Part 2 of our quick guide to the Turkish Capital, Ankara.
There is a good picture of the Atatürk Mausoleum complex on the back of the 5YTL note – so take a look. It has been built on a huge, slightly raised site and all around the buildings and car parks trees, planted in the early 1950s whilst it was being built, are now coming into maturity. One tree of every kind that grows in Turkey is said to be planted there – but Fethiye Times didn’t have time to go look for our local tree, the günlük.
The place is officially called Anıt Kabir and comprises a long ceremonial walk to the actual mausoleum building which faces a square – handy for ceremonial occasions. Of which there are many: wreaths are laid here on Cumhürriyet Bayram (Republic Day) on 29th October; on the anniversary of Atatürk’s death, 10 November; and on just about every other non-religious public holiday. Visiting royalty and heads of state also lay their wreaths and sign the book. Fethiye Times was there a couple of days after Prince Charles had paid his respects – but forgot to look in the book to see what he had written.
There is a fascinating museum in one wing and you can even see his official cars, American Lincolns from the 1930s and his private runabout – a small Cadillac. There is also a souvenir shop where, on a normal Thursday when Fethiye Times visited, you had to wait 20 minutes or so in the queue for the till.
Definitely a good place to visit and learn all about the War of Liberation that Turkey fought after the end of the First World War. The museum is full of amazing old photographs with excellent explanations in Turkish and English.
If any readers who have been to Ankara would like to recommend other sites to visit in the city, please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org