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Ankara Travel Guide, Turkey

Ankara is Turkey's capital and its second biggest city, and the population of the city was 3,901,201 in 2007, which includes 8 districts under the administration of the city.  Ankara has had many names during its existence like many ancient cities do.  It has been called Ankuwash by the Hittites prior to 1200 BC; Ancyra by the Romans and Galatians; Ἄγκυρα Ánkyra during the Byzantine, Hellenistic, and classical periods; and Angora from 1073 to 1930 by the Seljuks.

Ankara is centrally positioned in Anatolia and is a major industrial and commercial city.  It is the Turkish Government's home and is the home to all of the foreign embassies.  This city is a major crossroads for trading, being strategically located in the middle of railway and highway networks.  It also serves as the agricultural area's marketing center.  Ankara was popular for their Angora goat with its long-hair and prized mohair, the Angora cat, honey, white rabbits, pears, and muscat grapes within the region.

Geography and Climate

The city is located on a rocky and steep hill that is 150 meters tall over the plain.  It is one of Turkey's driest places, and barren steppe vegetation surrounds it, within various Ottoman, Byzantine, Roman, Hellenistic, Phrygian, and Hittite archaeological sites.  The climate is harsh and dry, having cold and snowy winters, hot and dry summers, and the rainfall comes during the autumn and spring.

At the top of the hill is a ruin of an old castle, of which adds to an already picturesque view.  However, there are only a few structures of historic meaning that have survived to the present that surround the old stronghold.  There are a lot of finely preserved architectural remains of Byzantine, Roman, and Hellenistic descent, with the more remarkable one of the Temple of Rome and Augustus from 20BC, of which is known also as the Monumentum Ancyranum.


The Esenboğa International Airport is positioned to the city's northeast and is its main airport.  A significant section of Ankara's network of buses is the Ankara Intercity Bus Terminal, of which covers all of the neighborhoods around the city.  There is a central train station called Ankara Gari, which is a major hub that connects the eastern and western sections of Turkey.  They will begin to operate services on high-speed rails from Ankara to Istanbul in the early part of 2009.  The Ankara Metro is currently serving with two subway lines and a suburban rail, having about 300,000 commuters every day, and there are three more subway lines under construction.

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