Ankara the Western Looking States

By: Douglas Scott

Things to do in Ankara

Ankara is Turkey's second largest city after former imperial capital Istanbul, having overtaken İzmir. It is a very old city with various Hittite, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological sites. 

Essentially, Ankara is really two cities,

  • The Old City
    A small provincial city, famous chiefly for the production of soft goat's wool. This city still exists, in and around the old citadel that was the site of the original settlement.
  • Modern Metropolis
    The other Ankara is the modern metropolis that has grown up around a carefully planned attempt to create a seat of government worthy of a modern, Western-looking state.

Things to do in Ankara

1) Nightlife
Much of the night life is geared toward the diplomatic community, with cafes, jazz clubs, and the odd English pub clustered at the south of town. A more youthful crowd, from the nearby university, congregates in the out door beer gardens around Sakarya Caddesi in Kizilay. A few restaurants at the citadel offer nightly music. In the neighbourhood of Kavakliere, just off Tunali Hilmi on Abjantin Caddesi, is a line up of smart looking, candlelit bistros.

2) Bazaar
The bazaar area along Cikrikcilar Yokusu, near Ulus, the strange sensation of being left a lone permeates the air. This is the one place you will not be accosted, hassled, harassed, or even approached. This might be due to the fact that this bazaar sees few foreign visitors. But even in the face of satin bedcovers, floor-length coats, and plastic shoes, a quiet stroll gazing at the local linens and essential items of daily life in Ankara.

3) Visit the old shops
Foreign visitors to the city usually like to visit the old shops in Cikrikcilar Yokusu on Weavers' Road, where myriad things ranging from traditional fabrics, hand-woven carpets and leather products can be found at bargain prices. Bakircilar Carsisi a Bazaar of Coppersmiths is particularly popular, and many interesting items, not just of copper, can be found here like jewellery, carpets, costumes, antiques and embroidery.

4) Ankara Museum
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara displays an exhaustive, marvellous and unique collection including Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Roman works, and showpiece Lydian treasures. A visit to the museum of Anatolian Civilizations is the best way to come to terms with the splendours and riches of Anatolia's long history which goes back to the 7th millennium BC. This is surely one of the world's most interesting museums for the originality of its collections. It contains more than 200,000 pieces, of which only a limited number can be displayed due to lack of space.

Ankara, formerly known as Ancyra and Angora, is the capital of Turkey. With a population of 4,587,558 in the urban center and 5,150,072 in its province, it is situated in the centre of Turkey and rests at an altitude of 850 metres above sea level. 

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