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Biggest Cities once in the Ottoman Empire

Name the most populous modern-day urban areas whose territory was once part of the Ottoman Empire.
Urban-area population according to citypopulation.de, January 2024
Includes territory of vassal states
Quiz by HistoryPunk
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Last updated: March 8, 2024
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First submittedAugust 25, 2016
Times taken39,051
Average score63.2%
Rating4.78
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Population
City
22.5 m
Cairo
15.9 m
Istanbul
7.65 m
Baghdad
6.20 m
Alexandria
6.00 m
Amman
5.15 m
Ankara
4.78 m
Kuwait City
Population
City
4.25 m
Algiers
3.93 m
Jeddah
3.88 m
Damascus
3.68 m
Baku
3.58 m
Athens
3.18 m
Sana'a
Population
City
3.00 m
Izmir
2.95 m
Tel Aviv
2.83 m
Dammam
2.70 m
Tunis
2.60 m
Mecca
2.50 m
Budapest
37 Comments
+28
Level 85
Nov 26, 2018
Has the war reduced Aleppo's population so much that it doesn't make the list??
+14
Level ∞
Nov 26, 2018
Aleppo's population is given as 2.05 million. I'm not sure how much higher it used to be.
+40
Level 85
Nov 26, 2018
It used to be bigger than Damascus.
+1
Level 81
Nov 27, 2018
Casablanca? Didn't the Ottomans once control most of Morocco?
+18
Level 58
Dec 30, 2018
Morocco was actually the only country in North Africa that the Ottomans didn't control, for various reasons.
+3
Level 55
Mar 17, 2024
It was a vassal, but only at very short intervals (e.g. 1554, 1576-1578). I kinda get why these periods of vassalisation were excluded though. Even then, Casablanca was a Portuguese outpost (Casa Branca) and not part of Morocco at the time.
+1
Level 66
Dec 30, 2018
Tel Aviv but no Jerusalem?
+2
Level 44
Dec 30, 2018
I was slightly confused by that as well, but a quick google search reveals the answer. Although you'd think the capital is generally the largest city, in this case it certainly isn't. According to one site, Tel Aviv has 42% of Israel's population!
+9
Level 65
Dec 30, 2018
Only in terms of metro area. Jerusalem has a higher population in terms of city proper. However, this list is based on urban area.
+10
Level 48
Oct 12, 2020
Well, Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.
+7
Level 56
Aug 2, 2021
Jetpunk considers Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel
+5
Level 70
Aug 3, 2021
@Muromets, don't see what grounds there are to oppose the designation Israel itself proclaims. They call it the capital... PM's residence is there... Knesset is there... Maybe admin and many embassies are in Tel Aviv but that hardly outweighs those points, not even close.
+3
Level 58
Aug 4, 2021
@woshiwaiguoren One could argue that in matter of existence of a country or, in the present case, a capital, international recognition is the main criterium. Since most of the countries recognize Tel-Aviv as Israel's capital it could make more sense to do the same in Jetpunk. The fact that the country proclaims itself its existence would be enough to make Palestine or Northern cyprus a country in Jetpunk if we follow this logic (even though I agree there are differences between all these examples).
+1
Level 75
Mar 21, 2024
@Emric, no country consider Tel Aviv as the national capital of Israel. It's just because of the political situation concerning Jerusalem, foreign EMBASSIES are located in Tel Aviv.
+3
Level 63
Aug 12, 2021
@Emric Generally speaking, a country's capital is whatever that country says its capital is. For reasons of political sensitivity a lot of world leaders prefer not to talk about Jerusalem, but it is the official capital of both Israel and Palestine, even if their respective centres of government are Tel Aviv and Ramallah.
+1
Level 71
Mar 8, 2024
An Israeli professor in college once mentioned that Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are only about 45 minutes away and 50 miles apart. Israel isn't a large country to begin with, and even then if you look at a map of it, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem practically next to each other. I don't know much about Israeli geography or how they determine metro areas there, but the area between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is much smaller than the New York or Guangzhou or Tokyo metro areas--so I don't see why they can't be considered the same metro area.
+3
Level 62
Mar 12, 2024
@JWatson24 Because they are not. There are miles of fields and forests in between and an altitude difference of more than 2000 feet. Israel is tiny compared to the US and the term metropolitan area is not so easy to apply, not even to Europe, because it is defined primarily by social, infrastructural and cultural criteria and not just by distance. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are separate cities and urban areas. If you wanted to define them as a metropolitan area purely on the basis of their distance, you would also have to include the Jordanian capital Amman (40 miles from Jerusalem!) and the Palestinian city of Jericho in between. Not a good idea... ;-)
+18
Level 86
Dec 30, 2018
Kept wondering why "Riyadh" wasn't working. Guess the Ottomans weren't that interested in the middle part of the Arabian Peninsula.
+3
Level 64
Mar 8, 2022
Too hot out there
+12
Level 65
Dec 30, 2018
They almost got Vienna....THEN THE WINGED HUSSARS ARRIVED!
+2
Level 56
May 2, 2023
CHARGING DOWN THE MOUNTAINSIDE!
+18
Level 31
Mar 17, 2020
Ahahahaha i found Dammam because i mixed Damascus (Damas in french) and Amman in my mind for a second... What a surprise
+4
Level 74
May 27, 2021
Dammam I missed one, no prizes for which one :/
+4
Level 71
Aug 2, 2021
Looks like he's wearing an onion on his head lol. And yes I know it's a turban for any social justice warriors out there.
+7
Level 52
Aug 2, 2021
Don't you know about Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his grand onion hat?
+1
Level 71
Aug 7, 2021
Lol
+1
Level 49
Aug 2, 2021
Could you accept Constantinople for Istanbul, seeing as that was it's name back then?
+2
Level 79
Aug 20, 2023
It does ask for modern-day urban areas, and it's not called Constantinople now
+1
Level 66
Mar 17, 2024
Yeah, but the quiz is about the Ottoman Empire, so the mindset probably made them think of Constantinople instead
+1
Level 84
Aug 2, 2021
Had to look up Dammam to make sure that it was a real place.
+2
Level 82
Aug 2, 2021
I used to have an apartment there. Pretty sure it's real.
+1
Level 28
Jul 27, 2022
could accept bucarest as bucharest honestly
+1
Level 73
Mar 8, 2024
I find it interesting that only 1.5 of these cities are in Europe. I would have expected more given they controlled all of the Balkan Peninsula, but I guess there aren't many megacities there (at least when compared to West Asia or North Africa).
+1
Level 58
Mar 17, 2024
What about Riyadh?
+2
Level 20
Mar 18, 2024
It wasn't controlled
+1
Level 14
Mar 17, 2024
Why is Constantinople not accepted for Istanbul?
+2
Level 20
Mar 18, 2024
Because Listen to this song

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

- They Might Be Giants