Republic of Turkey

Geography and History Lesson: What is the Capital of Turkey?

Geography and History Lesson: What is the Capital of Turkey?

“Either I conquer Istanbul or Istanbul conquers me.”Fatih Sultan Mehmet

Although the capital of Turkey is Ankara, in the minds of many the primary or major city will always be Istanbul. So much of the country’s religious, political and cultural fabric was woven by events that occurred there.

Have never had an opportunity to physically travel to Turkey but was inspired to include it in a collection of “Places I’d Like to See or Visit” because of a TV program (Rick Steves’ Europe: Istanbul, Turkey) and did a little research to learn more.

My article was accepted for publication by YAHOO Voices but became unpublished there when the network shut down. Found a home for it on This post is a rehash of some of its content.

In April 2006, the EU Council distinguished Istanbul by selecting it as an European Capital of Culture (ECC) 2010. Because of that designation, during 2010, the city was given the opportunity to showcase its diversity and development. Turkey is a country with a turbulent history but an abiding heritage. (NEWS FLASH:  It’s still turbulent!)  At one time, Istanbul was the political center when Ataturk moved the capital of the Republic of Turkey from Istanbul to

Ankara, in the 1920s. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934, is revered as the founder of the Republic of Turkey (1923-1938) and sometimes referred to as “Father of the Turks.” He offered a perfect description of Istanbul, a city within this country:

“On the meeting point of two worlds, the ornament of Turkish homeland, the treasure of Turkish history, the city cherished by the Turkish nation, Istanbul, has its place in the hearts of all citizens.”

Ankara, Turkey is not a capital city that people ignore. Nevertheless, the cultural and economic influence of Istanbul is still acknowledged centuries later. If you get an opportunity to visit both places, hope you will publish an article or blog post about your adventures? If you currently live there, please tell me more!

Blue Mosque Istanbul (Image: Blue Mosque: Famous site in Istanbul, Turkey)




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