istanbul by 9xL0wpH


                          WHY ISTANBUL?
Istanbul is a city of unparalleled historical and cultural richness that is as
fascinating and historical as it is dynamic and modern. Serving as the capital of
three mighty empires and set squarely between two continents, Istanbul has
cultures and traditions that blend East with West and Mediterranean with
Anatolian. Each civilization that has made its home in Istanbul has left its mark in
some way, and the result we see today is a city that could only have come about
after thousands of years of diverse cultures each adding a little something. With
one foot in Europe and another in Asia, and a vibrant atmosphere rooted in
history while facing toward the future, Istanbul is truly as much a crossroads of
ideas and cultures today as ever. Come see it for yourself! Add your footsteps to
those of the millions who have walked along the Bosphorus for millennia and
sampled all that Istanbul has to offer.
Istanbul is Europe’s Culture Capital in 2010

                    Istanbul, which has long captured the
                    imagination of artists, writers and travelers with
                    its rich classical, Byzantine and Ottoman
                    heritage, has been selected as the European
                    Capital of Culture in 2010. Seven-member jury
                    including representatives from European
                    Parliament, European Commission, European
                    Council and Committee of Regions selected
                    Istanbul as the European Capital of Culture.
                    The Istanbul bid is based on the four elements
                    of ancient Greek philosophy -- earth, air, fire
                    and water -- and embrace scores of events,
                    lectures, exhibitions, concerts, plays and
                    Designed to "contribute to bringing the peoples
                    of Europe together", the European City of
                    Culture project was launched, at the initiative
                    of Melina Mercouri, by the Council of Ministers
                    in 1985. It has become ever more popular with
                    the citizens of Europe and has seen its cultural
                    and socio-economic influence grow through the
                    many visitors it has attracted.
                                       Istanbul has always been a meeting place, a crosspoint,
                                       and a destination. Now, with the construction of the new
                                       Ataturk Istanbul International Airport completed in 2000,
                                       getting to and from Istanbul has never been easier. With a
                                       capacity of over 14 million travelers per year, soon to be
                                       expanded to over 20 million, Istanbul is surprisingly
                                       within reach-infact, it's less than a three-hour flight from
                                       most European cities. Located at the crossroads of East
                                       and West, Istanbul offers easy air connections to
                                       hundreds of cities around the world. The new airport is
                                       modern and designed with passenger ease in mind from
                                       the 64 passport control checkpoints so that customs lines
                                       stay short and hassle-free, to the state-of-the-art security
                                       system that consistently receives top ratings from
                                       America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In
There are numerous options for         addition to Ataturk International, Istanbul has a second
getting around Istanbul. Besides       airport located on the Asian side of the city, Sabiha
taxi, reliable and affordable public   Gokcen International Airport, which is an important
buses, fast, clean and convenient      arrival point especially for charter and cargo flights and
trams and the subway, the enjoyable    special events. Sabiha Gokcen is an ideal alternative to
ferry system and unique to Istanbul,   Ataturk International that shows great foresight by those
dolmus, or shared taxis are also       preparing for Istanbul's future growth.
great ways to travel in the city.
        Historic Heart
Do you start with ancient history and artifacts, or
do you start with the Roman, Byzantine or
Ottoman Empires? Istanbul was capital of all
three. Few cities in the world have such an
amazing array of treasures. Istanbul is a natural
gateway, offering a friendly welcome and genuine
hospitality. It is a metropolis proud of its rich
history and unrivaled natural beauty spread on
two continents, Europe and Asia, divided by the
Bosphrous. It is attractive both for the beauty of
the surrounding landscape and for its historical
                               Outstanding Cultural Life
                               Istanbul’s unique character is well represented
                               in its cultural life. Here you will find significant
                               examples of Islamic Art, masterpieces of
                               ceramic art as well as modern art at the
                               recently opened Istanbul Modern Art Museum.
                               Sabancı Museum's collection of precious
                               manuscripts and extensive collection of 19th
                               and 20th century paintings are on permanent
                               exhibition. The museum also hosts national
                               and foreign exhibitions. It hosted an unique
                               Picasso and Rodin Exhibitions recently.
                               Istanbul also hosts the Istanbul Biennial, which
Istanbul Biennal 2004 Poster

                               is a themed month-long event meant to
                               encourage stimulating artistic dialogue and
                               understanding between artists from different
                               fields and different cultures. There's so much to
                               do, from theatres and exhibitions to museums,
                               historic and architectural tours and cruises.
Memorable Entertainment & Nightlife
                      From the ubiquitous sounds of live,
                      traditional Turkish music and dancing
                      in restaurants throughout the city to
                      cultural and artistic events,
                      international festivals, and glitzy clubs
                      and bars on the Bosphorus, Istanbul is
                      a city that knows how to entertain,
                      and it knows how to party.
                      Whether you're looking for family
                      entertainment, educational events, or
                      just looking for a night out that would
                      make Dionysus proud, Istanbul's got it
                      all, from the water-front clubs with
                      internationally-recognized DJs to five-
                      star dining and even sushi on the

