The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus is a flower of not only our country but also the whole world with its history, geography and culture of thousands of years. It is a center of attraction visited by residents of İstanbul as well as people from all over the world. This strait connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea. It length is 30 kilometers. Considering its irregular shoreline, the length of the shores can be calculated at 55 kilometers, starting from the Rumelia Lighthouse in Rumelia to the Ahırkapı Lighthouse on the shores of the Golden Horn.  It is 35 kilometers long from the Anatolian Lightouse to the Maiden's Tower on the Anatolian side and 36 kilometers long to Kayak Bay  in front of the Selimiye. The width of the Bosphorus is 3600 meters between the Anatolian Lighthouse and the Rumelia Lighthouse and 760 meters between Anadoluhisarı and Rumelihisarı. The deepest point of the Bosporus is 120 meters.  There are currents from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea on the surface and from the Marmara to the Black Sea below the sea surface. Sometimes reverse currents may also be observed on the surface.
The districts of Üsküdar, Beylerbeyi, Çengelköy, Anadoluhisarı, Kanlıca, Paşabahçe, Beykoz, Anadolu Kavağı on the Anatolian side and Beşiktaş, Ortaköy, Arnavutköy, Rumelihisarı, Emirgân, İstinye, Sarıyer, and Rumeli Kavağı on the European side embellish the Bosporus on both side with their distinct historical riches, legendary histories and natural beauty.
To start from the European side, Beşiktaş was always a reputable district in all periods of the Ottoman Empire. Çırağan, Dolmabahçe, Yıldız and Feriye Palaces; Ihlamur and Hıdiv Summer Palaces as well as Naime Sultan and Esma Sultan Waterside Residences are important architectural structures. Ortaköy, Mecidiye, Dolmabahçe and Yıldız Mosques as well as Ayios Haralambos and Profitis İlias Churches from the Byzantine Era are important religious structures of the district. Yıldız Park is an important green site of İstanbul with beautiful mansions.
Ortaköy is a district where Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Jewish people live together peacefully. Ortaköy Mosque, which constitutes the face of Ortaköy, was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid in 1856. Ortaköy Square is a lively meeting area both in daytime and at night with art workshops, coffee houses, bars, and restaurants as well as the antique, art and handicraft bazaar on Sundays.
Arnavutköy (Albanian Village) was named after the Albanian residents who settled in here in the past. The majority of the people living there were Greek and Jewish people.The fountain in the district was commissioned by Sultan Selim and the Teşvikiye Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Mahmut II.
Bebek: The Bay of Bebek which used to be a private garden of Sultan Selim I was  restored after being neglected for a long time. Bebek Mosque and many shops were built for this purpose. It is presently a peaceful and beautiful Bosporus district where elite people live. Residents of Kuruçeşme report that it used to be named as Koruçeşme (“wood” and “fountain” in Turkish) due to its woods and streams. Gardeners were occasionally brought in to take care of the shore and mansion gardens which belonged to the sultans and other high-ranking people of the time.
Aşiyan: The district of Aşiyan, whose name means “bird nest” in Persian, is located on the ridges of the graveyard which also bears the same name. The piece of land at a narrow part of the Bosporus caused it to be also called Boğazkesen (“strait cutter” or more literally “neck cutter”).
Rumeli Hisarı: This area  was named after the fortress built by Sultan Mehmed before the conquest of İstanbul. It is on a high place between the bays of Bebek and Baltalimanı.
Baltalimanı: This area  was named after Baltaoğlu Süleyman Bey, Captain of the Sea, who built ships there during the conquest of İstanbul. The Reşid Paşa Mansion, which is currently used a hospital for bone diseases, is also located here.
Emirgan: This  district began to develop during the reign of Abdülhamit I. Emirgan Wood is visited by residents of İstanbul for  picnics.  It is the site of several mansions and summer palaces.  
İstinye: This bay has been used as a natural port for hundred of years. İstinye Shipyard was established during the period of Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa and served here until it was closed down in the 90's.  
Yeniköy: Mansions and summer palaces, beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture, were built in Yenikoy during the reign of Sultan Mahmut II. Strawberries grown here in the past were said to be very famous.
Tarabya: This district has been a trade center for ages. The district where there were only huts belonging to fishermen during the reign of Sultan Selim II developed after theconstruction of a mansion for the sultan. Today there are entertainment places that open at night in Tarabya.  
Sarıyer is famous for  its fresh air and curative waters. The streams of Kestane, Çırçır, Fındık, Hünkâr and Şifa are located in this district. The promenades of the district are also famous.
Rumeli Kavağı is a typical fishing village on the shores of the district of Sarıyer. It  faces the Black Sea at the entrance of the Bosporus on the European side.  
It became more important during the reign of Murat IV upon the construction of a fortress against attacks by Russia and Kazakhstan. There are beautiful promenades in the district, a large part of which is presently a military zone.
On the Anatolian side:
Üsküdar is famous for palaces, waterside residences, mosques, and madrasahs.
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque and Yeni Valide Sultan Mosque form the silhouette of the district. Karacaahmet Cemetery is located in this district. The Maiden's Tower, whose legends surpass the tower itself, is a lighthouse that dates back to the 19th century located on a small isle within several hundreds of meters of the shore.
Kuzguncuk still preserves its peaceful atmosphere as a residential area where Greeks, Armenians, Jews and Muslims live together peacefully.  
The district of Beylerbeyi is located near the Anatolian side of the bridge. Beylerbeyi Palace is the most important historical structure of the district.  
Çengelköy-Kandilli sheltered many monasteries and churches in the Byzantine Era as well as palaces, waterside residences and gardens in the 18th century. Sadullah Paşa Waterside Residence is also located here.
Küçüksu-Anadoluhisarı: Küçüksu Summer Palace and the Anatolian Fortress are the most important structures. Noblemen of the Ottoman Empire would picnic on the banks of the Göksu Stream.
The yoghurt of Kanlıca has been famous since the 17th century and has become a tradition.The district of Paşabahçe is famous for its role in the hostory of Turkish glassworks.
Beykoz pieces  manufactured here are among the most valuable examples of Turkish glazing art. This fact is appreciated by those who are interested in the art of glazing. The symbol of the district of Beykoz is the fountains which are masterpieces of  Turkish building art. The tomb of Hz Yuşa on the hill is also famous.  
The symbol of Anadolu Kavağı is the Genoese castle from the Byzantine Era. There are many fish restaurants on the shore.