There is no doubt Istanbul and London are the most popular cities in the world. These cities offer lots of opportunities to their settlement such as historical, cultural and entertainment opportunities. That`s why more than ten millions people choose to live there. A comparison of different features of Istanbul and London reveals several similarities like historical background, cultural and educational opportunities but many differences such as living costs and population.
A major similarity between Istanbul and London is historical features. At first glance, if anyone takes a walk around these cities, he or she will be able to see undoubtedly a great number of historical places. First of all, I would like to begin with their establishment dates. In 5000 BC Istanbul was established by Byzas, who was a Greek colonist; similarly London was founded in 100BC by the Romans. For these reasons Istanbul and London have different exciting palaces, government buildings, mosques and cathedrals. Two examples of these palaces are Topkapı Palace in Istanbul and Buckingham Palace in London. These two buildings were the center of government of the states. Besides of palaces for instance, Istanbul has Sultan Ahmet Mosque, which is called the “blue mosque” in western countries, also London has St Paul`s Cathedral, which is an Anglican Cathedral. Both sacred places are very popular and every year million of tourists do not leave the cities without visiting these places. Moreover Istanbul was one of the oldest capital cities in history of respectively, the Ottoman Empire for almost six hundred years and the Byzantine Empire (other name eastern Roman Empire) for nearly one thousand years.
Another obvious similarity between Istanbul and London is cultural and educational opportunities. Thanks to their historical traditions the two cities have lots of cultural occasions. For example, national and international exhibitions, a great number of theaters are located in there. These cities not only have cultural opportunities but also they have educational opportunities like universities, lots of institutes, education associations. London has 43 universities while Istanbul has 44 universities. This can be explaining why I have such an opinion. Furthermore the most important and unique libraries are located in these cities such as the British Library in London, and the Süleymaniye Manuscripts Library in Istanbul. Hence many academicians come to study at these places from all over the world.
Despite these similarities there are also several differences between Istanbul and London. The primary difference is living costs. According to the latest Cost of Living Survey from Mercer, London is in seventeenth (17th) position in the rankings; in contrast, Istanbul is forty-fourth (44). The survey covers 214 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. Moreover, London has lots of taxes such as road tax. If you want to use your car in central London a peak time you have to pay almost £15. On the other hand in Istanbul you can drive wherever you want without tax or any fee. Another example why living costs of London are higher than Istanbul is accommodation fees.
A final major difference between Istanbul and London is the population. London`s population has nearly ten million while Istanbul has almost twenty million. In brief, living costs and population seem to be two of the differences between Istanbul and London.
All in all there are not only similarities but also differences between Istanbul and London. As far as I am concerned, both cities are the most popular cities in the world and they will probably continue forever because of their potential opportunities and historical heritage.
*This essay was written in London while studying English.