Following Berlin, London and New York, Turkey's largest city, Istanbul will have its own online address from 10 May 2016. The new domain gTLDs of Istanbul, which are “.ist” and “.istanbul”, are open for registration by anyone by the 10th of May, 16:00 (UTC).
Up to now, there was a pre-request period (5th of April-5th of May) and if there's only one application for a domain during the pre-request period, that domain is awarded to the applicant. However, in case of multiple applications for a domain, the domain goes to auction which takes place online between 5th and 10th of May.
According to Bekir Kaplan, media relations manager in Istanbul agency, the new domain extension will put Istanbul on digital map. The mission of this project is to encourage innovation, improve service levels of government institutes and enterprise, assist residents in locating city government services, help local businesses to thrive, market and promote tourism in the Istanbul, and spread the dynamic image and the brand value of Istanbul around the world.
The sales of the “.ist” and “.istanbul” domain extensions are said to be the third best-selling city domain after New York and London. It is stated the domains have already been snapped up by global brands such as the BBC, BMW, Versace and WhatsApp.
Those who are interested can visit www.nic.istanbul to register their names.