The Mausoleum of Kemal Mustafa Ataturk
by Jorge Sanchez - 3 years ago
I spent only half a day in Ankara. The first visit that I made was the one to Anitkabir, or in Turkish language: the Mausoleum of Kemal Mustafa Ataturk, the father of the Turkish Republic. From the bus terminal I caught the Metro and descended where the passengers had advised me. Then I walked several hundred meters and reached the gate of the complex. I had to leave my bag there. The entry to the site was free of charge.
Then I walked. There were soldiers on the way. The road to get to the mausoleum was flanked by statues of lions.
Finally I reached the main esplanade. It was on a hill. The views offered were superb.
There were frequents changes of guards, and the tourist, Turkish and foreigners alike, were happy to take pictures of the soldiers.
I started to visit every building, every tunnel. Everything was huge in that mausoleum.
Inside the main building everything was explained in a very didactic way explaining the life and history of Turkey during Ataturk times. There were representations of wars, speeches given by Ataturk, maps, paintings, statues…
But I did not see Ataturk tomb; it was in a sarcophagus several meters underneath the Hall of Honor. It seems that ordinary visitors are not allowed to go there.
At the exit there were shops selling souvenirs related to the Mausoleum and the history of Turkey.
Back to the center I still visited two mosques, being the larger the one called Kocatepe Camii (mosque), and strolled along the pedestrian streets.
I was in a hurry to go back to Spain overland, so after four hours or so exploring Ankara I headed to the bus terminal and travelled to Safranbolu, and the next day to Istanbul and Thessaloniki.