Istanbul , historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, is the most populous city in  Turkey and the country’s economic, cultural, and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city. Its commercial and historical center lies on the  European side  and about a third of its population lives on the   Asian side. The city is the administrative center of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality .both hosting a population of around 14.7 million residents. Istanbul is one of the world’s most populous cities  and ranks as the world’s 7th-largest city proper and the largest European city.

Founded under the name of Byzantion (Βυζάντιον) on the Sarayburnu (Seraglio point) promontory around 660 BC, the city developed to become one of the most significant in history.

After its reestablishment as Constantinople in 330 A.C, it served as an imperial capital for almost 16 centuries, during the Roman  and Byzantine  (330–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin (1204–1261), and the Ottoman  (1453–1922) Empire. It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before the Ottomans conquered the city  in 1453 and transformed it into an Islamic stronghold and the seat of the Ottoman Caliphate

Istanbul’s strategic position on the historic Silk Road, rail networks to Europe and the Middle East, and the only sea route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean  have produced a cosmopolitan populace, although less so since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923.Overlooked for the new capital Ankara during the interwar time, the city has since regained much of its prominence. The population of the city has increased tenfold since the 1950s, as migrants from across Anatolia  have moved in and city limits have expanded to accommodate them. Arts, music, film, and cultural festivals were established at the end of the 20th century and continue to be hosted by the city today. Infrastructure improvements have produced a complex transportation network.

five years after it was named a Eiropean Capiatl of Culture, making the city the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination. The city’s biggest attraction is its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its cultural and entertainment hub can be found across the city’s natural harbor, the Golden Horn, in Beyoglu district. Considered a global city . Istanbul has one of the 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 has bid for theSummer Olympics  five times in twenty years.


Approximately 12.56 million foreign visitors arrived in Istanbul in 2015. The number of foreign tourists visiting Istanbul declined to 9.2 million in 2016, a 26 percent decrease compared to the previous year, data from the Istanbul Culture and Tourism Directorate has shown.

This was the first year-on-year decrease in the number of foreign arrivals to Istanbul since 2000, amid escalating security concerns.

The highest monthly plunge was seen in June, as the number of foreign arrivals saw a 35.2 percent decline compared to the same month of 2015.

While 4.45 million foreigners visited Istanbul, the country’s top tourism destination, in the first half of the year, this figure rose to 4.76 million in the second half, according to the official report, which compiled the arrivals data from the two airports in the city as well as the Haydapaşa, Pendik, Zeytinburnu and Karaköy ports.

While arrivals by air declined 23 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, arrivals by sea plunged 89 percent.
The highest plunge was seen in arrivals from the United States, Iraq and Russia  in 2016 compared to the previous year. While the number of U.S. tourists visiting Istanbul saw a year-on-year decrease of 43.2 percent, this percentage was 43.1 for Iraqi tourists. The number of arrivals from Russia  also decreased by 39.2 percent in 2016 compared to 2015.