Ankara sits at an altitude of c. 900 meters giving it a cool, fresh climate free of humidity. There are four distinct seasons creating opportunities to enjoy a wide variety of sports and recreational activities.
History and Language
Ankara, the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city, after Istanbul, has been an important centre in the region since 1200BC. It was first founded by the Hittites under whom it prospered as a destination on the Royal Route connecting the conquered cities throughout the Persian Empire. In the centuries that followed, the city was ruled by the Phrygians, Lydians and Persians and later, Alexander the Great used the Royal Route during his eastern campaign. As the Roman Empire expanded the city thrived under their rule until the Byzantine and finally Ottoman Empire absorbed the city under their rule.
There are few ruins remaining leaving evidence of Ankara's rich history, however, the castle, built on top of a hill prominently overlooking the city, is one of the cities oldest structures, giving spectacular views of the city and surrounding countryside.
Recent history has seen Mustafa Kemal - Ataturk's, Turkey's much loved and revered father of the republic, vision of a modern, western style capital develop at a remarkable pace since the founding of the Turkish Republic 1923. The narrow winding back streets of the old centre, around the citadel and castle, still tell the story of Ankara's past but as you move further into the centre of town, an area called Kizilay, all the appurtenances of modern living can be found.
Ankara's population has grown from c. 35000 in 1924 to over 5000000 in 2013. The city is an important commercial, trade and industrial centre, housing all the foreign embassies and many international companies, giving the expat community a richness and diversity.