Having been in the center of Old World, Istanbul is an important megapole with its historical monuments and wonderful natural scenery. Established where Asian and European Continents were split with a narrow strait, built on two continents, it is the only city that the sea goes through. With its history of over 2500 years, Istanbul had become an important commerce center because of its establishment in this strategic location where land meets sea. Historical city of Istanbul is located on a peninsular, surrounded by Marmara Sea, Bosphorus Straits and Golden Horn.
Istanbul bears the characteristic of being the capital city of three Great Empires and she is also one of the few cities which has been the center of the country's economic life. Although the city did not become the political capital for the new Republic, established in 1923, it has always been one of the country’s economic centers and has never lost its status as the capital predestined for the country.
Istanbul has a central importance in both domestic and international trade. When we glance at the city’s economy and working-occupational-professional life, Istanbul generates about 23% of Turkey's Gross National Product (GNP).
New sectors in the city, such as finance, tourism, service, banking as well as head offices have been substituted for industry in recent years. On the other hand, despite the situation in industry, the heart beat of money markets continues to grow in Istanbul. Due to its geographical location, the first four hours of the business day overlap with Asian countries and the other four hours with European countries. Because of its unique location, Istanbul has become a natural financial center for the entire region.
Istanbul is also the center of the country's air transport industry. Along with Atatürk Airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport is located in Pendik on the Anatolian side of the city.. Furthermore, 14 of the 153 museums located Turkey are found in Istanbul, and 34% of the two million four hundred thousand pieces on display are exhibited in Istanbul.
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