Istanbul pictures. Istanbul (formerly Byzantium and Constantinople) is the former capital of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately the population boom meant that much of the architecture of the imperial capital has been demolished to make way for (not very high quality) modern housing, and the former glory of the city can now only be glimpsed in certain places, like in and around the mosques or on Büyükada Island. The city's nevertheless full of life: there are cafes, street vendors, restaurants, and people socializing on the street everywhere. One of the greatest assets of the city (pop.: 12+ million) is its location: along the scenic Bosphorus strait and the Sea of Maramara's shoreline.

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The Bosphorus strait separating Europe and Asia

View from the Aya Yorgi Church on Büyükada Island (part of the Princes' Islands group of islands)

Knitting in a square near the Blue Mosque

Small ferry crossing the sea between Büyükada Island and mainland Asia

View of the city from the First Bosphorus Bridge

Street on Büyükada Island

Crowds waiting for the Turkey-Croatia Euro 2008 game in the lively district around Taksim square

Evening in Kadiköy

Cat kebab

Archer pawns - a slightly odd interpretation of chess

Street vendor selling midye dolmasi (mussels stuffed with rice and various vegetables and spices)

Clouds in the mist - the sky near Istanbul

Cold orange juice squeezed on the spot: 1 Turkish Lira

Corn on the cob - 1 YTL

Locals in the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)

The courtyard of the Blue Mosque

It's an underpass... but it's also a bicycle store.

The underpass under the intersection of Macar Kardeþler Caddesi and Atatürk Boulevard

A C.M.O.T Dibbler-like salesman in the middle of a sale


A fish kebab place

On the shore of the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Denizi)

The district Eminönü (with the Rüstem Pasa mosque) and the Galata Bridge as seen from a Bosphorus ferry

Evening in Kadiköy

Levent, the financial district of Istanbul

High quality advertising


Family in the gardens next to the Hagia Sophia mosque

The European half of Istanbul as seen from a commuter ferry

Assembling a fish kebab


Turkish flag on the Haldun Taner Theatre on the Kadiköy seaside

Crowds celebrating Turkey's Euro 2008 win (they were still one goal down a few minutes from the end) over Croatia - the procession of cars went on until around 3am

Street backgammon

Collecting rubbish isn't the easiest job in Istanbul - because authorities are afraid of terrorist attacks, bins (in which bombs have been placed before) are rare in several parts of town

The port of Büyükada - the island is short ferry ride from the Eminönü and Kadiköy districts

Turkish tea is made very differently for the Western way of infusing tea in hot water for a few minutes

Google Maps on a dental monitor

Rathet shoddy ads, including a Hewlett-Packard one

The Hagia Sophia mosque


On the First Bosphorus Bridge that connects Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus strait

Bus driver discussing trip details at Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

Almost 40-year-old Hungarian-made 'Ikarus' buses are still in service at IETT, the local public transport company

Waiting by the bull in Kadiköy

Sitting at a waterfront cafe in Kadiköy is a great place to watch the world go by

Vintage tram in Kadiköy, a neighbourhood on the Asian (Anatolian) side of Istanbul


According to our local friend brightly coloured headscarves (which are traditionally meant to hide the wearer's features) are a political statement: the wearer supports the political party that wants to tie state and religion closer together (which is not allowed in secular Turkey)

McDonald's delivery

A modern toilet in Turkey is nothing to sneeze at

Life on Büyükada Island

Evening on a pier in Kadiköy

Hookahs hanging outside a cafe on Büyükada Island

Turkish bath plate

Slightly curious plates

The Haydarpaºa railway station in Üsküdar and the view across Bosphorus

Warming up a hookah (sisha) in a cafe in the Fatih district - in the background shelves full of books and cages with lots of birds

Simit (a pretzel-like snack with sesame seed) sold from a mobile cart

Public transport

Rabbits used to attract the attention of potential customers

An inventive way to clean the streets

Freelancing rubbish collector

By the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Bölgesi)

People getting out of a so-called dolmus - it's halfway between a bus and a taxi (has a fixed destination but you can get on anywhere, you just have to signal)

Fast and inexpensive ferry service between Kadiköy (Asia) and Eminönü (Europe) operated by the public transport company; and you can even buy tea on it

Speedboat with endlessly sprawling Istanbul in the background

Corn on the cob vendor

Street life

A fairly typical Istanbul street

Life in Kadiköy

A public gym in the street (next to a playground)

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii), also known as the Blue Mosque

Sultanahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), named after Sultan Ahmed I, is one of the most important religious sites in Turkey

The domes of the Blue Mosque

The Bosphorus Strait (also known as the Istanbul Strait) with Europe on the other side

Commuters heading home


Masses of oil tankers parked by the Anatolian (Asian) side of Istanbul

Taxis and the Taksim district in the background

Traditional Turkish tea glasses and hookahs

The ticket offices of the Istanbul tram



Ad-hoc contraflow lane implemented by this cyclist on a 4-lane road

The Sea of Marmara

Mussel vendor

At the highest point of Büyükada Island

Mansion on Büyükada island

The Princes' Islands are poles apart from the incredible bustle of mainland Istanbul

Tying tissues to a bush's branches is believed to cause wishes to be fulfilled

Street life in Fatih

Beautiful wooden building on the Princes' Islands

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