Istanbul’s allocation of power, over the course of history.

Turkey has always been known for its cultural diversity and its action as a border between Asia and Europe. The capital, Istanbul, has a large variety of historical occurrences taken place over the course of centuries that leaves the city in a spotlight of historical recognition. Istanbul’s history ranges from 11th century BC to the time of the Ottoman Empire. The city constantly underwent changes in leadership through siege and battle. In the process, it expanded, growing to the point where the population is significantly larger than Rome.

Humble beginnings.

Like every civilisation, a period of simplicity and basic structural supplementation took place. Istanbul first began as a settlement, founded by a Greek tribe known as the “Thracians”. The city itself wasn’t known as Istanbul. To the Thracians, it was Lygos. In fact Istanbul underwent quite a significant number of name changes over time.
Simple yet important procedures took place in Lygos by the Thracians such as farming, fishing and building commencements. Various fishing villagers neighbouring Lygos eventually intertwined with each other to form the cultural titan we know today.

Byzantium transition

Very close to Lygos was the Greek Nation later known as the Byzantine Empire. Lygos eventually became a part of this nation and the settlement developed into a colony that underwent its first name change from Lygos to Byzantium, marking it as a significant city in the Byzantine Empire.
The colony continued to undergo its development through trade. Eventually Byzantium became known as a trading city due to its location near the Black Sea, thus resulting in a significant amount of growth due to various trading opportunities that its position provided.
Byzantium even managed to conquer Chalcedon, another town in Turkey, through military prowess and strategic placement. Unfortunately the city went through many events of war, as Greece was considered to be a nation divided. It was besieged by the Greek war nation known as “Sparta.” The purpose of this act was to cut off grain supplies from Athens, as Byzantium and the Arcadian’s often traded with each other. Sparta successfully seized the city in 411 BC but in 408 BC the Athenian military managed to take the city from the Spartans.

Place in the Roman Empire.

At this point Byzantium had become a significant city and had economical advantages due to its trade placement. The Roman Empire was looking to expand its borders and conquer more nations. Byzantium was in its sights and there was nothing preventing them from taking the city.
In 196 AD, Rome besieged the city and managed to completely seize control. During the siege the city suffered an extensive amount of damage forcing the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus to rebuild the city and quickly restore it to its former glory.
In 330 AD the city was renamed Constantinople and was heavily influenced by Rome. Constantinople became a diplomatic and cultural centre due to its placement between Asia and Europe. At this point the city began to flourish in a variety of different ethnics and cultures due to its large cultural diversity. The city also controlled trade routes between Asia and Europe, thus benefiting the economy of the Roman Empire.
Constantinople eventually exceeded the population of Rome, becoming one of the largest cities in the Roman Empire. The city became known as the “Eastern Roman Empire” due to its geographic place and acted as another front to the Roman Empire. The Eastern Roman Empire was also known as the Byzantine Empire, which consisted of a large variety of ethnic races, such as Greeks, Italians and even Serbians. Constantinople attracted all kinds of different ethnicities to the city and as a result, it became a cultural hub.
After the decline of the Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire distinguished itself by only being known as the Byzantine Empire and became independent from Rome. The Byzantine Empire mainly consisted of Greeks and eventually became the centre of the Greek Orthodox Church, which resulted in the construction of one of the largest cathedrals in the world, “Hagia Sophia”, which still stands to this day.
The Empire expanded its boundaries to Palestine and various other nations that neighboured its borders. However the future of Constantinople began to look grim as former relations with Europe were starting to wither and as a result the city was ransacked by crusaders. Eventually the Empire divided and the Latin Byzantine Empire gained control of Constantinople. This did not stop the original Byzantine Empire from taking up arms and reclaiming their lost city in 1261.

Ottoman conquest.

After constant sieges and many battles, Constantinople never returned to its former glory under Byzantine rule. The city was defined as a ghost town, as the damage of war started to take effect. But the Byzantines still held the city regardless of past battles.
At this point the Ottoman Empire were expanding throughout Arabia and were growing at quite an alarming rate. In May 1453, the Ottoman Empire laid siege to the city with the intention to expand their empire to new heights. The siege lasted forty eight days. The city was finally in Ottoman control and as a result the Greek cathedral was transformed into a Mosque and various repairs were made to the city.
The Sultan dedicated a lot of his energy and the Empires resources into building up the city and ultimately bringing it back to prosperity. The Sultan even allowed former Greek slaves to return to the city and take up residence. This resulted in Constantinople once again becoming a cultural hub, filled with a diverse array of races. The name “Istanbul” which means ‘the city’ in Greek became the official name of Constantinople under the Ottoman Empire.

Istanbul in modern times.

Istanbul in modern times is an extremely popular holiday destination that is valued by adventures individuals. The city is filled with cultural diversity and intriguing sights that demonstrate Istanbul’s rich history.
Of course there are many other relevant historical events that occurred in relation to Istanbul. This article has merely scratched the surface. If you find yourself interested in traveling to Turkey, then you should check out Turkey Travel guide and what certain areas and destinations they have to offer. Istanbul itself is a must visit due to the rich culture and history.