Istanbul is a transcontinental city straddling two continents by its inland sea Marmara. The city is divided into four regions and has a natural harbor, the Golden Horn. One of the world’s busiest waterways, the Bosphorus, is situated in northwestern Türkiye between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Connecting the two seas, Bosphorus also separates Istanbul to two sides known as European side and Asian side.
Istanbul is the largest populated city of Türkiye with a population of 15.1 million. As one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe, Istanbul is one of the world’s largest cities by population. Istanbul has 39 districts administered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The city boundaries cover a surface area of 1830 square kilometers (707 mi²) and Istanbul Province covers 6220 square kilometers (2402 mi²).
Istanbul is the financial capital of Türkiye because of its strategical location. The city generates almost 40 percent of Türkiye’s GDP and its annual contribution to the state budget is about 40 percent. As the country’s largest industrial center, approximately 20 percent of the country’s industrial labor is employed in Istanbul. Some of the city’s main industrial products are food processing, textile production, oil products and alcoholic drinks. Istanbul is also the most important export gate of Türkiye with respectively 36% of Türkiye’s total exportation activity.
Türkiye is a secular and democratic republic with presidential elections once every five years. The country’s political system is based on a separation of powers; executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers while legislative power by the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye.
Istanbul’s public and private hospitals, clinics and medical research centers are mostly equipped with high technology equipment. Consequently, the city receives patients with lower income from some of the European countries like United Kingdom and Germany. Most of the prive hospitals work with various insurance companies and some foreign health insurance coverage can be used in health institutions.