Bridging Asia and Europe, Istanbul blends ancient treasure with cutting-edge urban culture. Contrasts permeate the city, creating a complexity as rich as the aromas that waft through it's spice markets. Women wearing miniskirts and low-cut tops walk side by side with women hidden behind black chadors. Peasants fresh from rural Turkey struggle to maintain the intimacy of village life while living in the shadows of skyscrapers teeming with ambitious young Turks. And five times a day muezzins call the faithful to prayer from minarets throughout the city. Yet every weekend after midnight the heart of Istanbul throbs with a nightlife as lively as any city in the West.
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