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Turkey's economic, cultural and historic center and a world metropolis

Place.png Istanbul

Istanbul, historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center (but not capital). The city straddles the highly strategic Bosphorus strait, and lies in both Europe and Asia, with a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey. Istanbul had the eleventh-largest economy among the world's urban areas in 2018, and is responsible for 30 percent of Turkey's industrial output, 31 percent of GDP, and 47 percent of tax revenues.

Politically, Istanbul is seen as the most important administrative region in Turkey. Many politicians, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are of the view that a political party's performance in Istanbul is more significant than its general performance overall. This is due to the city's role as Turkey's financial center, its large electorate and the fact that Erdoğan himself was elected Mayor of Istanbul in 1994.

The city has long been a center for significant intelligence activities, from the hectic days of the Cold War to being base for British intelligence services' propaganda effort for the war in Syria, the White Helmets.



2016 Istanbul airport attack
Bilderberg/2007The 55th Bilderberg meeting, held in Turkey
Le Cercle/1998 (Istanbul)Other dates uncertain


Groups Headquartered Here

A Group Headquartered HereDescription
Boğaziçi UniversityTurkish elite university with strong ties to the American educational system.
Global Relations ForumTurkish think tank founded by the Koç family and dominated by corporate interests.
Istanbul Bilgi UniversityA private university located in Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul Technical UniversityMany of the graduates take role in the development of Turkey.
Kadir Has UniversityEstablished in 1997 by billionaire Kadir Has
Kadıköy Maarif CollegePrestigious high school in Istanbul
Koç HoldingThe largest industrial conglomerate in Turkey,
Marmara UniversityA leading institution of higher education in Turkey for 124 years
Robert CollegeA long established school with many Turkish Bilderbergers among its alumni.
Sabancı UniversityFounded under the guidance of the Sabancı family, with Bilderberg connections.
TurkeyTurkey is a nation state at the south east corner of Europe.
Turkish Industry and Business AssociationPossible deep state milieu, under suspicion because it so well represented at the Bilderberg. Identifies with Western interests.
Yildiz Technical UniversityTurkish engineering school