Turkey, September 2009

Bosphorus Boat Trip

Photos by Walt & Gloria Fogler-Mancini

 

The Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles separate the continents of Europe and Asia.  The city of Istanbul was founded as Byzantium on Seraglio Point between the Sea of Marmara and the harbor of the Golden Horn on the Bosphorus.  When it became the center of the Roman Empire, it was renamed Constantinople in the fourth century. 

The western shore of the Bosphorus, just north of the old city, was where the sultan and others built their palaces in the 19th century.  Large, modern hotels have been built in the same area near the Dolmabahce Mosque.

In 1973, the Ataturk Bridge became the first bridge to connect the two continents.  The roadway is 210 feet above the waterway and 3524 feet long.  The Bosphorus Strait is an international waterway connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean.  Large cruise ships are a small part of the maritime traffic.

Both shores of the Bosphorus are well developed where the hills are not steep.  Many kinds of fishing boats work in the strait and much of the fish is sold in Istanbul.

Historically, many nations have fought to control the Bosphorus and the trade that traveled through it.  The Yoros Castle occupies a commanding position where the Bosphorus meets the Black Sea.  It is often called the Genoese Castle since it was controlled by the Genoese from 1414-1454.

The Fortress of Europe was built by Mehmet II in 1452 and helped him conquer Constantinople.  For many centuries, it was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe.  The  Ottoman Turks’ trade agreements with  European countries caused them to have poor control of their economy from the very inception of their empire.

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