Istanbul Live Cam

Ideally located in the Ortaköy neighborhood of Istanbul


Istanbul's vibrant Ortaköy neighborhood

The inhabitants of Istanbul enjoy all four seasons. The characteristic weather here is a somewhat cooler version of the Mediterranean climate: a short spring, ideal summer temperatures, a long autumn with blue skies,and a rainy winter.

This is the historical settlement that at different times has been called Byzantium, New or Second Rome, Constantinopolis or simply "Polis" (The City). The walls along the Marmara and the Golden Horn were mostly destroyed over the ages, but the main walls on the landward side are still standing in relatively good condition.

This is the historical settlement that at different times has been called Byzantium, New or Second Rome, Constantinopolis or simply "Polis" (The City). The walls along the Marmara and the Golden Horn were mostly destroyed over the ages, but the main walls on the landward side are still standing in relatively good condition. The latter is situated on the first of the seven hills, which is the widest and longest.

The Topkapi Palace is an imposing complex surrounded by walls, like a city within a city, and it is now a museum in which extremely valuable and important works are displayed. One of the eighth wonders of the world, Hagia Sophia Museum, Sultan Ahmet (the Blue) Mosque whose beauties merit its fame, the Roman Hippodrome and the Basilica Cistern are also to be found on the plateau of the first hill.

The second hill houses the oldest and largest covered bazaar, Nuruosmaniye Mosque, and Cemberlitas (the Column of C ons tan tine), a gift to the city when it became the capital of the Roman Empire.

The Suleymaniye Mosque and the Fatih Mosque rise, respectively, on the third and fourth hills, and a Roman aqueduct stretch between the two hills. §ehzade Mosque and the Municipality Building are also here. The gigantic open Roman cisterns that used to supply water to the city are located on the other higher hills. Sultan Selim Mosque is situated on the fifth hill and the Kariye Museum on the slope of the sixth hill. The present-day roads start from Hagia Sophia square, pass over the ridges of these hills, and fork to reach the different city gates, all following the former Roman routes.

The land walls with three-course battlements that form the western boundary are splendid examples of Roman military architecture. The walls run down to the Golden Horn in Eyup in the north. Eytip Sultan Mosque, which gives the district its name, is identified as the first mosque constructed in the city.

The Golden Horn is a narrow inlet, 8 km long and shaped like a horn. The best point to watch the incomparable silhouette of Istanbul is from the sea, aboard the ships that sail from the Asian side or from the entrance to the Golden Horn.

The polluted waters of the Golden Horn have been treated, and some of its original fish population has now returned, Surrounded by the parks and gardens around the Golden Horn, they await the day when the dockyards will be removed from these waters. The Orthodox Patriarchate and the small, charming Bulgarian Church are now connected to the opposite shore with the old Galata Bridge which was relocated to this area. The new museum of the Koc family in this district exhibits various interesting objects.

The Galata region and the adjoining Pera present a view that is quite different from the old town. This district, symbolized by the Galata tower and ascending slowly up the hill toward Beyoglu, retains its original appearance, the legacy of its 19th century European-influenced architecture.

The Museum of Divan Literature at the Tunnel end of the avenue is housed in a beautiful building that was a Mevlevi Tekke (Dervish monastery) (18th cent.). Halfway on the avenue there is the well-known Galatasaray High School, and across the street the Flower Market with its colorful and charming restaurants and fish and vegetable stands. Cinemas, theaters, cafes, restaurants and bars line the avenue up to Taksim square. The avenue has recovered today its former dazzling, lively, crowded days and nights. A striking monument depicting the national liberation war of the Turks, Ataturk and his friends adorns Taksim square. Beneath the square is the main terminal of the new metro system, and the northern side is occupied by the Ataturk Cultural Center.

The 5-star Hyatt and Intercontinental hotels are located in Taksim Park, and the Istanbul Hilton is nearby. Hilton was the first hotel of this class built in Turkey (1955), and it is still the most famous and the best.

The Radio House, Istanbul Military Museum which is one of the wealthiest museums of this type, Lutfu Kirdar Congress Palace and the Amphitheater are also in this area. To the north, there are the lively Nisantasi and $i§li districts with their small boutiques and numerous painting and art galleries. Further to the north, in Etiler, Akmerkez presents new and varied shopping opportunities. The tall buildings constructed in this area have changed the skyline of the city.

It is an unequaled pleasure to stand on the new Galata Bridge and to watch the majestic and impressive view of Suleymaniye Mosque, one of the most beautiful monumental works in the history of architecture. Across the bridge are the Valide Mosque and Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Market). The market, which was originally reserved for spice merchants, is the second largest and liveliest locality in the city with 100 shops.

Alongside the traditional spices and herbs shops, there are now others dealing in various commodities and dried fruits, and outside the building there are fish, fruit and flower vendors. Regular boat trips run to the Asian shores, Uskudar and Kadikoy, the Bosphorus and the Princes' Islands from the piers next to the bridge. Passers-by always have the chance to enjoy the fish, bread and onion sandwiches sold on the waterfront.

The Sirkeci train station, still remembering the former glorious times of the Orient Express, adorns the Sirkeci Square with its interesting architecture, and the Sepetciler Kasri on the shore serves international reporters as a press center. The office of the Governor of Istanbul is situated on the historical Bab-i Ali Street which climbs uphill from Sirkeci Square.

The quay stretching between Tophane and the Galata Bridge is reserved for tourist ships. Millions of tourists visit the city by boat during the season between April and October. The Top-hane building was reorganized into a gallery to serve the cultural life of the town.

A few kilometers further, the Dolmabahge Palace and Mosque resemble jewelry boxes embellishing the shores of the Bosphorus. On the hill behind the palace rises the 5-star Swiss Hotel. From here, one can Europe. see Uskudar and the Camhca hills on the opposite shore and the beauties of the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia to the west.

White gulls follow white ships. While yachts and ships glide along the dark blue waters, giant oil tankers filled with oil from the Black Sea lands appear like dark ghosts around the promontories, posing serious threats to this incomparable waterway. While the rest of the waters of the Bosphorus glitter at night with reflected lights, the green northern sections are closed to development.

Uskudar is a historical district that has developed as the last stop of the roads from Asia. Beautiful mosques decorate the district that is the shortest passageway to Europe. The slopes of the £amlica hills are covered with cypresses and new and old cemeteries. Great Camhca Hill is a picnic place and from the park here one can see a vista of the whole city.

A road along the seashore leads to Kadikoy, offering a panorama of Leander's Tower and the majestic works on the peninsula opposite. The commercial port facilities of the city line the shore.

It is a peaceful district known for its typical market, the beautiful Bay of Moda, the park and marinas of Fenerbahge, and the modern Bagdat Avenue. The Princes' Islands still maintain the distinction of being among the principal resorts of the city.

Traveling time to the islands has been shortened by the new catamarans. Horse drawn carriages are the only vehicles allowed there. Summerhouses and well-cared gardens are located near the piers. It is fashionable to take tours on these pine-covered islands in spring and summer, but they are deserted in the winter, although each season has its own beauties. The Princes' Islands are particularly popular for picnics, bathing and yachting at weekends.

Due to its geographic positioning, Turkey has always been a bridge between the east and the west, and this position is now even more enhanced by political, economic, and commercial restructuring developments in the region. As the flag carrier of Turkey, Turkish Airlines has consolidated its position on the international platform by linking the Caucasian countries and the Turkish republics in Central Asia, as well as the Middle Eastern and Asian countries, with Europe, Africa and North America; through the service network hub Istanbul, the cradle of ancient civilizations and the capital of three consecutive empires.