Turkish footballer stirs outcry after calling Istanbul ‘Constantinople’
Ankaragücü footballer Kenan Özer (R)
“The conquest of Constantinople has been successfully completed. Thanks [God],” Ankaragücü’s left-winger Kenan Özer said on his Instagram account hours after his team beat Fenerbahçe 3-1 in Istanbul on Oct. 28.
Following an avalanche of nationalist outbursts, the 31-year-old footballer switched his public account to private.
Since it has been the capital of three civilizations in the past thousands of years, Turkey’s largest city has had a rich history and several names.
It was Lygos to the Thracians and then became Byzantium in Ancient Greek times.
Roman Emperor Constantine the Great named the capital after himself in 330 A.D. when he made the city the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire.
Konstantiniyye was the most popular name of the city during the Ottoman Empire until the advent of the Republic of Turkey, when it officially became Istanbul.
Turks also used many other names in past centuries including Islambol (Full of Islam), Der-i Saadet (Abode of Felicity), Payitaht (Capital City) and Asitane (Threshold).
Throughout history, other nations have also had special names for Istanbul, including the Slavic name Tsargrad (City of the Caesar), Miklagard (the Great City) as the Vikings referred to it and Rumiyyat al-Kubra (the Great City of the Romans) as the Arabs referred to it, along with many others.