is important to diplomats, bureaucrats, lobbyists and military,
and has a few significant sights
Before the Turkish War of
Independence brought Kemal
Atatürk and his
generals to Ankara as a wartime command
post, this Central Anatolian town 454 km (282 miles) southeast of Istanbul (map) was a small town with
citadel on a high hill and
a brisk trade in soft Angora goat hair and
the garments made from it.
After Atatürk proclaimed Ankara
to be the capital of the new Turkish
Republic, it began to
influx of villagers from the countryside
in search of a better life brought
Ankara explosive growth.
Today this city at an altitude of 848 meters (2782
feet) is a
million people, many of them employed in government
embassies, in universities and schools, in hospitals
the military, and
industry on the outskirts.
The city now
sprawls through valleys and across
hills in every direction, but on your
visit you need only be concerned with
a few specific areas.
Ankara's several interesting
as the citadel, Museum
of Anatolian Civilisations, Anıtkabir (Atatürk Mausoleum)
fully occupy you for a day, but if
your itinerary is rushed, spending
half a day here may suffice. More...
If you don't want to bother finding your way around, consider
joining a half-day
Ankara can also be your base, or starting point, for visits to other points of interest in Central Anatolia. Excursions run
from Ankara east to the Hittite capital
(Hattuşa-Yazılıkaya) and the historic town of Amasya, north to the fine historic town of Safranbolu, and south
to Cappadocia (maps).
Centrally located, Ankara is a transportation
nexus for all of Turkey's bus,
train, plane and highway routes. More...
Ankara has plenty of good hotels and restaurants, of course, but again,
you need be concerned with only a few
for a one-night visit. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan