İstanbul, which is renowned for its rich history and culture got its own internet domain names .istanbul and .ist following the signing of a protocol between the Municipality of Istanbul and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Starting Wednesday, domain names designated for Istanbul will be available, ICANN’s vice president David Olive said, and added that ‘everybody will know Istanbul soon.’

Istanbul mayor Kadir Topbaş also praised the initiative and said that it is an innovative project which will make Istanbul a national brand.

Topbaş noted that the domain names will be available for public institutions after March, followed by organizations and foundations. He added that individual applications will be accepted after May 10.

Istanbul mayor’s personal website has been changed as as a surprise and he said that everyone else who would like to get their own website with .istanbul can do so from now on.

The Municipality of Istanbul signed a protocol with ICANN, The Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers, for the registration of .ist and .istanbul as domain extensions. Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade attended a ceremony yesterday in Istanbul for the signing of the protocol.

Mayor Topbaş said Istanbul was “in a position that can influence the world in many fields” and the municipality is exerting efforts to turn Istanbul into “a hub for everything.” Mentioning that few cities had their own domain names, Topbaş said, “Istanbul’s presence will be felt on the Internet as well.
I believe it is a great opportunity to boost recognition of Istanbul and further expand its role as a financial hub.”He emphasized that the city became the first out of 81 cities in Turkey to have its own domain name.

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade said at the ceremony that Istanbul managed to preserve its past while building its future, unlike other cities. “Istanbul is a unique city and imitated by others. It will now have more (online) visibility and websites will benefit from those new domain names,” he said.