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We will send regular newsletters to our members who have signed up for receiving it during the registration. In 'mymerhaba' newsletter, our editorial staff provides updates, with regard to any information related to places worth visiting, viewing, or otherwise worth knowing, for those who care to know more....

Angelique's Ankara



by Angelique Mawson - August 2008

New Zealander Angelique shares her experience in Turkey with mymerhaba members.

DRIVERS IN ANKARA
Well I have been here in Ankara since the 18th January 2008, and the first thing I remember about arriving in Turkey from the far distant land of New Zealand was the crazy driving - sure I had read about it on the internet but now I was to experience it firsthand! Luckily my driver (my team manager - I was here to play ice hockey) was a policeman so rest assured he wasn't going to get a ticket! I discovered quickly that speed limit is merely a suggestion and red lights - not compulsory - just stop if you need a rest! But I will be the first to admit that now after 6 months I barely notice the traffic - and taxi rides are not like a thrill seeker ride at the local fun park anymore.

POPULATION
Onto Ankara itself - first I was overwhelmed by the amount of people in this city which is smaller than our largest city in New Zealand but manages to pack in 4 times the amount of people, the population here is estimated around 4 million (New Zealand population only 4 million for the whole country haha) this is largely because everyone lives in apartments here - instead of one story houses like back at home so you can fit in 10x the amount of people into the same space.

DAY TO DAY LIFE
After a couple of weeks I was settled into my apartment and began to explore the local area - I was fortunate enough to be living in Bahçelievler one of the oldest but most interesting neighbourhoods in Ankara (this is due to the ice skating arena being in Bahçeli). Two blocks to my east is 7th Street one of the busiest streets away from Kizilay (the centre). It is packed full of restaurants, cafes, clothes shops and other shops where you can find anything you need. The restaurant and cafe life in
Ankara is great cheap authentic food and a wonderful atmosphere. At night time especially in the winter walking amongst the snow through 7th street with everybody out and about enjoying each others company or a nice meal is a wonderful way to spend the evening - and in summer time everyone is outdoors in the garden bars that most restaurants have along with the lovely fairy lights and shrubbery to make for a nice relaxing atmosphere.

So day to day life in Ankara is really suited to those who like to drink coffee with friends, eat out, walk in the main shopping streets and areas at night - or simply shop until you drop during the day at one of Ankara's many malls - Anka Mall is definitely one of my favourites - with everything you can imagine and more.

TOURISTS SPOTS
To the West of me is Ataturks mausoleum (Anıtkabir) where Ataturk is buried - this is a wonderful place, very serene and also full of historical interest with the museum showing a lot of highly interesting photographs of history in Turkey and Ankara. I visited here in my first couple of weeks coming to
Ankara and it was definitely a place to come to learn about the history and influence that Ataturk had on transforming Turkiye into the modern city it is today.

The next place of interest in Ankara I guess is the Atakkule - the large tower, have to say I was a bit disappointed in the height it looked a lot higher in the pictures on the internet but all the same provides a good view of Ankara and there are some photos here to show the view.

I am still yet to visit the castle in
Ankara but its on my to-do list for my next place to visit.

WEATHER
Now down to the weather in Ankara - when I arrived coming from summer in New Zealand it was a bit of a shock to arrive and it was about -10c brrrrr, but had to say I loved the snow on the ground everyday made everything look so beautiful especially in a city such as Ankara where it tends to be a bit of a concrete jungle and of course where there is snow there must be snow angels! Also every apartment is centrally heated (not like home) so its always warm inside and you dress for the conditions by layering up outside :)

As for the summer you can imagine if you will weeks and weeks of 30c temperatures and sometimes rising to 38 and one day it hit 42c argh - yes I melted on that day! But it is definitely nice if you plan to visit your summer home (which many Ankarites appear to have) and you know the weather will be great for your entire stay. If you are stuck in the city for summer its not the best place to be as there is no escape from the hear - Ankara really needs to invest in some more swimming pools or build a lake or something would really help the people living here to have a place to go to escape the heat. There is a few swimming pools available in
Ankara and I have attached a photo of one of the Bilkent pools - unfortunately its expensive as are all the pools in Ankara YTL30 just for the swimming and if you want a drink expect to pay around YTL 6 for a coke. - however a very relaxing place with deck chairs, sun umbrellas, music and water that was so clean you felt like you could drink it.

TRAVELLING AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Travelling in Turkiye is another favourite past time for me - since in NZ it is really a means of getting from one place to another - well in Turkiye the trip itself can be enjoyable - firstly travel by bus without a doubt, its cheap and comfortable and the waiter on the bus feeds and waters you! Coffee, tea, juice and small array of snacks to keep you happy. Also there is about 3 toilet stops on route but make sure you take some loose change to pay for this service. You can take in the scenery by travelling during the day - or you can travel overnight and sleep the journey away. Definitely the best bus service I have ever seen. Many other countries could learn a thing or two from Turkiyes extensive network of bus companies.

Also in the cities public transport once you get the hang of it is simple, easy to use and almost a lot of fun. Firstly you can catch a normal bus which requires a Egocard - which you can by from most small stand operators at a price of about YTL 12 for 10 rides. Then there is the Metro -
Ankara has two lines making it easy to use and you can travel to the centre of the city Kizilay easily and also navigate to Anka Mall with the metro system amongst many other places. The metro also uses the Ego card - and if you change from one to the other within 45 mins or use for example two metros then there is no charge for the 2nd trip. The 3rd option for public transport is one of my favourites the Dolmus - which are small mini buses which travel around the city taking you almost anywhere for YTL 1.50 and you can flag one down to pick you up and get off whenever you like, once you know which routes they take they are a great form of transport. Lastly if you are a little bit dubious about navigating the public transport system you can flag down a taxi which come past every 2 minutes it seems - cheap and always easy to find and generally the drivers can understand my terrible Turkish accent and if not you simply write down where you want to go - much cheaper than many other countries taxis are a common means of transport here in Turkiye - and with the petrol prices exceeding YTL 3.50 per litre its of no surprise that taxis and public transport are well utilised here in Ankara and the rest of Turkiye.




A Weekend Escape to Edirne
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A Bus Tour to Antakya
A Food Trip to Antakya
A Jazz Night in Ankara
A Visit to Aya Yorgi and Heybeliada
Afternoon at Camlica
Ah Istanbul!
Alanya Properties
Angelique's Ankara
Angelique´s Latest Trips
Breathwork Therapy
Cheap Shopping in Istanbul
Çiçekli Bahçe Motel
Defining Feng Shui
Dinner at Ortaköy
Driving to Fethiye from England
Flying Broom by Sara
How to Maximize Your Rental Potential
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Living in Çıralı
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Ms. Who's Apollon Temple
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Remmick's Watch Repairer
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Thousand Years of Culture
Turkish Delight
Vacation in Fethiye
Your Property in Turkey not Selling
Birsen's Horizons
Fred's Trip Logs
Bahar's Views on...
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From Members' Pen
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The Archives of Turkishtime
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A Weekend Escape to Edirne
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