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Turkish Cities – Ankara

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“Due to its geographical location in the center of Turkey, it is called “the heart of Turkey” centrally located in Anatolia, it is an important industrial city. And as the capital city, it is home of the Turkish government and of foreign embassies.

It also has Turkey’s second largest lake “Salt Lake”.

Its history goes back at least ten thousand years from Phrygians over Hittites, Lydians, Macedonians, Romans, to Ottomans. Ankara hosted eastern and western civilizations in the past. Some legends say that the King of the Phrygians has found an anchor in Ankara. That’s where the city’s name came from; ‘Ankura’ is the name for ‘anchor’ in the Phrygian language.

Economic activity in the region is mainly industrial; centered on textile, food, and construction but lately there have been investments in the defense, metal and automotive sectors. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic, the city’s population has two-fold in a short time. Most of the population work in the public service.

Railways, highways, and airways are the ways of transportation to the city. Esenboğa International Airport is an important point for incoming and outgoing air traffic. From there it’s possible to travel everywhere in Turkey and to select cities in Europe, USA, and the Far East.

Ankara has continental climate conditions (cold and snowy in winters with hot and dry summers) on the south side and in the middle, but Black sea conditions (warm and rainy) can be seen on its north side. Due to climate conditions, there are steppes as well as forests. Ankara’s rabbits, goats, and cats are known worldwide.

TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey), Embassies of almost every nation, Anıtkabir – great Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s mausoleum, Çankaya Mansion – the residence of Turkey’s President, Pink Mansion – the residence of Turkish President İsmet İnönü from 1923 to 1973 are landmarks of the capital.

Anıtkabir is located on Anıttepe. It was completed in 1953. A wax statue of Ataturk, his writings and photographs, letters, and personal items are featured in the museum. Anıtkabir is open every day, while the museum is closed on Mondays.

Other museums which are well worth a visit include: Ankara Ethnography Museum, Museum of Anatolian Civilians, State Art and Sculpture Museum, War of Independence Museum, TCDD Open Air Steam Locomotive Museum, Çengelhan Rahmi Koç Museum, Ankara Aviation Museum, METU Science, and Technology Museum. And the archeological sites are following: Ankara Citadel, Roman Theatre, Temple of Augustus and Rome, Roman Bath, Column of Julian.

Ankara has several very good quality universities of which Middle East Technical University ( ODTU), Bilkent University, Hacettepe University and TOBB University of Economics and Technology are well known Ankara University, Atılım University, Başkent University, Çankaya University, Gazi University and Ufuk University make up the rest. There are also academies in Ankara, such as the Turkish Military Academy and the Turkish National Police Academy.

Ankara is not a touristic place, but foreign visitors to Ankara usually go to the Weaver’s Road (Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu) and the Bazaar of Coppersmiths for sightseeing, a stroll in modern shopping areas like Armada, Karum, and Ankamall is also a favorite pass-time.

Turkish State Opera and Ballet, the national directorate of opera and ballet companies of Turkey, has its headquarters in Ankara, and serves the city with three venues:

Ankara Opera House (Opera Stage, also known as Great Theatre)
Leyla Gencer Stage (named after world-famous soprano Leyla Gencer)
Operat Stage


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