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Friday, 18 October 2013

Ankara, Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Mausoleum at the centre of this picture

Ankara, the second largest city in Turkey is formerly known as Ancyra or Angora during the ancient time of the Anatolian kingdom. It had been as the one stop station, or caravanserayi for international traders since thousands of years ago. Later, few kingdoms had been established and ruined on its ground as time passed by. This city had become the capital for modern Turkey since the caliphate system had been substituted with the secular government by Mustafa Kemal.

Lying on the hilly area, this city has a 'dry' and a little bit 'dusty' atmosphere, but still ok to live. So far, I didn't have any health difficulty regarding to the atmosphere and the Mediterranean climate. The Turks should thank to the mountains and hills around this city that provides the 'dust'. This dust have created a business opportunity to them; the ceramic and its colourful paints. Besides, the hilly terrains provide outstanding landscape as well as good natural defensive structure. This place really reminiscent my visit in Rome few years ago.

I arrived in Ankara by plane from Istanbul. Thanks to Turkish Airlines. Thanks to the both Malaysian and Turkish government too because I could enter Turkey without visa. I came with peace, you know! Lavish chicken cheese sandwich accompanied my gastro during the one hour travel which I wouldn't get in the included price for a flight from Penang to KL. It took almost 1 hour from Ankara Esenboga Airport to the city centre. Generally, the overall cost in Ankara is less expensive than in the Istanbul (from my two days point of view - unfair isn't?) My analysis just focused on the food served by the restaurants, the souvenirs prices and gifts sold at the shops such as baklava, textiles and Turkish delights. Only few cases are exceptional. Well, that is normal. Istanbul is well known as all-in-one city. I stayed in my sister's house so I don't have any idea about the hotel or hostel in Ankara. Teşekkür sister! However, to travel within the city, it is better to utilize the public transport. It is quite user-friendly. You might rent the car but the petrol is around RM8.00 - RM9.00 per litre. They apply left-hand drive system but you'll drive on the right lane. In addition, do not forget the policemen with speed camera are everywhere.
Ankara Square

Compared to Istanbul, it is difficult to find Ankarans that has good command in English. They're nice, but the problem was English. So far, just an old man had welcomed me and asked me where I'm from in English. The rest, either in Arabs or in Turkish. Problem.....problem. Unfortunately I learned basic Turkish prior my visit there. Its quite easy because some of those words are similiar to Arabs and Malay. My article regarding the Turkish is here. While the language might be a little problem, there's no problem to eat at all. The locals said it is almost 98% Ankarans are Muslim. Halal restaurants were everywhere. You have few options but most of them sold Turkish foods. That was one thing I like about Turkey. I felt just like at home. A lot of halal restaurants and there is no need to pray by the parking lot or pitch. Mosque and musolla are everywhere too. And the Turks prays as we do. I loike!

Things to do in Ankara? There are many interesting locations to visit. Here is my opinion;

  1. Ankara Citadel, Ulus, Ankara. One of the oldest place in Ankara.
  2. Ankara Suluhan and Ulus shops. One of the oldest caravansarayi in Ankara.
  3. Anitkabir, the Ataturk Mausoleum.
  4. Kocatepe Mosque. I think it is the biggest mosque in Ankara.
  5. Rahimi Koc Museum, Ulus, Ankara. Suitable for technology observers.
  6. Anatolian Civilization Museum.
  7. Museum of War Independance.
  8. Kizilay Square - a modern business area. Just like Jalan Bukit Bintang in KL. 
  9. State Art and Sculpture Museum - for those who are arts lover.
Enjoy the pics....

 Waiting for a bus to Ulus

 Near Ulus bus station. Ataturk Boulevard.

 A park near Ataturk Boulevard.

Kazakhstan's President monument is here?

 Kizilay Square, lively business centre. I was here during lunch time. A lot of people. Just like Bukit Bintang, a lot of shopping complexes and offices.

 A section at Kizilay Square

One of the 'all-in-one' market at reasonable price - for a person like me. Kizilay is for 'thick pocket' person.You could find shirts, textile products, foods, nuts, cheese, accessories, vase, kitchen tools, bags, jewelries bla...bla....bla......Nice place to visit and buy goodies.

 How lovely? All seems so fresh. At Cetinkaya.

Just in case you want to buy few stuffs for your travel, for instance: bread, toothpaste or a bundle of  beverages, feel free to come to Cetinkaya = Jaya Jusco/Tesco in Malaysia. One tier higher than Nisantasi pazari in term of product quality (of course little bit expensive than Nisantasi). I bought a bottle of cologne here.  Address: 715 Sokak, Yıldızevler Mh., 06550 Ankara.

Do not forget to visit Malaysian Embassy in Ankara. Tough it is not as big as in London, when there is problem, you'll be here if you're Malaysian. As Malaysian, you must know the location. Address: 58, Mahatma Gandhi Caddesi Gaziosmanpasa Cankaya 06700. Phone: +(90)312-4463547
+(90)312-4463548, Fax: +(90)312-4464130. Email:

 The only mosque that I had visited in Ankara. Haci Dursun Erdemir Camii (Malay: Haji Dursun Erdemir Jamek)

 Ataturk Mausoleum

Ataturk Mausoleum

 Ataturk Mausoleum

Ataturk Mausoleum

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