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Ankara - Heart of Turkey

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Ankara, Turkey’s capital city sits in the country’s central Anatolia region. It is the second largest city in Turkey after Istanbul, a center for the performing arts, home to the State Opera and Ballet, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra and several national theater companies.


Country: Turkey

Area: 24,521 km² (9,468 sq mi)

Population: 5,700,000 (2020)

Time Zone: UTC + 3

Currency: Turkish Lira

Overlooking the city is Anitkabir, the enormous hilltop mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, modern Turkey’s first president, who declared Ankara the capital in 1923 after the fall of Ottoman Empire. Ankara has a symbolic significance for the secular Turks since it is the place where a new era was started for the Turkish people. It is a symbol for independence, development and Western values.

Anakara is known for its historical buildings, museums, shopping malls, Angora wool, white rabbits, and Angora cat.


Places to Visit


Just like any other world'd capital city Ankara has a lot of government buildings to view but apart from that there are many other sites to view:


1) Anitkabir: Opened on November 10, 1953, Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.






2) Mavigöl - he Blue Lake recreation area is built on a total area of ​​2.120.694 m² with 85.000 green area, 180.000 m hard floor, 1.254.271 picnic area and 601.423 water area. There are 7 buffets and 26 children's playgrounds within the recreation area of ​​the Blue Lake. There are 4 basketball fields, 1 football field, mini golf field and 4 different fitness areas in the sports areas.



3) Kocatepe Camii: The Kocatepe Mosque is the largest mosque in Ankara, Turkey. It was built between 1967 and 1987 in the Kocatepe quarter in Kızılay, and its size and prominent situation have made it a landmark that can be seen from almost anywhere in central Ankara.


Address: Kültür, Dr. Mediha Eldem Sk. No:67, 06420 Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey

Opened: 1967

Capacity: 24,000 worshipers






4) Kalesi (Ankara Castle): Ankara Castle is a fortification from the late antique / early medieval era in Ankara, Turkey.The Ankara Castle is one of the Turkish capital's oldest sights, dating back to the Roman, Seljuk, and Ottoman Empires. Overlooking the city from its perch, here is a look at the history of the structure, which has become a very popular destination for visitors as well as locals.





5) Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi): This museum contains over 200,000 historic pieces of which only a fraction can be displayed at one time. Exhibits include Early Bronze Age statues and Neolithic wall paintings.


Address: Kale, Gözcü Sk. No: 2, 06240 Ulus/Altındağ/Ankara, Turkey



6) Kizilay: Kızılay is a neighbourhood in Çankaya, Ankara, Turkey. It is named after the Kızılay Derneği (Turkish Red Crescent) whose headquarters used to be located at the Kızılay Square, its centre. Famous for parks, shopping and nightlife.





7) Atakule: Atakule is a 125 m high communications and observation tower located in the Çankaya district of central Ankara, Turkey, and is one of the primary landmarks of the city. The tower can be spotted from almost anywhere in the city during clear days.





8) Güvenpark: Güvenpark or Güven Park, is an urban public park located adjacent to the Liberty Square in the Kızılay neighborhood of Ankara in Turkey. Established in the 1930s as part of the green belts proposed in the urban plan of the rapid growing capital, the park is noted for its "Güven Monument".




9) Mehmet Akif Ersoy Müze Evi: Mehmet Akif Ersoy was an Ottoman-born Turkish poet, writer, academic, politician, and the author of the Turkish National Anthem.

Born: December 20, 1873, Istanbul, Turkey

Died: December 27, 1936, Istanbul, Turkey


At the district of Hamamonu you can visit this nice historical house of Mehmet Akif . The old cemetery behind the museum is also intersting to reflect the last period of the Ottoman Empire.





10) Hamamönü: The history of Hamamönü neighborhood goes far back when Ankara became the capital city, and its core is believed to be built in antiquity. Despite being a very centrally located neighborhood in Ankara, it was insulated from the crowded and noisy life of a big city, and attracts visitors to its quiet charm of olden times. Hamamönü displays the structure of a neighborhood of late Ottoman era and early days of Republic and the houses incorporate the features of Ottoman civic architecture.



Transportation


Ankara metro consists of two metro lines – the Batıkent Metrosu (M1)and the new Keçiören Metrosu (M4) along with light rail Ankaray. It is one of the convenient method of traveling around Ankara, unlike Istanbul. Ankara metro is not very efficient and shuts by 12 am. New lines and developments are underway and more services will be provided in the future.


The Ankara Central Station is a major rail hub in Turkey. The Turkish State Railways operates passenger train service from Ankara to other major cities, such as: Istanbul, Eskişehir, Balıkesir, Kütahya, İzmir, Kayseri, Adana, Kars, Elâzığ, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Karabük, Zonguldak and Sivas. Commuter rail also runs between the stations of Sincan and Kayaş.

Airport

Ankara Esenboğa Airport is the international airport serving Ankara, it is located northeast of Ankara, 28 km (17 mi) from the city center. It ranked 4th in terms of total passenger traffic, Turkish Airlines, AnadoluJet and Pegagus operates many direct flights from major Domestic and International cities like Istanbul, Doha, Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi and London.








Dining


Ankara as the second largest city and the capital city it serves as the cultural and international affairs center of Turkey. Just like any other Turkish city, some of the best and authentic Turkish cuisines can be found in Ankara too. If you are looking for fast food then Kizilay is the area where most international fast food like Burger King, KFC and McDonald's can be found. Some of my favorite restaurants in Ankara:

*Zenger Paşa Konağı

*Balıkçıköy

*La Gioia Cafe Brasserie



Turkish coffee, Tea and Ayran is already famous but don't forget to try Şalgam. It is pronounced as "Shal-gam" which mean Turnip. is a popular and traditional beverage from the southern Turkey cities Adana,Hatay, Tarsus, Mersin,Kahramanmaras, İzmir and the Çukurova region. Salgam is produced by lactic acid fermentation.






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