The history and culture of modern Turkey are related to the name of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of this country, who moved the capital from Istanbul to Ankara.
The first thing you can see in this city is the well-organized street network and the large green areas. Unlike the overcrowded Istanbul, Ankara is a much more airy city. It is true that this city has not suffered, over the time, the influences of so many civilizations as in the case of Istanbul.
Although it represents the modern Turkey, Ankara was founded in 2000 BC. Anadolu Museum Medeniyetleri Müzesi – Museum of Anatolian Civilization reproduces faithfully all the historical epochs that influenced the development of this settlement and of Anatolia in general. Here is the world’s largest and most important collection of artifacts of the Hittite civilization, as well as gold, ceramic and bronze objects dating from the Paleolithic to the Byzantine period.
The old part of the city, which stretches over two hills, is called Ulus („nation” in Turkish) and is characterized by narrow streets, traditional houses, small restaurants and handicraft shops. City architects face many problems with the rehabilitation of these houses because many people do not want to leave the area to allow for the renovation of their homes. However in the central area, you can walk on the streets of the Hamamon district with traditional houses in the Anatolian style.
Anitkabir, Atatürk’s mausoleum located in the Peace Park impresses me with its magnificence and geographical position. I admit that after I visited it I felt the need to read more about the founder of modern Turkey. I have seen how much this man is appreciated more than seventy years after his death. Born in Thessaloniki in 1881, he became an important military figure in time. His mathematics professor nicknamed him „Kemal” (perfection) to praise his academic intelligence. I recommend you to book a few hours for a visit, because there is also a museum beside the mausoleum. Additionally, its position on Anittepe Hill offers a great panorama of the city.
The „Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç” Museum, dedicated to the history of transport, industry and communications in Turkey, is at the entrance to the Ankara Citadel, in a romantic location. You do not have to miss this less-known museum because the exhibits are original, well-preserved and presented in an easy way for children. More information: http://www.rmk-museum.org.tr/cengelhan/english/index.html.
The two days spent in this city were not enough to visit all of the tourist attractions, but I’m glad I managed to get an overview of the capital of Turkey.
Ankara is a surprising destination, which reveals a part of Turkish history and culture.
Ankara ‘yı ziyaret! (Visit Ankara!)