Winter Time in Turkey – Ankara

It was lovely to finally get back to the boat after so long away albeit it was raining when we arrived. Little did we know this was going to be a regular weather pattern over the winter.   We had a couple of weeks then we had a visit from our good friend John. 

We took a ride in the Olympos cable car up the Tahtali mountain, known as Mount Olympos in ancient times, which is 2365m high.  It was a very clear day and we could see for miles.  It was a bit chilly but worth the ride up above the clouds.  Unfortunately, I downloaded my photos to a hard drive which has corrupted and despite taking it to a shop, they weren’t retrievable.  That will teach me to always have two copies of everything. 


We like to go to the capital city of countries we visit so along with Colin and Maggie off we went.   Ankara is not normally on people’s list of places to visit in Turkey, people tend to go to Istanbul.  Ankara only became the capital in 1923 after the Turkish war of Independence. Buses go most places here so rather than fly there we decided to take the bus to see some of the Turkish landscape on the way.  It left from our local bus station at Finike and arrived in Ankara about 10 and a half hours later.  It was very comfortable, a 52 seater size coach but it didn’t have 52 seats just two one side and one on the other side of the aisle.  We stopped every couple of hours and it was nice to see some other parts of Turkey. 

Atatürk’s Mausoleum – Anıtkabir

One of the main sites to visit in Ankara is the Ataturk mausoleum.  If you’ve been in Turkey, even for just a short time, you will see that there are lots of references and pictures of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, even in small shops.  Ataturk transformed Turkey which became a republic on 29th October 1923  and is a great day of celebration each year.  Ataturk was the leader of the Turkish Independence War and Turkish Revolution and the founder of Turkish Republic. 

Ataturk’s ultimate aim was to build a modern progressive and secular state.  He made education free and compulsory.  He introduced a latin based Turkish alphabet.  Women were given the vote in 1930

When Ataturk died in 1938 he was initially laid to rest at the Ethnography Museum of Ankara.  The mausoleum was built to reflect his greatness and took nine years to construction, beginning in 1944 and was completed in 1953.  He was transferred to the Mausoleum, known as the Anitkabir on  10th November 1953, on the 15th anniversary of his death. 

Atatürk’s Tomb

The corpse of Atatürk is in a grave dug directly in the soil below the ground floor of the Mausoleum. The tomb is situated directly beneath the symbolic sarcophagus in the hall of honour on the first floor of the mausoleum and is an octagon in the Seldjuk and Ottoman architectural style, topped with a pyramidal roof and its ceiling decorated with mosaics bearing geometrical motifs. The ground and the walls are covered with black, white and red marbles. İn the middle of the tomb, the smaller sarcophagus made of red marble is directed towards the Kaaba (a building situated in the Grand Mosque at Mecca, Saudia Arabia). This marble sarcophagus is surrounded by vases filled with soil from every province and from the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus.  Viewing of Ataturk’s tomb is by a video screen only.

Changing of the Guard

Whilst here we saw the changing of the guard.  The guards were very imposing and when the guard shouted, along with the soldiers I jumped to attention too!! He scared me .  The guards march with bent knee goose step.  It was quite mesmerising watching them.

Other sites of Ankara

Ankara Castle – The castle sits on the hillside overlooking the city.  Here along the streets we found a tea pot that should keep Ian going, as he does like a cuppa. 

Rahmi M. Koç Museum is situated just outside the Castle.  The museum is a collection of industrial and engineering objects and documents from all countries and all periods from past to present.  It houses all sorts of items ranging from small models to steam engines and classic cars, it is home to more than four thousand objects in 32 rooms that reveal the history of many industries from maritime to road transport, aviation to medicine.

Notice the woman working on the boat while the guy is sleeping!!!!

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations

This is a history of Turkey  from the Hittite era (2600 to 1300 BCE).  We saw some interesting artefacts.  Certificates for Marriage, which states that if the husband divorces his wife he has to pay her five minas silver.  Divorce, states that men and women had equal rights to divorce and remarry.  The Will interestingly states that a wife had first rights on the inheritance, which showed that even all those years ago how important the woman was and quite rightly so!!

Marriage, Divorce and a Will all set in stone, literally. 

We managed to find some cuisine that wasn’t Turkish, which is quite difficult.  We went to a very nice  Italian restaurant one evening and a meat restaurant that served the most wonderful rack of lamb, that the waiter served up at the table. 

After taking the bus to Ankara we decided to fly back which although only an hour’s flight by the time we got to the airport an hour away, allowed time for being at the airport ahead of the flight and having to get back from the airport it still took about six hours.

20th April 2022

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