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Ankara & Central Anatolia/Turkey

Introducing Ankara & Central Anatolia

Central Anatolia is the heartland of Turkey, both geographically and culturally. Tribes, races and empires have been fighting over these dusty steppes and hills for centuries, dragging cities from obscurity to prominence, or from prosperity to destruction, sometimes spending decades battling over the same patch of ground. Civilisations were made or broken in the crucible of the Anatolian summer, leaving tantalising glimpses of themselves behind.

Today the evidence of history’s ebbs and flows is laid out all across the region like a giant crime scene, just waiting for the keen-eyed traveller to play detective. Follow the right traces and you’ll find Neolithic settlements rubbing shoulders with Hittite cities, and Seljuk pomp vying with Ottoman glamour, all founded on the forgotten ashes of a hundred more failed invaders.

Ultimately, the result of this constant fuss and flux is the characteristic Turkish culture we see today, exemplified above all by the modern cities of Ankara and Konya, which embrace their past but move beyond it, fixing their sights firmly on a prosperous tomorrow. Trends may be set in İstanbul, but it’s here that they become fashion, and without its heartland Turkey could never follow its true beat.

One thing’s for sure: this is one region where you’ll have to work for your experience, and you’ll never discover the real heart of Anatolia through a bus window. So whether it’s schnitzel in Sivas, chickpeas in Çorum or tea in Tokat, get out, eat the kebaps, sample the sweets, drink the beer, have the massages, visit the mosques, talk to the students, browse the shops and get involved!

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