Yes, it is. But only if you’re in Istanbul for 4 days or more, or visiting this gorgeous Turkish metropolitan for the second time. Let’s not beat around the bush, with the huge concentration of (historical) sightseeing spots on the European side of Istanbul, the Asian shore is playing second fiddle to its European counterpart.
If you already have this ‘been there, done that’ feeling, then the Asian part offers a view of Istanbul and its inhabitants not found in Sultanahmet or Taksim. The best way to start exploring the Asian side of Istanbul is by taking a ferry to Kadıköy. Here are my favorite spots worth paying a visit in the different Istanbul!
Anatolia,[a] also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It constitutes the major part of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Turkish Straits to the northwest, the Black Sea to the north, the Armenian Highlands to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the Balkan peninsula of Southeast Europe.
The eastern border of Anatolia has been held to be a line between the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Black Sea, bounded by the Armenian Highlands to the east and Mesopotamia to the southeast. By this definition Anatolia comprises approximately the western two-thirds of the Asian part of Turkey.
Today, Anatolia is sometimes considered to be synonymous with Asian Turkey, thereby including the western part of the Armenian Highlands and northern Mesopotamia and making its eastern and southern borders coterminous with Turkey’s borders.
The ancient Anatolian peoples spoke the now-extinct Anatolian languages of the Indo-European language family, which were largely replaced by the Greek language during classical antiquity as well as during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. The major Anatolian languages included Hittite, Luwian, and Lydian, while other, poorly attested local languages included Phrygian and Mysian. Hurro-Urartian languages were spoken in the southeastern kingdom of Mitanni, while Galatian, a Celtic language, was spoken in Galatia, central Anatolia.
The Turkification of Anatolia began under the rule of the Seljuk Empire in the late 11th century and it continued under the rule of the Ottoman Empire between the late 13th and the early 20th century and it has continued under the rule of today’s Republic of Turkey.
However, various non-Turkic languages continue to be spoken by minorities in Anatolia today, including Kurdish, Neo-Aramaic, Armenian, North Caucasian languages, Laz, Georgian and Greek. Other ancient peoples in the region included Galatians, Hurrians, Assyrians, Hattians, Cimmerians, as well as Ionian, Dorian, and Aeolic Greeks.