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Explore İstanbul:

In 1453, the seventh sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed the Conqueror, finally conquered Constantinople, a city dreamed of by many a king, emperor a...

Among all cities in the area, Istanbul was a unique prize desired by all major states and empires nearby, both for its beauty and for its strategic important. The Ottoman sultans Yıldırım Bayezid and Murad the Second had surrounded the city in 1393 and 1422, respectively, but neither of them was able to take it. In the wake of these unsuccessful attempts, Fatih Sultan Mehmed began more thorough preparations to conquer the city in 1452. In addition to building Rumeli Fortress in order to take control of the Bosphorus, he also commissioned the casting of giant cannonballs to be used in the siege. The number of soldiers in the army was increased twofold. While carrying out these rapid preparations for the attack by land, Mehmed also ordered the formation of a powerful fleet of sixteen galleys to be used in a naval attack on the city.

After taking control of all of the routes by which the Byzantines might receive foreign support, the Ottomans made sure that the Genoans, who were in control of the Galata Tower, remained neutral. Following all of these preparations, the Ottoman Army mounted a fearsome attack by both land and sea. The Turks breeched the city from all sides and destroyed all of the Byzantine defenses. Around noon on 29 May 1453, Fatih Sultan Mehmed entered the city through the Topkapı gate and immediately paid a visit to Ayasofya.

The Conquest of Istanbul changed the world history.

Order was returned to Istanbul quickly after the conquest. It was immediately announced that the inhabitants of the city would be able to continue practicing their own religions and traditions without interference. Sultan Mehmed, who took on the title of “Conqueror” (Fatih) after the conquest, ordered that the Greek community choose a head for the Orthodox Greek Patriarchate, which was without a patriarch at the time. The city’s Jewish community, whose positive behaviour during the conquest had been noticed, retained the right to maintain their synagogues.

Traditional flavors:

Turkish cuisine maintains a place of great importance among the cuisines of the world. Indeed, the fame of Turkish dishes, whose flavors are unparalleled, is known throughout the world.

To visit Istanbul without eating döner is unthinkable!

Döner, which has been a crucial part of Turkish cuisine since the second half of the 19th century, is a type of kebab prepared with lamb, which is turned and roasted on a spit over a coal fire. In addition to red meat, döner made with sausage and chicken is also widely consumed.

Eating fish on the Bosphorus is superb!

Turkey’s sophisticated culinary culture involving fish, stems from the fact that the country is surrounded by seas on three sides. The Bosphorus is a particular fishing ground in Turkey, where many different species of fish, with substantially different flavors are caught. For this reason, the area of Istanbul that is most associated with seafood is Boğaziçi. You can sample both seasonal fish and seafood mezes at any restaurants that are found all along the Bosphorus, on both the European and the Asian Side.

Fruit syrup: A sweet voyage

Fruit syrup (şerbet), which is prepared by boiling fruits such as apricots, cherries, plums, and oranges together with sugar or honey, is a traditional Turkish drink that originated in Ottoman times. Fruit syrup was an essential part of both palace cuisine and home cooking during the Ottoman era. It was so popular then that one could easily find fresh types of fruit syrup, stored in glass containers, at candy shops every day.


The term narghile (hookah, or water-pipe) comes from the Persian word nargil, which means coconut. Narghiles play an important part in many Eastern cultures, and first became a part of Turkish culture in the 16th century, during Ottomantimes. The narghile is a crucial aspect of deep conversations in our own time. Narghile cafes are certainly prominent in many areas of Istanbul. Above all, a large number of narghile cafes are found in the neighborhoods of Tophane,Çemberlitaş, Beyoğlu and Kadıköy.

Simit: A sesame feast

Simit is one of the most traditional and common types of Turkish food. It is made from flour, formed in the shape of a ring and cooked in an oven, and is typically covered with a large quantity of sesame seeds. Simit is both inexpensive and flavorful.