Ankara, Turkey, the nation's capital and second largest city. It lies on the Ankara River amid the rolling hills of the Anatolian Plateau, about 215 miles (346 km) east-southeast of Istanbul.
Though primarily a center of government, Ankara is also an industrial city. Products include textiles, food, beer, leather goods, cement, and farm equipment. The city is a trade center for the surrounding agricultural area. Railways and highways serve the city; Esenboga Airport handles domestic and international flights.
The Middle East Technical University, Hacettepe University, and Ankara University are here. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations has a noted collection of Hittite artifacts, and the Ethnographic Museum is known for its collection of Turkish and Islamic art. Also in Ankara is the Turkish Natural History Museum.
Atatürk's Mausoleum and Museum contains the tomb, official papers, and other memorabilia of Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic. Remains of the ancient city include Roman baths; the Temple of Rome and Augustus; and, from the Byzantine era, the citadel and the Column of Julian.
About 4,000 years ago, a Hittite village existed on the site of what is now Ankara. It was conquered in succession by Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, and Greeks, and in 333 B.C. by the Macedonians under Alexander the Great. Because of its central location, Ancyra, as the city was called, became a prosperous commercial center. In the second century B.C. it was occupied by the Romans, becoming the capital of the Roman province of Galatia in 25 B.C.
In the fifth century A.D., control passed to the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire. The city withstood repeated Arab invasions, but was seized by the Seljuk Turks in 1073. Angora, as it was then known, continued to flourish. It was held briefly by the Crusaders early in the 12th century. In the 1350's it fell to the Ottoman Turks. At the battle of Angora in 1402, the Mongol ruler Tamerlane defeated Sultan Bajazet I, but the Turks eventually recovered the city. It remained part of the Ottoman Empire for five centuries, although it declined in importance.
In 1918 Angora became the headquarters of the Young Turk movement led by Mustafa Kemal (Kemal Atatürk). In 1923 it was declared the capital of the newly established Turkish Republic, and in 1930 its name was changed to Ankara. As Turkey's capital, it grew rapidly.