In a statement to mark the anniversary of the conquest by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “Istanbul, which had been a capital for different states and cultures since its foundation, has become the center of peaceful coexistence and tolerance under the fair rule of Fatih Sultan Mehmed [also known as Mehmed the Conqueror].”

“The conquest of Istanbul, which is regarded as one of the most important milestones of world history in terms of its social, cultural and political consequences, is a victory full of lessons for us and for all humanity,” Erdogan said.

In addition, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim issued a statement to mark the anniversary of Istanbul's conquest.

“The conquest of Istanbul has set a new direction for the world history in terms of political, social and cultural consequences,” Yildirim said.

On May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmed II conquered Istanbul, then called Constantinople, from where the Byzantines had ruled the Eastern Roman Empire for more than 1,000 years.

The conquest transformed the city, once the heart of the Byzantine realm, into the capital of the new Ottoman Empire.

Anadolu Agency