Number of foreign visitors to Turkey decreases by 8.1 pct in April

The number of foreign people visiting Turkey decreased by 8.1 percent in April from the same months of the previous year, according to data from the Tourism Ministry. 

"The number of foreign visitors decreased to 2.43 million in April, an 8.1 percent decrease from the same period of 2014, upon the temporary figures of the Turkish National Police," said the ministry on May 27. 

Hundreds of Turks demand that the Hagia Sophia be turned into mosque

A large rally was held in Istanbul on Sunday, with hundreds of Turks demanding that the Hagia Sophia cathedral be turned into a mosque. The rally was held by “NGOs” in the Sultanahmet district, where the one-time pre-eminent Orthodox cathedral has been turned into a museum since 1935.


Hundreds call for Hagia Sophia to be converted into mosque in Istanbul rally

Hundreds of people demanded that the historic Istanbul Hagia Sophia museum be converted into a mosque during a rally in Istanbul on May 24.

People gathered outside Istanbul's Hagia Sophia, in the historical Sultanahmet district, with some carrying signs that read: "Hagia Sophia needs to be reopened as a mosque," and "Let our lives be sacrificed for Islam."

Odd angle

Expect the unexpected! This can be the new catchphrase of Istanbul these days. Every other day we hear of a new place opening in an unusual corner of the city; there seems to be more and more facets of this ever-changing town to explore. 

Byzantine Thessaloniki highlighted, explored

The fourth issue of MUSA, the quarterly cultural review produced by the press and communication office of the Greek embassy in WashingtonD.C., highlights Byzantine Thessaloniki in its current edition.

Considered the “second capital” of Byzantium after imperial Constantinople, Thessaloniki today retains numerous monuments of the 1,000-year Eastern Christian empire.

Istanbul's main airport improves traffic record

Atatürk Airport in Istanbul broke its air traffic record on May 14 when a total of 1,375 planes took off and landed.

Landings and take-offs from Istanbul's main airport increase as summer season opens.

Do?an News Agency reported on May 16 that the latest record came as the efforts to expand Atatürk Airport continued.

Why are you in Istanbul?

People have different reasons to be in Istanbul. Some were born here, some came to the big city to study, some are desperate to leave, some are sorry to leave. Why are we here, really? This is the answer of a young man: "I am from a village on outskirts of Istanbul. My family lives in a place very far from downtown, in a village 50 kilometers away from Çatalca.