Ankara

HISTORY AND CULTURE

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Ankara was formerly called as “Ankuwash” by the Hittites, “Áγκυρα-Ànkyra” during the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods, “Ancyra” (which means “anchor”) by the Galatians and Romans. The last city name “Ankara” is slightly modified from “Ancyra”. The history of Ankara goes back to the Hatti civilization of Bronze Age. In the 2nd millennium B.C., the city was conquered by the Hittites, in the 10th century B.C. by the Phrygians then followed by the Lydians, Persians, Macedonians, Galatians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans. Starting from 1000 B.C., Ankara significantly grew in both size and importance during the period of Phrygians. For this reason, in Phrygian tradition, King Midas venerated as the founder of Ancyra.

Galatians were the first to make Ankara their capital city. When the city was conquered by Romans, Ankara continued to be the capital city and the commercial, cultural and arts center as well. During the Seljuks’ and Ottomans’ periods, Ankara became an important location for transportation and natural resources.

As a consequence of its strategic location in World War I and Turkish War of Independence, Ankara was declared to be the Capital City of Turkish Republic in October 13, 1923 and now it is the second biggest city of Turkey. It is “the heart of Turkey” concerning both its location and its function. Since Ankara housed many different civilizations and empires, its cultural heritage is very unique and precious. Çatalhöyük, King Midas Tomb, Mother Goddess, Cybele Statuette, Temple of Augustus and Alaeddin Mosque are some of the examples of this rich cultural heritage that can be traced in Ankara.

GEOGRAPHY AND DEMOGRAPHICS

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Ankara is located in the northwest of Central Anatolia, “at the heart of Turkey” between the branches of Kızılırmak and Sakarya rivers, at an altitude of 850 meters (2800 ft). The city lies in the eastern edge of the Anatolian Plateau. It is bordered by the provinces of Eskişehir to the west, Çankırı and Bolu to the north, Kırıkkale and Kırşehir to the east, Konya and Aksaray to the south. Ankara is the third biggest city in terms of total acreage. Average temperatures range from 25 °C in the summer months to 5 °C in the winter months.

A population of 5.1 million people, of which 50% are under 30 years old, are living in Ankara. 88% of the population lives in the city center. Compared to its total population, Ankara has the highest number of higher education graduates. Around 15% of the total regional population has bachelor’s or post-graduate degrees. Turkey’s top higher education providers are located in Ankara, which makes Ankara the second province with highest number of higher education providers. There are more than 240,000 students and 18,000 academics in the universities in Ankara. Ankara also has the highest share, 34.3%, in contribution to scientific publications in the country.

TOURISM AND ATTRACTIONS

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The capital of civilization in Anatolia, Ankara with its ruins of Hittite, Phrygia, Roman, Seljuk Empires and with its key role during the Turkish Independence War, is gaining popularity as a tourist destination.

Ulus is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Ankara. The Roman baths, now an open-air museum, the Julianus Column and Augustus Temple are some of the historical ruins in Ulus. The Anatolian Civilizations Museum has a unique collection of artifacts, artworks and remains of age-old Anatolia. Hacı Bayram-ı Veli Mosque from 14th century A.D. is situated in the vicinity of Ulus. The Grand National Assembly Building (First Senate House), the symbol of the Turkish Republic, today, is the Museum of Turkish Independence. The Mausoleum, where the founder of Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk lies in eternal peace, represents the respect of Turkish people of their savior.

Traditional Ankara houses in Inner Castle and Hamamönü are open-air museum destinations with their authentic streets, cultural and artistic events, hand-made products exhibited at the street corners, shopping stores promising novelties for all tastes and budgets.

The districts of Ankara also offer an alternative outing for those who are willing to enjoy the quiet life of the countryside.

ECONOMY

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In the decade, rapid growth in Turkey’s economy naturally provides same trend for Ankara. As the capital city of Turkey, Ankara is the 2nd largest and center of economy on both national and global scale. Strong and stable economy of Ankara is benefited from geographical location, modern infrastructure and growing young population with the most qualified workforce. Proximity to the markets in EU, Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Russia is a catalyst for the foreign capital and international companies. Besides, more than 2,300 such companies preferred to be located in Ankara.

The high trade volume of Ankara is an opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs planning to implement both national and global scale production and investment. With a foreign trade volume of 25 billion dollars, Ankara realised approximately 9% of Turkey’s overall foreign trade volume as of year 2014.