Is Istanbul a Country?

Image of Ortakoy Mosque with Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul during beautiful sunrise

Ortakoy Mosque with Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul during a beautiful sunrise

Istanbul is one of the most beautiful destinations in the whole world, whether it is about the opportunities, historical value, or natural sights. Today, millions of tourists visit Istanbul each year, and it seems like the majority of the tourists enjoy their visit, and there are questions in people’s heads about if Istanbul is a country or not.

Istanbul is not a country. Istanbul is a city of Turkey, and it has land on two continents, which are Asia and Europe. With a population of over 15 million people, Istanbul is the largest city both in Europe and Turkey.

A unique feature of Istanbul and the whole of Turkey, in general, is the location of them. To have detailed information about Istanbul’s geographic information, keep reading the following article. 

Where is Turkey Located?

Turkey is located in the northern hemisphere of the world, to describe it roughly. However, the exceptional location of Turkey in the world makes it a strategically valuable country. The location’s strategic significance can be observed in the social, political, and economic life as well. 

Turkey takes place where it is possible to connect Asian, European, and African continents, and Turkey’s surface area is 783,562 square kilometers. The country is surrounded by seas from 3 sides. Besides, it has significant bridges connecting the Asian continent and European continent, and some of those bridges occur in Istanbul. Additionally, the location of Turkey makes it possible to witness all four seasons in the country.

Turkey’s neighboring countries include Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Even though Turkey has land in both the European continent and the Asian continent, the majority of Turkey is located in the Asian continent. To be more specific, only 3% of whole Turkey is on the European continent.

Where is Istanbul Located? 

Istanbul is perhaps the most significant city of all Turkey, according to most people. The location of Istanbul plays a crucial role in the importance of it. As I mentioned earlier, the location of a destination influences the social life of it immensely, and Istanbul is one of the best examples of this situation.

Istanbul is located in the Marmara Region of Turkey. While looking at the Turkey map, you can see Istanbul between the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. Additionally, Istanbul is the only city in the world in which a sea crosses through it. 

Istanbul is often known as a “fortunate city” since its location brought so many opportunities to the city in history and today. Connecting two continents with bridges is not something that you can see in all cities, and Istanbul has that. Besides, Istanbul’s climate makes the city beautiful regardless of the time of the year you are visiting. 

The excellent location of Istanbul makes it possible to switch continents within minutes. You can get to the European continent while you were in Asia just 35 minutes earlier. Besides, if you participate in the bike tours (biking in Bosphorus bridges is forbidden typically, but there are some exceptions) in Bosphorus, you will be able to get from one continent to another by bike. How cool is that?

How Many Countries is Istanbul Larger Than?

As I mentioned earlier, Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city in terms of population. According to the data collected on 31 December 2020, Turkey’s population is around 83.154 million. According to the data collected on the same date, the population of Istanbul is approximately 15.46 million. This means that roughly Istanbul’s population makes up 18 percent of the whole of Turkey’s population. Considering that there are 80 other cities in Turkey, this percentage is pretty significant.

Istanbul being the most crowded city of Turkey and compromising 18 percent of the whole country might be surprising. Istanbul is also larger than many countries of the world as a city itself. 

It is interesting to find out that there are counties with less population than a city, but wait until you learn that there are 131 countries with a smaller number of people in it compared to Istanbul. The following are some of the 131 countries with a smaller population than Istanbul if you are curious about them:

  • Sweden
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Portugal
  • Switzerland
  • Albania
  • Georgia
  • New Zealand

Istanbul is not only a wonderful place to visit, but it is also a very much preferred city to live your life in. Many people and families migrated to Istanbul in history, and still, the migrations are continuing to Istanbul. 

It is pretty understandable since Istanbul is a place where you can live life to the fullest: there is always someplace near when you need something, there is always a place to do an activity when you are bored, and so on. Besides, as Istanbul is a very developed city, job opportunities there are considered as more excellent than any other city in Turkey. 

With a crowded list of countries with less than 18 million population, it is easy to mistake Istanbul as a country. But luckily, now you know that Istanbul is not a country but a very developed and crowded city of Turkey.

Questions and Answers

Istanbul is a beautiful destination for both visiting and living. The following are some questions and answers about Istanbul, the location of Istanbul, and Istanbul’s geographic situation to clear up the way if there are any confusions left.

Is Istanbul a part of two countries?

No, Istanbul is not a part of two countries. Istanbul is a part of Turkey as a whole, but the city has land both in the European continent and Asian continent. 

Which country has Istanbul?

Turkey has Istanbul as a city. 

Is Istanbul in Europe or Asia?

Istanbul is in both Europe and Asia. There is a strait named “Bosphorus” between two continents, and Istanbul consists of land from both sides of this strait. 

What languages are spoken in Istanbul? 

Turkey’s national language, Turkish, is spoken in Istanbul.

Where is the location of Turkey?

Turkey is located in Western Asia.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

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