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.
Kiris, Irem Maro. "Re-Exploring Late Ottoman Buildings In Today’s Istanbul." ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 7, issue 2 (2013): 318-329.
The late-Ottoman early-Republican period had delineated a unique, heterogeneous stage in the course of Istanbul’s transformation into a modern city. Istanbul at the turn of the 19th century, exhibited a setting under influence of political, ideological, historical, cultural and social factors. The active, long settlement history, imperial heritage, urban texture, cosmopolitan social structure, metropolitan growth, westernization, nationalism, demands of contemporary city life, the modern integrating with the existent local were among them. In this study, architecture of the late-Ottoman Istanbul will be explored through selected buildings that reflected the architectural/urban development of their time, held significance in terms of function, form/style, technology and urban features, represented leading architects’ work, specific trends, and marked strategic locations. Consecutive part of the study will cover a re-exploration of these buildings in their current condition, after a century has passed since they were constructed. Such a comparison, besides providing a record of urban transformation in Istanbul, discloses different faces of the encounter with globalization, and points to contemporary local and global architectural problems of the metropolis in general.