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Holiday in Istabul, Turkey, May 2002
These pages contain a selection of photos from my recent trip to Turkey from 29th May to 2nd June, 2002. The majority of my time was spent seeing the sights of Istanbul with a day trip to Bursa, directly south from Istanbul across the Marmara Sea.

A Brief History of Istanbul
According to mythology, Zeus, the god of the sky, transformed a young girl, Io, whom he loved and was epecting his child, into a white heifer to protect her from his wife, Hera. Io gave birth to a daughter, Cerossa, on the hill that lies between the two streams, Kydaros and Barbysos, flowing into the source of the Golden Horn (a river flowing into the Bosphorus - now called Haliç). Cerossa bore a male child, Byzas, fathered by Poseidon, the god of the sea. Byzas became the founder of Byzantium, which would eventually be renamed Istanbul many centuries later.

Istanbul is referred to as Byzantion in the oldest known, written sources. The ancient name for the Golden Horn, is Keras, derived from Cerossa. The ancient name for the Straits of Istanbul (Bogaziçi) is Bousphorus, suggested to literally mean "Ford of the Cow", or Oxford.

The first settlements that made up Istanbul appeared around the time 680 BC and since then, the city has been the subject of many seiges and changes of "ownership". In the 4th century BC, the area was seized by "Iskender" (Alexander the Great) and became officially part of the Roman empire in 74 BC. In the 4th century AD, Constantine I, Emperor of Rome, proclaimed the city as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and its name was subsequently changed to Constantinopolis.

Constantinopolis was attacked many more times until in 1453 the city was captured by Mehmet II and added to the Ottoman Empire. The capital of the Ottoman Empire was then moved from Adrianople to Constantinopolis. The city's name was changed to Constantinople and eventually to Istanbul. After the establishment of the TBMM (Great National Assembly of Turkey) in Ankara on 23 April 1920, Mehmet VI, the last Ottoman Sultan, left Istanbul. The city was then placed under the control of the TBMM government and liberated from occupation on 6th October 1923, Federation Day.

Istanbul is a unique city in that it spans 2 continents, Europe and Asia. The 2 sides are separated by the Bosphorus, a straight which joins the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. The Bosphorus is 29km long and its width varies between 0.7 km and 3.6 km. The Sea of Marmara is in turn, directly connected with the Agean and Mediterranean Seas. The Marmara Islands in the Sea of Marmara are a rich source of marble which gives the sea its name - Marmara is derived from marmaros, the Greek word for marble.

See Also:
Istanbul Photos
Bursa Photos