Istanbul is Turkey's most populous city, the population is 8,803,468 (city proper) and 10,018,735 (metro area, making it the second largest city in Europe. The city is located on the Bosphorus strait, and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn. Istanbul extends both on the European and on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. Istanbul is also the only city in the world which served as the capital to three different Empires: The Roman Empire (330-395), Byzantine Empire (395-1453) and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1923).
The city has had many names through the years and according to the culture, language and religion of its inhabitants. Byzantium, Constantinople and Stamboul are examples that may still be found in active use.

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The whirling dervish will dance only on beautiful lands.