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This unique city, at the meeting point of Europe and Asia, located on both sides of the Bosphorus (Istanbul Straits) is described as a jewel by the famous French author Lamartine. Istanbul is a city of synthesis which realizes in an atmosphere of tolerance the uniting of the East and the West on the subjects of culture, art and religion, at the borders of two separate continents.

The Bosphorus, which stretches out between the emerald-like slopes, the woods and the bays adorned with one thousand and one beauties, is unique. Halic Bay (Golden Horn), a horn-shaped bay located on the European side of Istanbul, is one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world.

The former capital of three successive empires, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, Istanbul today honors and preserves the legacy of its past while looking forward to a modern future.

It is Istanbul’s endless variety that fascinates its visitors. The museums, churches, palaces, grand mosques, bazaars and sights of natural beauty seem innumerable.

Reclining on the western shore of the Bosphorus at sunset contemplating the red evening light reflected in the windows of the opposite shore you may suddenly and profoundly understand why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build on this remarkable site. At such times you can see why Istanbul is truly one of the most glorious cities in the world.

The Kapali Carsi (Covered Bazaar) which dates back to the fifteenth century and has 4,000 shops today, is one of the places frequently visited by tourists. Jewelry, antiques, carpets, silver and copper souvenirs, leather and suede clothes, wood-carvings and carvings with mother-of-pearl are sold at this bazaar. Furthermore, it is possible to find every type of spice at the Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Bazaar) constructed by Hatice Sultan in the seventeenth century. Istanbul is also a modern center for shopping. Along with the shopping malls, such as the Atakoy Galleria, the Akmerkez, the Capitol, the Carousel and the Carrefour; Istiklal, Rumeli and Bagdat Avenues are the most distinguished shopping areas of the city.

İstanbul also has a rich program of light entertainment. Nightclubs provide splendid entertainment throughout dinner, ranging from a selection of Turkish songs to belly-dancing. Alongside these are modem discos, cabarets, and jazz clubs in the Taksim – Harbiye district.

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