Turkey and Ankara
Due to its central location, Turkey was a region from which ancient Asian culture moved into Europe, and at the same time acted as a window through which Western culture opened to the East.
Turkey is surrounded by the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas which connect the country to the rest of the world. Thanks to these long coastal borders and her position as a bridge between Asia & Europe, Turkey has been the centre of major commercial and migration routes.
Turkey houses historical treasures from 13 civilizations, and has been home to the Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Seljuk and Ottoman Turks. Modern-day Turkey, a secular and democratic republic, is a fusion of cultures, a vast and varied land full of splendid cultural achievements.
The Capital of Civilizations…
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and is the second-largest city after Istanbul. 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.
This plateau was also a cradle of human civilization and the history of settlement in the area is millennia old. Ankara has been the homeland of many civilizations and the historic battleground between East and West; the Hatti’s, Hittites, Phrygians, Galatians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk’s and Ottomans all fought for their sovereignty and established their rule here.
Landmarks and Museums
Anıtkabir is located on an imposing hill, which forms the Anıttepe quarter of the city, where the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, stands. Completed in 1953, it is an impressive fusion of ancient and modern architectural styles. An adjacent museum houses a wax statue of Atatürk, his writings, letters and personal items, as well as an exhibition of photographs recording important moments in his life and during the establishment of the Republic.
The city is crowned by the ruins of the old castle. The exact date of its construction is unknown. Historians believe the Galatians laid the foundations of Ankara Castle in its current position on a hill overlooking the city. The citadel was completed by the Romans, then added to and expanded by the Byzantines and Seljuks. Ankara Castle can be found at the heart of the oldest part of the city. Today’s visitors to the citadel can explore a range of attractions, including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, situated at the entrance of Ankara Castle, and the ruins of a Roman theatre. Many restored traditional Turkish houses inside the citadel area have found new life as restaurants, serving local cuisine and the area around Ankara Castle is also an excellent place to go shopping. Here, travelers will find an array of stalls selling traditional Turkish handicrafts, spices, dried fruit, sweets and delicious local food.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Considered one of the best museums of Turkey, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi) is situated at the entrance of the Ankara Castle. It is an old bedesten (covered bazaar) that has been beautifully restored and now houses a unique collection of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hatti, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, and Roman works as well as a major section dedicated to Lydian treasures.
Çengelhan Rahmi Koç Museum
Çengelhan Rahmi Koç Museum is housed in an old Ottoman caravanserai and displays technological progress from the 1850s onwards. The museum contains various curios and collectibles including model trains to model sewing machines.
Erimtan Archaeology and Arts Museum
The Erimtan Archaeology and Arts Museum is a private institution showcasing a collection of Anatolian archaeological artifacts. A multi–purpose exhibition hall offers space for temporary exhibitions and scientific, cultural and artistic activities and musical concerts. The museum aims to serve as a live and effective organism with its education programs, designed for all ages. The museum library provides a rich academic environment for researchers and inquisitive minds alike.
The recently-opened modern art museum of the city, Cer Modern is located in the historic power plant building of the Turkish Railways.
Ankara is served by a suburban rail and two subway lines with about 300,000 total daily commuters. Three additional subway lines are also currently under construction. Detailed information on bus and subway routes can be found at http://www.ego.gov.tr/, where it is also possible to download an application to your smart phones. Taxis are also readily available and are relatively inexpensive.
Travelling to Ankara
Ankara Esenboğa International Airport (ESB) is located some 28 km northeast of the city. The brand-new airport, opened in 2007, features many more gates, a more orderly parking system, and in general, better traffic flow. The road connecting Ankara’s airport to the ring road has also been fully renovated.
International flights are rather low in frequency and scope. Apart from the national carrier of Turkey, Turkish Airlines (THY), only a few airlines from Europe and the Middle East offer direct flights to Ankara. For most carriers flying into Turkey, a flight into Istanbul is necessary, followed by an air transfer to Ankara by THY. For detailed information and online booking please visit their web-site at www.turkishairlines.com.
Airport Transfer Services
Airport transfer will be available for participants who make the request on their registration and accommodation form. Airport shuttle services by Havaş www.havas.com.tr, public buses line no. 442, www.web.ego.gov.tr and taxis are also available.
Nationals of countries requiring a visa for entry to Turkey are advised to make their application in their country of residence at least four weeks prior to their intended date of travel.
Participants are requested to check with the Turkish consulate in their home country or their travel agency for visa requirements.
As of 17th April 2013, the electronic visa (e-Visa) replaces the “sticker visa” which was issued at the border crossings. Applicants just need to log on to www.evisa.gov.tr, provide the requested information, (after the application is approved) make online payment and download their e-Visa.
- Each traveler must obtain a separate e-Visa, including infants and children (even if children/infants are included in their parents’ passports).
- You are kindly advised to have a travel document/passport valid for at least 6 months as from the date of your arrival in Turkey.
- Please note that e-Visa is only valid when the purpose of travel is tourism or commerce. Other purposes, such as work and study, require a regular visa given by Embassies or Consulates.
For any questions concerning passports and visas, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.mfa.gov.tr/default.en.mfa or alternatively, visit the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate.
Letters of Invitation
The Congress Secretariat will send Letters of Invitation to those delegates for the purpose of visa applications and other official procedures. The purpose of the invitation letters is to facilitate participation in the congress for the delegates and does not imply any commitment on the part of organizers to provide any financial support. Invitation Letters will be provided only for those who have registered and paid the full registration fee.