Arriving in Ankara, a friend from Germany surprisingly asked a lot of questions concerning the city. Like if I had a picture of the city’s silhouette (what a nice way to prevent the word skyline). Or if people here were living in high-rise buildings rather than in one-family dwellings. If the streets were clean or chaotic. And … so … on …
If I would not have known this person I would have thought: wow, that is a lot of questions about Turkey’s capital. Is there someone planning something? But as I knew this person very well and knew she was harmless I had this idea: I will work off her questionnaire (including some photos of the city) and publish this for everyone. Even for you. You only need to read on ….
Do you have a tourist photo of Ankara?
Yes, I do. Next question …
… no, of course I will show you a picture. But before that, you will have to read an endless seeming salmon of useless information regarding the sights of Ankara.
Turkey’s capital is not really an tourist place. All in all, the city is a bit boring and not really picturesque. I dare saying this as every Ankarian I talked to, no matter if born there or moved there, approved my impression. Ankara is basically a capital, a city full of government departments and civil servants or, as somebody nailed it: Like Bonn back then. Unspectacular. Despite its considerable size.
There are about 10 really important tourist sights but that are such elevated places as Atatürk’s mausoleum, the war museum over here, the museum of independency over there, some umpteen other places related to Atatürk or the strength/greatness/power of Turkey, and to have a look at the president’s palace is not allowed at all. I don’t want to give you a detailed list of these places because I am more interested in people and residential areas. Also, lists of sights are done better by others, e.g. Wikitravel or TripAdvisor.
Finally, here is a picture of a sight – it is Anıtkabir, the mausoleum in which Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was buried:
How do people live over there? In one-family dwellings or high-rise buildings?
Oh honey, Ankara has more than 5 million inhabitants and according to this lots of houses of a different kind. I could not recognize a typical style of architecture like e.g. in the manageable city of Bern.
Where I stayed in Ankara during my first nights – oh my God, I mean: Allah, I just realize that I did not take any pictures of this house of my very first Airbnb accommodation! Okay, it was not that attractive. But a few streets around the corner, the embassies’ and hotels’ district began. I once was there because actually, I had been looking for the embassy of Iran. I was astonished to find so many expensive new high-quality cars and houses of Western architecture. Also people followed traffic rules and there were no mosques. I did not like that fact. Not that I would have become a Muslim, for God’s sake (very funny) but being an Agnostic, the mosques’ minarets always show me where to find a toilet.