ABOUT ISTANBUL

Istanbul, is a city which involves East and West together and in which cultural, historical and natural beauty meets with a gorgeous harmony. Besides, it is the only city which is located on two continents in a place with a narrow sea passage and also the only city which has the sea running. With its history of over 2500 years, Istanbul had become an important commerce center because of its establishment in this strategic location where land meets sea. Historical city of Istanbul is located on a peninsular, surrounded by Marmara Sea, Bosphorus Straits and Golden Horn.

HISTORY

The city had become the capital city of three great empires, namely Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Turks; and, was ruled by more than 120 emperor and sultans over 1600 years. Istanbul is the only city that has all these features. During its development, the city underwent expansion for four times, which all of them were westward. In the 5th century, there was an Istanbul which was surrounded by city walls of Romans and built over 7 hills. But, the foundation of today’s Istanbul was grounded in 7th century B.C. Rebuilt by Emperor Constantine in 4th century A.D., the city had been transformed to capital city; since then, it had preserved that title for almost 16 centuries by hosting the capital cities of Rome, Byzantine and Ottomans.

ENTERTAINMENT

Even if we deal with only the artistic contents of the structure motifs including the mosques, churches, synagogues, museums, fountains, complexes and old buildings, we realize that the city remaines at the top of the list in the field of artistic architecture, marbling art, carving, colouring, and craftsmanship.

On the other hand, activities, such as theaters, cinemas, live concerts, exhibitions, communion, poetic concerts, art galleries, in which works of internationally famous artists are exhibited, show the meaning and importance of art in Istanbul.

The Topkapı Palace allows its visitors to witness the history, culture, grandeur, magnificence, and profusion of an Empire which lasted for a very long time. Dolmabahce Palace built in 19th century is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire with the last of Ottoman Sultans was residing there. Dolmabahce palace has a great meaning for Turkish people since the supreme leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had used the palace as a residence The Grand Bazaar, with its architectural style designed specifically for enclosed shopping centers, entertains many visitors who come for both commercial and touristic purposes from different countries speaking different languages every day.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Due to limited room availability in Istanbul, we do advise you to make your reservation as early as possible so that you have the best choice of the available hotels.
We have special congress rates and these rates are available for a limited time

RECOMMENDED HOTELS

The ICBEST Organizing Committee has received special rates from two hotels near by the ITU Taşkışla Campus where the conference will take place. For special rates you can contact directly with the hotels via links below.

Konak Hotel ( 4 Star) 

Konak Hotel hosts its guests in a unique atmosphere where modern and traditional decoration is combined with extraordinary touches of comfort.The guests of Konak Hotel experience a distinguished and peaceful stay while receiving a 4-star quality boutique service.

Konak Hotel features 117 rooms with 234 bed capacity and offers functionality and comfort combined.You can choose the room type that suits your needs the best from: 3 Suits, 4 Deluxe, 16 Connected and 1 furnished specially for disabled guests.

Wireless Internet is available for guests free of charge. Located only 400 meters away from the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square, Konak Hotel, offers easy access to ITU Taskisla, that is only 5 minutes walking distance

Konak Hotel Reservation Page

 

Grand Hyatt Hotel ( 5 Star )

Where East and West blend seamlessly Located in the new centre of modern Istanbul, the Grand Hyatt Istanbul hotel is conveniently located close to Taksim Square, with its lively entertainment venues and some of the finest shopping in the city. 360 rooms and suites have superb views of the Bosphorus, city or pool view, and are beautifully appointed with marble baths and all amenities. Try authentic Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine at the signature restaurant ‘34’, relax at the Library Bar during the winter months and wind down with al fresco drinks at the Gazebo by the pool in summer months. The Gaia Spa and Fitness Centre is perfect for rejuvenation and de-stressing.

Grand Hyatt Istanbul Reservation Page

TRANSPORTATION

Istanbul is readily accessible from all parts of the world; every major European airport is 2-3 hours away. There are frequent direct flights to Istanbul from most European cities.

Istanbul has two major international airports, Atatürk Airport and Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Most long-haul flights arrive at Atatürk Airport; Europeans flights might arrive at either location, depending on the operator.

 

Turkish Airlines is the official airline of “ICBEST2017 Istanbul and special discounts are offered on certain booking classes. In order to proceed with the online booking tool for Turkish Conventions please visit the Turkish Conventions website https://www4.thy.com/TKC/app/main?language=en

and use the event code 012TKM17 under delegate section.

