Ankara, Turkey’s cosmopolitan capital, sits in the country’s central Anatolia region. It’s a center for the performing arts, home to the State Opera and Ballet, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra and several national theater companies. Overlooking the city is Anitkabir, the enormous hilltop mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, modern Turkey’s first president, who declared Ankara the capital in 1923.
Ankara was a small town of a few thousand people, mostly living around Ankara Castle, in the beginning of the 20th century. The fate of the city has changed, when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his friends made Ankara the center of their resistance movement against the Allies in 1920, and established a parliament representing the people of Turkey, against the Allies’ controlled Ottoman Government in the occupied Istanbul of post World War I. Upon the success of the Turkish War of Independence, the government in Istanbul and the empire was abolished by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara in 1923, and the Republic of Turkey was established.
Data and facts
- The total land area of Ankara is 971 square miles (2,516 square kilometers).
- Ankara had a population of 75,000 in 1927. As of 2016, Ankara Province has a population of 5,346,518.
- Ankara has a borderline hot-summer Mediterranean climate and a cold semi-arid climate. Under the Trewartha climate classification, Ankara has a middle latitude steppe climate. Due to its elevation and inland location, Ankara has cold and snowy winters and hot and dry summers. Rainfall occurs mostly during the spring and autumn.
- The Ankara region is also home to one of the ancient, natural cat breeds called 'Turkish Angora', which have been documented as early as the 1600s. It was also on the backside of the Turkish 50 banknotes in 1938-1952.
- The city is said to have existed during the Bronze Age and belonged to the Hattic civilization, but according to the Phygrian tradition, King Midas founded the city as 'Ancyra.'
- The leader of the Turkish nationalists, Kemal Atatürk, established the headquarters of his resistance movement in Ankara in 1919. After the War of Independence was won and the Ottoman Empire was dissolved, Turkey was declared a republic.
- Ankara became the new Turkish capital upon the establishment of the Republic on 29 October 1923, succeeding in this role the former Turkish capital Constantinople (Istanbul) following the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
- The oldest mosque in Ankara, the Alaeddin Mosque, dates back to AH 574 or 1178 AD, built by a prince of an Anatolian Seljuk Sultan during his reign.
- The Ankara Castle is the oldest part of the city, and rests on a hill 978 meters (3,209 feet) high. It has hosted several civilizations at various periods of history. The foundations of the citadel were laid by the Galatians on a prominent lava outcrop. The Byzantines and Seljuk Turks made further restorations and additions.
- The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is located on the south side of Ankara Castle in the Atpazarı area in Ankara. It exhibits stunning findings from Anatolia’s most important archaeological sites and provides a comprehensive view of Turkey’s ancient past. A historic caravanserai holding artifacts from up to 7500 years, including the most extensive and valuable collection of Hittite artifacts in the world.
- Ankara has the largest urban ropeway on the Eurasian continent in 2014, with a 10 passenger gondola lift.
Ankara is politically a triple battleground between the ruling conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP), the opposition Kemalist centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP) and the nationalist far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The province of Ankara is divided into 25 districts. The CHP's key and almost only political stronghold in Ankara lies within the central area of Çankaya, which is the city's most populous district. While the CHP has always gained between 60 and 70% of the vote in Çankaya since 2002, political support elsewhere throughout Ankara is minimal. The high population within Çankaya, as well as Yenimahalle to an extent, has allowed the CHP to take overall second place behind the AKP in both local and general elections, with the MHP a close third, despite the fact that the MHP is politically stronger than the CHP in almost every other district. Overall, the AKP enjoys the most support throughout the city. The electorate of Ankara thus tend to vote in favour of the political right, far more so than the other main cities of Istanbul and İzmir. In retrospect, the 2013–14 protests against the AKP government were particularly strong in Ankara, proving to be fatal on multiple occasions.
Ankara is the center of the state-owned and private Turkish defense and aerospace companies, where the industrial plants and headquarters of the Turkish Aerospace Industries, MKE, ASELSAN, Havelsan, Roketsan, FNSS, Nurol Makina, and numerous other firms are located. Exports to foreign countries from these defense and aerospace firms have steadily increased in the past decades. The IDEF in Ankara is one of the largest international expositions of the global arms industry. A number of the global automotive companies also have production facilities in Ankara, such as the German bus and truck manufacturer MAN SE. Ankara hosts the OSTIM Industrial Zone, Turkey's largest industrial park. A large percentage of the complicated employment in Ankara is provided by the state institutions, such as the ministries, sub-ministries, and other administrative bodies of the Turkish government. There are also many foreign citizens working as diplomats or clerks in the embassies of their respective countries.
Turkey is a natural bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa. Because of the robust economic growth in Turkey in the last ten years, both public and private infrastructure investments on transportation, telecommunications and energy are significantly improved. For this reason, as the capital city at the heart of this bridge, Ankara has a strong infrastructure in transportation, telecommunications and energy. Ankara’s advantageous geographical location allows the city to function as a hub for all transportation, telecommunications and energy networks. With its new and highly developed technological infrastructure, the city also offers well-developed and low-cost connections to maritime lines, well-established transportation routes and direct delivery mechanisms to most of the EU countries.
Ankara serves as:
- New and highly developed technological infrastructure in transportation, telecommunication and energy
- Well-developed and low-cost connections to maritime lines
- Railway transport advantage to Central and Eastern Europe
- Well-established transportation routes and direct delivery mechanisms to most of the EU countries
Ankara Technology Development Zones (TechAnkara) brings technologically advanced and international companies, research and academic institutions together into an ecosystem that promotes and creates new types of synergies between scientific and the entrepreneurial communities. Thus, TechAnkara creates future technologies and creates new types of synergies between scientific and the entrepreneurial communities. Ankara ICT Cluster is one of the critical outcomes of this synergy. It also contributes to Ankara to become the leader in high-tech sector.
Advantages of Technology Development Zones to the investors:
- Revenues derived from software development and R&D activities are exempt from income and corporate taxes until December 31, 2023.
- Sales of application software produced exclusively in TDZs are exempt from VAT until December 31, 2023. Examples include software for systems management, data management, business applications, different business sectors, the Internet, mobile phones and military command control.
- Salaries of R&D and support personnel employed in the zone are exempt from all taxes until December 31, 2023. The number of the support personnel covered by the exemption shall not exceed 10 percent of the number of the R&D personnel.
- Enterprises may make the investment, required for the production of the technological product obtained as a result of the R&D projects conducted in the zone, in the TDZ, if deemed suitable by the operator company and allowed by the Ministry.
- 50 percent of the employer’s share of the social security premium will be paid by the government for 5 years until 31.12.2024.