Surrounded by mountain ranges, Ankara is Turkey’s capital city. It has a rich history as people have been inhabiting the region since the Stone Age! It has been conquered, and visited by ancient leaders, such as Roman Augustus, and Alexander the Great from the west, and Seljuks, from the East. Once a small town, Ankara has grown exponentially since the foundation of the country in 1923 and is now racing with Istanbul in terms of city development. Ankara had a population of 75 thousand in 1927, but the city grew much faster than anticipated over the decades. The city is now considered as home to 5,5 million people in 2019.
During the early days of the foundation, Ankara was designated as a city for less than a million inhabitants, but in the 1950s as unemployment in rural areas forced people to move into the city, Ankara became massively overpopulated. The city's large border size led to the famous parts being scattered around, and help the city develop from not just one central location. but by boosting the local economies of several small towns. Ankara is still a massive landmark that provides transportation between the towns through a railway system.
With a population of approximately 1 million, Çankaya is the highest populated district of Ankara, as well as the whole of Turkey. As the community is home to government buildings, the population can reach to 2 million during the day. The presidents until the last decade resided in this province, and you can still visit the rooms the founder of Turkey, Ataturk, lived. There is also a monument built for the Korean War veterans, as Turkey was the second country with the highest number of casualties in that war. The subway system is highly incorporated into the city life, and you can easily traverse most of the province from Çankaya. The subway system is highly incorporated into the city life, and you can easily traverse most of the province from Çankaya.
Points of Interest;
- Mausoleum; The monumental tomb of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk should be first on your list. Although he passed away in Istanbul, Anıtkabir was built in the country’s capital to be his final resting place. It is built on a 750.000 m2 area by two leading architects. You can find memorabilia from his past, as well as international writings on him.
- Kızılay Square; Getting its name from the nation’s Red Crescent movement, the square has been the meeting point of local and non-locals for half a century. There is both a train and subway station underground, as well as bus routes on it. A giant mall with the same name overlooks the square with plenty of stores inside.
- Ata Tower; With the height of 125 meters, this tower offers a view of the four corners of Anatolia from its top. There is also a mall on the ground level for all your needs.
- The Swan Park; restored on a 7.743 m2 area; this is a natural reserve right in the middle of the Ankara with children’s parks and small creeks. It is a natural habitat for swans and ducks, and people are free to visit.
As the most northern district of Ankara, Kızılcahamam is a small but developing town built on 1723 km2 land. The National Park of Soğuksu (Cold Water), thermal spas, festivals, as well as historical monuments is enough to help the development of the district through tourism. Kızılcahamam’s Turkish Wrestling team still competes and makes a new for themselves in the country.
Points of Interest;
- Soğuksu National Park; A natural thermal spa based national park is thought to have healing effects. Through this park, health tourism has helped the economic development of the district. Its popularity demanded more private spas to be opened, as well as building multiple hotels with 4000 capacity.
- Hiking and Trekking; Due to its warm climate all year round, Kızılcahamam welcomes nature fans regularly. There are multiple small lakes, dams with a chance to see various hunting animals on the path. Otters and bears can be heard away from the town.
Famous for its culturally decorated and designed mansions, Beypazarı is an artistic district of Ankara. Its population has earned their livings by smithing bronze, silver, leather, and silk, etc. throughout the years. You can watch and learn from masters as they work on different types of equipment. Horse riding items and weaving is perhaps the most famous of arts to ever come from the region.
Points of Interest;
- Saddlesmiths; As a district on one of the most important trade routes of the world, Beypazarı’s smithers used to focus their wisdom on improving and repairment of saddlebags. Although it is not an everyday job anymore due to the improved transportation methods, the masters here are still working wonders.
- Inözü Valley; Formed through the creek of Inözü over time, this valley is now a natural reserve to protect the area. There are naturally formed caves on top of the valley, thought to be home or mass graves of past civilizations. To keep the forests safe, archeological studies have been banned in the area. However, visitors can still enjoy the scenery from the various restaurants around the valley.