The Capital of Turkey, Ankara, is located in the country’s central Anatolia region. It is the center of culture and performing arts, home of the State Opera and Ballet, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra and several national theater companies.
The modern city of Ankara, Capital of Turkey
Overlooking the city is Anitkabir, the enormous hilltop mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, modern Turkey’s first president, who declared Ankara the capital in 1923.
Many visitors to Turkey make the mistake of assuming that Istanbul is the country’s capital city, when in fact it’s Ankara. Ankara Turkey is worth your attention and travel curiosity.
Here are just a few things to do when visiting Turkey’s second largest city.
Anit Kabir the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara
Called Anit Kabir or “memorial tomb” is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. It is Ankara’s # 1 attractions encapsulating both a great architecture and a huge historical significance.
Yhe construction took 9 years starting in 1944, and consists of four main parts, The Road of Lions; the Hall of Honor, where Atat Turk’s tomb is located; the Ceremonial Plaza and the Peace Park, that surrounds the monument.
Inside of the ceremonial plaza you ‘ll find several museums displaying memorabilia and personal artifacts of Ataturk, giving visitors a sense of the famous leader's life. The Hall of Honor is an impressively elevated structure, lined with marble and decorated with mosaics.
Inside Ankara Citadel
Called Hisar, it is located in the heart of Ankara, being one of the most recognized sites of the Capital of Turkey.
The citadel with walls as high as 14-16 meters, provides the visitor with a look of ancient Turkey was.
The structures within and around the castle are an example of traditional Turkish architecture. Although no one knows exactly how old the citadel is, it is considered the foundations were laid by the Galatians about 3,000 years ago.
Inside the citadel many of the old houses have been restored and converted into restaurants, creating the atmosphere of an ancient Anatolian village. The local people still live as if in a traditional Turkish town. As you wander along the narrow winding streets. The citadel surrounds Old Ankara and is free to enter and explore.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara Turkey
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
This is a must see for those interested in Turkey. Housed in a restored 15th century covered market, the museum is home to a wide array of artifacts discovered in excavations throughout Turkey.
Relics date from different periods of Anatolian history including those from Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Assyrian, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Lydian civilizations, there are also classical Greek and Roman artifacts on display in a separate section of the museum.
The museum is located within two beautifully restored Ottoman buildings on the south side of Ankara Castle.
Atakule Tower dominates the skyline of Ankara
This is a 125 meter communications and observation tower, located in the Cankaya district of central Ankara, and serves as the city's primary landmark. A glass elevator takes visitors to the tower's observation area for spectacular views of the city.
A revolving restaurant is the highlight at the top of the tower. Named Sevilla, it rotates the full 360 degrees in one hour. One more not rotating restaurant, the Dome is located about Sevilla directly under the cupola.
The top of the tower boasts an open terrace and a revolving restaurant, Sevilla, which rotates a full 360-degrees each hour. Another restaurant (which does not rotate), Dome, is located above Sevilla and directly under the cupola.
Kizilay Square is the center of social life in Ankara
This is the center of Ankara’s business and social scene, with many retail shops, department stores, outdoor markets, fancy restaurants and spectacular nightclubs and bars. It is the most important area for young people
Kizilay Square is also home to many important monuments and memorials that are worth seeing.
Ankara's Old Quarter
Made of tight single lane cobblestone roads which twist and turn, it reveals old red roofed Ottoman houses, thick fortified walls and cluttered merchant shops selling everything from jewelry to water pipes to textiles.
It’s a renowned tourist area, at least for Ankara standards, but it’s far less busy than the Old Quarters in Istanbul.
Map of Turkey and its neighbors
Credit for images
ankara by tzipi bar
ataturk mausoleum by william neuheisel
citadel by david stanley
museum by elelicht
atakule by elelicht
kizilay by ahmetan
old quarter by alex drezner
all courtesy of wikimedya commons