The strategically crucial Eurasian city now called Istanbul (population: 13 million, and growing by 700,000 a year) has had its share of upheaval over the centuries. It was conquered by Alexander the Great, torched by a vengeful Roman emperor, attacked by armies of the Islamic and Bulgarian empires, sacked by Crusaders, and overwhelmed by the Ottoman hordes of Sultan Mehmet II. All that happened before 1453; there's no point even talking about the Crimean War, the Turks' fateful decision to side with Germany in World War I, or the massive earthquake that devastated a huge area east of... More >>>