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Turkey in Review

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Ankara

I’ve been told there are two types of people in Turkey, those who love Istanbul and those who love Ankara. I’ve also been told that Istanbul is a city you’d like to visit, while Ankara is where you’d want to live – having lived in Ankara for two months, I can agree with this. An extremely new city, Ankara was constructed around an old Turkish village in the 1920’s on Atatürk’s command as a defensible city from which the Turks could push back the European forces trying to colonize Turkey. After the formation of the Turkish Republic, Ankara went on to become the nation’s capital.

Ankara Kale

Of course, since this is Turkey, you have to remember that even a brand new city will still have ruins. Close to the heart of Ankara lies Ankara Kalesi (Ankara Castle), a castle of unknown origin but possibly dating back to Roman times. Close to the castle is the Anatolian Civilizations History Museum, which houses an extensive collection of all the people’s to have passed through Turkey. Also seriously worth a visit is Anıtkabir, Atatürk’s mausoleum, which was designed with architectural references to a number of the past civilizations in this part of the world.

Anitkabir

A serious draw of Ankara is also its nightlife and cafe culture. The pedestrianized Kizilay neighborhood is definitely worth checking out for its assortment of bars, street cafes, and merchandise being sold on the street. Not far away is Tunalı Hilmi Street, which is packed with shopping, restaurants, bars, and narghile cafes. At the end of the street is also Kuğulu Park, a sunken park beneath street level ringed with grassy embankments with a swan lake in the middle – its super peaceful.

Like Malatya, though, Ankara also may not make the best place for a vacation although it does make for a wonderful city to live in. You can read more about Ankara here and here.

Getting to Ankara is easy. Every city with an airport will fly to Ankara, and almost every city will have a bus going there too. If you are flying into Turkey from another country, there is a chance you may fly directly into Ankara too.

6 thoughts on “Turkey in Review”

    1. Really? That was the general vibe I got about Göbekli Tepe too, but I was hoping it’d be better. Oh well, thanks for the heads up!

  1. A wonderful tour of Turkey, and I loved the teasers at the end. Looking forward to hearing about many new adventures in the new year. Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks, Mike! I hope it’s really helpful – I’m going to continue to try to subtlety (and not so much) convince you to come visit.

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