Ahmed Mustafa | 301346661URB655-Short PaperIstanbul Global CityThe city of Turkey, Istanbulhas an estimated population of 14,557,000 as of 2017. It has served as the capital of the Roman Empire, the ByzantineEmpire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. It was earlier known as Constantinoplewhich was later renamed to Istanbul after the capital of Turkey was moved toAnkara. It is also a city, with over 150,000 students attending 3 biguniversities and many colleges. Even though Ankara is the capital of Turkey,Istanbul acts and continues to be the commercial and financial capital.
Turkey’seconomy is one of the fastest growing in the world and the city has quadrupledin size over the last few years (BBC, 2010). The population of Istanbulis approximately 12 million and the statistics keep increasing daily asnewcomers from other provinces travel to the city for work. Turkey, acts as alink between Asia and Europe and therefore it has a lot of ethnic diversity dueto migration of people which has been occurring for many years. The ethniccomposition includes the Turks who make up about 80% of the total population,followed by Kurds, Greek, Roma and numerous minority populations like that ofthe Arabs, Caucasians and Europeans. Majority of the Turks are Muslim, threequarters of which follow the teachings of Sunni Islam. (Focus, 2010-2011). The presence of the BosphorusWaterway located towards the northwest makes the city connected to the Black Seaand the Sea of Marmara. It can be observed that the commercial center lies inEurope while the rest part of the city lies in Asia.
This strategic location ofIstanbul has contributed in connecting the city with other cities. Istanbul activelycompetes on an international scale to attract investors, visitors, people andinhabitants. Istanbul is one of the most important cities in Europe and theMiddle East.
It was the European Capital of Culture ECoC 2010 along with Ruhr(Germany) and Pécs (Hungary). It was also chosen as a cultural center to be encouragedthrough the European Union (EU) for the entire year as a result of the Turkey’spolitical efforts. Even though Turkey isnot a member of the EU, the program was interpreted by the government as a chanceto prompt the people about the cultural heritage and common historical roots withthe other EU countries which in turn strengthens the global city connections. (Bcakcr, 2012) (Focus, 2010-2011). It was noted by Ilhan Tekeli that ‘Withthe growth of international affairs, Istanbul too shifted from a Fordistproduction model to a flexible one, from an industrial society to aninformation society, and on towards globalization; its modernity thus began todecay and Postmodernist developments began to emerge’ (Tekeli, 2010).
Clustering of various industries canbe seen as a globalizing factor for Istanbul. One example can be the boomingclothing industry in Istanbul with in (Tasbasi, 2014) international brandsoutsourcing their stuff. Brands such as H&M, Zara and Mango from Spain, andMarks and Spencer from Britain purchase their products from Istanbul.
As rightlymentioned ‘The 1980 military coup marks the great line dividing line betweenthe present ‘globalized’ city and that foreign country of the past’ (Houston, 2014).The future of Istanbul isvery bright. The city has witnessed massive global changes in the past twodecades and with an added advantage of its strategic location Istanbul wouldgrow even further.