Turkey is a fantastically diverse country with much to offer, however its capital city Ankara sadly didn’t fall under this description for me.
I found it to be a rather lacklustre place and its function as an overnight stop on the way from Istanbul to Cappadocia was enough time here.
However, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (known as Anitkabir in Turkey) is located here and is definitely worth the stop into if you’re passing through.
A seriously impressive site of remembrance, Atatürk is essentially the father of modern day Turkey.
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, he led the country to victory in the Turkish War of Independence which followed and became the first President of the republic.
Rather advanced in his beliefs for a man of his time, Atatürk was responsible for many reforms including equal and civil rights for women, less taxes for the lowest classes and an increase in schools by making primary education not only free but also mandatory.
Atatürk had a decorated military career and fought many battles as a soldier, including Gallipoli during WWI.
He had 13 children, many of whom were adopted and one of his daughters Sabiha Gökçen actually became the first Turkish female combat pilot. One of Istanbul’s two major airports is today named after her (the other is named for Atatürk himself).
To do justice to his life would take pages upon pages I’m sure so just know that a visit here is extremely interesting since the location doubles as a museum and offers plenty of information and artefacts spanning Atatürk’s life and therefore modern Turkish history too.
The architectural design here alone is quite stunning and the size of the main building in which he is buried is very large.
You can easily spend a few hours here learning about this impressive man at what is an obviously proud and important memorial site for the Turkish people.