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View Poll Results: Culture of Istanbul: European or Middle Eastern?
The culture of Istanbul is European. 6 9.38%
The culture of Istanbul favors European, but has traces of Middle Eastern. 9 14.06%
The culture of Istanbul is a 50% split between European and Middle Eastern. 12 18.75%
The culture of Istanbul is Middle Eastern. 16 25.00%
The culture of Istanbul favors Middle Eastern, but has traces of European. 21 32.81%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:35 AM
 
324 posts, read 583,264 times
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Istanbul is located on the western side of Turkey and is labeled a "world class city" by experts. The Bosphorus Bridge connects two continents, which combines cultures for a unique experience. Do you believe Istanbul favors European or Middle Eastern culture?
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: LA, US / Malmo, SWE
314 posts, read 764,436 times
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They're muslims and defenatly has Middle Eastern culture.
I would say the city is not like Baghdad or Kabul, more like Cairo or the northern african cities.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,502,634 times
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Ah, Constantinople! Even though it's not necessarily as important as cities like New York, London, or Tokyo, it certainly matches them in beauty. However, one thing I haven't spent too much time thinking about is the cultural make-up of the city. Very interesting thread!

I know religiously, the city is majority Islamic but it's quite diversified with a variety of Christian sects and a sizable Jewish population too. However, while religiously it could be considered to be more Middle Eastern, culturally it has many Western leanings. According to its Wiki article, "Medical tourism" is quite popular in Istanbul...and it is considered to be one of the European capitals for plastic surgery. Vanity like that is something I would imagine most Middle Eastern cultures would frown upon. Istanbul is also supposed to have a pretty wild nightlife.

Architecturally, Istanbul is quite unique. It blends European and Middle Eastern styles (with probably a stronger lean towards the latter), which results in a unique style that I find to be beautiful. I think this is a good example:

Thanks
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Waterfront_houses_on_the_Bosphorus.jpg/800px-Waterfront_houses_on_the_Bosphorus.jpg (broken link)
These homes are quite unique since they have Mediterranean style, European style (look at the cool tropical Tudor on the right), and Middle Eastern style (the red-roofed triple decker three houses from the left has what looks like an Islamic-style molded top balcony).

So overall, I would say Istanbul does a fantastic job balancing Western and Middle Eastern style and culture...I think it's a 50/50 split between the two.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Brighton, England
3,717 posts, read 4,376,353 times
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its middle eastern.
basically i think turkey shoudnt be considered european at all.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:27 PM
 
12,683 posts, read 14,063,903 times
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Since "Middle Eastern" is usually synonymous with "Arab," Istanbul and Turkey cannot be reasonably characterized as Middle Eastern.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Houston
3,567 posts, read 3,998,325 times
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It is NOT European, at all. Anybody who has been to both places can't be serious about this. It's simply not as bad as other cities in the Middle East.
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Long Beach
2,348 posts, read 2,424,941 times
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Istanbul is European, hands down. Middle Eastern asserts "Arab"
The Turkish people are not arab, they come from the Steppes of Asia.

Istanbul was Constantinople first...a Greek city--capital of the Byzantine (Greek) Empire. In fact the name of the city I believe was only changed in the 1930's by Ataturk.

So what happens in modern Turkey, there is a blending of Euro cultures (Greek--Mediterranean) and Islamic (not arabic...major major difference).
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:04 PM
 
1,269 posts, read 3,415,619 times
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Istanbul's architecture is blessed with the influence of both Roman/Byzantine (one millennium) and Ottoman (approx 6 centuries to date)

Is it worth taking the Orient Express to Strasbourg?
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:31 AM
 
223 posts, read 132,296 times
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I love Istanbul. It's one of my favorite cities in the world.

It's got a distinct blending of both Ottoman and European cultures.
The architecture is a mix, the culture is neither/both.

Ah, what a city.
Now I'm got an ear worm: They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople) on Vimeo
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:16 AM
 
12,683 posts, read 14,063,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntieMame View Post
...Ah, what a city.
Now I'm got an ear worm: They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople) on Vimeo
Oh thanks You had to share that, right?

Now we'll all have it.

Those things are like the flu, man: stay home alone till you're better.
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