The city of Istanbul never fails to deliver when it comes to things to do, from cultural to historical attractions. The old city to the bars and pubs in Bebek. The three major waterways of Istanbul not only divide the city, but also join it. The Sea of Marmara stretches out along the southern reaches of the city, and meets the Bosphorus, which continues north, separating the city into Europe and Asia, and from there, the Golden Horn cuts through European Istanbul and carry its water deep into the Belgrade Forest. Today these magnificent waterways have their own cultural and historical importance.
The Bosphorus strait of water in Istanbul has been strategically important throughout history. Linking Asia and Europe, many empires have waged war to gain control of it. Over the time the Bosphorus has grown to be a busy trading passage for large tankers and ships. It is considered Istanbul’s main attraction, definitely worth dedicating a day for this amazing magic.
The Bosphorus does not just conclude a walk or a cruise. it also represents many things like history, you may find many Ottoman Palaces on the banks of the Bosphorus like the Topkapi or Dolmabahce palaces, and also some historical mosques and majestic castles, you have the Ortakoy Mosque which you may know because you will find it on many picture postcards of Istanbul, in addition to the mosques there are the castles like Rumeli Hisari dating from the Constantinople Empire which is open every day for visitors.
There are also prominent neighborhoods like Emirgan that is well respected for the architecture of its old houses and its green park that during April, it is planted with hundreds of tulips as part of the annual tulip festival.
Bebek on the other hand is well noted for its park but more so, the boutique shops and stalls that make it a shopping haven, another reason to visit the place is for their famous fish restaurants, and waffles.
The Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara is an inner sea, its deepest place is approximately 1260 m in the middle pit at Marmara Ereglisi. In the middle of the Sea of Marmara in the Turkish Straits system of traffic separation strips pass. The traffic separation strip within the Marmara Sea extends from Ahirkapi Lighthouse on Istanbul side to Gelibolu Lighthouse on the Dardanelles side.
The Sea of Marmara connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea thus connecting Turkey’s Asian and European Parts. The sea take its name from Marmara Island, which is rich in marble. The surface salinity of the sea averages about 22 parts per thousand, which is slightly greater than the Black Sea, but only about two-thirds that of most oceans, the sea contains the archipelago of the beautiful prince Islands, Marmara Island, Avşa and Pasalimani. The south coast of the sea includes the Gulf of Izmit, the Gulf of Gemlik, and the Gulf of Erdek.
The Golden Horn
As a natural estuary that connects with the Bosphorus strait at the point where the strait meets the Sea of Marmara, the waters of the Golden Horn help define the northern boundary of the peninsula.
The deep natural harbor provided by the Golden Horn has always been a major economic attraction and strategic military advantage for inhabitants of the area, and the Eastern Roman colonizers that established Nova Roma along its shores, which became Byzantium, Constantinople, and now Istanbul, respectively.
Kanal Istanbul is a Turkish project for the artificial sea-level waterway, which is being built by the Republic of Turkey, connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Kanal Istanbul would bisect the current European side of Istanbul and thus form an island between the continents of Asia and Europe, the aim of this project is to minimize shipping traffic in Istanbul waterways. Fun fact; the project is intended for the 100th anniversary in 2023 of the foundation of the Turkish Republic.