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 'A History of the Bridges of Galata'". Translated by Aysu Dinçer. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 43. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Evren, Burçak. Galata Köprüleri Tarihi. İstanbul: Milliyet Yayınları, 1994, 184pp.
A History of the Bridges of Galata
Galata Köprüleri Tarihi
The book begins with the narration of an ancient Greek myth on the Golden Horn (Haliç) and goes on to inform us about all the bridges that have been constructed, demolished, rebuilt and repaired in the history of the Golden Horn.
The author emphasises the fact that the Golden Horn has been a reliable port since antiquity, becoming one of the most important trading centres in the Mediterranean and the Near East. He mentions the impressive religious structures built on the hillsides of the Golden Horn during the Eastern Roman and the Ottoman Empire. Starting with the short-lived Eastern Roman military bridges, the author talks about the construction stages of the bridges of Unkapanı and Galata, describing the various instances and the circumstances under which they were rebuilt.
It is also mentioned that both Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo contacted the Ottoman authorities with a view to building bridges over the Golden Horn; however, none of these plans came to fruition.
While talking about the construction history of the Galata Bridges, the author uses quotes from Tarih-i Lütfü, one of the Ottoman annals. There are also quotes on bridges from other authors who are known for their writings on Istanbul. The author refers to some discussions that took place in the Turkish press in the 1930s on the construction of bridges. The text of the book is an easy read, and offers rich visual material and information on all the bridges ever built on the Golden Horn since the times of the Eastern Roman Empire.