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Ankara: The capital of Turkey

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Location and history.
    1. Location.
    2. Archaeological remains from Stone Age hunters.
    3. The Achaemenid Persians.
    4. Diocletian's persecution of Christians.
    5. The drought in the middle of the fifth century
    6. The Sassanian's attack.
    7. The period after the battle of Manzikert.
    8. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire.
    9. The Ankara mohair industry.
    10. The early 1800's
    11. New immigrants.
    12. Official declaration of Ankara as the capital of the new republic of Turkey.
  3. The city today.
  4. Conclusion.

Some cities seem to go on forever, able to reappear in very different guises and characteristics from one era to another. Ankara is one such changeling. With its roots more than 4,000 years ago in the Bronze Age, it was a trading city to the Greeks, a regional capital for the Romans, a summer resort and frontier command center for the Byzantines, a profitable textile production center for the Ottomans, and the national capital of Ataturk's new State of Turkey. The source of the unique angora wool, today its administrative and educational core provides many jobs for its huge population, and the typical urban problems of smog, illegal settlement, and health difficulties plague its population. Contemporary Ankara is a Turkish city, with all the politics of the state and its minority issues played out on its streets and in its halls of power. Ankara (ancient, Ancyra; Greek, Angora; Turkish, Ankara) is located on the high plateau in the center of Asia Minor/Anatolia. The ancient city grew up at the base of a 500-foot-high steep volcanic outcropping (Atakule) located on the west bank of one branch of the Sakarya River. It is an area of low rainfall, steppe grasses, and cold winters, making Ankara's climate harsh: sting heat in the summer and deep snow sometimes into the end of March.

[...] Although a Crusader army appeared outside the gates of the city in 1101, and captured it from the Seljuqs, the garrison left behind found it dif?cult to hold out as an island surrounded by Turkoman, and the Seljuqs retook the citadel soon thereafter. They renamed the city Angora, and it was the Seljuq promotion of long- distance trade via the Anatolian east-west trade routes that revived Ankara. Pax Mongolia had a similar effect in opening up the Anatolian routes from Europe to the east. [...]

[...] The city suffered signi?cant damage, famine broke out, and much of the city was depopulated. By 271 the Romans were back in control of Ankara and proceeded to expand the imperial road system and fortify new borders. Diocletian (AD 245?316) modi?ed the administrative structure in Asia Minor, elevating the governor in Ankara to the rank of consular. A local senate ruled the city, and it was early in the fourth century that the city wall was rebuilt, new public buildings constructed (the amphitheater, for example), and the highway restored. [...]

[...] By the autumn of that year, the French were ready to negotiate a deal with the national government, and the Ankara Agreement was signed, which brought the war between France and Turkey to an end. For the nationalists, the Ankara Agreement was the greatest diplomatic triumph, since it split the French from the British and proved to the world that the Treaty of Sevres was worth nothing. On 13 October 1923, Ankara was of?cially declared the capital of the new republic of Turkey, and its name was changed from Angora to Ankara in 1930. [...]

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