Dec 10, 2012
Ankara (sometimes called Angora and Angira) is the capital of the Republic of Turkey, administrative center of Ankara Province in the Central Anatolia. Ankara is also the center of the Turkish Government. Ankara is located in the northwestern part of Turkey, two hundred km’s from the Black Sea coast and four hundred and fifty miles southeast of Istanbul.
Ankara is the second largest city in Turkey with around 3,2 milion inhabitants.
Ankara is an important industrial and commercial city. The city also is famous for its Angora cats, rabbits and goats known for use in production of expensive mohair.
Ankara belongs to continental climate area, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters.
The local people are in general of use to tourists, and young people in the city mainly can communicate in English language. Although most people will try to speak English with you, it is recommendable to bring a dictionary or phrasebook of Turkish language with you.
Ankara has changed its name several times in its history like many other ancient cities. At first it was called Ankuvaš when it was Hittite cult center. It was also called Ankyra (greek: Ἄγκυρα, eng: “Anchor”) at the time of ancient Greece. In the period of Ottoman rule, after 1073. the city became known as Angora. The name of the city was changed in 1930. when Turkish Government made decision to call the city – Ankara.
Though the correct date of the establishing of the Ankara remains uncertain, archaeological findings tell that the city was inhabited since the Stone Age, and prosperous Phrygian city was located on the city area from the end of 2nd millennium BC.
Alexander the Great conquered Ankara in 333rd BC., in the third century BC. The city was the capital Tektosaga which belonged to one of a Galatian tribes. From the 25th BC. during the reign of Emperor Augustus Ankara became part of the Roman Empire.
During Byzantine rule, Ankara was attacked by Arabs and Persians. Around 1073. Ankara was conquered by Seljuks, but crusader Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1101. took it over from them. Byzantium still could not long hold its power, so Ankara has become a bone of contention among the Seljuks and their rival clans settled near Turkish border, and after 1143. between Seljuk princes. After the establishing of the Ottoman Empire, Ankara began to stagnate as marginal town in Turkish Empire.
Mongol ruler historically known as Tamerlane Ankara in 1354., but already in 1403. it was took over by Orhan – the second sultan of the Ottoman dynasty. After that the city remained in Ottoman hands, in later centuries, the city has again become influential as a trading center for caravan route to the East.
After the I World War young Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Pasha Ataturk, has chosen Ankara as its headquarters staff in 1919. from which he organized war against the Greek forces and against the Sultan and his regime in Istanbul. After the the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923., Ankara was declared as the capital of the new Turkish state.
The historical center of Ankara is situated upon a stony hill some ome hundred and fifty meters high, on a tributary of Sakarya, on the left bank of the Ankara Çayı.
Ankara is the crossroads of the main railroads and highways of Anatolia, and an important traffic hub of the whole Turkey state.
Ankara is after Istanbul the second largest industrial center in the state which has numerous factories that belong to food industry, factories for materials building, tractor and cement plants, large brewery, many wineries.
Northeast from the city center – some twenty eight kilometers there is a large Esenboğa International Airport built in 1955. International flights for tourists are pretty low in frequency.
Tourists which are traveling from places other than Istanbul, can travel with fast, modern and inexpensive buses. Tourists can also travel by train, since the city is the centre of the Turkish rail network and it can be reached from many other towns in Turkey. Tourist trip using train from Istanbul to Ankara lasts some 5 hours and 36 minutes.
Architecture of Ankara is a mirror of its long history. From the time of Roman reign, only the remnants of Augustus Temple erected in 25th BC., pillar and thermal baths remained, and from Byzantine times other parts of the castle on the hill above the city and cemetery.
The oldest mosque in the city is Alaeddin (which is located on a hill which dominates the castle called Kale), which dates from the period of the Seljuk rule (12th century) and which has one single minaret.
There is a plentiful of buildings which date from the time of Ottoman Empire. It is of value to mention Mosque Haci Bayram (1427. – 1428.) and Bezistan Mahmud Pasha and bullets han, two buildings built in the 15th century that are now turned into a museum of Anatolian civilizations, which keeps a world-famous Hittite collection. In the city you can see Ethnographic Museum (Etnoğrafya Müzesi) with its collection of art and folklore of the Turkish people which also has certain value. There tourists can see a fine collection of folkloric items and artifacts, which date from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.
In the modern southern part of the city which was built after 1924. there is the Mausoleum of Kemal Pasha Ataturk – Turkish general and statesman, built in 1953., where Kemal Pasha Ataturk’s tomb is located. In the museum complex tourists can also see the tomb of Ismet Inenija, his successor.
There ae also several other museums which can be seen by tourists:
- War of Independence Museum (Kurtuluş Savaşı Müzesi)
- Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi)
- State Art and Sculpture Museum (Resim-Heykel Müzesi)
- Cer Modern – is the modern-arts museum of Ankara
- Ankara Aviation Museum (Hava Kuvvetleri Müzesi Komutanlığı)
- TCDD Open Air Steam Locomotive Museum – is an open-air museum which traces the history of steam locomotives
- METU Science and Technology Museum (ODTÜ Bilim ve Teknoloji Müzesi)
Culture and Education
In Ankara tourists can also see the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, the National Theatre, and the National Library.
Ankara also has 3 universities: Middle East Technical University which was established in 1956., Univezitet Hacettepe which works from 1967. and the oldest is the University of Ankara, which was established in 1946.
- this article is written using wikitravel.org and wikipedia.com
- images are taken from Flickr from these authors:
brewbooks – http://flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/
aykutuludag – flickr.com/photos/aykutuludag/
Ömer Ünlü – flickr.com/photos/55293400@N07/
Mihal Orel – flickr.com/photos/mihalorel/
David Stanley – flickr.com/photos/davidstanleytravel/
mac steve – flickr.com/photos/mac/
vaRiax – flickr.com/photos/nezih/
Alaskan Dude – flickr.com/photos/72213316@N00/
davidbenito – flickr.com/photos/davidbenito/
Jean & Nathalie – flickr.com/people/jries/
fisherbray – flickr.com/photos/fisherbray/2774949836/
aykutuludag – flickr.com/photos/aykutuludag/
Daveness_98 – flickr.com/photos/31216636@N00/