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Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is located in central Anatolia. It's a long way from anywhere else.

There are a few low-key things to do and see here. We were limited by time, energy, heat, and a number of heavy downpours, so we didn't get to see all that we wanted to see.

The best part of our visit was the 'every day' city feel of central Ankara. Walked the shopping streets, ate in a few family restaurants, did some banking, and that sort of thing. Perfectly pleasant!

The mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal, nee Ataturk, (Anit Kabir) is "Quite The Big Thing" to see in Ankara.

The tomb is reachable after walking down this long, contemplative promenade.

Statues of male soldiers guard the entrance.
Female allegorical statues at the end of the promenade represent something -- Grief and Agriculture would be my bet.
Ataturk's mausoleum (Anit Kabir).
The sarcophagus of Ismet Inonu, Ataturk's right-hand man.
It's a big plaza.

There's a museum here containing all sorts of artifacts from Ataturk's life. Clothes, guns, cars, combs, and so forth.

Inside the mausoleum itself.

You can see the cenotaph in the window. The actual tomb of Mustafa Kemal is somewhere below.

Secularist Ataturk has always been the target of Islamic fundamentalist hate. For decades, Turkey's relatively tolerant form of democracy and civil society has been a bit of a thorn in their side.

Sputtering Islamic fundamentalists have created a story that Ataturk's body was 'rejected' by the earth. They claim that the ground trembled and the skies darkened as they buried him. The coffin was allegedly flung from the earth after burial, and was therefore placed above ground.


The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Muzesi) in Ankara displays an exhaustive collection of the early civilizations in Turkey.
I recall mostly Hittite and Phrygian artifacts, but there were many more cultures represented.
Click to the largest image size to see the detail on this stone.


We had lunch in this old Byzantine house in the Hisar (fortress) in old Ankara.

Our table was against a window that opened out to the city below. Just as we sat down for lunch, a dozen call-to-prayer chants began from the many mosques within earshot. The calls are broadcast from narrow-band public address speakers mounted atop each mosque's minaret. The amplification system gives each chanter's voice an airy quality as they sing long verses without taking a new breath.

Quite the cultural moment.

Kocatepe Mosque (Kocatepe Cami), as seen from our hotel in Kavaklidere.

This mosque was started in 1967 and finished in 1987.

A few more pictures of Ankara.


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