Proposed location: İstanbul, Türkiye 🇹🇷

Proposed location: İstanbul, Türkiye :tr:


Why is Istanbul the best place to host Devcon VII? Convince us :slightly_smiling_face:

Capital to major empires for thousands of years, and a city dividing the continents of Asia and Europe, Istanbul has been a melting pot of, and the bridge between, the West and East, and where history meets modernity. The city and its history also has a place in the blockchain nomenclature because of the Byzantine Generals Problem, and an EVM version is named after it.

Türkiye :tr: has one of the highest crypto adoption rates in the world, with +70% inflation and a rapidly devaluing local currency. The young and thriving population has a positive attitude towards crypto, and is curious about it. There are tens of university blockchain clubs that are active and the driving force of the local crypto community.

Istanbul is an exotic city that everyone wants to spend a couple days in per year. It is extremely well connected with all continents and perfectly located. It is also a main attraction for the populations around the MENA region, where no big conferences or events have been held so far, as well as the Balkans, and recently for people from Ukraine and Russia.

The city has several large conference halls that are centrally located, numerous hotels, and historical venues that would be suitable for side events during the week.


Country and Entry

1. What are the visa restrictions for the country?

Source: https://cdn.madeinturkeytours.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/visa-map-travel-turkey.jpg

2. How easy is the international access?

  • Istanbul has two airports; the biggest one is Istanbul Airport (IST) on the European side. The smaller one is Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW) on the Asian side. Both airports are available for international flights.

  • There are 66 airlines flying to Istanbul from 300 airports, and 117 countries directly around the world, as of June 2022.

  • There are roughly 17,732 flights arriving at Istanbul every month (or 4,137 flights each week), from a total of 300 airports worldwide.

    Resources:

3. What about the safety and political stability of the region?

  • Istanbul is overall much safer than most of the large metropoles such as Paris, London, or Rome; and especially safe if you avoid slums. You would have no reason go to these areas. Being alone in deserted areas late at night, nevertheless, should be avoided. The only common issue you’ll hear about is being ripped off by taxis, for which there are several ways to avoid.

  • A common question asked is if Istanbul is safe for women and if wearing shorts etc. is acceptable. It is safe and dresses are completely fine. People wears whatever they want to wear casually. Still, avoiding walking alone after dark in back streets is recommended.

  • The country experienced the most turbulent political atmosphere during the 2016 failed coup attempt. Since then its stability has improved and still remains relatively stable considering the events in the region and within its neighbors. Free elections are being held with the opposition gaining major municipalities in 2019. Government elections are scheduled for June 2023.

    Political risk map:

    Source: Country Risk Map: country risk rating 2021 | Atradius

    Resources:
    https://www.numbeo.com/crime/in/Istanbul

4. How expensive are venue rentals, accommodation, food, and transport?

  • Compared to other metropolitans worldwide, Istanbul is relatively cheaper.

  • Samples;

    • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant : 4.03 $
    • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course : 17.31 $
    • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) : 0.58 $
    • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) : 0.40 $
    • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center (Month) : 403.51 $
      Resources:
      https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Istanbul
  • Venue Rent for the Istanbul Congress Center

    • Auditorium + 4 Meeting Halls for ~ 5600 pax   ~29.000 EUR+VAT / Day
    • 65 Workshop rooms ~ 20m2 - > 100m2           ~18.000 EUR+VAT / Day
      More details are available upon request.

