Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after İstanbul. The city has a population of 5,153,000 (as of 2005), and a mean elevation of 850 m. (2800 ft.) It was formerly known as Angora or Engürü, and in Roman times as Ancyra. Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It has been the neural 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 rail network, and serves as the marketing center for the surrounding agricultural area. The city was famous for its long-haired goat and its wool (Angora wool), a unique breed of cat (Ankara Cat), white rabbits, pear, honey, and the region's muscat grapes. Ankara is situated upon a steep and rocky hill, which rises 500 ft. above the plain on the left bank of the Enguri Su, a tributary of the Sakarya (Sangarius) river. The city is located 39°52'30" North, 32°50' East (39.875, 32.8333). The city, which is one of the driest places in Turkey and surrounded by a barren featureless steppe vegetation, with various Hittite, Phrygian, Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman archeological sites. It has a harsh dry continental climate with cold snowy winters and hot dry summers. Rainfall occurs mostly during spring and autumn. The hill is crowned by the ruins of the old castle, which add to the picturesqueness of the view; but the town was not well built, many of its houses constructed of sun-dried mud bricks along narrow streets. There are, however, many finely preserved remains of Greek, Roman and Byzantine architecture, the most remarkable being the temple of Augustus, on the walls of which is the famous Monumentum Ancyranum.
Official homepage with information, activities, cultural events, local news, guides and pictures. [English/Turkish/French/Russian/Arabic}
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Branch office. Includes a newsletter, the country program, goals and objectives, as well as information about ILO.
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