Shared by: zeeshan12311
CLIMATE: Summer weather in Istanbul is moderately warm, with high temperatures in July and August averaging 28 °C (82 °F). Extreme heat, however, is uncommon, as temperatures rise above 32 °C (90 °F) on only five days per year on average. Rainfall is also uncommon during the summer, with only four or five rainy days per month. Winters are cold, wet and often snowy, with the temperature in January and February averaging 4 °C (39 °F). Snowfalls tend to be heavy, but snowcover and temperatures below freezing rarely last more than a few days. Spring and autumn are mild, but often wet and unpredictable; chilly winds from the northwest and warm gusts from the south—sometimes in the same day—have the tendency to cause fluctuations in temperature.] Istanbul has a persistently high humidity, which can exacerbate the moderate summer heat. The humidity is especially salient during the morning hours, when humidity generally reaches eighty percent and fog is very common. The city receives fog an average of 228 days each year, with the highest concentration of foggy days being in the winter months, although it usually dissipates by noontime. Thunderstorms are uncommon, occurring just 23 days each year, but they occur most frequently in the summer and early autumn months Istanbul has an annual average of 124 days with significant precipitation, which together generate around 843.9 millimeters (33.2 in) of precipitation. The highest recorded temperature was 40.5 °C (105 °F) on 12 July 2000, and the lowest recorded temperature was −16.1 °C (3 °F) on 9 February 1927. The highest recorded rainfall in 24 hours was 227 millimeters (8.9 in) on 16 October 1985.[ The highest recorded snow cover was 80 centimeters (31 in) in March 1987. RELIGIONS: Istanbul has been a cosmopolitan city throughout much of its history, being at the crossroads of two continents and having been the heart of two world religions. Most of the religious and ethnic minorities that exist in Turkey are concentrated in Istanbul. The vast majority of people across Turkey, and in Istanbul, consider themselves Muslim, and more specifically members of the Sunni branch of Islam. Of the Sunnis, most follow the Hanafi school of Islamic thought, although approximately ten percent of Sunni Muslims follow the Shafi'i school. The largest non-Sunni Muslim sect, accounting for 4.5 million Turks, is the Alevis; a third of all Alevis in the country live in Istanbul. Today, there are around three thousand active mosques across Istanbul. Istanbul served as the seat of the Islamic Caliphate from 1517 to 1924, when it was dissolved and its powers were handed over to the Turkish Parliament. In September 1925, the tekkes (Sufi gathering places) and tarikat (Sufi religious orders) were banned, as their activities were deemed incompatible with the characteristics of the new, secular republic. Most followers of Sufism and other forms of Islamic mysticism practiced clandestinely (as "cultural associations") afterward, and some of these sects still boast numerous followers. HISTORY: What is now called Asian Istanbul was probably inhabited by people as early as 3000 BC. Eventually, in the 7th century, Greek colonists led by King Byzas established the colony of Byzantium, the Greek name for a city on the Bosphorus. Byzas chose the spot after consulting an oracle of Delphi who told him to settle across from the "land of the blind ones." Indeed, Byzas concluded, earlier settlers must have been deprived of their sight to have overlooked this superb location at the mouth of the Bosphorus strait. This proved an auspicious decision by Byzas, as history has shown Istanbul's location important far beyond what these early Greek settlers might possibly have conceived. Byzas gave his name to the city: Byzantium. In the early 100's BC, it became part of the Roman Empire and in 306 AD, Emperor Constantine the Great made Byzantium capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. From that point on, the city was known as Constantinople. The mid 400's AD was a time of enormous upheaval in the empire. Barbarians conquered the western Roman Empire while the Eastern, also called the Byzantine Empire, kept Constantinople as its capital. In 532 during the reign of Justinian I, antigovernment riots destroyed the city. It was rebuilt, and outstanding structures such as Hagia Sophia stand as monuments to the heights Byzantine culture reached. The attribute that made the city so desirable, its incomparable location for trade and transport between three continents, was also its nemesis. For the next several hundred years Persians, Arabs, nomadic peoples, and members of the Fourth Crusade (who for a time governed the city) attacked Constantinople. Finally, in 1453, when Constantinople was so weakened by almost constant invasions and battles, the Ottoman Turks led by Sultan Mehmet II were able to conquer the city. Renamed Istanbul, it became the third and last capital of the Ottoman Empire. It was the nerve center for military campaigns that were to enlarge the Ottoman Empire dramatically. By the mid 1500's, Istanbul, with a population of almost half a million, was a major cultural, political, and commercial center. Ottoman rule continued until it was defeated in WWI and Istanbul was occupied by the allies. When the Republic of Turkey was born in 1923 after the War of Independence, Kemal Ataturk moved the capital to the city of Ankara. The city of Istanbul has continued to expand dramatically and today its population is over 13,6 million and increases at an estimated 700,000 immigrants per year. Industry has expanded even as tourism has grown. It continues to be a city that creates its own history at the meeting point of the two continents; Europe and Asia. Some of the interesting districts of the city are: Sultanahmet, Haydarpasa, Uskudar, Eyup, Galata, Pera, Ortaköy, Taksim, Eminönü, Fatih, Balat, and The Bosphorus. Princess Islands are a popular summer resort for local people.
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