Istanbul, a fascinating city built on two Continents, divided by the Bosphorus Strait, a modern western city combined with a traditional eastern city.
With its famous historical monuments and magnificent natural beauties, Istanbul is one of the greatest and the most visited cities in the world.
Istanbul has an ancient and diverse history as a meeting point between East and West, Asia and Europe. With its 8500-year history, the city has been the center of numerous civilizations, cultures and international trade throughout history. Since the Neolithic period, inhabited on the ancient trade routes , and the city was successively the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
From the foundation of Byzantium in the 7th century BC until today, Istanbul held always an important role in the history of humanity. Everybody wanted to gain control of this area because of its strategic location; Empires were born here on the ashes of previous ones, to rule the Old World. Even Napoleon Bonaparte once said: "If the world were a single state Istanbul would be it's capital."
The rich multi-layered cultural heritage from it's history, makes the city a melting pot of many civilizations and different people, and a source of inspiration for its traditional crafts, forms of production and innovative design ideas.
Istanbul is massively rich in cultural heritage, and the historic peninsula of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Istanbul also carried out the Presidency of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG-MEWA) for three terms and recieved the title of European Capital of Culture.