Ankara

Ankara (formerly known as Angora, and in the classical period, Ancyra) is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city. Besides it is the capital of Ankara Province. Population (2003) 3,582,000.

Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It also serves as the marketing center for the surrounding agricultural area. Before becoming a capital, the city was famous for its long-haired goats and their wool (Angora wool).

Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important crossroads both figuratively of trade, and literally of Turkey's highway and rail network.

It is home to the Middle Eastern Technical University and the University of Ankara. The National Library, the Archaeological Museum and the Ethnographical Museum are located in Ankara, and is home to the state theater and the Presidential Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since Ankara became the capital of Turkey, new development has divided the city into an old section, called Ulus, and new section, called Yenisehir. Ancient buildings reflecting Roman, Byzatine, and Ottoman history and narrow winding streets mark the old section. The new section has the trappings of a more modern city: wide streets, hotels, theaters, and apartment buildings. Government offices and foreign embassies are also located in the new section.

History

This section is adapted from 1911 Encyclopedia, and is probably out of date and not NPOV. It is also a little confusing. Fix as needed.

Originally a large and prosperous Phrygian city on the Persian Royal Road, Ankara became the center of the Tectosages, one of the three Gaulish tribes that settled permanently in Galatia about 232 BC. The barbarian occupation dislocated civilization, and the town sank to a mere village inhabited chiefly by the old native population who carried on the arts and crafts of peaceful life, while the Gauls devoted themselves to war and pastoral life.

In 189 BC, the Roman Consul Gnaeus Manlius Vulso occupied Ankara, and made it his headquarters in his operations against the Galatians. In 63 BC Pompey placed it (together with the Tectosagan territory) under one chief, and it continued under native rule until it became the capital of the Emperial Roman province of Galatia in 25 BC under emperor Augustus Caesar

By this time the population included Greeks, Jews, Romans and Romanized Gauls, but the town was not yet Hellenized, though Greek was spoken. Strabo (c. 19 AD) calls it not a city, but a fortress, implying that it had none of the institutions of a Graeco-Roman city.

Inscriptions and coins show that its civilization consisted of a layer of Roman ideas and customs superimposed on Celtic tribal characteristics, and that it is not until c. 150 AD that the true Hellenic spirit begins to appear. Christianity was introduced (from the north or northwest) perhaps as early as the 1st century, but there is no shred of evidence that the Ancyran Church (first mentioned 192 AD) was founded by St. Paul or that he ever visited northern Galatia. The real greatness of the town dates from the time when Constantinople became the metropolis of the Roman world: then its geographical situation raised it to a position of importance which it retained throughout the middle ages.

Both Persians and Arabs attacked Ankara during its period as a city of the Byzantine Empire. Seljuk Turks conquered Ankara around 1073. Although crusader Raymond IV of Toulouse drove them out in 1101, the Byzantines lost control, and Seljuks and their rivals battled for posession of the city.

Orhan I, second bey of the Ottoman Empire captured the city in 1356. Turkic leader Timur Lenk besieged Ankara as part of his campaign in Anatolia, but in 1403 Ankara was again in control of the Ottomans, where it stayed until the end of World War I

At the close of World War I, Turkey was under control of the Ottoman sultan and was being invaded by Greek forces. The leader of the Turkish nationalists, Kemal Atatürk established the headquarters of his resistance movement in Ankara in 1919. Turkey was declared a republic in 1923 and Ankara replaced Istanbul (then Constantinople) as the capital of the new country.

See also: Synod of Ancyra


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