Occupying both sides of the Bosporus Strait, the important seaway that joins the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, Istanbul is partly in Europe and partly in Asia. The strategic importance of its location has made the city one of the longest-inhabited areas in the world. It has a huge wealth of important historical sites from the Roman, Byzantine, and early Muslim periods. Today, it is the largest and most economically dynamic city in Turkey. With a large practicing Muslim population and a history of secularism, Istanbul is a city constantly balancing the pull of its religious leaders with the political and economic needs of its population. Although the city is situated on a geological fault line and a major earthquake is always possible, the continuous construction of bridges and tunnels provides much-needed links between the two sides of the city. An essential introduction to a fascinating place, \"Istanbul\" presents vital insights into this remarkable city\'s people, economy, and culture.
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