The Ankara region's past reaches all the way back
to prehistoric times. While there are several versions as
to the origin of the name Ankara, it seems as though its
historically recorded name has hardly changed ever since
antiquity untill our time: Ankyra (Ancyra), Angora, Engguru
and now Ankara.
After having remained within the borders of successively
the Hittites, Phrygians, Kimmerians, Persians, Lydians,
Macedonians, Galatians, Romans and Seljuks, the town was
included in the Ottoman realm in 1354, by the son of Orhan
Gazi [Gazi=Veteran Fighter of the Faith, Orhan Gazi was
the Ottoman sovereign, , Suleyman Pasha [Pasha=Commander].
In 1902, the Province of Ankara included 5 sanjaks and 21
kazas [sanjak and kaza are subdivisions of an Ottoman province],
but in 1924 the sanjaks were abolished according to the
Bill on the Principles of Organization and thus the sanjaks
of Kayseri, Yozgat, Kirsehir, and Corum were elevated to
province status and thus separated from the Province of
Our province, where the planning for the Liberation War
and preparations for the founding of the Republic took place,
holds a special significance in our recent history. After
he had chosen Ankara as headquarters to conduct the proceedings
of the Representative Body, Mustafa Kemal was greeted with
much enthusiasm upon arriving here on Dec. 27th, 1919. It
was here that, from that day on, Mustafa Kemal started to
form the foundations of the Turkish Republic. The town of
Ankara, declared Capital on Oct. 13th, 1923, was from then
on the scene of a rapid social, economical, political, military
and cultural development.
Ankara, which has been the cradle of the Anatolian Civilizations
for ages, has been in a rapid social development and renewal
especially in the aspect of cultural activities, after becoming
the Capital City. In our province, which has been the resort
of many civilizations from the Ancient Anatolian culture
up to day, we see the deep effects of the developments in
the traditions, conventions and culture more clearly in
the rural areas.
The trend, which started with imitating the old Ottoman
architecture especially in the Dikmen, Cankaya and Gazi
Osman Pasa quarters of the province, transformed into modern
architecture and pioneered the form and style of today's
contemporary Turkish architecture. Besides, the old mansions
and houses in the Ankara Castle today still live almost
without any changes.
In our province there are about 30 official and private
museums, 1 National Library with its renewed facilities,
43 public, 1 mobile and 1 children's library. Moreover,
many official and private organizations that address to
national and international congress tourism keep alive the
cultural activities. In our province there are 343 associations
and foundations performing cultural and art activities.
There are 418 printing houses, 32 cinemas, 8 state theaters
and 21 private theaters in our province.
Our province has made successful works in the field of museums
after becoming the Capital City. Anatolian Civilizations
(Archaeology) and Ethnography Museums were established in
the first years of our Republic and their works of art are
rapidly becoming rich.
- Anitkabir (Ataturk Mausoleum)
Located in an imposing position in the Anittepe quarter
of the city stands the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder
of the Turkish Republic. Completed in 1953, it is an impressive
fusion of ancient and modern architectural ideas and remains
unsurpassed as an accomplishment of modern Turkish architecture.
There is a museum housing writings, letters and items belonging
to Ataturk as well as an exhibition of photographs recording
important moments in his life and the establishment of the
republic. (Anitkabir and the museum is open everyday, except
Mondays. During the summer, there is a light and sound show
in the evenings).
- The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Close to the citadel gate an old bedesten has been beautifully
restored and now houses a marvelous and unique collection
including Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian,
Urartian and Roman works. (Open everyday, except Monday.
During the summer, the museum opens everyday).
- The Ethnographical Museum
Opposite the Opera House on Talat Pasa Boulevard is
the Ethnographical Museum. There is a fine collection of
folkloric artifacts as well as fine items from Seljuk and
Ottoman mosques. (Open everyday, except Monday).
- The Ankara Citadel
The foundations of the citadel were laid by the Galatians
on a prominent lava outcrop, and completed by the Romans;
the Byzantines and Seljuks made restorations and additions.
The area around and inside the citadel is the oldest part
of Ankara and many fine examples of traditional architecture
can be seen within the citadel walls. There are also lovely
green areas in which to relax.
- The Temple of Augustus
The temple can be found in the Ulus quarter of the city.
It was built in the 2nd century BC and only later dedicated
to the Emperor Augustus. It is important today for the 'Monument
Ancyranum', the testament of Augustus that is inscribed
on its walls in Latin and Greek. In the fifth century the
temple was converted to a church.
- The Roman Bath
The bath, situated on Cankiri Avenue in Ulus, has the
typical features of Roman baths: a frigidarium (cold section),
tepidarium (cool section) and caldarium (hot section). They
were built in the time of the Emperor Caracalla (3rd century
AD) in honor of the god of medicine, Asclepios. Today only
the basement and first floors remain.
- The Column of Julian
This column, in Ulus, was erected in 362 AD probably
to commemorate a visit by the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate.
It stands fifteen meters high and has a typical leaf decoration
on the capital.
- Haci Bayram Mosque
This mosque, in Ulus, next to the Temple of Augustus,
was built in the early 15th century and subsequently restored
by Sinan in the l6th century with Kutahya tiles being added
in the 18th century. The mosque was built in honor of Haci
Bayram Veli whose tomb is next to the mosque.