It’s Istanbul, Not Constantinople

By | February 28, 2019

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Suleymaniye Mosque is seen at sunset on February 16, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. Source: (

When The Four Lads released their catchy Top Ten hit, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)” in 1953, they were making a humorous jab at the 1930 declaration by the Turkish city to officially drop its ancient name in favor of the current one. It is not really fair to say that the city adopted a new name. The city just finally settled on one name. Here is how Constantinople became Istanbul. 

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The Four Lads sang "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" in 1953. Source: (

Istanbul is in an Important Strategic Location

The city of Istanbul is located on either side of the Bosporus, the narrow strait between Europe and Aisa, making it strategically important. The ancient Greeks established a trading outpost there call Lygos, that thrived for nearly a millennium beginning from around 660 BCE. It grew to be a large city and trade center for goods from Asia, North Africa, and across Europe.