Ankara Castle (iStockphoto)

Outskirts of Ankara (iStockphoto)

Frozen Lake Ankara (iStockphoto)

Kapakli Village Ankara (iStockphoto)


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What to do in Ankara

Quick, name the capital city of Turkey. Nope, it’s not Istanbul. Ankara, a vibrant city located in the heart of the country, officially became Turkey’s capital in 1923, shortly after the Republic of Turkey took over the Ottoman Empire. Now it’s a city with an aging rocker’s edge, on the fringe of a cultural revival—there are high-rises and shanty towns, mosques and shopping malls, buses and bazaars. In a city of nearly four million people, there are nine institutes of higher learning. If you’re not here to go to school, there’s a good chance you’re employed by one. So many students means one thing—lots of good times and an active nightlife. The café culture is one of great delight in these parts; people gather to drink, eat, discuss politics, and frantically cheer on their beloved football (yes, soccer) team.

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