An Ankaran Reality-- "Bird Poop Island"
Although I often complained about living in Ankara, in comparison to the attractiveness of living in a city like Istanbul
, I have grown fond of the place. In recent travels to Turkey I realized that Ankara has one quality few other cities in Turkey have--it isn't touristic. Although Ankara isn't the most exciting city, walk down Kizilay District or 7th street and you will see a side of Turkey few tourists see. From the live music that so many of Ankara's restaurants have, to the indie bands playing in various clubs/bars/lounges, Ankara is a bit of a hidden gem. Though "bird poop island," as dubbed by my roommates, isn't the most attractive site, the stale bread left by the nearby local bread shops for the pigeons is typical of Turkish culture. If you are looking for something very Turkish and cheaper shopping than Istanbul, you might consider a stop over in Ankara, the bureaucratic government city that is ironically also a college town home to dozens of universities and counting.