History of Ankara, Turkey

The oldest settlements in and around the city belong to the Hattian civilization, which flourished during the Bronze Age. Artifacts discovered in the city have shown that the Hittites named the city Ankuwash before 1200 BC The city grew significantly in size and importance under the control of the Phrygians, from around 1000 BC Subsequently it passed to the control of the Lydians and then to the Persians. The dominance of the latter remained until their defeat by the hosts of Alexander the Great.. After the death of the Macedonian conqueror, one of his generals, Antígono el Tuerto, remained in control of the city. With the arrival of the Pontic Greeks in Ankara, it enjoyed a period of growth similar to the development they enjoyed under the Phrygians.

Around the year 25 BC the city was conquered by the Roman Emperor Augustus. During the Roman period it enjoyed great prosperity. Augustus raised its status to the capital of the Roman province of Galatia. Other Galatian tribal centers, such as Tavium, near Yozgat, and Pessinus to the west, near Sivrihisar, remained relatively important during the Roman period, but it was Ancyra who became a big city. In Ankara are the remains of the Temple of Augustus and Rome (Monumentum Ancyranum), which contains the official record of the Laws of Augustus, known as the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, an inscription in marble on the walls of this temple.

According to Sunglasses Tracker, the importance of Ankara was that it was at the point where the Roman roads that crossed Anatolia from north to south and from east to west met. The imperial network of roads to the east was used by various emperors and their armies, although it also served invading armies, such as the Goths and the Arabs. For nearly a decade, the city was one of the westernmost outposts of the Arab Empress Zenobia of Palmyra, who took advantage of a period of weakness and disorder in the Roman Empire to establish her own short-lived state. The town was reincorporated to the Roman Empire under Emperor Aurelian in 272. During the tetrarchy, introduced by Diocletian In 284, a reconstruction program was carried out and the Ankara causeway was built to the west, towards Germe and Dorylaeum, near present-day Eskişehir. Previously, Emperor Caracalla had rebuilt the citadel’s walls and built public baths.

After the separation of the Roman Empire into the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire, and after Constantinople was declared the capital of a new empire, the city became a summer resort for the Byzantine emperors and their courts.

In 1071, the Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks with his victory at the Battle of Manzikert, near Malazgirt. Two years later he annexed the city to his territory, an important place for military transport. Orhan I, the second bey of the Ottoman Empire, captured Ankara in 1356. Another Turkish ruler, Tamerlane, defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Angora in 1402 and captured the city, but the following year Ankara was under Ottoman control.

Following the Ottoman defeat in World War I, the Ottoman capital, Istanbul, and much of the Anatolian peninsula were occupied by the Allies. According to the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres signed by the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Greece, the territories of the Ottoman Empire would be divided among them, leaving Istanbul and part of Asia Minor for the Turks. In response to this, the leader of the Turkish nationalist movement, Kemal Atatürk, established the headquarters of his resistance movement in Ankara. After the War of Independence, the Nationalists replaced the Ottoman Empire with the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923.

When the Republic of Turkey was founded, Ankara was no more than a small population that barely exceeded 15,000 residents. Nevertheless, the 13 of October of 1923 became the new capital of the country, replacing Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), ten days before the end of the war of independence; it was a personal decision of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, thus avoiding the strategic vulnerability of the former capital. It is the seat of the Turkish parliament, ministries and other government institutions, as well as foreign diplomatic delegations.

The new development subsequent to having achieved the capitality divided the city into the old area, called Ulus, and the new, called Yenişehir. Ancient buildings, reflecting Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history, and narrow winding streets characterize the old area. For its part, the new area, centered around Kızılay, has the appearance of a modern city: wide streets, hotels, theaters, shopping centers and skyscrapers. Government offices and foreign embassies are also located in the new part.

History of Ankara, Turkey