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Historical Names of Istanbul

Istanbul Guide - Historical Names Of Istanbul

What are the historical names of Istanbul? How did Istanbul get its name?

Istanbul is …

One of the oldest cities in the world, Turkey’s economic, cultural and historical heart, located on the Bosphorus connecting the Asia and Europe. Istanbul is also…

A bridge, a gate opening to the East and West, a pot where the cultures meet, absurd and mystical as a fairy tale, a beautiful woman, tender as a girl, chaotic as hell, melancholic as a poem, sea gulls of Sait Faik, a rakı bottle Orhan Veli is a fish in, beloved city of Yahya Kemal he looked at over a hill, the city made of golden soil, hope, frustration, abundance, poverty, the country of the blind, a kalabalık city full of balık, a rose pink erguvan in the spring, a fistful of wheat a pidgeon run after in the mosque yard, a duet of a sea gull and a müzezzin, a serenade of a nightingale, a story, running after this story and becoming the part of the story…

Istanbul was …

Vizantion, Bizantium, Antoninya, Alma Roma, Nova Roma, Konstantinopolis, Istinpolin, Megali Polis, Kalipolis, Çargrad, Konstantingrad, Vizant, Stimbol, Esdambol, Eskomboli, Miklagord, Bizantiya, el-Mahsura, Kustantina el-uzma, Konstantiniyye, Mahrusa-i Konstantiniyye, Stambul, Dersaadet, Deraliyye, Mahrusa-i Saltanat, Istanbul, Islambol, Darü’s-saltanat-ı Aliyye, Asitane-i Aliyye, Darü’l-Hilafetü’l Aliye, Payitaht-ı Saltanat, Dergah-ı Mualla, Südde-i Saadet…

How did Istanbul get its name?

The name of Istanbul comes from the Greek word “istinpolin” meaning “to the city, at the city”. “Istanbul” wasn’t the official name during the Ottoman Empire, but it was used unofficially to refer to leading people e.g. Istanbul Ağası, the commander of the city, Istanbul Efendisi, a gentleman, an intellectual person etc.

Even in the early years of the young Turkish Republic, Istanbul was still called Konstantiniyye by the Turks and Constantinople by the foreigners until the postal service law passed on March 28th, 1930. The official name of the city became Istanbul and authorities asked the foreign authorities to use Istanbul as the postal address. The mails sent to Constantinople or Istanbul / Constantinopolis was rejected and returned to the sender.

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