The World Daily
Ankara – The Unspoken Centre Of Turkey and Its History

Photo: Thomas Krych / The World Daily


           JULY 29th 2019


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily


Ankara – The Unspoken Centre Of Turkey and Its History


When one thinks of Turkey, and its potential travelling/vacation spots, they are often quick to settle for a week in Istanbul; the country’s most popular, and hence most overcrowded touring city. It’s the go-to for many travellers, when in reality it’s second place when compared to the rich and historical background of the country’s capital: Ankara.

Istanbul is still often mistaken for Turkey’s capital, having once been the capital when Turkey was still renowned as the Ottoman Empire. As it stands, the country has come far in terms of change since its days as an Empire, and become a country absolutely rife with marvels of both architecture, culture, and history, both wholesome and bloody. In no city are these aspects as prominent as they are in Ankara.

Perhaps the city most laden with culture, Ankara cannot be underestimated for what it has to offer in terms of tourism. The most prominent and obvious tourist spot for those who seek to understand how Turkey came to be, would by default be Antikabir; the visitable mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, once the leader of the Turkish War of Independence as well as the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. For those curious as to Turkey’s history, Anıtkabir is a must-see. A shining gem of history, detailing how Turkey had come to be, and the struggles of its people to make it so.


Antikabir. Photo: Thomas Krych / The World Daily


If it’s Turkey’s more ancient history you’re inspired by, why not try the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations? Among the only places in Ankara where you can learn about the rising of the nation since before its Ottoman days, its old Goddess and its pre-Christian civilizations discovered in the Çatalhöyük archaeological site. A true look into what inspired and made the country what it is today.


Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Photo: Thomas Krych / The World Daily


Few things reflect Turkish history so well, however, as do its mosques – or its Cami, as they’re called in the Turkish language – for a large and undeniable part of Turkey’s history revolves around its religions. Visit one of the many mosques, bask in their architecture, their beauty, and if you appear at the right time of the day – their silence! Remember to take off your shoes before you enter, however. A welcoming and clean place seeks cleanliness from its visitors in return.

And how can we forget, the Ankara Castle? The last remainder of Turkey’s medieval era in the form of a late antique, though still maintained fortification that overlooks the entirety of Ankara and its cityscape. A place, most interestingly enough, where one can climb up to the very highest of spots and find themselves shocked by the lack of protection rails! Whether for the better or for the worse, you can decide for yourself. A small detail, that adds to the feel of an ancient place that will remain central to Ankara’s history for years to come.

Those looking for less of a historical exploration and more of a relaxing trip out may instead find some leisure in exploring the city’s rich heritage, spending their afternoons getting lost in the city’s unusual landforms, its variety of restaurants filled with traditional Turkish foods -all primarily based around meats- and of course listening in to the daily prayers that echo all around the city, at variating parts of the day. Kızılay may be an especial delight for shoppers, with streets full of both innovation and new opportunities for experience. A new culture, and new place, a new world for many.

The incredible abundance of historic monuments, and the mesmerising crossings between Western and Middle-Eastern stylings, for city-centre buildings and designs alike, all arguably cement Ankara as the most underappreciated and overlooked cityscapes in the world – a cityscape that’s well worth viewing, for anyone with an eye for something new and different, something borderline adventurous. A city in a country that borders the Middle-East, and reflects values that can be appreciated by just about anyone.

Ankara is a city that wears its long and incredible history – a history of monarchy, war, reform and cultural innovation – openly and proudly on its sleeve, and despite past moments of trial and desperation, is also increasingly looking outwards to the rest of the world, and towards its own future in the process.


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily