They lived in both the Anatolian and European sides of the city. They were nomadic or semi nomadic. They later established a stable life based on fishing, agriculture and cattle growing. For example, Fikirtepe research has discovered that dogs, sheep, goats, cows and pigs were domesticated and that fishing was done as early as 6000 BC. Some tombs and stone tools were found during these excavations.
Istanbul became very populated residence around 3000 BC. Some small town governments were established during that period of time. Researches have shown that today’s Sultanahmet square and its surroundings were main residential areas at that time.
The Conquest of Istanbul
Preparation for the conquest of Istanbul started only one year ahead. Huge cannons that were necessary for the siege were moulded. In 1452, Rumeli Castle was constructed to control the Bosphorus. A mighty fleet of 16 galleries was formed. The number of the soldiers were doubled. The supply routes to Byzantine were taken under control. An agreement was made with Genoese to keep Galata impartial during the war. In April 1453, the first Ottoman frontier forces were seen in front of Istanbul. The siege was starting. Turkish forces entered from every direction and crushed the Byzantine defence completely. Towards noon Sultan Mehmed entered the city, he had a new name then : Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. He went directly to Hagia Sophia Church and converted it to mosque. On a finger of land at the confluence of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara stands the Topkapý Palace, that maze of buildings that was the focal point of the Ottoman Empire between the l5thand l9th centuries. In these opulent surroundings the sultans and their court live dand governed. A magnificent wooded garden fills the outer, or first, court. In the second court, on the right, shaded by cypress and plane trees, stand the palace kitchens, which now serve as galleries exhibiting the imperial collections of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain. To the left is the Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines, and children of the sultan, charming visitors with echoes of centuries of intrigue. Today the third court holds the Hall of Audience, the Library of Ahmet III, an exhibition of imperial costumes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the treasury and a priceless collection of miniatures from medieval manuscripts. In the center of this innermost sanctuary, the Pavilion of the Holy Mantle enshrines the relics of the Prophet Muhammed brought to Istanbul when the Ottomans assumed the caliphate of Islam.