Historically called Ankuwas, Angora and Ancyra, Ankara was established as the Capital of the Turkish Republic in 1923. It is the second largest Turkish city after İstanbul. It has a population of around 5,000,000 as of early 2014. Located in central Anatolia, the Turkish capital is an important commercial and industrial city; it is an important crossroads of trade. It is the administrative center of the Turkish Government: all ministries are situated in this city. It also houses all foreign embassies.
The history of the Ankara region goes back to the Bronze Age (3000 B.C.) where the oldest settlements belonged to Hattic civilization. This region was settled successively by the Hittites (2000–1700 BC), by the Phrygians (the 10th century BC), and then by the Lydians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Galatians, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Turks (the Seljuks and the Ottomans). The main sights are:
Anıtkabir: This is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey and leader of the War of Independence. It was completed in 1953, i.e. after 15 years following his death. Its plan is a mixture of ancient and modern architectural styles; it features a Greek temple as well as Turkish style characteristics. Anıtkabir consists of four main parts: the Road of Lions (leading to the Ceremonial Plaza), the Peace Park that surrounds the monument, the Ceremonial Plaza (it accommodates 15,000 people), the Hall of Honor (housing the sarcophagus under which Atatürk's tomb is located). There are also ten towers and a museum dedicated to Atatürk where Atatürk's personal items, writings, letters, wardrobe, medals, and gifts presented to him are exhibited.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (in Turkish: Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi): Situated near the Ankara Castle, this museum consists of two beautifully restored buildings: an old covered bazar (Mahmut Paşa Bedesteni) and Kurşunlu Han (caravanserai). It houses at the present time unique collections of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Ages, as well as Assyrian Trade Colonies, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, and Lydian periods. In the basement of the museum, there is a classical collection which includes statues, coins, jewelry and decorative vessels made of different materials belonging to Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods. Thanks to its rich collections, it was elected in 1997 as the first "European Museum of the Year" in Switzerland.
War of Independence Museum (in Turkish: Kurtuluş Savaşı Müzesi): This building housing the first Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1920 was converted into the War of Independence Museum in 1961. In this building which is located in the Ulus district of Ankara, important decisions were made during the War of Independence. It displays important documents, photographs, and furniture from the Turkish War of Independence. It consists of many parts: corridor, masjid (prayer room), Assembly President’s Room, Chamber of the Ruling Council, Committee Room, Lobby (Break Room), Legislative Committee Room, Grand Assembly Hall, Administration Rooms, Basement Floor.