Program TOPKAPI PALACE The unparalleled might of the Ottoman Sultans rises in silhouette along the Tarihi Yarimada (Historic Peninsula), revealing a legacy of masterpieces fit for the capital of their sultandom. HAGIA SOPHIA From the outside, the Hagia Sophia may seem overwhelmingly big, but the real attraction of this Istanbul landmark is the architecture genius inside the domed Byzantine building. BLUE MOSQUE If there are two symbols that represent the city, they are the Blue Mosque, named for its 20,000 richly hued Iznik tiles hand crafted by the empire’s best artisans, and 200 stain-glassed windows and the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, Justinian’s palatial ode to the Almighty. BASILICA CISTERN Just down the road from the Blue Mosque is the Basilica Cistern, a “sunken palace” that lies beneath the surface of Istanbul’s streets. TRT WORLD TRT World is an International News Platform founded by the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. TAKSIM ISTIKLAL STREET Located in the historic Beyoğlu (Pera) district, it is an elegant pedestrian street, 1.4 kilometers long, which houses boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, libraries, cafés, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants. ORTAKOY MOSQUE The Ortakoy Mosque is situated on the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square in the Beşiktaş District, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus. The mosque was built on the order of Abdulmecid (1839-1861), the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, and was constructed by the Nigoğos Balyan in 1853. It was during the same century that the mosque rose to a higher level of importance on the European side of Istanbul. It is also known as “Great Mecidiye Mosque” and is one of the most beautiful samples of the Baroque architecture in Istanbul. BOSPHORUS TOUR The shoreline of the Bosphorus has a lot of history to tell. During the great wars, battleships were a frequent sight as troops flooded into the city. Nowadays the shoreline is home to grand places, of the Ottoman royalty, old castles, rich summerhouses, and the traditional wooden Turkish yalis. GALATA TOWER The Genoese tower standing in the Galata district is the pathway to an amazing panoramic view of the city of Istanbul, Golden horn and Bosphorus. Originally built as a watchtower in 1348, the top floor is also the venue for evening entertainment in the form of Turkish night shows. GRAND BAZAAR The Grand Bazaar (Kapalicarsi) in Istanbul, attracting 250,000 to 400,000 people daily, is one of the largest and oldest underground markets in the World. SULEYMANIYE MOSQUE Suleymaniye mosque, or better known as the mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, was built in the 16th century by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan for Sultan Suleyman the Magnificient, also known as the Legislator. It stands on a hilltop (3rd hill) dominating the Golden Horn and contributing to the skyline of Istanbul. The mosque is the largest mosque of Istanbul. ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY Istanbul University can trace its origins back to 1453, when it was founded by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II as a school of philosophy, medicine, law and literature. It has gone through many iterations since then, serving as a madrasah (Islamic theological school) and as an institution of higher education called the Darülfünûn (House of Sciences) in the 19th century, before being reestablished as Istanbul University in 1933 after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk reformed Turkey’s educational system. GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF TURKEY The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi), usually referred to simply as the TBMM or Parliament (Turkish: Meclis), is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence. KÜLLİYE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY The new presidential kulliyyah was built in 2014 in Ataturk Orman Ciftligi area. It covers an area of 300 thousand square meters with around one-thousand rooms, guests’ rooms, mosque, library, reception halls, botanic garden, meeting rooms and so on. The President has also a summer compound along the Bosphorus. CAPPADOCIA Located on the central Anatolian plateau within a volcanic landscape sculpted by erosion to form a succession of mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles known as “fairy chimneys” or hoodoos, Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia cover the region between the cities of Nevşehir, Ürgüp and Avanos, the sites of Karain, Karlık, Yeşilöz, Soğanlı and the subterranean cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu. The area is bounded on the south and east by ranges of extinct volcanoes with Erciyes Dağ (3916 m) at one end and Hasan Dağ (3253 m) at the other. The density of its rockhewn cells, churches, troglodyte villages and subterranean cities within the rock formations make it one of the world’s most striking and largest cave-dwelling complexes. KONYA As the ancient Iconium, Konya was important in Roman times, but it reached its peak after the victory (1071) of Turks over the Byzantines at Manzikert, which resulted in the establishment (1099) of the sultanate of Iconium or Rum (so called after Rome), a powerful state of the Seljuk Turks. In the 15th century the whole region was annexed to the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Muhammad II, the conqueror of Constantinople. Konya lost its political importance but remained a religious center as the chief seat of the Mawlawiyya Sufi order (the dervishes), which was founded there in the 13th century by the poet and mystic Jalal ad-Din Rumi. His tomb, several medieval mosques, and the old city walls have been preserved, and Rumi is honored during an annual festival.