formerly known as Angora
. It is based smack
in the middle of the Turkish mainland
and became the capital
of the country
when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
declared the Republic
Although a rural area in those days, the city continues to expand with some people jokingly remarking that it is only a matter of time before the suburbs link up with Istanbul.
Ankara happens to rank among those cities of the world that do not fulfill their obligation to also be centers of commerce and touristic attraction; e.g. Washington D.C., Canberra, Madrid, etc.
It is widely regarded as a serene place to reside. The squalor and intensity of Istanbul is quite definitely lacking here. To travel through the city is a piece of cake with all locations of import aligned in, well, the center.
Some places of interest are:
A major monument and resting place of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Located in the Anittepe region, it is visible from almost everywhere in the city when lit up at night. Quite an awesome sight and very indicative of the veneration that Turks have for the great leader.(enough historic info - onto the fun stuff)
Located on the skirts of the higher northern area of Cankaya, it is one of the most popular streets in the city. Lined with shops and stores such as the Karum Mall that cater to the affluent. On a nice day people will stroll up and down just to window-shop and get a glimpse of the opposite sex in all its glory.
The higher end of the street leads to the oddly named Swan Park, which is a miniscule reserve housing a pond with about 5 swans and a host of ducks. It's a good example of the city's disregard for greenery and innate and inane understanding of what a park is. Legend has it that the swans are periodically eaten by the financially challenged and then replaced when the swanness of the park appears to be in jeopardy.
Known widely for the Pink Mansion where the President of Turkey resides. This is where anyone who is anyone lives, although the area known as Gazi Osman Pasa is quite renown for being aligned right next to a decadent residential area.
Includes the slanted Argentine Street full of cafés and restaurants which should only be visited if you have a formidable cash stash. Locales of note are Cafemiz, The Turkish Daily News (café), and Ivy Café.
Usually regarded as the center of the city. All other locations pretty much ramify out from this point. It is crossed by Ziya Gokalp Street, which, to this writer's mind, is the track which bluntly divides the two classes of city dweller. Alertness is of the essence on, say, a Saturday, when people flock in hordes to get their shopping done, booze, and just plain be outside for the heck of it.
Right on the other side of the tracks is Sakarya. It's basically the city's red light district where you may get legless at any one of the myriad of bars and pubs. The rumble of different types of music both live and recorded makes for an exciting festive atmosphere.
You'll find that the place is awash with the working class and students. Herein may lie the last examples of the Rock Bar as Turks know it. This is largely due to Ankara being the center of metal heads and civil servants. Ironically, both flock to Sakarya when the sun goes down.