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Published on Jan 30, 2006
The signs of first communal settlements in Istanbul and its surroundings date back to long years ago. While the first traces extend back to 6. Century B.C., it was discovered by research that some communities have lived in both Anatolian and European side of Istanbul. These first habitants had first lived as nomads and semi-nomads. Then they adopted a communal way of life based on fishing, agriculture and cattle breeding. Especially in researches in Fikirtepe, it was found out that back in year 6000 B.C, animals such as dogs, goats, cattle and pigs were domesticated and the habitants took up fishing. In the advent of 3000 B.C., there is an intense settlement activity starting in Istanbul. This period enabled the arising of small governed city units (beylik). Researches reveal that Sultanahmet Square of today and its surroundings had been center to a major settlement.
Istanbul... The main reason of Istanbul's being a very popular city for which wars are made, lives are lost is its geographical location... Let's review this location first: In its south stretches Marmara Sea and in its north is Black Sea. Its west part is in Europe and east part is in Asia. The important waterline dividing Istanbul into two is the Bosphorus... The only alternative to reach the Aegean Sea and the Meditteranean Sea, therefore to open sea is to use Istanbul and the the Bosphorus... Istanbul is both the nearest Asian city to Europe and the nearest European city to Asia. What adds to Istanbul's significance is its being a port city and all trade paths' passing through the city for thousands of years... Another important feature of Istanbul is that it has a highly sheltered structure. Especially the center which is presently called as the "historical peninsula", which was made capital city by both Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and its being located on a hill surrounded by three seas made it almost impossible to be conquered... Indeed, Haliç had the quality of being an unparalleled harbour sheltering navy fleets.