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Across the country, thousands of archaeological sites, historical sites and ancient cities, as well as magnificent landscapes and natural wonders. Since Roman times, Asiatic Turkey has been known as both "Asia Minor" and "Anatolia". The European part of Turkey is called Thrace.
These lands have been continuously inhabited since the Stone Age. Because Anatolia is a natural bridge between continents, no other country in the world has acquired many historical treasures.
The Aegean Sea, the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus forming the western limits of the Anatolian peninsula.
Beside the Dardanelles are the ruins of the famous city of Troy
- A reminder of thousands of years of history and on the banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul stands in all its beauty and splendor, keeping alive the memories of his past.
There are many legends associated with the founding of Istanbul. According to the best known one, around 650 BC, a tribe from the Aegean Sea left his city Megara and started looking for a new home under the leadership of Byzas.
According to the customs of the time, before any firm an oracle had to be consulted. The oracle at the Temple of Apollo in the famous city of Delphi advised Byzas way over the "land of the blind". The immigrants sought a land so long. When they reached the head of the current Istanbul, who were delighted with fertile land and the advantages of the natural harbor, the Golden Horn. They also noticed the people living across the expanse of water. Migrants decided that these people must have been blind if they could not appreciate the opportunities of this great place and settled on the opposite bank, and were convinced they had found the land that the oracle had described.
Excavations have revealed finds dating from the 3rd millennium BC at the tip of the Golden Horn and on the Asian side.
The city of Byzantium existed as an independent state, but occasionally succumbed to the higher powers that rule the region. The acropolis of the city remained where Topkapi Palace is today. He had a well protected harbor, which is still used today in the Golden Horn. Old Istanbul Bed A wall of the fortified city of start here surrounded the city and reached the Sea of Marmara. Byzantium was a major seaport and commercial center under the Roman Empire. However, he sided with the wrong side during a fight for the throne in 191 AD, and after a siege that lasted two years, was conquered and razed by the Roman emperor Septimius Severus. The emperor himself later rebuilt in the city on a larger scale. New city walls were built and the city are decorated with new buildings.
New city walls were built, expanding the city again, and numerous temples, Governments, palaces, baths and a hippodrome were built.
Finally in 330 AD was officially declared. the capital of the Roman Empire. Many ceremonies for the occasion, which ushered in a golden era were organized. Although the town was initially called the Second Rome or New Rome, these names are forgotten soon to be replaced by "Byzantium", and in later ages "Constantinople", while people favored the name "Polis".
The successors of Constantine the Great continued to improve and beautify the city by building new roads, aqueducts, monuments and buildings. The first churches in the city were also built after the time of Constantine.
The Roman Empire was divided into two in 395 AD. Although the Western Empire collapsed in the fifth century, the Eastern Empire, which was administered in the capital, Istanbul survived for more than 1,000 years later.
This empire was named as the Byzantine Empire by modern historians. Byzantium had a very interesting story, because its development was influenced by both earlier Anatolian civilizations and above all, by Christianity; its laws and regulations were adopted from Rome, but his pomp and ceremonies East.
The city expanded again with the construction of new walls of the city in the first half of the fifth century. The magnificent city walls located inside we see today were built by Emperor Theodosrus Si. Are 6492 meters in length. In the sixth century, the city, which now had a population of over half a million, lived through another golden age during the reign of Emperor Justinian. The famous Hagia Sophia is the work ot this emperor.
The subsequent history of the Byzantine Empire and its capital Istanbul is full of palace and church intrigues and Persian and Arab attacks. The throne often changed hands after bloody disputes between the royal families. Between 726-842, all kinds of religious images were banned in the city during the iconoclastic movement.This led to much destruction (much concealment) of paintings and statues.
İstanbul (Aksaray) The Latin invasion was a black page in the history of Istanbul. It all began with the invasion of the city by the armies of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, and for many years all churches, monasteries and monuments were stripped of their treasures. Although the Byzantines regained control of the city in 1261, Istanbul never fully recovered its former wealth.
the growing threats of expanding Ottoman Empire, they finally reached its climax when, after a siege of fifty three working days of 1453, the city was captured by the Turks. The large caliber cannons of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, used for the first time in history, were one of the factors that allowed the Turks to penetrate the walls of the city of Istanbul. Another factor that contributed to the conquest was that the Byzantine Empire had reached the end of its natural life.
Mehmet, who was only 21 years old then, moved the capital of the Ottoman Empire to Istanbul, increased the population of the city by incorporating immigrants from different regions of the country, and began to rebuild the deserted and destroyed city. He granted freedom of worship and social rights to the ancient inhabitants.
It was thanks to the rights granted by Mehmet the Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church is still today in Istanbul. Some of the churches in ruins in the city, including the Hagia Sophia, were renovated and converted into mosques.
Istanbul was completely rebuilt in a short period after it was conquered by the Turks. A century later, the Turkish art had left their mark on the city, and domes and minarets dominated the horizon.
In the 16th century, when the Ottoman sultans took over Caliphate, (head of the civil and religious authority of Islam) Istanbul became the center of the Islamic world as well. The city was completely rebuilt and acquired a magical environment under the sultans. Although no outstanding wars in the history of Istanbul during this time, frequent fires repeatedly devastated large parts of the city.
The Imperial Topkapi Palcio built on the site of the ancient acropolis commands extraordinarily beautiful view of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. As a result of closer contacts with the West, mosques and palaces of European style were built along the banks of Bosphorus by the 19th century.
Old IstanbulThese numerous palaces, built in a very short time, also symbolize the decline of another empire. To the end of World War Istanbul witnessed the fall of the Ottoman Empire.