The population of Turkey is increasing very rapidly. The population and urbanization in the large cities have increased due to a heavy immigration rate from rural areas to access job opportunities, better education, and better health facilities in the cities. While the population rate in the cities had been 57.5% in 1985, it has reached 64.9% in 2000. The European side of Istanbul has the highest immigration rate of Turkey and was selected as the study area. While the average population increase rate is 2.2% in all of Turkey, it is 3.8% in Istanbul. This study area has the most affected land use changes in Turkey because of the immigration. Remotely sensed data provide reliable information on current and temporal urban land use/cover characteristics and changes. In this study, Landsat 5 TM (1987) and Landsat 7 ETM+ (2001) satellite sensor data were used. After the classification of these images separately, eight main land use/cover classes were obtained and then reduced to five in processing. It has been shown that the urban areas increased 1000 ha yr(-1) and, by contrast, agricultural, bare soil, and forest areas have decreased. The overall classification accuracy was 83 and 80% for the years of 1987 and 2001, respectively. In this study, spatial growth of the urban site was compared with the population growth.