Bosporus bŏs´pərəs [key] or Bosphorus–pərəs [key] [Gr.,=ox ford, in reference to the story of Io], Turk. Boğaziçi, strait, c.20 mi (30 km) long and c.2,100 ft (640 m) wide at its narrowest, separating European from Asian Turkey and joining the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. İstanbul straddles the Bosporus. At its narrowest point stand two famous castles: Anadolu Hisar (1390) on the Asian side and Rumeli Hisar (1452) on the European side. With the Dardanelles, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean; it is thought to have been a dry riverbed as recently as 7,600 years ago. The July 15th Martyrs Bridge (formerly the Bosporus Bridge; a suspension bridge) opened in 1973. A second suspension bridge, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, was completed in 1988, a railroad tunnel under the strait opened in 2013, and a third bridge, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, a hybrid cable-stayed suspension bridge, opened in 2016; all are in İstanbul. In 2011 the Turkish government proposed building a canal parallel to the Bosporus to reduce the shipping congestion in the strait.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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