İstanbul is one of the 81 cities located in Turkey. It is the most populous city of the country and the most important one from the economic and socio-cultural perspectives. The city is the 34th in the world in terms of economic size. It is the first in Europe in terms of population according to the ranking made taking into account municipal borders, and ranks the sixth in the world after Lagos.

Being one of the oldest cities in the world, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire between the years 330 and 395, the Byzantine Empire from 395 to 1204 and from 1261 to 1453, the Latin Empire between 1204 and 1261, and finally of the Ottoman Empire from 1453 to 1922. Besides, Istanbul became the center of Islam during the era of the Ottoman Caliphate which lasted from 1517 until 1924. In recent years, important information regarding the history of mankind was obtained with successive archaeological findings being uncovered. Due to Bosphorus, linking the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and separating Europe and Asia, Istanbul has a unique geopolitical position which makes it extremely important on this aspect.