Istanbul rests in the Marmara, or northwestern, region of Turkey, at the connecting point between Asia and Europe. As of 2014, Istanbul is the second-largest city in the world by population within its city limits, with an estimated population of more than 14 million.
While Ankara is the present-day capital of Turkey, Istanbul historically served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. The only water route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean runs through Istanbul, which boasts one of the largest and fastest-growing world economies. With more than 10 million annual visitors to the city, Istanbul is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.