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Ankara, the Capital City

Ankara, the heart of the National War of Independence, has been planned in a modern manner and developed in a short period of time. In the research made related to the history of Ankara, the remains of the Hittites and Phrygians were encountered in the surroundings of Ankara, however, no settlement place was revealed inside the city. Ankara, with its known history, was first founded by the Celts. In the third century B.C., the Celts, who came from Europe via the Balkans and the Straits up to Central Anatolia, founded the Galatian State, with Ankara as their first known capital city. The city later experienced the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Periods.


The most interesting structure in Ankara is the Anitkabir (Mausoleum), constructed for Ataturk. The construction of the monument, on Rasattepe, started in 1944 and finished in 1953. In the same year, Ataturk was moved from his tem- porary grave at the Ethnographic Museum with great cere- mony to Anitkabir, his eternal place of rest.

The Ankara Citadel, rising on top of a hill which dominates Ankara, was first constructed by the Celts in the third century B.C. The walls of the Citadel, which are composed of two sections, the inner citadel and the outer citadel, are made of Ankara stone. The citadel which was restored during various periods, acquired its present day appearance from the Seljuks. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, that is one of the richest museums in Turkey, is located next to the citadel. Artifacts from the various civilizations in Anatolia, starting from the Stone Age (50,000 B.C., Middle Paleolithic Period), and periods until the Roman Period (second century A.D.) are displayed at the museum.

The Temple of Augustus, in the Ulus District, was constructed in the second century A.D. The written inventory of all the deeds accomplished by the Roman Emperor Augustus on the walls of this temple, is an important historical document. The baths, theater and Column of Julian are among the other remains of the Roman Period.


Among the mosques in Ankara, the Aslanhane Mosque, constructed in the thirteenth century, is famous for its turquoise tiled mihrab (niche), the Haci Bayram Mosque, built in the fifteenth century, is decorated with Kutahya glazed tiles and the Kocatepe Mosque, which is the largest mosque in Ankara, constructed between 1967 and 1987, are worth seeing. The city is also famous for its monuments. The most conspicuous of these monuments are the Republic Monument in the Ulus District, the Victory Monument in the Yenisehir District and the Hatti Monument at the Sihhiye Square. The Hatti Monument symbolizes the Hattis, the first known native society of Anatolia who lived between 3000 and 2000 B.C.

Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, is also the capital of culture and art. Winter nights in Ankara are very lively with the theater, opera, ballet, modern dance, classical and pop music performances. International art, music, film and children's festivals enliven the city. The Cikrikcilar Street and the Bakircilar (Coppersmiths) Market are old and charming shopping areas where various copper and brass souvenirs are sold. Among the modern shopping centers in the city are the Kizilay District, Tunali Hilmi Avenue, Atakule Mall at Cankaya, Karum Mall at Kavaklidere, Ankuva Mall at Bilkent and Galleria Mall at Cayyolu. A panoramic view of Ankara can be seen from Atakule, a tower 125 meters high, which has a revolving restaurant, a cafe and an observation terrace.


Newly Added :

The Rahmi M. Koc Museum, Rahmi M. Koç Müzesi, is an industrial museum opposite the entrance to the Citadel in the historic heart of Ankara, close to Anatolian Civilization Museum. Located in the historic Çengelhan - a former Caravanserai, built in 1522 - the Museum displays huge variety of exhibits on such diverse themes as Engineering, Road Transport, Scientific Instruments, Maritime, Medicine, and many others. The beautiful and atmospheric courtyard has been glazed in, and now houses the newly restored shop where the founder of the Koç Group, Mr Vehbi Koç started his working life. And when you have finished your museum visit, you can relax in either the Divan Café or the sophisticated Divan Brasserie in the courtyard.

Tours in/from Ankara