ISTANBUL is the largest city in Turkey, and the most populous city in Europe, with a total of more than 15 million people living there.
But not all of Istanbul’s huge population lives in Europe – as the sprawling city is one of only five in the world that straddles two continents.
Is Istanbul in Europe?
The European side goes by many names, including Avrupa Yakasi and Thrace, and it borders Bulgaria and Greece in Southeast Europe.
This side of Istanbul includes the trendy neighborhood of Galata, known for its nightlife, as well as the quaint part of the city, where historic places of worship can be found such as Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
The European part of Istanbul accounts for about 65% of the city’s population, while the Asian region makes up the remaining 35%.
The Asian part is the oldest part of Istanbul, and is known as Anatolia, or Asia Minor.
It is a naturally beautiful and peaceful peninsula with an entrance Sea in Marmara, the Bosphorus, the Black Sea and Egian.
It is also home to the famous Kadikoy Flea Market.
The European part is the commercial hub, while the Asian part is more residential and relaxed. Two suspension bridges connect the two parts.
Why is Istanbul on two continents?
Istanbul is on two continents because it developed as two separate cities, located on either side of a popular trade route, and then united by two bridges.
Part of Turkey is landlocked with Europe, and a larger part is Asia.
The Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara dividing these two parts are very narrow and have been an important trade route for millennia.
As settlements sprang up on both sides of these waterways, it makes sense that they worked together across the water, and eventually united by bridges, to form one nation, Turkey and a city, Istanbul.
The 31 km long Bosphorus Strait is the only waterway connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, from where it empties into the Mediterranean Sea.
Cities first appeared on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, long before the Greeks built Bizantium – which became the Istanbul of Europe – on the European side, in 660 BC.
Bizantium has been renamed Constantinople in 330 AD, after the Roman Emperor, and it was the eastern capital of the Roman empire, and important point of contact with the East.
After the Ottoman conquest of the city, it became the seat of the last Caliphate, in 1453.
The two parts were not merged into Istanbul until the late 19th century.
In 1923, the modern republic of Turkey was established after the Turkish war of independence.
Although Ankara was chosen as the capital, Istanbul remains important, and today is considered the economic and cultural center of the country.
What continent is Istanbul on for travel insurance?
Istanbul is treated differently on travel insurance, depending on your insurance company and policy.
Some include Istanbul, and practically all of Turkey, in their European cover, while others consider it part of Asia and include it in their ‘worldwide’ cover. .
Basically, check with your insurance company and remember that Turkey is not part of the European Union, so your EHIC card is not automatically covered.
Istanbul is a famous tourist destination. It is the fifth largest city in the world in terms of population, and is home to 19% of the population of Turkey.
Is the rest of Turkey European?
No, the rest of Turkey is not necessarily in Europe.
Geographically, Turkey is made up of two parts: one, a small part, which is connected to mainland Europe, and the European part of Istanbul which is on this part of Turkey.
The rest of Turkey has land borders in Asia, with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Georgia and Armenia.
The Bosphorus Strait separates two parts of Istanbul, while the Sea of Marmara separates two geographical parts of Turkey.
The two sides were once separate, accessible only by boat, but now there are several bridges connecting them.
Turkey has longstanding cultural, political and religious links with both Europe and Asia.
For example, Turkey participates in Europe Regional Song Contest, but is not part of the European Union.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8164579/is-istanbul-in-europe/ Is Istanbul in Europe?