5. What is the climate during Q3/Q4?

City and Venue

1. How easy is the transportation in the city (between venues, airport, etc.)?

  • Istanbul is not a very walkable city, but the neighborhood of the venue definitely is.
  • Main attractions are well connected with subway, tram, bus, and ferries.
  • Taxis are cheap, using apps (Uber, BiTaksi) is recommended to avoid scams.
  • There are buses and metro connections to the proposed venue.
  • Both airports have connection with public and private transportation (bus, taxi)
    Private buses provide direct transportation from both airports to nearby the venue (To Taksim Square)

2. Are there modern venues (WiFi/Maneuverability/Catering)?

Yes

3. Are there venues with the capacity to host between 5-10k+ people?

Istanbul Congress Center - http://www.iccistanbul.com/

  • Built to host 2009 IMF and World Bank Group Annual Meeting
  • 8 floor and 120.000m2
  • Auditorium with 3705 seats
  • 9 main meeting halls
  • 64 workshop rooms
  • 9.609m2 open terrace area
  • 14.576m2 exhibition center
  • Auditorium + 4 Meeting Halls for ~ 5600 pax is based on just 1 floor.

4. What are attractions in or around the city, and how close are they to the venue?

  • Historical:

    • No need to mention Bosphorus. Just sit on a bench and listen to the seagulls while watching the view.
    • Istanbul served as a capital for almost 1600 years starting from the Byzantine to Ottoman Empire. In Istanbul, you can discover the history layer by layer all around the city. Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Galata Tower, Taksim Square, The Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Maiden’s Tower are just some of them. Historical buildings and modern parts of the city live together.
  • Nature:

    • In the center of Istanbul, there are some big parks to walk, run, picnic, etc. Belgrad Forest, Yıldız Park, and Gülhane Park are the best options to chill and rest in silence.
    • By getting a ferry, you can visit composite islands in the Marmara Sea like Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada…
  • Food:

    • Istanbul is a heaven for gourmets and street food lovers.
    • Traditional Foods: You can find amazing Anatolian dishes, kebaps, and deserts all around the city without searching.
    • Street Foods: Chestnuts, stuffed mussels, fish and bread, döner, and stuffed meatballs are just some parts of the spectacular street food culture of Istanbul.
    • Seafood is a big part of the local dining culture.
  • Entertainment:

    • Kadıköy, and Moda District in the Asian side, and Cihangir district, Beyoğlu, Beşiktaş, and Arnavutköy in the European side have top bars filled with vibrant young people and expats.
    • There are night clubs next to Bosphorus in Ortaköy and Bebek, beach clubs in the Black Sea coast, and larger venues.

    Mini map of some attractions in Istanbul: Google Maps

Ethereum community and Impact

1. How does the Ethereum community look like in this region (e.g.: existing large community/ small but growing rapidly, etc.)?

2. What is the potential of Ethereum to have an impact in that region?

  • The country scores low in overall Internet Freedom and Freedom of Speech. Crypto can serve the means for the population to escape censorship.
  • Privacy and information security awareness is low in the country, this could be one aspect the Ethereum ecosystem can help change.
  • Crypto has already been a way to escape the country’s high inflation and depreciating currency for the population.
  • The city is home to tens of universities including country’s best. There are many talented engineer candidates in the country, who are looking for guidance for their career, many of them are interested in the blockchain topic in general.
  • Recently, the acquisition of a unicorn gaming company paved the way for a flourishing gaming industry and Istanbul became a mobile game development center. Similar to what happened in the gaming industry, we believe Devcon can be a great spark to funnel the existing high percentage of the crypto-user population to the technical side of things and not just trading.

3. How is hosting Devcon in that city benefiting the Ethereum ecosystem?

  • Istanbul is a “center of gravity” in the Balkans and MENA region. No major Ethereum event has taken place around the region yet.
  • Bringing the Ethereum’s main event would attract the younger population and students to the ecosystem and can unlock a huge talent pool.
  • Bringing the event to MENA and Balkans will also attract talent from the region.
  • Istanbul is a top ten visited city and a main tourist attraction. Many potential attendees would want to visit Istanbul once.

Concerns and Downsides

Every location has its pros and cons. It’s important to also consider the potential downsides.

  1. What are possible risks?
    Political instability with incoming elections.
  2. What could be the downsides?
    Transportation in rush hours can get stressful. City is not bikeable.

Additional Information

  • Istanbul is the capital of cats. :cat2: They will enjoy with their new hooman frens.
  • Did we mention Turkish food? :drooling_face:
136 Likes

ISTANBUL is the best location for the next DevCon. Let’s meet in where Europe and Asia meet!

