Where is Istanbul ?
First of all, Istanbul is in Turkey. Turkey is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in Southwestern Asia and the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe. Turkey borders eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Iran and the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. In addition, it borders the Black Sea to the north; the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara to the west; and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
İstanbul encloses the southern Bosphorus which puts the city on two continents – the western portion of Istanbul is in Europe, while the eastern portion is in Asia. The city boundaries cover a surface of 1,539 square kilometers. The Metropol region, or the province of Istanbul, has an area of 5,220 square kilometers.
The unique location of the city, being between two continents, is what made Istanbul an important city in the history and today. Due to its strategic location straddling Europe and Asia, Turkey has been a historical crossroad between eastern and western cultures.
Common misknowledge is that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey, where the fact is Ankara is the capital, yet Istanbul is the biggest city. According to 2000 Census, the population is 8,803,468 (city proper) and 10,018,735 (metro area), making it the second largest city in Europe. The census bureau estimate for July 20, 2005 is 11,322,000 for the province, which is generally considered as the metropolitan area, making it one of the twenty largest metropolitan areas in the world.