leandros), sits on a small islet located in the Bosphorus strait off the coast of Uskudar in Istanbul, Turkey. Used as a lighthouse for centuries, the interior of the tower has been transformed into a popular café and restaurant, with an excellent view of the former Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman capital. Private boats make trips to the tower several times a day.  The tower was featured in the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough. The tower was a point on the CBS reality game show The Amazing Race 7.

The pride of the Topkapi Palace Museum and its most valuable single exhibit is the 86-carat pear-shaped Spoonmaker Diamond, also known as the Kasikci. Surrounded by a double-row of 49 Old Mine cut diamonds and well spotlighted, it hangs in a glass case on the wall of one of the rooms of the Treasury. In 1774 a French officer named Pikot bought the diamond from the Maharajah of Madras in India and then took it to France. Somehow thieves got wind of the gem and robbed Pikot. Sometime later a large diamond about the size of the stone taken from Pikot, appeared at an auction, and the notorious Casanova made a bid for it. The diamond thus became known for a time as the Casanova Lottery Diamond. It was finally bought by Napoleon's mother, Letizia Ramolino, who later sold her jewels to help her son escape from Elba in 1815. An officer of Tepedelenli Ali Pasha bought the great diamond for 150,000 pieces of gold and put it in Tepedelenli's Treasury. When he was killed in the revolt against Sultan Mahmut II, his entire treasury came to the Palace of Turkey. It is probable that the stone now called the Kasikci, is the long lost Pikot (aka Spoonmaker's) Diamond. Source: "Diamonds Eternal" by Victor Argenzio. Printed by the David McKay Company Inc., New York. 1974.

Adolf Hitler worked in the constuction of Haydarpaşa Railhead as a younger worker.
Istanbul, Turkey opened its first coffeehouse in 1554. The Turks brought coffee to Austria when their army surrounded Vienna in 1683, laying siege to the city.
The last time the sea in the Bosphorus froze was in 1954 when people were able to cross from one side of the strait to the other walking on the huge pieces of ice.
The Golden Horn is entirely in Europe. It leads into the Bosphorus, which is the water that divides the two continents and which joins the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, which in turn leads into the Mediterranean. This is one reason Istanbul has always been of great strategic importance.

This cosmopolitan city is stretched out on 7 hills, partially in Europe with the other half in Asia, being separated by a beautiful body of water called the Bosphorus that stretches from the Marmara Sea in the south to the Black Sea in the north. When the Bosphorus bridge was completed it was the fourth biggest suspension bridge in the world. The first bridge over the Bosphorus was completed in three years and opened in 1973. The second one was completed in 1988.

Istanbul is a city where East meets west. It is the only city in the world that is situated on two continents. This makes it the nearest European city to Asia and the nearest Asian city to Europe.

Once the capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, the city is home to landmarks of astounding beauty such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar.
Since 1990s there is a great tendency in the Western media and guide book writers that proponents of a secular Turkish state are elite, military or intellectuals. Nothing can be further from the truth. These people have not been here long enough or have not been in enough contact with the Turkish people.

Turkish society have become a class society after 30 years of neoliberal economic policies. You have the bankers, people working or doing business with multinational corporations, people tied to the state and to the governing party "du jour". And all of them tied to Wall Street. Lots of debts and lots of glamour is built since 2001. If you see in guidebooks or internet sites phrases such as "Istanbul has become hip", "In", that's why. Istanbul has always been beautiful, it is not a recent happening!
 Nisantasi is a small time Soho, in case you want to try posh shops in Istanbul with streets decorated with fancy cobbles stones and lamp posts. That's the part of city center for high income people.
Bosphorus is where ordinary people go there fishing for food next to multimillion dollar sea side villas known as yalis.
Although the major Mevlevihane (whirling dervish home) is in Konya, there is one in Galata as well. Every other week, on second and fourth fridays of every month there is a sema show (whirling dervish show).
Needless to say the most important historical figure who has lived in Istanbul is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who has passed away in Dolmabahce Palace, a summer residence of the president at the time. Among other famous people who have spend time in Turkey or Ottoman Empire are Kaiser Wilhelm, Franz Liszt, Florence Nightingale, Gustave Flaubert, Agatha Cristie and Pierre Loti.
Some remains of the Great Palace of Byzantine are under Sultanahmet. In fact there are some small tunnels closed to public access but were filmed in documentaries. Remains from the Palace are mosaics in Mosaic Museum.
Tea is a fairly recent national drink. It was Turkish coffee which was the national addiction but after coffee became expensive and it was possible to plant tea leaves in the Black Sea region, tea became the national drink. Turkey does not have production of coffee as it does not have a favorable climate for coffee production.
Our grandfathers and grandmothers living on the Asian side of Istanbul used to say 'I am going to Istanbul today' before leaving home for an hour trip to the European side of Istanbul marking the contrast between the two sides of the city. They did go to the European side mostly for compulsory reasons like, a hospital visit, business or shopping and after returning home would say things like my head is spinning.
Sultan Ahmet was a big failure as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire yet his name is way more popular than other great sultans such as Fatih Sultan Mehmet who conquered Istanbul or Suleyman the Magnificient who expanded the territories of the empire to its peak. The reason is Sultan Ahmet had ordered the building of Sultanahmet Mosque which rivaled St. Sophia and gave its name to the neighborhood. So once more a person of power and wealth has made his name eternal through patronage of arts. 
 Looking at modern Uskudar, it is hard to imagine the battle to unite Roman Empire was done in Uskudar and upon victory Roman Emperor Constantin moved the capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Istanbul.
Istanbul is dubbed by Turkish poets and Turkish people alike, the City of Seven Hills, like Rome. Interestingly Istanbul was the capital of the Roman Empire after Rome. The city offers gorgeous views from not only from these hills but also from seaside locations.
The ferry boat you see in the picture above and simit, a Turkish specialty food, oven cooked dough with sesame seeds, along with tea is the ultimate Istanbul to Turkish people.
Agatha Christie wrote her famous novel "Murder on the Orient Express" at Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul.
There are 333 cemetaries in Istanbul (as of 2011); 268 of them are for Muslims and 65 for non-Muslim.
First traffic accident occured in 1912 at Sisli district, when the driver of the Italian Embassy hit a pedestrian and tried to run away from the scene.
Sapphire skyscraper at Levent district is the tallest (261 meters - 856 feet) building between Dubai - Frankfurt on the world map. Second tallest building in Istanbul is Is Kule owned by Is Bank, 181 meters (594 feet) high.
Biggest light house of Turkey is in Sile district on the Black Sea coast. It's 19 meters (62 feet) high and 1,1 meters (3,6 feet) wide.
Istanbul was the most crowded city of the world in 1502, then London took this title in 1840.
It has been a noted inspiration for authors from Paul Theroux and Ernest Hemingway to Orhan Pamuk and Abdülhak Sinasi Hisar
Originally named the Tower of Christ, the Galata Tower was built in 1348 at the apex of fortified walls and was used to house prisoners of war, later became an observatory, but now offers a 360-degree viewing gallery of the city.
Istanbul is surrounded by sea, with the Bosphorus cutting right through it. And yet, snow is common in the city, with the annual average being 18 inches.
You might think that tulips originate from the Netherlands. However, the first tulips bulbs were sent from the Ottoman Empire to Vienna in 1554 and they were distributed further to Augsburg, Antwerp and Amsterdam. Afterwards they grew in popularity in the Netherlands as they proved to be able to tolerate the harsher weather conditions.

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