anatolian ankara

Map used with permission of Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediye Başkanliği, Atatürk Library, Istanbul.

Ankara, the reason behind my trip to Turkey, was planned in the 1920s as a new capital for the young Turkish Republic, led by Atatürk. Looking for a fresh start and a marked difference from the previous empires that had reigned in the region, Ataturk moved the capital away from Istanbul to then-obscure Ankara in central Anatolia.

Map source: AD article “The Making of An Early Republican Ankara,” Turkey At the Threshold, AD (Jan/Feb 2010).

Unlike Chandigarh, Ankara existed before it was planned as a capital, so planners had to deal with a historic core as they developed the city. Another major factor in the planning was the topography. Ankara sits alongside a mountain; its old history surrounds a mountaintop fort. Ankara’s master plans and early republican architecture were heavily influenced by Germany, as it was vying to reposition itself after World War 1.

Hermann Jansen’s plan, adopted in 1928 and based on the earlier plan by German planner Carl Lörcher, severs the old from the new by cutting a main boulevard (Atatürk) between the old (Ulus) and the new center (Kizilay). The plan for the new administration was then structured around the new center, Kizilay.

Map used with permission of Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediye Başkanliği, Atatürk Library, Istanbul.

Since the plan, Ankara has grown from just tens of thousands to its current population of 4.5 million. Because I will only be in Ankara for a short time, I will be looking at strategic locations in the plan: (1) the edge between the historic core, Ulus, and the planned areas, (2) the main street, Atatürk Boulevard, cutting through the city, (3) the commercial and administrative center Kizilay, and (4) the edges of the plan, where development begins to move to accommodate population increases.

As always, if anyone has any tips or leads I’d love to hear them.


3 thoughts on “anatolian ankara

  1. Missy and Sachin, Thank you for updating me/us on your visit to Turkey. I read your postings with interest.
    As you know, I think of you often and wonder just where you are and what you are doing.
    We have had 95% of possible sunshine during the first week of March. Can you believe that? Now we are told that scattered showers are coming. Maybe the snow will finally disappear.
    Take good care of yourselves. Blessings in your travels and in your relationship with one another.
    Grandpa Hofman

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