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Ankara (ăngˈkərə, Turk. ängˈkärä), city (2021 pop. 4,587,558), capital of Turkey and Ankara prov., W central Turkey, at an elevation of c.3,000 ft (910 m). Turkey's largest city after İstanbul, Ankara is primarily an administrative city, but it is also an important commercial, industrial, and cultural center. Grains, vegetables, and fruit are grown nearby. Manufactures include food products, wine, farm machinery, iron and steel, textiles, and cement. Angoran goats bred there are famous for the mohair made from their coats. Tourism is increasingly important, and the service sector is expanding.

Known in ancient times as Ancyra and later as Angora, the city was an important commercial center at least as early as Hittite times (18th cent. B.C.). in the 1st cent. A.D. it became the capital of a Roman province. It flourished under Augustus; in the ruins of a marble temple dating from his reign (31 B.C.–A.D. 14) was found the Monumentum Ancyranum, a set of inscribed tablets valuable as a record of Augustan history. The city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in the mid-14th cent., and in 1402 Timur defeated and captured Sultan Beyazid I there.

In the late 19th cent. Ankara declined and by the early 20th cent. was a small town known only for the production of mohair. In 1920, Kemal Atatürk made the city the seat of his Turkish nationalist government with a commitment to modernization. In 1923 it replaced İstanbul as the capital of all Turkey, partly to break with tradition and partly to take advantage of its central location. The city grew rapidly from the 1920s; in the 1960s its population almost doubled.

There are few historic remains. Ankara's leading modern monument is the Atatürk mausoleum, completed in 1953. The huge Kocatepe Mosque opened in 1987. The city has numerous museums, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, and is the seat of the Ankara, Hacettepe, and Middle East Technical universities.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(formerly called Angora, ancient Ancyra), capital of Turkey, administrative center of Ankara wilaya. Located on the central Anatolian Plateau at an elevation of 891 m, at the confluence of the Cubuk and Ankara rivers (of the Sakarya River basin).

The climate is continental. Average temperatures range from -0.7°C in January to 23.2°C in July, and the annual precipitation is 340 mm. The population was 1,200,000 in 1970, second to Istanbul. From 30,000 in 1920, Ankara grew to 75,000 in 1927,157,000in 1940,650,000 in 1960, and 902,000 in 1965. Ankara is the political, economic, and cultural center of the country. Macadam roads connect Ankara with the provincial centers, and rail lines lead to the coasts of the Black Sea (at Zonguldak and at Samsun), the Bosporus (at Istanbul), the Sea of Marmara (at Izmit), the Aegean Sea (at Izmir), the Mediterranean Sea (at Mersin and Iskenderun), and the Soviet-Turkish border. The Esenboga airport is close to Ankara.

The municipal meclis (assembly, elected by the citizens for four years) is the governing body of Ankara. Its chairman is appointed by the minister of internal affairs and is approved by the president. Each city district of Ankara also has an elective municipal meclis.

The town was founded in the seventh century B.C. by the Phrygian king Midas. In ancient times and in the Middle Ages it was an important center for caravan trade in Anatolia. In the 14th century Ankara was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. On July 28 (or July 20), 1402, the battle between Tamerlane and Bayazid I took place near Ankara. After the 1864 province reform Ankara became the center of the wilaya of Anatolia. From the end of 1919, Ankara was the center of the national liberation movement of 1918–22. It was the residence of the Committee of Representatives and, from Apr. 23, 1920, of the Great National Assembly of Turkey and the government established by it. On Oct. 13, 1923, Ankara was made the capital of Turkey, and on Oct. 29, 1923, the capital of the Turkish Republic.

Ankara has aircraft, small arms, and other munitions factories; a tractor assembly plant; manufacturers of rubber products; small steel mills and machine shops; and cement, glass, woodworking, textile (wool), leather, and food and food-flavoring (such as flour, sugar, and meat) industries. Handicrafts are produced, particularly carpets. Ankara is a large trade center, chiefly for mohair (the wool of Angora goats), grain, and livestock.

In the old section of Ankara, with its narrow, winding streets, are its architectural monuments: the Temple of Augustus and Rome (second century B.C. [?]); ruins of the public baths (end of the second century or beginning of the third century); a sepulcher with frescoes (fourth century); the Citadel; 12th- to 15th-century mosques of Alaeddin, Ars-lanhane, Ahi Elvan, and others; and the great covered bazaar (between 1464 and 1471), which now houses the Archaeological Museum. Since 1920 (mainly in the 1950’s and 1960’s) a modern city, including multistory buildings, private dwellings, and an abundance of greenery, has been undergoing development through proper planning to the south of the old city. The presidential palace, the theater, and the Atatürk Mausoleum (finished in 1953, architects E. Onat and A. Arad) have been constructed. There are universities, a conservatory, six theaters (including operatic-dramatic, children’s, and chamber theaters), the Archaeological and Ethnographical Museums, and the National Library.


Stolitsy stran mira. Moscow, [1965].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the capital of Turkey: an ancient city in the Anatolian highlands: first a capital in the 3rd century bc, in the Celtic kingdom of Galatia. Pop.: 3 593 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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