Welcome to Istanbul

Throughout history, this unique location made Istanbul politically, commercially and culturally a very important city. Once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Istanbul has grand historic monuments, a commercial culture that is still very much alive and a cosmopolitan culture that welcomes all. Today it is not the capital of the modern Turkish Republic but it is the most populous city of Turkey with 17 million inhabitants. Istanbul is still the heart of Turkey’s commercial, financial, artistic and cultural activities. It is a touristic destination which attracts around 12 million tourists a year, with its historic palaces and mosques, wonderful museums, art galleries, festivals, and worldclass shopping and entertainment.