The trip from the Atatürk Airport to Taşkışla-Taksim takes between 35 to 75 minutes depending on traffic. A taxi from this airport to Taksim Square or the conference venue at Taskisla costs 50 TL (≈16 euros). Taşkışla-Taksim is also easily reached from the airport by a shuttle bus called “HAVATAŞ” which travels to Taksim Square every thirty minutes and costs 10 TL (3,50 euros). There is also an underground passage (15 minute walk) that connects the International Terminal with the older Domestic Terminal and also the Istanbul Metro.

The second airport, Sabiha Gökçen Airport at Kurtköy, is located at 40-45 minute drive to Taksim Square. A taxi from this airport to Taksim Square or the conference venue at Taskisla costs 75 TL (≈25 euros). There are also HAVATAŞ busses that travel between Sabiha Gökcen Airport and Taksim Square every 30 minutes and cost 13 TL (4,50 euros).

Public transportation by bus is also available around the city. Tickets are required for boarding and can be purchased from the ticket sales points at the bus stations. The fare is equivalent to € 1.

Round-the-clock taxi service is available in the city. Taxis operate by meter. The cost begins at 1.20 euros with the addition of 1 euro per kilometer.

You can learn more about transportation at

ATTRACTIONS

We can tell you where to start to discover the magnificent sceneries, the perfect architecture and the unique dishes of Istanbul!

 

Offering a wide range of alternatives, Istanbul welcomes its dear guests with special dishes for all tastes. A variety of cuisines from all over Turkey blending with the Ottoman culinary culture comprise a variety of specialties of incomparable taste.

 

Having started the day with a Turkish breakfast, which is famous for its diversity, you may take a trip to the islands of Istanbul where you will encounter an entirely different environment. You may enjoy the sun and the sea or prefer to ride a bike if you like.

 

Alternatively you may opt to take a city tour in Istanbul which is definitely worth the time. Beginning your tour at the historical peninsula, you can sightsee many monuments belonging to civilizations that had settled here. The Grand Bazaar, Nuru Osmaniye, Çemberlitas, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Archaeological Museum are among the major venues you may particularly enjoy sightseeing. After that you can cross the Golden Horn Bridge and give a coffee break at Karaköy before heading to Tünel and going up the Galata Tower to watch the splendid view of Istanbul.

 

Finally, you can try the tasty dishes of Turkish cuisine at any of the restaurants at Beyoğlu and eventually drop by the coast of Bebek or Arnavutköy to enjoy the rest of the magnificence and beauty of Istanbul by night.

 

On the other hand, Pierre Loti, one of the most tranquil and charming corners in Istanbul, will invite you to drink some Turkish Tea and enjoy the view on site.

 

Eminönü is a convenient place to buy souvenirs and gifts that will remind you of your Istanbul experience all through life. For bigger shopping tours you may prefer to go to the great shopping centers in the districts nearby.

 

If you prefer to be carried away by the beat of the night you may consider visiting Kalamış, Fenerbahçe, Moda and Caddebostan located on the Anatolian side. Likewise, the coast of the European side, such as Ortaköy, Kuruçeşme, Bebek, Tarabya and Suada offer popular entertainment venues with doors open to guests until early sunrise.

 

DOLMABAHÇE PALACE

 

Dolmabahce Palace built in 19 th century is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire with the last of Ottoman Sultans was residing there. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic in Ankara, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk transferred all government functions to the youthful capital but on his visits to Istanbul Ataturk occupied only a small room at Dolmabahce Palace as his own. He stayed, welcomed his foreign guests and made a practical center for national, historical and language congress and for international conferences.

Dolmabahce Palace has a great meaning for Turkish people since the supreme leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had used the palace as a residence and spent the most serious period of his illness and he passed away in this palace on 10 th of November 1938 at 9:05 AM, all the clocks in the palace are stopped at this time. Later on it was converted into a museum. It is wandered with a special sense of respect.

 

TOPKAPI PALACE

 

The Topkapı Palace is a large palace in Istanbul, Turkey, that was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for approximately 400 years (1465–1856) of their 624-year reign.

 

As well as a royal residence, the palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments. It is now a museum and as such a major tourist attraction. It also contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammed’s cloak and sword. The Topkapı Palace is among the monuments contained within the “Historic Areas of Istanbul”, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and is described under UNESCO’s criterion iv as “the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces […] of the Ottoman period.”

 

The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. At its peak, the palace was home to as many as 4,000 people, and covered a large area with a long shoreline. It contained mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint. Construction began in 1459, ordered by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Byzantine Constantinople. It was originally called the New Palace (Yeni Saray) to distinguish it from the previous residence. It received the name “Topkapı” (Cannon Gate) in the 19th century, after a (now lost) gate and shore pavilion. The complex was expanded over the centuries, with major renovations after the 1509 earthquake and the 1665 fire.

