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Life in İstanbul



Istanbul is truly a world city, a city which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It is an enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture, a vibrant, modern city, with a unique identity. Its rich past coexists alongside its youthful energy. Although no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul still remains the country's cultural and business center. It is the only city in the world that sits on two continents: Europe and Asia. The city lies on both sides of the Bosporus channel and the Sea of Marmara, which connect the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. On the European side of the Bosporus, old Istanbul developed on the western side of the narrow Golden Horn, a canal about 4 miles in length that empties into the Bosporus.


Here is some general information about Istanbul; It is the most beautiful city in the world and its population is 14,1 million. In terms of opportunities Istanbul is the most livable city in the world.

Istanbul has a Mediterranean climate with cool, wet winters and dry, hot summers. The prevailing northeast winds, or “poyraz”, come from the Black Sea, sometimes bringing extreme cold to the city. At times, the cold winds have frozen the Golden Horn and the Bosporus. At times tulips everywhere beautify the city on spring while tree branches get pink with all sorts of flowers. At times yellow flowers are told by the most famous poets and the city in autumn is sang in the songs. At times sun shines in the sky, people spend most of their time in seaside of Istanbul. Temperatures average about 4.7°C in January and about 22.8°C in July.

Climate and Seasons



Public transportation in Istanbul has improved for the better over the past few years. İstanbul is the city with the most variety of transportation. A lot of people still take taxis to commute, but it’s often not the best choice given that the public transportation is really viable in İstanbul. First thing you should know as a student in İstanbul is that you can get significant discounts with the Istanbulkart.

Istabulkart is contactless smart card for fare payment on public transport in Istanbul. It is used for boarding buses, metrobuses, funiculars, subway, commuter, trains, ferryboats and trams operated by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

The required documents that you need for student transport card are;
1-Student Certificate
3-Passport size photograph
4-10 TL

You can check for the kiosks that you can get you card:

• Keep that in mind cash payment on these transport systems are not possible.

Transportation fares are as follows:


We recommend you to download some applications to your smart phones to make it easier for you to get around. These are; ‘Trafi’, ‘Mobiett’, ‘Yandex’ and ‘İstanbul Ulaşım Haritası’.


                                                                        10 Places to Visit


Istanbul's strategic location between Europe and Asia on the ancient Silk Road has made it one of history's most important cities. A list of its points of interest would be long enough to bridge the Bosphorus, so here's a top 10 to make your living in Istanbul more meaningful.


The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Turkish: Sultan Ahmet Camii) is a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. A popular tourist site, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque continues to function as a mosque today; men still kneel in prayer on the mosque's lush red carpet after the call to prayer. The Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah and a hospice.

Magnificent hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes.


In Hagia Sophia, the immense dome crowning this church turned mosque turned museum was an architectural miracle in its time, although it took a lot of trial and error to get to that point: it collapsed twice!


Topkapi Palace, the one-time home of many Sultans, not only offers spectacular views of the city, but also houses treasures that make the Crown Jewels look like Claire's Accessories!


Dolmabahçe Palace (Turkish: Dolmabahçe Sarayı) located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and 1909 to 1922.


The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi in Turkish) is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn's junction with the Bosphorus. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul's historic peninsula and its environs.


The Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalıçarşı) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it was listed No.1 among world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors. The Grand Bazar at Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls of the world.


The Süleymaniye Mosque (Turkish: Süleymaniye Camii) is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey. It is the second largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.


The Basilica Cistern (Turkish: Yerebatan Sarnıcı) is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), Turkey. The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.


The Maiden's Tower (Turkish: Kız Kulesi), also known as Leander's Tower (Tower of Leandros) since the medieval Byzantine period, is a tower lying on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m from the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul.


Gülhane Park (Turkish: Gülhane Parkı, "Rosehouse Park’’) is a historical urban park in the Eminönü district of Istanbul; it is located adjacent to and on the grounds of the Topkapı Palace. The south entrance of the park sports one of the larger gates of the palace. It is the oldest and one of the most expansive public parks in Istanbul. You can have good time with your friends.

                                                                               Social Activities


The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first museum of modern art, was founded in 2004 and occupies an 8,000 square meter site on the shores of the Bosphorus. Istanbul Modern embraces a global vision to collect, preserve, exhibit and document works of modern and contemporary art and make them accessible to art lovers.

