ECONOMIC LIFE

Ankara is a city that was reborn again and again in history. The birth of the city was due to its political importance; but previous births are based on economic reasons.; but its previous births were based on economic reasons. For instance, Ankara was a city famous for weaving in the 17th century and its population was exceeding one hundred inhabitants, but it fell out of sight due to the decline of this handicraft-based industry and had been lost again in the silence of the steppe...

"A famous author in love with Ankara, Bilal N. Şimşir says that: “In the 1920s, Ankara was a dusty, malignant Central Anatolian town with nothing but with its cats, goats and pearls, on the other hand, İstanbul was the splendid, glorious capital of the emperorship, which had also been the capital for Byzantine for over a thousand years, and for the Ottoman Empire for five centuries. This glorious İstanbul is dethroned from its capital’s throne by an undistinguished town like Ankara, this is an astonishing incident just like witnessing a veteran chief wrestler is beaten by a skinny youngster.” (Şimşir, 2000)

The separation of Kırşehir-Kayseri-Yozgat sanjacks on various dates, two major fires, two major famines, the migrations to other cities due to the attacks of locusts, and the destruction brought by wars resulted as the decrease in population, the decline in trade, the deterioration of the economy and the impoverishment of people in Ankara. In addition to the clerical profession that has been dominant from the beginning, people were also engaged in iron, copper and jewelry, as well as tailoring. But Ankara had the most important income from the mohair trade. Until 1838, this trade was monopolized by Turkey. After the slim, curly, lily white and 25-30 cm long shiny feathered mohair goats were taken to South Africa by the British, the monopoly got out of hand. The name of the mohair was still Ankara Goat. The name of sweaters made from mohair was still angora sweater. The loss of mohair goat monopoly was the biggest economic blow for Ankara at that time. Neither the roads that crossing Ankara and reaching to the four sides, nor hundreds of bridges built on these roads to facilitate transitions, nor the railroad that came in 1893 could revive Ankara. The resurrection was realized in 1923 when Ankara became the capital city. The administrators of the new state that got ready for the declaration of the Republic had created a capital city from Ankara which was as a Middle Anatolian town that initiating the contemporary lifestyle in the country after being declared as the new capital.

The declaration of Ankara as the capital changed the fate of Ankara rapidly. First of all, the population has increased thanks to those coming from all over Turkey, especially from the nearby provinces. The annual increase of around 5.6-6% until mid-70s started to fall after this date and tended to approach stability.

Ankara leans on the Elmadağ ridge in the east. On this mountain, which can be reached in a few minutes from Ankara, there are skiing facilities with ski lifts. Touristic hotels and other small organizations in these facilities offer a variety of opportunities.

Today, Ankara is a metropolitan city on the E-5 highway that linking the Middle East to Europe, where the population has risen to five million, where a wide variety of service areas are concentrated, where the industrial sector has developed to such an extent that it cannot be underestimated, and where decisions leading to the country’s government are taken.

When the development of economic life in the Republican period is examined, it is seen that, in the first years the Grand National Assembly of Turkey has not had enough power even to change the tiles of the roof. The economic life that revived over time has presented itself at first with the dynamism it created at Anafartalar Avenue in Ulus region. This avenue and some of the streets in the vicinity are also attracting attention today.

For example, Winders Ramp (Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu)… Here is a typical time-honored street from old Ankara. This is a ramp starting from the backside of the building of the First Courthouse and finishing uphill, at the Horse Market. The drapers, haberdashers aligned on both sides usually sell hand-made products: fabrics, cloths, scatters, wall carpets, table cloths, furnishings, hand-painted kerchief, scarves, shawls, shalwar, velvets, etc. coming from all around the country. Hardware dealers, located at a place close to the end of the ramp, reflect typical behaviors and customs of Ankara’s artisans. Coppersmith Bazaar is an environment where the red of copper is mixed with the yellow of brass, the sounds coming from small hammers turns into a music.

Winders Ramp is a bazaar that cannot be bypassed especially by foreign tourists and guests, where they definitely buy something to take back to their countries. It also maintains being a center that is heavily used by the people coming from the villages of Ankara.

The lively trade center starting around the building of the old GNAT and going up to Ulus Square, Anafartalar Street and Samanpazarı has lost its importance in time and in 1950’s the symbol of developing Ankara became Kızılay. Another element which symbolized this period was the passages. Ulus, Büyük and Ankara Cinemas built in the short interval between Kızılay and Sıhhiye were the center of these days’ social and cultural life. The streets close to this segment of the boulevard took their fair share from this development as well. A world with shopping places, restaurants and pastry shops, bookstores and Ankara Art Theater, which is the tiny, irreplaceable theater of Ankara, was established between Sakarya Street and İzmir Street.

With the increasing popularity of Kızılay, the trade life was switched to Çankaya District. Çankaya kept this superiority till today; but over time other popular places were born within Çankaya. First, the commercial center going from Kızılay to Bakanlıklar housed large fashion houses in this zone. Fashion houses appeared starting from the Gökdelen. Even though both Kızılay and Bakanlıklar have lost their past magnificence, their significance still continues. Kızılay maintains the natüre of being a major shopping center in the city; moreover, pedestrian areas of the city are located in this zone. Sakarya Street pedestrian zone is exuberant at all hours of the day with the shops where you can make all kind of food shopping, with fish stands and grocery displays mixed to each other, colored by the florists, having resting places, cafes, restaurants all around. Yüksel Street pedestrian zone, which has been opened in the new year of 1990 with an open-air fest, became a center where youth and artists are gathered.

In the 70’s, while the commercial center moved upside from Bakanlıklar, it encountered with the zone covered by the embassies, thus it switched to Küçükesat-Tunalı Hilmi Street by turning upside from the Akay ramp. The street located next to the Kuğulu (Swan) Park gained importance with the passages and shopping centers, art galleries, restaurants and pastry shops.

The street, named upon Mr. Tunalı Hilmi, a friend of Atatürk and a member of the parliament who has advocated women rights in the assembly during the years of the war of independence, is the most important street of the capital. This Street is one of the pedestrian zones of Ankara. Youth coming from all sections of the city enjoy here in their own way. Moreover, on the same street Kuğulu Park hosts magnificent concerts from time to time.

With the last leap of the post-1980 period, the trade passed to Atakule and its surroundings. This new center, which extends from Köroğlu Street to the Atakule, in front of the Çankaya Palace, is a complete "Mall" (big shopping center) with its western meaning.

Will the Trade Center make a new leap? This issue is worth considering. According to some Çankaya run out, there is no place to go higher. Others are referring to the Dikmen Valley as a new candidate.

Approximately 60% of the industrial production in the Turkish economy is in the hands of the public sector. The headquarters of the majority of the public sector organizations are located in Çankaya, Ankara. The Machinery and Chemical Industry Institution, which is among these and which plays an important role in the formation of Çankaya city plan, is located in Tandoğan Square. Under the name of “İmalat-ı Harbiye”, this organization was founded by the patriotic engineers, technicians and workers who fled from İstanbul to Ankara during the war years to meet the need for arms and ammunition of the Turkish War of Independence. Ankaragücü Club founded by the Machinery and Chemical Industry is the first sports club of Ankara.

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