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PARK BOSPHORUS HOTEL ISTANBUL

Park Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul, whose heritage building formerly served as the Foreign Affairs Palace 120 years ago, now welcomes its guests with unrivaled hospitality in the Taksim Gümüşsuyu district, deep in the heart of Istanbul. The luxury Hotel has been opened by the CVK Group, one of Turkey’s long established investors, and brings to life the glories of luxury and pleasure from the ancient Ottoman Empire.

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY

PARK PRESTIGE SUITES

Centrally located in Taksim, the heart of bustling Istanbul,CVK Park Prestige Suites has quickly become the prime address for those wishing to engage the rhythm of this magical city. Elegantly decorated and offering unparalleled first-class service, the well-appointed suites of our boutique hotel boast majestic views of the Istanbul Bosphorus. Park Bosphorus Hotel’s CVK Park Prestige Suites are available to be rented on either a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis.

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ISTANBUL, TURKEY

CVK TAKSIM HOTEL

Centrally located in Taksim, the heart of bustling Istanbul,CVK Taksim Hotel has quickly become the prime address for those wishing to engage the rhythm of this magical city. Elegantly decorated and offering unparalleled first-class service, the well-appointed suites of our boutique hotel boast majestic views of the Istanbul Bosphorus.

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Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country’s economic, cultural, and historical heart. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, with its commercial and historical centre lying on the continental European side and about a third of its population living on the Asian side of Eurasia. With a population of 14.4 million, the city forms the largest urban agglomeration in Europe as well as the largest in the Middle East, and the fifth-largest city proper in the world. Istanbul’s area of 5,343 square kilometers (2,063 sq mi) is coterminous with Istanbul Province, of which the city is the administrative capital. Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus strait in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Founded on the Sarayburnu promontory around 660 BC as Byzantium, the city now known as Istanbul developed to become one of the most significant cities in history. For nearly sixteen centuries following its reestablishment as Constantinople or New Rome  in 330 AD, it served as an imperial capital for the Roman and Byzantine (330–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin (1204–1261), and the Ottoman (1453–1922) empires. 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 along 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 helped foster an eclectic populace, although less so since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Overlooked for the new capital during the interwar period, 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 flocked to the metropolis and city limits have expanded to accommodate them. Arts festivals were established at the end of the 20th century, while infrastructure improvements have produced a complex transportation network. Approximately 11.6 million foreign visitors arrived in Istanbul in 2012, two years after it was named a European Capital of Culture, making the city the world’s fifth-most-popular tourist destination. The city’s biggest draw remains 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 the Beyoğlu district. Considered a global city, Istanbul is 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 bid for the Summer Olympics five times in twenty years.

Istanbul is located in north-western Turkey within the Marmara Region on a total area of 5,343 square kilometers (2,063 sq mi). The Bosphorus, which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea, divides the city into a European, Thracian side—comprising the historic and economic centers—and an Asian, Anatolian side. The city is further divided by the Golden Horn, a natural harbor bounding the peninsula where the former Byzantium and Constantinople were founded. The confluence of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn at the heart of present-day Istanbul has deterred attacking forces for thousands of years and still remains a prominent feature of the city’s landscape.

Following the model of Rome, the historic peninsula is said to be characterized by seven hills, each topped by imperial mosques. The easternmost of these hills is the site of Topkapı Palace on the Sarayburnu. Rising from the opposite side of the Golden Horn is another, conical hill, where the modern Beyoğlu district is situated. Because of the topography, buildings in Beyoğlu were once constructed with the help of terraced retaining walls, and roads were laid out in the form of steps. Üsküdar on the Asian side exhibits similarly hilly characteristics, with the terrain gradually extending down to the Bosphorus coast, but the landscape in Şemsipaşa and Ayazma is more abrupt, akin to a promontory. The highest point in Istanbul is Çamlıca Hill, with an altitude of 288 meters (945 ft). The northern half of Istanbul has a higher mean elevation compared to the south coast, with locations surpassing 200 meters (660 ft), and some coasts with steep cliffs resembling fjords, especially around the northern end of the Bosporus, where it opens up to the Black Sea.

Istanbul is situated near the North Anatolian Fault, close to the boundary between the African and Eurasian Plates. This fault zone, which runs from northern Anatolia to the Sea of Marmara, has been responsible for several deadly earthquakes throughout the city’s history. Among the most devastating of these seismic events was the 1509 earthquake, which caused a tsunami that broke over the walls of the city and killed more than 10,000 people. More recently, in 1999, an earthquake with its epicenter in nearby İzmit left 18,000 people dead, including 1,000 people in Istanbul’s suburbs. The people of Istanbul remain concerned that an even more catastrophic seismic event may be in the city’s near future, as thousands of structures recently built to accommodate Istanbul’s rapidly increasing population may not have been constructed properly. Seismologists say the risk of a 7.6-magnitude or greater earthquake striking Istanbul by 2030 is more than 60 percent.

The Fatih district corresponds to what was, until the Ottoman conquest, the whole of the city, across from which stood the Genoese citadel of Galata. Those Genoese fortifications were largely demolished in the 19th century, leaving only the Galata Tower, to make way for northward expansion of the city. Galata is now a part of the Beyoğlu district, which forms Istanbul’s commercial and entertainment center around Taksim Square.

Dolmabahçe Palace, the seat of government during the late Ottoman period, is located in Beşiktaş, just north of Beyoğlu, across from BJK İnönü Stadium, home to Turkey’s oldest sports club. The former village of Ortaköy is situated within Beşiktaş and provides its name to the Ortaköy Mosque, along the Bosphorus near the First Bosphorus Bridge. Lining the shores of the Bosphorus north of there are yalıs, luxurious chalet mansions originally built by 19th-century aristocrats and elites as summer homes. Farther inland, outside the city’s inner ring road, are Levent and Maslak, Istanbul’s primary economic centers.

Two- and three-story colored houses with docks and balconies, built directly on the edge of the water
Originally outside the city, yalı residences along the Bosphorus are now homes in some of Istanbul’s elite neighbourhoods.

During the Ottoman period, Üsküdar and Kadıköy were outside the scope of urban Istanbul, serving as tranquil outposts with seaside yalıs and gardens. However, during the second half of the 20th century, the Asian side experienced massive urban growth; the late development of this part of the city led to better infrastructure and tidier urban planning when compared with most other residential areas in the city. Much of the Asian side of the Bosphorus functions as a suburb of the economic and commercial centers in European Istanbul, accounting for a third of the city’s population but only a quarter of its employment. As a result of Istanbul’s exponential growth during the 20th century, a significant portion of the city is composed of gecekondus (literally “built overnight”), referring to illegally constructed squatter buildings. At present, some gecekondu areas are being gradually demolished and replaced by modern mass-housing compounds. Moreover, large scale gentrification and urban renewal projects have been taking place, such as the one in Tarlabaşı;however, some of these projects, like the one in Sulukule, have faced criticism. The Turkish government also has ambitious plans for an expansion of the city west and northwards on the European side in conjunction with plans for a third airport and the city’s Olympic bid; the new parts of the city will include four different settlements with specified urban functions, housing 1.5 million people.