Ankara, historically known as Ancyra is the capital of Turkey. This beautiful capital is an extensive modern city which can appear a little dull due to its concrete appearance at first glance. Ankara has a symbolic significance for the secular Turks. It is the place where independence, development and emergence with the Western values took place.
Historical Significance of Ankara
The region has been a historical junction of major trade routes.
Since the archaeological evidence indicates that the city’s foundation date back to Stone Age. A flourishing Phrygian town was located in the area at the end of the 2nd millennium BCE. Alexander the Great conquered Ankara in 333 BCE, and in the 3rd century BCE the town served as the capital of the Tectosages.
By 25 BCE, the emperor Augustus incorporated Ankara into the Roman Empire.
When the city became a part of the Byzantine Empire, the Persians and the Arabs attacked Ankara continuously. About 1073, Ankara fell into the hands of the Seljuq Turks. But by 1101, the Crusader Raymond IV of Toulouse drove them out.
With the formation of the Seljuk Empire, Ankara weakened.
In 1354, Orhan (Orkhan), the second sultan of the Ottoman dynasty captured the city and made it a part of the Ottoman domains.
During the Anatolian campaign of Timur (Tamerlane), Ankara faced seize. In 1403, Ottoman rule retrieved within its lands. Subsequently, it regained its importance as a commercial and urban center.
After World War I, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk made Ankara the center of his Resistance Movement. He established his headquarters within the city, in 1919. Later, the government declared Ankara as the capital of Turkey in 1923.
Local Products of Ankara
The long-haired local breed of goats, named after a city (Angora) is famous throughout the world. High quality mohair textiles produced in the city, works beside the clover-leaf interchange on the highway west.
Ulus is the historic center of Ankara. Most of the museums and early republican buildings are in this district. Çankaya is the diplomatic center of Ankara, with the Presidential Palace and most embassies present there.
Ankara has several historic buildings and landmark.
For example, the Hacı Bayram Mosque, built in 1427. The Haci Bayram’s memorial tomb, built in 1429, is also located next to the mosque.
Anıtkabir museum is located on the imposing hill in the Anittepe quarter of the city. A mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is also visible within this quarter.
The Atakule Tower, Çankaya is one of the highest structures of the city.
Hamamönü, a recently restored neighborhood exists with Ottoman style. Likewise, it has timber Ankara houses and 4 historic mosques to visit: Haci Mussa Mosque, Tacettin Sultan Mosque, Karacabey Mosque, Sarikadi Mosque.
Tourists Attraction in Ankara
Mehmet Akif Ersoy, the famous Turkish poet who wrote the lyrics to Turkish National Anthem lived within Ankara. The house now acts as an museum named after him.
In Hamamönü, the Art Street sells local art crafts and souvenirs, while the Hand Crafts Market is where local women sell their crafts and works. Teleferik, is a newly-built cablecar starting from Yenimahalle metro station.
Few major museums within the vacancy of Ankara are as follows. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which displays artifacts remained from Asia Minor/Anatolian civilizations. State Art and Sculpture Museum and the Ankara Ethnography Museum store the pieces of arts and craft of History. War of Independence Museum, located in Ulus Square occurs as the building which originally hosted the First Turkish Grand National Assembly.
The most landmark of this area, is the Ankara Castle. Ankara Castle is a medieval citadel, standing above Ulus, on a high hill overlooking Ankara.
Another prominent landmark is the Temple of Augustus, located next to Haci Bayram Mosque, built in the first century BC. In addition, a Roman Bath can also be found within the city which has been converted into an outdoor museum.
The mausoleum of Anıtkabir is a magnificent, neo-classical building, built between 1944 and 1953. Moreover, the entrance to the mausoleum is lined with granite lions.
Other districts within the vacancy of Ankara are Akyurt, Altindag, Ayas, Bala, Beypazari, Camlidere, Cankaya, Cubuk, Elmadag, Etimesgut, Evren, Golbasi, Gudul, Haymana, Kalecik, Kazan, Kecioren, Kizilcahamam, Mamak, Nallihan, Polatli, Sincan, Sereflikochisar and Yenimahalle.
Local Cuisines and Resturants
Ankara is best known with its “döner kebap”. Ankara is where you can eat the best and the freshest fishnof the country. Trying raki with fish, an alcoholic drink, can be another outstanding experience. Uludag Kebabcisi on Denizciler Caddesi in Ulus has been around for about sixty years, serving Iskender kebap.
The town, was once an important trading center on the caravan route to the east. But now, its significance is due to because of the parliament and heads of the state residing here.