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.
Mutman, Demet and Hulya Turgut. "Colliding Urban Transformation Process: The Case of Historical Peninsula, Istanbul." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research. 12, 1 (2018): 164-181.
Over the last three decades, the disruptive quality of urban and social restructuring processes in Turkey has been intensified by the government’s decision to embrace the concept of urban transformation as a tool to boost the Turkish economy and development. In this respect, many cities have experienced a rapid urban transformation, practicing more of a top to down approach in implementing an urban planning and design, and at the same time undervaluing the potential of a participatory process for a common future and for the improvement of the quality of social and urban life. The article examines the process of “social and spatial restructuring” for the old-city housings of the city of Istanbul, as part of a larger urban transformation phenomenon. The research comparatively analyses three different urban transformation projects from the city of Istanbul's historically valued Golden Horn area and focuses on missions, actors and roles of the projects in terms of the social and spatial restructuring phases. As all three cases in this respect reclaims an upgrading of the quality of urban environment of the historic neighbourhoods; the mission is to expose the local multidimensional structure of these transformations via comparative discussion of their potentials, capabilities and limits in respect to the dynamics of urban transformation and community participation.