Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The Bosphorus straits divides the city into a part that sits on the European continent, and a larger part on the continent of Asia. The militarily and economically strategic position of the city, on the western portion of the Silk Road, and on the shipping route between the Aegean and Black Seas, has kept it cosmopolitan and prosperous since its foundation 660 BCE, when it was called Byzantium. In 330 it became Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire, named for Emperor Constantine the Great. The Ottomans conquered the city in 1453/857 AH and renamed the city Istanbul. It served as their capital until Ankara became the capital of the modern nation of Turkey.
Tansuğ, Feryal. '"English abstract of 'Anatolian Cities: Istanbul an Anatolian City'". Translated by Aysu Dincer. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 17. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Sözen, Metin. Anadolu Kentleri, Anadolu’nun Kenti İstanbul. İstanbul: Creative Yayıncılık, 2000, 363pp.
Anatolian Cities: Istanbul an Anatolian City
Anadolu Kentleri, Anadolu’nun Kenti İstanbul
This book is divided into two parts: aspects of daily life in various Anatolian towns, and essays on Istanbul. It includes photographs of landscapes and historical monuments. The author mainly discusses his own experience of Anatolian towns and Istanbul, and expresses his personal feelings and thoughts. He relates to the past of these places and refers to the lost architectural structures.
He provides details on monuments from Anatolian towns such as Antalya, Bursa, Çorum, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Kastamonu, Niğde and Urfa, and gives insights into the daily life of these places. He describes the neighbourhoods, the markets and the places of entertainment. The author has given his book a literary flavour by including verses describing towns by famous poets such as Behçet Necatigil and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, as well as samples of prose, myths, lullabies, limericks and songs.
In the second part of the book, the author goes slightly beyond his own views of the city, narrating the foundation myth of Istanbul and talking about the origins of its name. He recounts the Ottoman conquest, and thereafter depicts the architectural legacies of the period such as Sultanahmet, Yedikule, Galata Tower, Fatih Complex, Mihrimah Sultan Complex, Süleymaniye Complex, Beyazıt Square and Kapalıçarşı, as well as neighbourhoods like Eyüp, Emirgan and Çemberlitaş.
These chapters are directed towards an audience that appreciates poetry, is interested in old urban myths and would enjoy reading about life in Anatolian towns in a romantic style. No references are provided since the book is based on firsthand observation of Anatolian towns and Istanbul in the twentieth century. This work constitutes an original primary source for future generations.