For visiting hours and admission visit the website:


It is the biggest thematic aquarium of the world. In comparison to other aquariums of its class containing fish species living in the world’s seas, it is the newest with its travel route, thematization, interactivity, rainforest and cutting-edge technolog

Istanbul Akvaryum holds a leading position among worldwide aquariums thanks to its volume, variety of fish species, and the activities on travel routes. It is a project which makes ‘firsts’ and ‘mosts’ in its field.

For detailed information and admission, you can visit the following website:

You have lots of opportunities for both cinema and theater. Almost every shopping mall has cinema. You can easily watch the movies now showing.

For theater check the following website for playbill:

Istanbul City Theaters

State Theaters

Dialogue in the Dark


It is an exhibition and workshop to explore the unseen, Dialogue in The Dark, offers you an incredible experience to understand daily life of blind people. For detailed information and ticket, you can visit the website:

It is an experience that will leave you speechless what happens to our communication skills when our hearing is impaired? For detailed information and ticket, you can visit the website:

There are some amusement park where you can have fun with your friends. One of the best one is Vialand Theme Park. The price is usually between 65 to 99 TL. But it’s better to check it before you go.

You can check following website for price and further information:

Also there is an amusement park in Bostancı next to ‘Bostancı Kültür Merkezi’.

İstanbul is famous with its seaside places where you can hava fresh air with your friend and you can feel relaxed by seeing the sea. Some beautiful places which are not so far away from our universities are; Florya and Bakırköy. There is a social facility in Florya where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also you can rent bike there and enjoy riding the bike next to the sea.

Sports Activities


It is organized every year. You can enjoy walking through the Bosphorus Bridge by participating. It is a unique and fun experience that every people in Istanbul should try at least once.


It is a swimming race from Europe to Asia side. You cannot have this kind of experience in anywhere else. Applications for Turkish Olympic Committee's (TOC) traditional Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race will be accepted as of 4th January 2017. 29th Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race will take place on 23th July 2017.

Keep in mind that application period for the previous year's event was opened 4th January and foreigners' quota was filled in a single day due to the huge interest of participants from 60 countries.

For detailed information and application, you can check this website:

Educational & Art Activities

It is a kind of training center that you can take courses from; arts, musical instruments, dictinon, languages and so on. It does not charge any fee. There are lots of course central in Istanbul. The nearest one to our university are;

Küçükçekmece Halkalı Merkez (Adress: Halkalı merkez mah. karakol sokak no:1 (My Plaza) Halkalı/K.Çekmece Contact: 0212 471 99 32), 
Küçükçekmece Atatürk Mah. (Adress: Atatürk mag. Ikitelli cad. No:32 İkitelli/Küçükçekmece Contact: 0212 494 46 09), 
Küçükçekmece Halkalı Toplu Konutlar (Adress: Atakent mah. 2.Etap Halkalı Kültür Merkezi binası Contact: 0212 471 43 22)

If you want to see more places, you need to check the website:



There are some public libraries that you can benefit from them for free. These are; Beyazıt State Library (located in Beyazıt), İstanbul Orhan Kemal Province Public Library (located in Beyazıt), Beykoz Public Library (located in Beykoz), Pendik County Public Library (located in Pendik).



İstanbul is a world trade center so that you can easily find whatever you need and look for. Firstly, when it comes to trade issue in İstanbul, Grand Bazaar comes in mind. Also there are lots of big shopping mall such as Cevahir shopping mall, Marmara Forum shopping mall and so on. In these malls you can find almost every brand that you look for.

You can buy your books from ‘Sahaflar Çarşısı’ which is in Beyazıt. You can also use online, when you want to buy books. There are some book stores that serve online shopping. Some of them are; D&R, Pandora. Also some communities organize some exhibitions during the year which you can find and buy a large variety of the books. Book Exhibition is organized every year in TÜYAP which is located in Beylikdüzü.

Food and Beverage


As we mentioned above İstanbul is a world city; İstanbul hold various nations’ culture in itself. Thus, you can find almost every kind of food such as; Korean, Chinese, Albanian, Japanese, Syrian and so on. As a traditional food in İstanbul, you can eat haricot bean in Süleymaniye. You can also eat Adana Kebab. On the other hand, you can find various kind of nation’s traditional food in Taksim. But you better try Syrian food in Fatih because there are lots of restaurants which are providing service by the Syrian people.