Ankara

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Ankara (previously Angora) is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of 900 metres (3,000 ft), and as of 2008 the city had a population of 4,500,000. Ankara also serves as the capital of Ankara Province.

As with many ancient cities, Ankara has gone by several names over the ages. It has been identified with the Hittite cult center Ankuwaš,[2][3] although this remains a matter of debate.[4] In classical antiquity and during the medieval period, the city was known as Ánkyra (Ἄγκυρα, "anchor") in Greek and Ancyra in Latin; the Galatian Celtic name was probably a similar variant. Following its annexation by the Seljuk Turks in 1073, the city became known in many European languages as Angora, a usage which continued until its official renaming to Ankara under the Turkish Postal Service Law of 1930.[5]

Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the center 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 railway networks, and serves as the marketing centre for the surrounding agricultural area. The city was famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair), a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), white rabbits and their prized wool (Angora wool), pears, honey, and the region's muscat grapes.

The historical center of Ankara is situated upon a rocky hill, which rises 150 m (492 ft) above the plain on the left bank of the Ankara Çayı, a tributary of the Sakarya (Sangarius) river. The city is located at 39°52'30" North, 32°52' East (39°52′30″N 32°50′00″E / 39.875°N 32.8333°E / 39.875; 32.8333Coordinates: 39°52′30″N 32°50′00″E / 39.875°N 32.8333°E / 39.875; 32.8333), about 351 km (218 mi) to the southeast of Istanbul, the country's largest city. Although situated in one of the driest places of Turkey and surrounded mostly by steppe vegetation except for the forested areas on the southern periphery, Ankara can be considered a green city in terms of green areas per inhabitant, which is 72 m2 per head.[6]

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