Megacities Summit, which is scheduled to be held in Istanbul on the 8th of October, will be the first of its kind. Mayors and accompanying delegations representing megacities will convene together to discuss some of the pressing issues our increasingly urban world faces. The main
theme of the Summit will be “Sustainable Finance for Affordable City Services.” Alongside an informative talk given on the alternative futures of megacities, an open floor session will be facilitated, where representatives will speak freely on the specific challenges and hold a
discussion on the ways of possible collaboration. Mayors and delegates will be the guests of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and will become
very well acquainted with the Türkiye’s acclaimed hospitality culture. A cultural programme and a gala dinner to taste the exquisite Turkish cuisine will be organized in the evening of the 7th of October. The day-long Megacities Summit will end with an unforgettable Bosphorus Cruise on the 8th of October.
All delegates attending the Megacities Summit in Istanbul must complete their registration through the registration page on the website. Please click on the following link:
The deadline for registration is September 8, 2023.
A confirmation email will be sent to your registered email address within 24 hours after completing your registration. In case you do not receive the e-mail, please contact us via the contact information below:
Tel: +90 212 455 21 91 / 92 E-mail: [email protected]
Any press joining the delegation on this trip, should register via the form below:
Being the only metropolis of the world located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul enjoys being a unique gateway between East and West. With 16 million inhabitants, Istanbul is Europe’s largest metropolis.
Separated by the Bosphorus, a natural wonder subject to many mythological stories, Istanbul is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the planet with a human settlement history dating back to 8500 years.
Home to numerous civilizations, this bustling megacity has been the capital city of three world empires for about 1600 years. So it is no wonder that for centuries it has been called the “Queen of Cities” and it ranks amongst the most awe-inspiring cities of the world.
As a financial, cultural, and touristic hub, Istanbul remains to be the most important city of Türkiye and its region. As a heralder of heritage, the city offers numerous attractions for culture enthusiasts. The iconic Hagia Sophia, stunning Blue Mosque, breathtaking Basilica Cistern and a shopper’s paradise, the Grand Bazaar, are only a few examples of the city’s abundant iconic sites. Since 1985 parts of the old city have been inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city continues to carry its historic role of being a center for international relations to the future. Today, Istanbul is home to around 80 diplomatic missions and representation offices of numerous regional and international organizations.
With a layered cultural heritage, this urban sprawl spread over two continents is forever vibrant and changing. As a custodian of centuries worth of heritage, and a historically deep-rooted function of being a city, Istanbul is truly one of a kind.
“Istanbul, the timeless city”
Feshane-i Amire is one of Istanbul’s most significant industrial heritage sights. Initially Feshane was a fez-making workshop in Fatih’s Kadırga district. Between its founding in 1827 until its relocation, it solely produced fez for the army and the general population using traditional techniques. When it was moved to Eyüp’s Beyhan Sultan Palace in 1833, Feshane diversified its production line and began manufacturing several textile items, including chuha, dress fabrics, upholstery fabrics, military boots, buttons, prayer rugs, carpets, and rugs. In 1843, Feshane purchased new machinery from Europe and grew into a substantial weaving facility employing the first steam engines of its time.
In 1866 a fire broke out in the facility and Feshane lost everything except its steam engine. It was rebuilt two years later and equipped with the latest machinery. During the 1877-78 Ottoman-Russian War (93 War), the factory was placed under the command of Bab-ı Seraskeri and the building, which was named “Fes ve Melbusat-ı Askeriye Fabrikası” (Fez and Military Uniforms Factory), remained under military administration until 1921. Feshane was also home to “Sanayi Sıbyan Mektebi,” a craftsmanship school which was incorporated into the building in 1896. The school trained students by providing practical skills as well as weaving lessons. After the Turkish Republic was founded Feshane changed hands several times before it was transferred to the Istanbul Municipality in 1985.
As part of the reorganization project around the Golden Horn in 1986, most of Feshane was demolished with the exception of the large weaving hall and its garment department was moved to the Bakırköy Cotton Industry Enterprise. In 1989, the custody of the historical site was given to the Eczacıbaşı Foundation, which restored the space. Feshane’s latest transformation into ArtFeshane was a three-year-long cultural project spearheaded by IBB Miras. Between 2020 and 2023 the building was renovated and tailored to be repurposed into an arts and culture center for Istanbullites.
