Capital of Turkey and the country's second-largest city after Istanbul; population (2003 est) 3,456,100, urban agglomeration 3,582,000. Industries include cement, food products, wine, farm machinery, iron and steel, electronics, textiles, and leather products. Grains, vegetables, and fruit are grown nearby, and angora goats, famous for the mohair made from their coats, are bred here. Ankara replaced Istanbul (then in Allied occupation) as capital in 1923.
History Known in ancient times as Ancyra and later as Angora, the city was an important commercial centre as early as Hittite times (18th century BC). Conquered by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, it came under Roman rule in 189 BC and became the capital of a Roman province (Galatia Prima) in 25 BC. It was an important city of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, and was later occupied by Persians, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, and Crusaders. The Ottoman Turks conquered the city in the mid-14th century, and in 1402 Tamerlane defeated and captured Sultan Beyazid I here. The city declined in the late 19th century and by the early 20th century it became a small town known primarily for its mohair production. Kemal Atatürk set up his provisional nationalist government in Ankara in 1920 with a commitment to modernization. When Ankara replaced Istanbul as the capital of Turkey in 1923, the choice represented a break with tradition while also taking advantage of the city's central location. The new city was laid out in 1928, and its name was changed from Angora to Ankara in 1930. The city grew rapidly from the 1920s; its population had almost doubled by the 1960s.
Universities Ankara is an important educational centre. In 1946, in accordance with the first Universities Act, all the previously established faculties in Ankara were united to form Ankara University. Ankara University is the second oldest university in Turkey and third oldest in Turkey. Other universities in the city are Hacettepe University, which was chartered in 1967, Gazi University, and Middle East Technical University.
Other attractions The old city near the ruins of the citadel is a traditional Middle Eastern centre, with narrow, winding streets. On the whole, Ankara is a modern city, with few historic remains. The city has the presidential palace and Grand National Assembly buildings, the Atatürk mausoleum (completed in 1953)on a nearby hilltop, remains from Roman baths, and the largest mosque in Turkey at Kocatepe. The city also has several museums, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations which houses a notable collection of Hittite artefacts.
spices at Ankara market
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