 

After the 17th century, the Topkapı Palace gradually lost its importance as the sultans preferred to spend more time in their new palaces along the Bosphorus. In 1856, Sultan Abdül Mecid I decided to move the court to the newly built Dolmabahçe Palace, the first European-style palace in the city. Some functions, such as the imperial treasury, the library, and the mint, were retained in the Topkapı Palace.

 

Following the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, Topkapı Palace was transformed by a government decree dated April 3, 1924, into a museum of the imperial era. The Topkapı Palace Museum is administered by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The palace complex has hundreds of rooms and chambers, but only the most important are accessible to the public today. The complex is guarded by officials of the ministry as well as armed guards of the Turkish military. The palace includes many fine examples of Ottoman architecture. It contains large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts and murals, as well as a display of Ottoman treasures and jewelry.

 

ISTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUMS

 

The İstanbul Archaeological Museums, a museum affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is located in İstanbul’s Sultanahmet neighborhood, on the Osman Hamdi Bey slope connecting the Gülhane Park with the Topkapı Palace. Its name is plural, since there are three different museums under the same administration: The Archaeological Museum, the Ancient Orient Museum (Eski Şark Eserleri Müzesi) and Tiled Kiosk Museum (Çinili Köşk Müzesi).

 

  • During an İstanbul Archaeological Museums tour, it is possible to visit the extraordinarily beautiful garden of the museum and the three different buildings inside this garden.
  • The İstanbul Archaeological Museums, which is housing various artifacts from civilizations that had left their traces to different periods of the history, is one of the 10 most important world-class museums designed and used as a museum building. Additionally, it is the first institution in Turkey arranged as a museum. Besides its spectacular collections, the architectural aspects of its buildings and its garden are of historical and natural importance.
  • The İstanbul Archaeological Museums is welcoming all visitors who want to make a journey in the corridors of the history and to trace the remains of ancient civilizations.

 

ISTANBUL MODERN ART MUSEUM

 

The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first private museum to organize modern and contemporary art exhibitions, 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.

As part of its commitment to sharing Turkey’s artistic creativity with wide audiences and promoting its cultural identity in the international art world, Istanbul Modern hosts a broad array of interdisciplinary activities.

Apart from permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a photography gallery, and spaces for educational and social programs, the museum offers a cinema, restaurant, design store and an extensive library.

 

PERA MUSEUM

 

naugurated on 8 June 2005, Pera Museum is a private museum founded by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation. The aim of offering an outstanding range of diverse high quality culture and art services is as important today as when the Museum first opened its doors to the public.

 

Couched in the historic quarter of Tepebaşı, the impressive building was originally conceived as the Bristol Hotel, designed by architect Achille Manoussos. Restorer and architect Sinan Genim was given the daunting renovation operation in 2003; the triumph of transforming the interior into a modern and fully equipped museum is only matched by the architect’s mastery in simultaneously preserving the exterior façade, safeguarding an integral part of Istanbul’s architectural flavor.

 

Through Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation’s three permanent collections, “Orientalist Paintings”, “Anatolian Weights and Measures”, and “Kütahya Tiles and Ceramics”, Pera Museum seeks not only to diffuse the aesthetic beauty of these collections but also to create dialogue with the public concerning the values and identities that they encompass. Utilizing a full scope of innovative methods, including exhibitions, publications, audio-visual events, educational activities, and academic works, the objective of transmitting the beauty and importance of these works to future generations is realized.

 

BLUE MOSQUE

 

The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is an historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design. Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and a hospice. Besides still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.

 

Besides being tourist attraction, it’s also a active mosque, so it’s closed to non worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers.

 

Best way to see great architecture of the Blue Mosque is to approach it from the Hippodrome. (West side of the mosque) As if you are non-Muslim visitor, you also have to use same direction to enter the Mosque.

 

HAGIA SOPHIA

 

Hagia Sophia is the one of the most visited museums and most prominent monuments in the world in terms of art and the history of architecture. It has also been called “the eighth wonder of the world” by East Roman Philon as far back as the 6th century. The current Hagia Sophia is the third construction, done in a different architectural style, even though it occupies the same location as the previous two. The original building was constructed by the most important architects of the period (527-565), Anthemios (Tralles) and Isidoros (Miletus), under the order of Emperor Justinianos. It is mentioned in the resources that during its construction period, the two prominent architects each had 100 architects working under them, who in turn had 100 workers each working under them.

 

It was used as a church for 916 years but, following the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed, the Hagia Sophia was converted into mosque. Afterwards, it was used as a mosque for 482 years. Under the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia is open for visit every day. The winter visiting hours for the Hagia Sophia are from 09.00 to 17.00, with the final entry being at 16.00. During the summer, the visiting hours are between 09.00 and 19.00, with the final entry being at 18.00. Passes are available at the box office in the museum.

 

GALATA TOWER

 

Although it is not completely certain as to when the Galata Tower was built, it is claimed that the it was built during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor, Iustinianos in 507 CE.

 

It was called the Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) by the Genoese and the Megalos Pyrgos (The Great Tower) by the Byzantines. It took its present shape during the Genoese period. The Tower was heavily damaged during an earthquake in 1509, and it was renewed by the architect, Hayrettin, who was very famous during that period. During the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-66), it was used as a jail for prisoners who were sentenced to work at the Kasımpaşa Naval Dockyard. The head astrologer, Takıyeddin Efendi, established an observatory on the top of the tower at the end of the 16th century and functioned as an observatory for a particular period of time. Later, it was closed and again turned into a prison by Sultan Murat III (1546-1595).

 

In 1638, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew as an early aviator using artificial wings from this tower across the Bosphorus to the slopes of Üsküdar on the Anatolian side during the reign of Murad V. Towards the 17th century, it was used by the Mehter Band, the janissary band of musicians. After 1717, it was used as a fire-observatory tower, but the tower itself was unfortunately destroyed in a fire in 1794.

 

After it was repaired, a cumba, a little room made of wood, was added to the tower during the reign of Sultan Selim III (1761-1808). After another fire in 1831, Sultan Mahmut added two more floors to the Tower and covered the top of the tower with a famous cloth in the shape of a conical hat. An inscription written by Pertev Paşa concerning the tower’s repair works was affixed during that time. After a strong storm in 1875, the framework of the roof was damaged and was late repaired in 1960. Today, the Galata Tower operates solely as a touristic attraction by a private company. The elevator only goes to the 7th floor, and the last two floors of the tower must be climbed by stairs.

 

After passing though the restaurant on the top floor, there is a balcony that encircles the tower. The restaurant’s view showcases a scene of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.

 

 

 

THE GRAND BAZAAR

 

The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops, and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, gold jewellery and the like.

 

The complex houses two mosques, four fountains, two hamams, and several cafés and restaurants. In the centre is the high domed hall of the Cevahir Bedesten, where the most valuable items and antiques were to be found in the past, and still are today, including furniture, copperware, amber prayer beads, inlaid weapons, icons, moth er-of-pearl mirrors, water pipes, watches and clocks, candlesticks, old coins, and silver and gold jewellery set with coral and turquoise. A leisurely afternoon spent exploring the bazaar, sitting in one of the cafés and watching the crowds pass by, and bargaining for purchases is one of the best ways to recapture the romantic atmosphere of old Istanbul.

 

NURU OSMANIYE MOSQUE

 

Located near one of the entryways to the Grand Bazaar (just across from Çarşı Kapı), Nuruosmaniye Mosque represents a turning point in architectural influence during Ottoman times. Began in 1748, It was eventually completed under the supervision of two successive Ottoman rulers in 1755. One of the seminal buildings in Istanbul to exhibit a distinctly Baroque architectural style, the mosque has a distinctly-shaped courtyard featuring 8 pillars arranged in a semi-circle.

 

THE BASILICA CISTERN

 

The Basilica Cistern, located in the crowded Eminönü district of Istanbul next to the Hagia Sophia, was built to provide water for the city of Istanbul during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century CE. This cistern is an underground chamber of 138 x 64.6 meters. The large space is broken up by a forest of 336 marble columns, which are aesthetically supported by strong columns and arches. The cistern is surrounded by a firebrick wall with a thickness of 3.5 meters and is coated with a special mortar to make it waterproof.

 

Originally, there was a stone-paved circle on the cistern. It was later broken by dense housing construction beginning in the Byzantine period continuing into the Ottoman period. The citizens who settled in the vicinity were provided with their daily water requirements from the large round well-like holes opening from the ceiling structure. In 1940, several of the structures built on and around the Basilica Cistern were nationalized and a neat building was constructed at the entrance of the Cistern by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. It was also exposed to a wide range of cleaning process between 1985-1988. Thus dirty water and tons of mud were removed and a promenade platform was built in the cistern. After the cleaning process was completed, the two Medusa heads, masterpieces of the First Age Art of Statuary were used as pedestals at the bottom of the two columns in the northwest corner of the cistern. It is not known exactly when or for what purpose the were antique Medusa and Gorgon heads were brought to the Basilica Cistern.