Lead: On Tuesday, May 29, 1453 the venerable City of Constantinople, after more than 1000 years as the Imperial capital of Byzantium, collapsed under the assault of the Ottoman forces of Sultan Mehmet II.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: For 700 years the leaders of Islam had looked with longing at what seemed to be the impregnable Imperial capital of the Byzantine Empire. Their hopes were not idle. The City of Constantinople, the modern Istanbul, resides on the Western side of one of the most strategically significant waterways in the world. The Bosporus commands the passage between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. Commerce and travel both to and from Russia and the Asian heartland must negotiate this narrow passage.