Istanbul is home to two international airports.
Istanbul Airport (IST) operates on the European side of Istanbul, while Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) operates on the Asian side.
There are direct flights from and to both airports from many destinations around the world.
Please visit the website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the link below) for visa requirements.
Dress code for all meetings is formal business attire except the optional Bosphorus Cruise in the evening of the 8th of October. For the Bosphorus Cruise dress code is smart casual.
In general autumn in Istanbul is warm, though the amount and frequency of precipitation grows with progression of the season. September is completely warm with a daily range of temperatures between 16 °C (61 °F) and 25 °C (77 °F). Even the sea is warm enough to swim in.
Gradual cooling results in the drop of the daily temperature to a range of 12-19 °C (53-66 °F) in October and to 9-14 °C (48-57 °F) in November. The sea cools below comfortable temperature in October and the daily amount of sunshine reduces too.
Sultanahmet Square is considered to be the heart of the historical peninsula of Istanbul. It previously served as a circus, a hippodrome, and the city’s sporting and social center. During the Ottoman era the square was referred to as “Horse Square” (At Meydanı in Turkish.) Today it is surrounded by the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque), Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (Former Palace of Ibrahim Pasha).
It is also the permanent home of the Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpent Column and the German Fountain, a present by German Emperor Wilhelm II and placed in the square in 1901.
Located adjacent to the square used to be the Imperial residence of Byzantine emperors known as “Mega Palation” or the Great Palace. This historical location is also the starting point of Divan Yolu, a former Protocol Road called Mese during the Byzantine era, and it is in the immediate vicinity of Basilica Cistern and Hagia Sophia Mosque, which are among the landmarks of the city.
The Square, which is the tourist hotspot of Istanbul has been a gathering place for İstanbulites throughout history.
Topkapı Palace is located on a hilltop in probably the oldest inhabited district of Istanbul. It has a panoramic view over the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. The building is accepted as one of the iconic structures of Istanbul and is part of the formative buildings of the city’s famous historical silhouette.
The construction of the Topkapı Palace started in 1460 at the request of Fatih Sultan Mehmet and it was completed in 1478. However, until the 19th century additional structures were added to the Palace. Topkapı Palace lies over an area of 700 thousand square meters on the former Roman acropolis.
It was the administrative, educational and artistic center of the empire for approximately four hundred years as well as the residence of the dynasty till the reign of Sultan Abdülmecid in the mid-19th century. Although Topkapı Palace was gradually abandoned as the dynasty moved to Dolmabahçe Palace, it preserved its historical importance and value.
After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the Palace was converted into a museum in 1924. Today, Topkapı Palace is one of the largest palace-museums in the world with its buildings, architecture, collections and approximately 300,000 archive documents.
The Basilica Cistern Museum is one of the most important cultural assets of Istanbul, and a testament to Istanbul’s rich historical heritage.
This grand underground cistern, built by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I (527-565), is nicknamed Yerebatan Sarayı (Sunken Palace) among the public due to its numerous marble columns rising from the water. It is also known as Bazilika Sarnıcı (Basilica Cistern) by some, as it was built on the site of the former Stoa Basilica.
According to written sources, the cistern used to distribute water from waterways and rain to the Great Palace, where the emperors resided, and the surrounding buildings, meeting the city’s water needs for hundreds of years. It also received water from the historical Hadrianus Aqueduct.
Inside the cistern, there are 336 columns, each with a height of 9 meters. These columns are erected at 4.80-meter intervals, forming 12 rows, each containing 28 columns. Carved from various types of marble, most of the columns consist of a single piece, while some are composed of two parts.
The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı in Turkish translating as covered bazaar) is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It is still quite popular among locals and tourists visiting it from every corner of the globe. More than 90 million people visit the Bazaar every year.
The history of the Bazaar goes back to 1461 when it was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet to bring revenues to support the maintenance of Hagia Sophia and make Istanbul the trading center of the Empire.
The Bazaar expanded over time to reach its limits today. It sits on more than 30 thousand square meters of land covering 61 streets, and more than 4000 shops.
Grand Bazaar is known for selling spices, jewelry, silk, pottery, leather, copperware, antiques and carpets. It is almost impossible to leave this market without buying a souvenir of Türkiye.
The maze-like complex is a pleasure to explore and even to get lost in. Visitors who wish to shop should test their bargaining skills to make their experience here even more memorable.