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Istanbul is the only city in the world that is situated on two continents. The western portion of the city in Europe and the eastern portion in Asia are separated by the spectacular Bosphorus. Historic settlements discovered by recent archeological investigations confirm that the city dates back to 6500 BC. In its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital city of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and has acquired a reputation for being a cultural and ethnic melting pot. There are many historical mosques, churches, synagogues, palaces, castles and towers to visit in the city. Hagia Sophia built in the 6th century, Topkapý Palace and Maiden’s Tower are among the historical monuments that reflect the heart and soul of the city which draw millions of visitors every year.

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