Turkey's Population: 73,722,998
Istanbul's Population: 13,255,685
During its long history, Istanbul has served as the Capital of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Located in the center of the old world, this exotic city is famous for its historical monuments and scenic views. It is the only city in the world which spreads over two continents: Asia and Europe which are separated by a narrow strait - the Bosphorus.
Istanbul is adorned with the masterpieces of Turkish art, the great mosques of the Sultans that crown the hills. The city presents an exquisite, majestic and serene silhouette from all directions. The Golden Horn, which is a very secure natural harbor, has played a significant role in the development of the city. The historic city of Istanbul is situated on a peninsula flanked on three sides by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
Even if you spend only a short time in Istanbul, you can see much of this great heritage. Although renowned for its mystery and history, Istanbul is also a rapidly modernising country with a prime location; one foot in Europe and one in the Middle East. Thus Istanbul retains its fascinating differences, and its contradictions: mosques coexist with churches, and remnants of the Roman Empire still stand alongside ancient Hittite and Neolithic sites.
While in Istanbul, you may want to discover the Grand Bazaar which is a teeming indoor maze of jewelry, carpets, leather, textiles, and antiques that dates back 500 years. Its sheer size—65 alleys and more than 4,000 shops—is not for the faint of heart. Get oriented by finding the Old Bedestan, the original marketplace, in the center of the bazaar, and remember that haggling is part of the culture.
For an authentic Turkish bath (this is Turkey, after all!), head to the historic Cagaloglu Hamam or Çemberlita Hamam in the Old City. You get a pestemal, or towel, and, after warming up on a hot stone slab for about 10 minutes, expect to be massaged, scrubbed, and soaped up for another 15 minutes, leaving your skin softer than you could ever imagine possible.
Istanbul maintains a distinguished position among world metropolises with its unique geographical location and cultural heritage spanning thousands of years. As one of the most energetic cities in the world, Istanbul continually grows as a center of attraction.
Through Istanbul being the European Capital of Culture in 2010, Europe will re-discover the roots of its own culture and will take a giant step for mutual understanding.
Located at the junction of Europe & Asia, İstanbul is a superb venue for meetings and events. İstanbul offers a vast variety of first class hotel accommodation and conference facilities, easy access to major cities worldwide, beautiful settings and unique sightseeing destinations. Among European Centers, İstanbul is an ideal destination: exotic but conveniently close by.
İstanbul, the commercial and business center of Turkey, embraces two continents: Europe and Asia. The ancient city’s unique combination of historical sights and excellent conference facilities make it an ideal destination for prolific and stimulating congresses and meetings.
Turkey is a meeting place, not just on account of its geographical location but also for economic, cultural and historical reasons. All through history major trade routes linking Europe, Asia and Africa have passed through Anatolia. This area where for thousands of years different cultures have met, became a synthesis of all the many civilizations that have travelled down those same routes. It is therefore no surprise to see that present day Turkey follows exactly the same pattern.
With its diverse landscapes, lifestyles and spirit of synthesis, Turkey links Europe to Asia. Different religions have co-existed in Turkey for hundreds of years, and the country is one of the rare examples where people with different beliefs have lived peacefully side by side. Turkish culture combines ancient artefacts, a living folklore and a modern soul. Every region in Turkey has its own charms. The visitor can enjoy a range of lifestyles, from unspoiled nature to urban living, while still missing out on none of the facilities of a well developed tourism industry.
One of Turkey’s most important features is its capacity for synthesis. The reason for this strength lies in the fact that Anatolia has never been solely eastern or western in character. The old and new exist side by side. Down the years, the geography of the country has meant that the Turks had to develop a lifestyle that was neither fully western nor totally eastern.
Traditional Turkish hospitality and numerous opportunities of entertainment and sightseeing guarantee resounding success in any meeting organized in Turkey. We will be offering the congress delegates a large variety of pre and post congress tours to explore Turkey and experience the culture as it was meant to be.