Anıtkabir - Atatürk's Mausoleum in Ankara, Turkey is located on an imposing hill in the Anıttepe district of the city. An adjacent museum houses a wax statue of Atatürk, his writings, letters and personal items, as well as an exhibition of photographs recording important moments in his life before and during the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. The Mausoleum was designed by architects Professor Emin Onat and Assistant Professor Orhan Arda, whose proposal beat 48 other entries from several countries in a competition held by the Turkish Government in 1941 for a monumental mausoleum to honor Atatürk. The site is also the final resting place of İsmet İnönü, the second President of Turkey, who was interred there after he died in 1973. His tomb faces the Atatürk Mausoleum on the opposite side of the Ceremonial Ground. The site chosen for Anıtkabir was known as Rasattepe - Observation Hill, which at the time of the architectural competition was a central location in Ankara that could be seen from all parts of the city. Archeological excavations unearthed artifacts belonging to the Phrygian civilization, which were carefully excavated and put on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, also in Ankara. The construction of Anıtkabir took nine years and began on 9 October 1944 with the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone. Completed in 1953 it is a grand combination of ancient and modern architectural styles.
Winner of the 1997 Best European Museum award, Ankara's Museum of Anatolian Civilisations details Turkey's past through innumerable artifacts from the Anatolian peninsula. The building itself is particularly imposing and is a restored ten-domed 15th-century market vault (bedesten). Exhibits include fine examples from Paleolithic and Neolithic times - right up to the Lydian period and everything in between. The classical Greek and Roman artefacts downstairs are also worth checking out. Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi is located at the entrance of Ankara Castle. It is an old "bedesten" (covered bazaar) that has been beautifully restored and now houses a unique collection of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, and Roman works as well as a major section dedicated to Lydian treasures. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is located on the south side of Ankara Castle in the Atpazarı area in Ankara, Turkey. It consists of the old Ottoman Mahmut Paşa bazaar storage building and the Kurşunlu Han. Due to Atatürk's desire to establish a Hittite museum, the buildings were bought upon the suggestion of Hamit Zübeyir Koşay, who was then Culture Minister, to the National Education Minister, Saffet Arıkan. After the remodelling and repairs were completed in the period of 1938–1968 the building was opened to the public as the Ankara Archaeological Museum. It is one of the richest museums in the world.
Museum of Anatolian Civilisations - Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi
Address: Ulus (Old Ankara), Ankara, Turkey
Tel: +90 0312 324 3160
Open: Daily - 08:30 to 17:30
Small admission charge
Museum of the War of Independence - Kurtuluş Savaşı Müzesi in Ankara is located on Ulus Square and was originally the first Parliament building of the Republic of Turkey. The War of Independence was planned and directed from here as recorded in various photographs and items presently on exhibition in the museum. In this museum there are wax figures of former presidents of the Republic of Turkey on exhibit. Visitors can check out the many photographs and documents at the Museum of the War of Independence to learn details about independence and democracy in the Ottoman Empire. The Republican Grand National Assembly - previously the Committee of Union and Progress Ankara headquarters held its first sessions here. The building continued to serve as the headquarters of the Turkish Grand National Assembly throughout the War of Independence. The building continued to house the assembly until October 15, 1924. The building later served as the headquarters of the Republican Peoples Party and then as the School of Law before being turned over to the Turkish Ministry of Education in 1952. Work started in 1957 to convert the building into a museum and it was opened to public as the Turkish Grand National Assembly Museum on April 23, 1961.
Museum of the War of Independence - Kurtulus Savasi Müzesi
Address: Cumhuriyet Bulvari, Ulus, Ankara, Turkey
Tel: +90 0312 310 4960
Open: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:30 to 17:00
Small admission charge
Ankara Ethnography Museum - Etnografya Müzesi opened to public on 18 July 1930 and remained open until the inner court was converted to a temporary resting place for Atatürk. Atatürk's coffin stayed in this court until it was transferred to Anitkabir in 1953. This section of the museum is still preserved as a symbolic mausoleum in memory of Atatürk. For 15 years the Ethnographical Museum functioned as a mausoleum where all heads of state, ambassadors, foreign envoys and officials visited to show Atatürk respect. During this time improvement works continued in the museum and when completed on the occasion of the International Week of Museums in November of 1956 it opened once again to the public. Previously Ataturk's offices were located just to the south of Ulus, the Ethnography Museum displays tributes to Ataturk, with photographs of his funeral on the walls as well as stunning collections of porcelain, embroidery, and woodwork. The building is quite attractive in itself, being a post-Ottoman structure clad with marble.
