This amazing photograph was acquired in August 2012 by the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.
You can see how wide the city spans, expanding in the West over the bridge on the far left-hand side, past Avcılar to Beylikduzu, where vast apartment, office and shopping complexes have sprung up with immediate transport links to the centre. The feel of the place is as such, quite charmless, despite its proximity to the main city on one side, and the coast and city's (current) limits on the other.
The Asian side (right of the Bosphorus) is ripe to see this kind of expansion with the new bridge project, and it is there, to the North of Ümraniye where similar heavy development is underway, compromising Istanbul's green belt in scene's as evocative as the photograph on the right, which has been circulating around facebook. The rapid development of the city is causing furor, although this is promoting a long overdue interest in the environment and sustained economic development, evident in many areas, from Greenpeace's more overt and indigenous campaigning in the city, to the release of the movie Ekümenopolis, which I look forward to seeing in full at the end of this month when it comes out on release.
The image below, posted by Dutch astronaut Andrea Kuipas, has a more angled image showing the whole of the Asian side, and the East coast of the European, meeting in the glow of Beyoğlu and Eminönü, the touristic and historic parts.