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Istanbul has a very long history and has been known during its existence by a variety of different names (some of which are still in use in some parts of the world) including "Byzantium", "Constantinople", "Tsarigrad" and "Stamboul", although since 1930, the Turkish authorities have requested foreigners to refer to the city as "Istanbul", including in their own languages. In fact, if you were to send a letter to the city using any name other than "Istanbul", you will find that the Turkish postal service will refuse to deliver the letter!
The current city was founded in 324, on the site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium, by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, and intended to become the new capital of the Roman Empire. The city was initially called "Nova Roma" (New Rome), but after Constantine's death in 337 it was renamed "Constantinople" (city of Constantine). The city was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, and later the Byzantine Empire (except for the period from 1204 to 1261, when it was ruled by Western European crusaders as the capital of the Latin Empire of Constantinople). The city remained the capital of the Byzantine Empire until it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 - the city then became the capital of Ottoman Empire, and remained so until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1922.
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