Museum of Anatolian Civilizations


The Best of Turkey - A Rick Steves' Tour

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Day 4: Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ataturk's Mausoleum and Museum

We started the fourth day of our tour with breakfast on the train while passing through beautiful countryside.

We arrived in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, at about 8:00 a.m. and went straight to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. To say that I was blown away by the artifacts in this museum is an understatement. I was in awe of the antiquity of everything ... artwork from 10,000 years ago! One of my favorite exhibits was of legal documents written on small stones. I remember stones about 2 x 2 inches in size with miniscule writing on them. By several of the stones were descriptions of what the document was: marriage certificate, divorce certificate, loan, etc.

We made friends with a couple of young boys whose fathers work in the dining car

Mother Goddess, c.5,750 BC
Day 4

Statue of Turkish Soldier, Intellectual, and Peasant

Posing in front of the museum

My mom has a tradition of taking her photo by lions on all of her travels

Sidar teaches us about Ataturk

Ataturk's Mausoleum

Next, we went to Ataturk's Mausoleum and Museum. Ataturk is Turkey's national hero. He was born Mustafa Kemal and later given the name Ataturk which means "Father of the Turks." He led the country to independence after WWI and he remade Turkish society with many reforms: replacing the Arabic alphabet with a modified Latin alphabet, removing Islam's status as the state religion, abolishing polygamy, giving women the right to vote. From what I learned, it seems Turkey is the country it is today because of Ataturk.

I found the Museum here fascinating. I wish that I had had more time there. It covered Turkey's war for independence ... I enjoyed reading the letters to, from, and about Ataturk during this time period.

We saw the soldiers changing guard

Soldier's march through the massive courtyard at Ataturk's Mausoleum
We ate lunch in Ankara and then hopped on our bus to go to Cappadocia.

My mom, Rochelle, Jan & Louise enjoying lunch in Ankara