The edge of nowhere

13 Oct

From time to time I am astounded by Ankara and how the city as I know it came to be.

The Hittites made this region their capital around the 14th century BC, so clearly the area had something going for it. But it really does seem to be in the middle of nowhere. Geographically, it is somewhat interesting as it is a natural bowl on a great plain flanked by mountain ranges. So imagine you make it through the mountain passes, to a high altitude plain, the you see this big bowl. Climb up into that and you have Ankara.

I understand that Ataturk chose it because not only did he direct the War of Liberation from here (it was politically friendly to his cause), but he thought it was far enough away from the old imperial capital and would be a clean slate city from which he could remake Turkey. Which, in short order, he did.

I offer this up because this week I went walking around Lake Eymir. The entrance to the park just off the main road to one of busiest and fanciest malls in town. You turn here:

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And in 1 measly kilometer this is the view to the east and south.

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The bowl that is Ankara is filled with five million people, but when it ends it ends. It truly is the edge of nowhere.

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