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Ankara - spa resort & hotels

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Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a population (as of 2005) of 4,319,167 (Province 5,153,000), and a mean elevation of 850m (2800ft.). It was formerly known as Angora or Engürü, in Roman times as Ancyra, and in the classical and Hellenistic periods as Ánkyra.

Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is a major commercial and industrial city. It is the seat of the Turkish Government, and houses all foreign embassies. It is an important crossroads of trade, strategically located at the centre of Turkey's highway and rail network, and serves as the market centre 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.

The city is one of the driest places in Turkey and is surrounded by a barren featureless steppe, with various Hittite, Phrygian, Ottoman, Byzantine and Roman archaeological sites. It has a harsh dry continental climate, with cold snowy winters and hot dry summers. Rainfall occurs mostly during spring and autumn.

At the close of World War I, Turkey was under the rule of the Ottoman Sultan and, having lost the war, was shared among the Greeks, French, British, and Italians. The founder of the Turkish Republic, Kemal Atatürk, established the headquarters of his resistance movement in Ankara in 1919. After the War of Independence was won and the Ottoman Empire dissolved, Turkey was declared a republic on October 29th, 1923, Ankara having replaced Istanbul as the capital of the new Republic of Turkey on October 13th, 1923. Anıtkabir, the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, is located on an imposing hill in the Anittepe. It is an impressive fusion of ancient and modern architecture. An adjacent museum houses a superior wax statue of Atatürk, his writings, letters and personal items, as well as an exhibition of photographs recording important moments in his life and in the establishment of the Republic.

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