EDITOR’S NOTE: The infamous Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” And I wholeheartedly agree. There are few cities on this globe that possess truly remarkable skylines, and Istanbul is one of them. It’s been a crossroads of humanity for centuries, and it holds a mystique you can’t really describe unless you’ve been there.

But it’s beauty isn’t often seen from the eyes of some of its oldest inhabitants: the birds. Spectacular as it is from ground and at sea level, Istanbul is amazing from the air. Shooting with both cameras on the ground as well as drones in the air (which Matador received exclusive permission to film with), we shot the minarets, the mosques, the bridges, the boats, the bazaars, the streets, the straits, and the sights of the world’s capital. Check it out and tell me you don’t think Istanbul is for the birds — and here, that’s not an insult.