44 Likes

Let’s do it! You mentioned many great things about Istanbul, we’d love to see everyone in this beautiful city <3

25 Likes

It would be fantastic to hold this event at a point where Asia and Europe meet. It is also ideal for DevCon in terms of transportation and lodging. In addition, there is a sizable blockchain community.

24 Likes

Great job on the proposal guys! Appreciate all the hardwork and details. Considering the Russia situation happening in Europe a more impartial country in that regard might end up working out. Also, like it being that Bridge for Asia, Africa and Europe as @aalimsahin mentioned.

23 Likes

Turkey has a huge developer community. We need a Devcon event in İstanbul.

25 Likes

+1 to this. One additional reason: several of Ethereum’s hard forks are named after Istanbul: Byzantium, Constantinople, and, of course, Istanbul. Seems on brand :slight_smile:

30 Likes

+1
growing interest in crypto in this market due to economic conditions and high inflation, large city that can very easily host such an event, many opportunities for side events in various locations, boat parties, etc :slight_smile:

18 Likes

Turkey hosts many developer teams that are affected by the Ukraine-Russia war. Besides developer teams, as mentioned above, there are many developer guilds and student blockchains that are constantly working on organizing meetings, networking days, or online/offline events to spread the blockchain enthusiasm to thousands of people.

Thanks to its location, it is easy to afford a flight from almost every country. Currently, Turkish Airlines flies to 122 countries and 304 destinations all around the world, according to the Wikipedia. It means cheap and direct flights from most countries.

In the web3 space, there are many Turkish or people of Turkish origin at top projects/companies. I am pretty sure that they will help to onboard sponsorships, organize side events (summits, hackathons, etc.), or find keynote speakers.

According to [Backpacker Index] (The Backpacker Index: Europe’s Most (And Least) Affordable Cities), Istanbul is the most affordable city in the world right now.

26 Likes

I believe Istanbul might be the best place for the next Devcon! Already a lot of great input from different community members, and I personally believe that considering the current political situation in the world, especially Russian opposition from US/EU, having Devcon at somewhere neutral to both parties might attract more developers and ideas to the event.

Moreover, as a person who was technically responsible from the first government organized blockchain hackathon event in Turkey (special thanks to @mdt for mentioning it in the post), the will for blockchain adoption from the university students and entrepreneurs in Turkiye doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.

27 Likes

LFG :handshake:

  • Rock-solid developer communities
  • Huge interest in blockchain technologies
  • Geographic advantage of connecting Asia, the Middle East, and Europe
  • Mature startup scene
  • So many sightseeing opportunities and historic landmarks
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Easy or no visa requirements
  • Nightlife
  • Bosphorus (for boat parties :sunglasses:)
28 Likes

We love Istanbul! Istanbul is very suitable because of multicultural

18 Likes

Istanbul would be great point to bridge the Devcon community to each other :earth_africa: :airplane: :heart:

15 Likes

Istanbul is like the best choice :slight_smile:

13 Likes

reply kısmından Istabul is the best choosi

11 Likes

The food in Istanbul is some of the finest in the world. Those turkish folk really know how to eat well!

Plus, around 30% of hackers applying to EthPrague were from Istanbul, so there is a lot of young energy there passionate about decentralisation etc.

15 Likes

It must be definitely Istanbul. In addition, you can visit all the historical places and fun. Participants of Devcon will enjoy in İstanbul

13 Likes

Sounds fantastic to have a DevCon in Istanbul. Huge developer community will connect in the magical city connecting two continent and a lot of different cultures. I really love this idea

10 Likes

It is very important to bring Devcon to developing countries and regions already in the Ethereum community. Turkey is the most ideal of these locations. There are many people who are interested in Ethereum and want to attend a community event.

14 Likes

Logistically Istanbul is the best international destination for Russian developers, especially in the current political climate.

11 Likes