                      Nightlife in Istanbul is a way of life,
                      and few cities in the world have such a
                      variety of world-class clubs and bars.
Exciting Events and Festivals

         The Istanbul festival season generally runs from
         April to November, with several great events
         planned for that period. The largest and most
         important festivals are organized and promoted
         by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts,
         founded in 1973. With international festivals for
         Film, Theatre, Music, and Jazz, Istanbul attracts
         big names and large crowds, always with a truly
         international artistic flair. Istanbul's festivals are
         generally city-wide events, with showings taking
         place at any number of interesting venues across
         the city.
                        Delicious Turkish Cuisine
                                      Turkish cuisine is among the most varied and extensive in
                                      the world, and fine restaurants offering the classics of
                                      Turkish cuisine as well as modern interpretations of classic
                                      favorites dot the Istanbul culinary landscape. Istanbul,
                                      with a restaurant almost literally at every turn, is a real
                                      culinary treat, and a snacker's paradise. Whether you try
                                      the variations of Kebabs, or the fresh fish from the
                                      Bosphorus or the numerous kinds of fresh vegetables, you
                                      are guaranteed the delicious dining experience. Turkey is
                                      also home to a burgeoning wine industry, which is just now
                                      beginning to gain some international acclaim. The
                                      Bogazkere, Okuzgozu, and Kalecikkarasi grape varieties
                                      yield excellent vintages and are definitely worth a try. With
                                      vinyards all across western Anatolia between the age-old
                                      lunar landscapes of Cappadocia, the Euphates Valley,
                                      Thrace and the Aegean, there is no shortage of excellent
                                      choices of wines.

As they always say, cosmopolitan      If you're looking for a taste of the world, international
Istanbul is a meeting place of        cuisine is available at enticing locations across Istanbul,
cultures, and has been for            historic and modern, many with breathtaking views of the
centuries. And that also means        Bosphorus.
it's also a meeting-place of foods
and cuisines. So come to Turkey,
experiment a little, and as the
Turks say, "Afiyet olsun.," or "Bon
Istanbul as a Meeting Destination
              Istanbul is one of the world's most exciting conference
              destinations and is an increasingly popular choice for
              the world's leading international associations, and
              meeting planners. Istanbul is home to numerous
              members of the ICCA, the International Congress and
              Convention Association, which is the most extensive
              and prominent meetings organization in the world.
              Istanbul's outstanding infrastructure, including
              modern, luxurious accommodations, state-of-the-art
              conference and exhibition venues and experienced
              conference professionals, makes it a logical choice for
              organizers. And, when combined with the city's
              fabulous history and stunning natural beauty, not to
              mention cultural riches, exciting shopping,
              sophisticated nightlife and world-class dining, it's not
              hard to figure out why top associations choose
              Istanbul, and enjoy exceptionally high attendance
              when they do! So, when you can offer your guests
              luxury accommodations, organize your conference
              from the plenary session to the closing ceremonies in
              facilities equipped with the latest technology and able
              to accommodate over 3,500 for a banquet, plus give
              them Istanbul's 3,500 years of history to discover and
              the beauty of the Bosphorus, you can naturally expect
              to create an outstanding event.

Grand Cevahir Hotel has the biggest ballroom in Europe,
Grand Cevahir Hotel & Convention Center, has been specially
designed to cater to every need from business meetings
to conventions, product launches to large social events.

                                       Grand Cevahir Hotel offers superior accomodation in luxury.
                                       There is air-conditioning with 4 settings, mini bar, internet access,
                                       satellite TV, voice mail system, direct telephone, alarm, music broadcast,
                                       electronic door key system, private safe, bath phone, bath emergency call,
                                       24 hour room service and dry-cleaning service .

There are 22 acoustically designed and high ceiling meeting
rooms including the largest ballroom in Turkey are offered
combined with the latest technology at the of the Grand Cevahir Hotel
and Convention Center.

Grand Cevahir Hotel is located approximately 20 km from
Atatürk International Airport, and at the city centre of İstanbul.
               Entertainment Options
*Whirling Dervishes Performances
*Interactive Percussion Shows
*Belly Dancers
*Folkloric Dance Shows
*Various Music Bands/Groups
*Various Dance Company Performances
*Traditional Turkish/Ottoman Nights
*Theme Parties
            Historic and Cultural Sites

 Number of different & interesting tours available through these extraordinary sites,
                          museums, mosques and palaces;
Full-day or half day tours in the old city.
Special shopping trips
Historical cruises visiting palaces along the Bosphorus
Day excursions to near by islands or outdoor activities/games
Special trips to historical Turkish Baths
Coffee/Tea Breaks or luncheons in historical tea houses or cafes
Art Museum visits
Sunset Cruises on the Bosphorus or in the Golden Horn with Sultan Kayıks*
Istanbul Highlights
Hagia (St.) Sophia: This magnificient architecture was built by Constantine
the great and considered as the masterpiece of Byzantine art. Its first
construction dates back to the end of the 4th century. Considered as “The
Eight Wonder of the World”, this brilliant historical site is a must see in

Topkapi Palace: Another must see in Istanbul. This palace was the imperial
residence of the Ottoman sultans and it is the most extensive and fascinating
monument of Turkish civil architecture in existence. It also houses
extraordinary collections of porcelain, armour, fabrics, jewelery, miniatures,
calligraphy and many other precious objects that once belonged to the
sultans and their court.

