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The Bosphorus or Bosporus, Turkish: Boğaziçi, Greek: Βόσπορος, Vosporos, Bulgarian: Босфора, Bosfora), also known as the Istanbul Strait (Turkish: İstanbul Boğazı), is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with the Dardanelles. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (which is connected by the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea, and thereby to the Mediterranean Sea).
As part of the only passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Bosporus has always been of great commercial and strategic importance. The Greek city-state of Athens in the 5th century BC, which was dependent on grain imports from Scythia, maintained critical alliances with cities which controlled the straits, such as the Megarian colony Byzantium.
Persian King Darius I the Great, in an attempt to subdue the Scythian horseman north of Black sea, crossed over at the Bosphorus, then marching up to the Danube. His army crossed the Bosphorus over an enormous bridge made by connecting Achaemenid boats. This bridge essentially, connected the farthest most geographic tip of Asia, to Europe, encompasing at least some 1000 meters of open water if not more. Years later, a similar boat bridge would be constructed by Xerxes I, in his invasion of Greece.
The strategic significance of the strait was one of the factors in the decision of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great to found there in AD 330 his new capital, Constantinople, which came to be known as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. On 29 May 1453 it was conquered by the emerging Ottoman Empire. In fact, as the Ottoman Turks closed in on Istanbul, they constructed a fortification on each side of the strait, Anadoluhisarı (1393) and Rumelihisarı (1451)
The strategic importance of the Bosphorus remains high, and control over it has been an objective of a number of hostilities in modern history, notably the Russo–Turkish War, 1877–1878, as well as of the attack of the Allied Powers on the Dardanelles during the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli in the course of World War I.
The shores of the strait are heavily populated as the city of Istanbul with a metropolitan area in excess of 15 million inhabitants.
The Bosphorus Panoramic View and Yeni (New) Mosque. The Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comBosphorus by Night. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comBosphorus by Night and the Yeni (New) Mosque seen from Galata Bridge. The Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comBosphorus by Night and the Yeni (New) Mosque seen from Galata Bridge. The Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comFishermen on the Galata Bridge. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comFishermen on the Galata Bridge. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View and Yeni (New) Mosque. The Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View and Yeni (New) Mosque. The Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View and Yeni (New) Mosque. The Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View and Yeni (New) Mosque. The Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus Panoramic View. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comThe Bosphorus. Istanbul. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.comIstanbul People, Streets, Shops and Bazars. Turkey 2011© Nora de Angelli / www.noraphotos.com

Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Middle East
Subcategory Detail:Turkey
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