History of Ankara

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country’s second largest city after Istanbul. Ankara also serves as the capital of Ankara Province.

Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the center of the Turkish Government, and houses all foreign embassies. It is an important crossroads of trade, strategically located at the center of Turkey ‘s highway and railway networks, and serves as the marketing center for the surrounding agricultural area. The city was famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair), a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), white rabbits and their prized wool (Angora wool), pears, honey, and the region’s muscat grapes.

 

 

 

 

Within the ancient epigraphical sources name of the city of Ankara firstly occured in the second millennium B.C. It was recognized with many names in its long history. However the name it has while the city was an Hittitian cult center “Ankuwaš” did not change much through classical antiquity and the medieval period. Within these previously mentioned eras the city was known as Ancyra (Greek Ἄγκυρα / Latin: Ancyra: Anchor). After the Phrygian habitation till the occupation of Macedonian King Alexander the Great there is no certain information about Ancyra. Exclusively the city was a considerable commerce center on the route of the well-known King Road which was constituted during the period of Persian King Dareios I. (522 – 486 B.C.).

It is known that Tectosagii, who were a sept of a celtic tribe named Galatians, migrated near the Halys (Modern: Kızılırmak) River and made Ankyra as their capital city in 278 – 277 B.C.

When Pergamon King Attalus III died without an heir in 133 B.C. and bequeathed all his kingdom to Rome, Ankyra and its territory Galatia, became under control of the Kingdom of Pontus. But this kingdom did not effect much within the territory. After a turmoil period when Roman Emperor Augustus conquered Galatia in 25 B.C. the city passed under the control of the Roman Empire. Now the capital city of the Roman Province Galatia, Ancyra continued to be a center of great commerce in central Anatolia.

Generally Ancyra was peaceful under the hegemony of the Byzantine Empire till A.D. 7th century. From this century onwards city was attacked by Arabian tribes and plundered many times. In 1071 when Sultan of Seljuq dynasty Alparslan beated the Byzantine Army in Malazgirt and conquered the central Anatolia. He then annexed the city changed its name to Engürü in 1073. The most glamorous period of Seljuq dynasty’s was Sultan Alaeddin Kayqubad I’s reign and it was this period Engürü was developed.

After the Battle of Kösedağ in 1243 in which the Mongols defeated the Seljuqs most of Anatolia became part of the dominion of the Mongols. Taking advantage of Seljuq decline, a semi religious cast of craftsmen and trade people named Ahiler chose Ankara as their independent city state in 1290.

Within the Islamic period the name Ancyra chaged to Engürü and Angara. Orhan I, the second Bey of the Ottoman Empire, captured the city in 1356. Timurdefeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Ankara in 1402 and took the city, but in 1403 Ankara was again under Ottoman control.

At the beginning of the 17th century Ankara became the scene of Jelali revolts which were a series of rebellions in Anatolia against the authority of the Ottoman Empire and the city destroyed. During the decline of the Ottoman Empire like all the central Anatolian cities Ankara too lost its significance. In this period the city was a mohair, its fabrics and leather trade center.

Following the Ottoman Empire defeated at World War I, and during the Turkish War of Independence Ankara gained importance again. On 13 October 1923 Ankara became the capital city of the newly founded Republic of Turkey.  In 1920’s Ankara had only 35.000 inhabitants today central city has a population of 4.500.000 and became the second crowded city in Turkey.