Things to Know

Ankara, the current capital of Turkey, was known as Angora in the past and is situated in the northwestern part of the country. It lies about 200 km south of the Black Sea, where it meets with three streams - Hatip Su, Ince Su and Çubuk Streams. Although the exact date of its foundation is unknown, evidence suggests that it has been inhabited since at least the Stone Age, with archaeological finds indicating the presence of a thriving Phrygian town here around 2,000 BCE.


As an important medieval city on the Silk Road, Ankara was conquered by Alexander the Great in 333 BCE and became a major capital of Tectosages. It was incorporated into Rome's territory by emperor Augustus in 25 BCE and became a major provincial boundary town.


Throughout its early history, the city was under the control of the Byzantine Empire, until it was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in 1073. After being recaptured by Crusader Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1101, the city became a bone of contention between the Seljuqs and their rivals among the Turkish frontier lords, changing hands many times. Finally, the Seljuq Empire settled and Ankara thrived.


The city was captured by Orhan Khan of the Ottoman Empire during the 1354 invasion. Orhan became sultan in 1360 AD, ruling until his death in a hunting accident. Ankara was besieged during the Anatolian campaign of Timur - Tamerlane, and in 1403, it again became subject to Ottoman rule, further cementing its importance as a commercial and urban centre due to its location on the caravan route to Asia.


In 1919, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk established his headquarters in Ankara to make it the center of resistance against Ottoman Sultan and Greek forces after World War I. The city was declared the capital of Turkey in 1923. Today, Ankara is the country’s second-largest city, with a population of 5.6 million people, 44% of whom are under 30 years old. It is also among the safest cities in Turkey due to its ease of living, and it houses Turkish government offices, international organizations, and many foreign embassies, institutions, and companies.


Places to Visit in Ankara