Ankara Ethnography Museum - Etnografya Müzesi
Address: Talat Pasa Bulvari, Samanpazari, Ankara, Turkey, TR
Small admission charge
Hamamönü is an area that has many old Ottoman-style houses, the Karacabey Turkish Hamam and many new nice small restaurants and cafes for for sampling Turkish cuisine. The history of the Karacabey Hamam Dates back to 1427 when a military officer of Sultan Murat II - Celalettin Karacabey İbn-i Abdullah began construction of the hamam that was completed in 1440. Today, it has become on of the most important historic sites in the capital. Hamamönü well reflects the atmosphere of 19th century civil architecture in Turkey. Rehabilitation and restoration work has been carried out under a renovation project which refurbished about 250 of the houses in Hamamönü. Afterwards tourist activity in the region started to increase dramatically, as well as an influx of new shops, restaurants, and bars opened by Turkish businesses due to the heightened popularity of the area. They are still being restored in accordance with the historical texture of the last period of the Ottoman era houses 150 years ago and are fully decorated with Turkish motifs. It was in Hamamönü that the National Anthem was written by Mehmet Akif Ersoy. There is also the Taceddin Sultan Mosque, the Haji Musa Mosque and the historical bath located in Karacabey.
The Kocatepe Mosque - Kocatepe Camii is the largest mosque in Ankara. Built between 1967 and 1987 in the Kocatepe quarter in Kızılay its size and prominent situation have made it a landmark that can be seen from almost anywhere in central Ankara. The concept of building the Kocatepe Mosque dates back to the 1940s. On December 8, 1944, Ahmet Hamdi Akseki, the Vice-President of Turkish Religious Affairs, along with 72 founding members, established a society known as the "Society to Build a Mosque in Yenişehir, Ankara." In 1947 this society finally called for plans to be drawn up by architects, but none of the submitted plans were accepted. Then in 1956, through the efforts of then Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, land was set aside for the project. A new request for plans was made once again in 1957. This time 36 projects were evaluated, with the joint plans of Vedat Dalokay and Nejat Tekelioğlu being chosen as the one to be implemented. But due to heavy criticism from conservatives for its modernist look, the construction was stopped at the foundation level. Finally a third architectural competition was announced in 1967 and a more conservative design by Hüsrev Tayla and M. Fatin Uluengin was selected. The Mosque was completed in 1987 being built in a neo-classical Ottoman architectural style, borrowing styles from the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, and the Sehzade and Sultan Ahmet Mosques in Istanbul.
Beypazarı is well worth a visit if you like traditional Turkish architecture and culture. Beypazarı is a town and district of Ankara Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey about 100 kilometers west of the city of Ankara. The name Beypazarı means the Bey's market in Turkish because in the Ottoman period this was an important military base and the cavalry stationed here were an important element of the local economy. Beypazarı today is a small town in a rural district famous for producing nearly 60% of Turkey's carrots, silverwork (Telkari), and a high quality natural mineral water. The crystal mineral trona, a kind of natural soda used in glass-making is also extracted in Beypazarı. With its rich history, architectural heritage and attractive rocky countryside Beypazarı is becoming increasingly attractive to visitors, especially day-trippers from Ankara. The cobbled streets of white Ottoman period buildings are particularly attractive and many of the old houses have been restored as hotels and restaurants. These have become popular with Turkish film directors looking for authentic locations. Every June the town holds its popular Traditional Historical Houses, Handicrafts, Carrot and Stew Festival. These visitors bring valuable income to the town by shopping for silverware and providing good customers for the cafes and restaurants.