Area: 30.715 km²
Population: 4.007.860 (2000)
Traffic Code: 06
The history of Ankara and its surroundings stretches back to the Hatti civilisation of the Bronze Age. Two thousand years BC, the Hittites became the dominant power of the region and were then followed by the Phyrgians, Lydians and Persians. In the third century BC, a Celtic race known as the Galatians made Ankara their capital city. The name Ankara comes from the word Ancyra, which means anchor. The city gained prominence under the leadership of Atatürk during the national resistance which followed World War I. It was declared the capital of the new Turkish Republic on October 13th 1923 when the National War of Independence freed Turkey from foreign occupation.
Situated in one of the most prominent parts of Ankara is Anitkabir, the magnificent mausoleum that was constructed to commemorate Atatürk. This structure, completed in 1953, is a synthesis of antique and modern architectural themes and epitomises the elegance and strength of Turkish architecture.
The oldest parts of the city surround the Castle. The Alaaddin Mosque found inside its walls is still one of the best examples of Selcuk art and wood craftsmanship, in spite of the fact that it was restored by the Ottomans. The area has experienced a rejuvenation with the restoration of many interesting old Turkish houses and the opening of several art galleries and fine restaurants that feature examples of traditional Turkish cuisine.
Near the gate of the castle is the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, a beautifully restored portion of the old bazaar. It contains priceless artifacts belonging to the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras as well as the Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartu and Roman civilisations.
Ankara has a vibrant cultural and artistic life with many selected ballet, theatre, opera and folk dance performances. The city’s Philharmonic Orchestra, which always plays to a packed house, is especially famous.
The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates back to the late sixth century BC, when it appeared in the trilingual inscriptions of two early Achaemenid kings, Darius I and Xerxes, as one of the countries of the Persian Empire. In these lists of countries, the Old Persian name is Katpatuka, clearly not a native Persian name.
Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age and was the homeland of the Hittite power centred at Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, with the decline of the Syro-Cappadocians (Mushki) following their defeat by the Lydian king Croesus in the sixth century, Cappadocia was ruled by a sort of feudal aristocracy, dwelling in strong castles and keeping the peasants in a servile condition, which later made them apt for foreign slavery. It was included in the third Persian satrapy in the division established by Darius, but continued to be governed by rulers of its own, none apparently supreme over the whole country and all more or less tributaries of the Great King.