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Istanbul is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling the Bosporus Strait (which separates Europe and Asia) between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here.
It is the commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives on the Asian side. With a total population of around 15 million residents, Istanbul is one of the world's most populous cities, ranking as the world's fourth-largest city proper and the largest European city. Istanbul is viewed as a bridge between the East and West.
Approximately 12.56 million foreign visitors arrived in Istanbul in 2015, five years after it was named a European Capital of Culture, making the city the world's fifth most popular tourist destination. The city's biggest attraction is its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its cultural and entertainment hub is across the city's natural harbor, the Golden Horn, in the Beyoğlu district. Considered a global city, Istanbul has one of the fastest-growing metropolitan economies in the world.