Kemal Ataturk's Memorial
Kemal Ataturk's Memorial, Mausoleum and Museum - the memorial is on the top of a small hill. There's a bit of a walk, and then there's a huge set of steps up to the top of the memorial.
This is a very, very large building. Ataturk was extremely important to Turkey. He started as an Ottoman general and fought against us at Gallipoli, he fought in the Turkish War of Independence, became a national hero, declared Turkey a repuplic and completely remade Turkish society. The measure of his importance, and the regard that the Turks have for him, can be demonstrated by the size of his memorial.
The changing of the guard. The new guard comes marching down the middle, and stopps at each of the guardposts and changes the guards.
Driving between Ankara and Safranbolu/Karabuk
Ankara is about 2 to 4 hours' drive from Safranbolu and Karabuk to the north, depending on weather conditions. Overall, the drive is easy, the roads range from good to excellent, and the signs are clear and easy to follow.
The otoban, toll highway, is excellent. A large, broad ighway it excellent condition, it rings the city and goes all the way to Istanbul before heading on to Edirne on the Greek and Bulgarian borders. Driving between the Karabuk-Safranbolu area and Ankara, one can take the otoban for much of the distance, all the way between Ankara and Gerede, which takes about 1 hour in good weather or 1.5-2.5 hours in inclement weather, depending on how much wind, rain, or snow one encounters in the mountains near Dorukkaya. Between Karabuk-Safranbolu and Gerede, the drive is again about 1 hour in good weather and 1.5 to 2 hours in bad weather. It's a good, divided highway, though, and the drive is fairly easy. The signs switching between the otoban and the regular highway in Gerede are clear and easy to follow and one need only pay just under 2 lira for the whole stretch of otoban between Ankara and Gerede.
As is normal on Turkish highway, gasoline/petrol/filling stations are numerous as are excellent rest facilities with stores, bathrooms, restaurants, etc. (they are truly wonderful places, not like the inferior rest stops or service areas we are used to here in the US).
The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Close to the citadel gate, an old bedesten has been beautifully restored and now houses a marvelous and unique collection including Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Roman works, and showpiece Lydian treasures. (Open every day, except Monday. During the summer, the museum opens everyday).
Ankara Palas was first established as a “Parliamentary Club” in 1927 and has great importance as the symbol of the Republic with its architectural features, historical, political and artistic missions. It is located just across from the old National Assembly Building and was the place where the deputies gathered from time to time and made decisions about the country.
This rectangular building has three stories including the basement. The large ballroom which still hosts balls, auctions and concerts has fascinating decorations on its ceiling. A tea and games room opens onto a terrace next to the ballroom. At the back of the building is a dining room, with a capacity for 500 and it was used especially for embassy receptions. The building was used as an office and exhibition area between 1976-1982 by the Ministry of Industry and Technology. It was restored by MOFA and opened as “Ankara Palace State Guest House” with a reception in October 29, 1983.
The rooms, most of which are single, are on the entrance floor. The rooms facing the front lobby are used for administrative purposes. The front of the building is richly ornamented and Rumi (stylized design of Seljukian art) motives were used. The high ground floor windows are decorated with pointed arches and small balconies and the iron decorations of those windows are positioned as complementary architectural elements. The corridor is decorated with big vases and the works of famous Turkish artists hang on the walls.
The front and the special suit placed over it, has been marked with wide profiled moldings and a high pointed arch. The high ground floor windows are decorated with high pointed arches and the small balconies and the iron decorations of those windows are positioned as complementary architectural elements. The corridor is decorated with big vases while the works of famous Turkish artists paintings were hanging on the walls.
The palace was used as a hotel until 1969. Spectacular “Republic Balls” used to take place in Ankara Palas and it was among Atatürk's favorite places. If you are invited to a ball at Ankara Palace be sure not to miss it for the ambiance is wonderful. We suggest you visit the old National Assembly just across from Ankara Palace. Moreover, if you have some time, the road from Ulus will lead you to old Ankara where you may see the famed Ankara Citadel, or Ankara Kalesi
Parks in Ankara
In Ankara parks are worth to see. Not like other cities in Turkey. In Ankara they are big and green. Full of trees. This is "Kugulu Park" or "Swan Park" in Kavaklidere, in the middle of Ankara. You can see nice swans in there and have some rest.
The other nice park is in Cankaya called "Seymenler Parki". I think it's bigger. There are no swans but maybe you can have more relax.