A City of Two Continents

Erdağ Göknar

Istanbul is the only city in the world located in Europe and Asia. In 1923, after 16 centuries, it lost its status as an imperial capital city (of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires) and fell into disregard in an era of secular nationalism.  Nevertheless, from ancient to modern, Istanbul’s cultural legacies have allowed the city to be read as a “palimpsest” — an overwritten, layered text of multiple, even contradictory or concealed, meanings.