Blue Mosque: Facing Hagia Sophia, famous with its blue Iznik tiles and
unique with 6 minarets, was built in the name of Sultan Ahmet. It is almost
the symbol of Istanbul. The blue and white of more than 20.000 İznik tiles
are in a perfect harmony with golden manuscripts of Koran and the red of
the carpets.

Hippodrome: “Hippodrome” was constructed with the order of the Roman
Emperor Septimus and then reconstructed as the hippodrome during the
reign of Constantine the Great. The center of social life for Byzantium and
Ottoman Empire could host 100,000 spectators. It was the scene of
countless political and military events during the long life of this city. The
Eygptian Obelisk is one of the three monuments decorating the
Hippodrome. This 3500-year-old monument was brought to Constantinople
by Emperor Theodosius in 390 AD.

Underground Basillica Cistern: It is one the most breathtaking historical
sites in Istanbul. Here one discovers the grandiose nature of the past while
touring through Istanbul’s largest and most magnificient underground
Cistern. It was built by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century to supply
water to the near by palace complex. The cistern has 336 decorated
columns. Two spectacular Medusa head carvings were discovered
during the restoration works.
Istanbul Highlights Cont’d
Chora (Kariye) Museum: It is also known as the mosaic museum and is located
within the city walls of Edirne Kapı. The mosaics and frescoes were designed and
executed between 1315 and 1321. Chora Museum is originally formed the center of
a Byzantine monestry complex. Only the church section, which was dedicated to
Jesus Christ the Savior, has survived. After the arrival of Ottomons in Istanbul,
this building was converted to a mosque. In 1948, it was converted into a museum
leaving no Islamic element in the building.

Suleymaniye Mosque: A spectacular architectural artwork of the Great Architect
Sinan and a best example of Ottoman architecture. Standing in the courtyard of
the mosque gives one the chills and make one appreciate this breathtaking

Grand Bazaar: Time for shopping through 4400 shops in the famous Grand
Bazaar, the oldest covered shopping area in the world! One will explore the
mysterious atmosphere and numberless side streets with gold and diamond shops,
leather and textile shops as well as beautiful handcrafts of Turkey.

Spice Market: Opportunity to shop and smell the
finest herbs and Turkish delicates! Spice Market
is one of Istanbul’s most exciting and colorful bazaars
with its cosy atmosphere offering the mystery of
Oriental cuisine through extraordinary spices
and herbs in thousands of sacks.
Istanbul Highlights Cont’d
*Sultan Kayıks: Sail and relax with joy like the Sultans did!
During the Ottoman Empire, the Sultans’ favorite personal
pleasure was to sail on the Bosphorus with a special wooden
boat called “Kayık”. These boats had a gondola-like design,
made from special kind of wood, interiors covered in velvet
with silk cushions, rowed by trained oarsmen. Now, these
“kayıks” are back are used for special tours. Guests can have
drinks and music on board. Capacity is 30 pax per boat.

Dolmabahce Palace- This impressive building represent
contemporary and unique architecture in Ottoman Empire.
The palace was built by Sultan Abdulmecit as the outcome of
his Westernization influences between the years 1844 and
1853. It houses one of the finest materials used in Ottoman
Empire such as very expensive chandeliers, crystals, glasses
and furniture. It served as the residence of late Ottoman
Emperors and Ataturk, the founder of Turkey. The tour of this
palace is certainly worthwhile.

Princess Islands Tours - Consisting of nine islands in the Sea
of Marmara, the Princes' Islands are just a short ferry ride
from Istanbul, yet has a very different feel than the
city. These peaceful and relaxed islands are great
to have fish, walk around, ride
with horse carriages and see the
colorful historical places such as
churhes and old mansions and
enjoy the beautiful view of the
Marmara Sea and Istanbul
from a distance.
                                GOLFING IN ISTANBUL
Klassis Golf & Country Club
Klassis Golf & Country Club is one of the leading clubs of Europe
at international standards. At the first international-standard
course of Turkey, where international tournaments are held, which
is built on an impressive area of 1,500,000 m2 at the
Klassis Golf & Country Club, in the midst of nature, you can
enjoy playing golf, which is one of the most prestigious sports
of the world. In addition to golf courses, Klassis Golf & Country Club
offers an ideal atmosphere with its indoor and outdoor
arenas and for long trail riding in the forest, for horseback riding.

 Kemer Country Golf Club
 KG&CC Golf Club is without question Istanbul's most
 impressive golf club. The course is 6,300 meters long,
 with 18 holes on a 73 par. Set amongst the rolling hills
 of the Belgrad Forest, the Club offers a championship
 golf course of rare beauty and challenge, a stunning
 wind through the hilly forests of Kemer, featuring lush
 green fairways and artfully contoured bunkers designed
 by internationally renown courses designer Joan Dudok
 Van Heel and set among lakes and streams.

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