The Bosphorus Bridge (Boğaziçi Köprüsü), known officially as the July 15 Martyrs Bridge (15 Temmuz Şehitler Köprüsü) and colloquially as the First Bridge (Birinci Köprü), is the southernmost of the three suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait (Boğaziçi) in Istanbul, Turkey, thus connecting Europe and Asia (alongside Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge).

The bridge extends between Ortaköy (in Europe) and Beylerbeyi (in Asia).

The Bosphorus Bridge provides uninterrupted land transportation between the city’s two sides, together with the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and the Eurasia Tunnel, which were built later. The bridge, whose construction started on February 20, 1970, was put into service with a state ceremony by the then president Fahri Korutürk, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, on October 30, 1973. It was the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world when its construction was completed. Currently, the Bosphorus Bridge has the 40th-longest suspension bridge span in the world.

On July 26, 2016, the official name of the bridge was changed to July 15, Martyrs Bridge, in memory of the citizens who lost their lives on the bridge during the 2016 Turkish military coup attempt.

The bridge highway is eight lanes wide. Three standard lanes, one emergency lane and one pedestrian lane, serve each direction. On weekday mornings, most commuter traffic flows westbound to Europe, so four of the six lanes run westbound and only two eastbound. Conversely, on weekday evenings, four lanes are dedicated to eastbound traffic and two lanes to westbound traffic.

For the first three years, pedestrians could walk over the bridge, reaching it with elevators inside the towers on both sides. No pedestrians or commercial vehicles, such as trucks, can use the bridge today.

Today, around 180,000 vehicles pass daily in both directions, with almost 85% being cars. On December 29 1997, the one-billionth vehicle passed the bridge. Fully loaded, the bridge sags about 90 cm (35 in) in the middle of the span.

It is a toll bridge. A toll is charged for passing from Europe to Asia but not for passing in the reverse direction.


  • Design: Suspension bridge
  • Material: Steel
  • Total length: 1,560 m (5,118 ft)
  • Width: 33.40 m (110 ft)
  • Height: 165 m (541 ft)
  • Longest span: 1,074 m (3,524 ft)
  • Clearance below: 64 m (210 ft)


  • Designers: Gilbert Roberts, William Brown, Michael Parsons
  • Engineering design by Freeman Fox & Partners, Enka Construction & Industry, Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company, Hochtief AG
  • Construction start: 20 February 1970
  • Construction end: 1 June 1973
  • Opened: 30 October 1973
Read more: Interesting places in the Pyrenees and around with Jane Cautch ...