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Regione Liguria

Alphen a.d.Rijn

Geographical Location and Natural Conditions

The Bosporus, a narrow straight, links the Marmara See to the Black See, and divides Istanbul into two main parts: a European and an Asian.
The European Istanbul is split in old and modern sections by the Golden Horn, a narrow channel off the Bosporus.
The Bosporus is accompanied by rolling hills over them the city is spread out.

Istanbul has the most important airport in Turkey and the city has been for centuries an international junction to land and sea trade routes. The city has as well the most important Turkish harbour.
For a better traffic flow in the city two bridges were built over the Bosporus and a third one is planned.


Climate and Vegetation

Istanbul has a temperate climate composed of 4 seasons. It is described with warm summers (from 10°C to 29°C) and mild winters (from 4°C to 15°C). The precipitation varies from an average of 33 mm in summer to an average of 107 mm in winter.

Istanbul vegetation zones can be classified in to two groups:

  • Scrub and forest as natural vegetation, grove, park and housing gardens made by human efforts.
  • Scrubs which occur as a result of destruction of forests are generally found together with forest. Scrub formations are found in the southwest part of Istanbul.

Forests are the main vegetation in and around Istanbul. There are two forests on both sides of the Bosporus, named "Belgrade Forest" at the European side and "Alemdag Forest" on the Asian side. The dominate tree species is the oak (Q. robur, Q. petrea).

General Data

1,966 sq km
5246 inh./sq km

Land Use
Agricultural land
572.96 sq km
Parks and public gardens
13.98 sq km
Sport area
2.28 sq km
Forest, bushes
12.22 sq km
Green public area
8.27 sq km
6.41 sq km
Surface of water
87.16 sq km
Housing areas
10.9 sq km
Industrial areas
7.1 sq km
Transportation area
7.99 sq km
Regular storage area
1.34 sq km
Compost recycling building area
0.32 sq km
Electric production from garbage gas
0.57 sq km

Historical Background

Up to the 15th century the settlement style which reflects the Byzantium identity followed the same function in Ottoman times and several monuments have been protected until now. From the 16th century Islamic city form has been gained with urban monuments, silhouette, ports and harbours. In the followed century urban population continued to increase and functional divisions and development structure of the city were defined. In the 18th century the most important development which defines the identity and macro form of the city was the civil buildings in Bosporus and Halic showing the wealth of the Ottoman Empire.

After 19th century the traditional society structure of Ottoman couldn't resist to the industrial revolution in the West. With the demolition of some important monuments in the historical peninsula, roads were built and a new period which has multi- centre, difference in man scale structure, inharmonious permanent and transient structures began. Therefore urban space which Byzantium and Ottoman used for 2000 years lost its attraction. This socio-economic environment destroyed Istanbul's identity. Western culture continued its effect over urban identity. In the republic period migration beginning from 1945 caused great chances in physical structure of the city. Transition to the open economy is increased, private sector enterprises gained importance, by development of transportation and communication Istanbul became a population attraction centre. Beside the increased migration, the first planning studies to find solutions to urban problems began with H. Prost in 1937 however till now these planning studies haves been insufficient. So as to answer the needs for nearly 10 million people until 2010, Istanbul Metropolitan area sub-region master plan was implemented.


Istanbul has always been the centre of the country's economic life because of its location at an international junction of land and sea trade routes. Turkey's major manufacturing factories are settled in the city. Istanbul province produces cotton, fruit, olive oil, silk, and tobacco. Food processing, textile production, oil products, rubber, metal ware, leather, chemicals, electronics, glass, machinery, paper and paper products and alcoholic drinks are among the major industrial products. The city also has plants that assemble automobiles and trucks.

The economy of Istanbul stands solid on two columns: national it dominates the trade and it has international significance.

Istanbul has 20% of Turkey's industrial labour and 38% Turkey's industrial working place. The city occurs 55% of Turkey's trade and 45% of the coutries' wholesale trade and Istanbul occurs 21.2% of Turkey's gross national product.

All in all the metropolis Istanbul is the economical capital of Turkey. It has a population of 10,072,470 inhabitants in 2000 according to the last population census and therefore one of the biggest cities in Europe. Istanbul's population grows at the rate of 3.45% annually due to the migration from countryside. The city has 54 municipalities and extends for over 100 km. Population density of Turkey is 81 people per sq km but in Istanbul population density is 1700 people per sq km. Istanbul contributes with 40% of all tax collected taxes in Turkey and produces 27.5% of Turkey's national product.

Because of the social changes Turkey is confronted with problems, which are mostly solved in the western European countries years ago (squatters, mass transportation). A problem for the city administration represents the irregular and illegal urbanisation, which increase rapidly leaving the Greater Istanbul Municipality not much time to search for solutions. A challenge that is constantly growing, especially taking into account the need of collective housing areas addressing to a population of 13.000.000 people which is to be built within metropolitan area until the year 2010.

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