Travel, Turkey
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The Duplicity of Ankara

Ankara is a city of contradiction. As the capital of Turkey, it is arguably one of the more developed and international cities in Turkey because a large number of the best universities and the foreign consulates reside there. It is a city of shopping malls (or maybe it just seems that way because I’ve been to a million with the family) – We’re talking state of the art, nicer than most shopping malls in the United States, interactive 3-D map guides, giant cinemas and aquariums kind of malls. When I’m in these meccas of consumerism Ankara couldn’t seem less “Turkish” and yet the cultural difference is more visible in Ankara than the rest of Europe and even Istanbul. I constantly have these little moments where I’m shocked at how something commonplace seems so foreign. Mostly everything in Istanbul is commercialized, but because there aren’t many tourists, Ankara continues to surprise me.

Today was an especially exemplary day of Ankara’s duplicity. The family and I went to a park owned by the city. It’s somewhere that the few tourists that do make it to Ankara would never go, not that I’m recommending it, it’s nothing special. It’s commonplace, which was what was so miraculous about it. Observe:

The hills are super typical of Ankara

We rode around the lake on a little train. it was actually quite enjoyable.

The city off in the distance

Here was one of the moments. There were tons of families barbequing in these giant traditional grills. This is apparently not out of the ordinary.

And to round out the day of course we went to a swanky sushi restaurant in a high tech shopping mall on a terrace to have dinner. Jasmine tea and fried pineapple for dessert.

Though this makes no sense, this song was stuck in my head all day. It doesn’t really fit with the scenery, but I thought I’d share regardless.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Duplicity of Ankara | Home Far Away From Home

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