Anıtkabir: The Resting Place of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Yesterday dawned overcast and muggy but a better weather day than today which was forecast to include rain with thunderstorms for many hours (the forecast turned out to be correct).  A friend and I arrived at Anıtkabir in the late morning; I was impressed with the manicured grounds which had a restful feeling to them.  A few tour buses disgorged their occupants but the site was not overly crowded.  We headed first to the mausoleum, following a group which was presenting a floral tribute.  In the photo below, the two military men a few steps ahead of the group on the left are carrying the flowers.  The group was led into the center of three sections inside the mausoleum, directly behind the Turkish flag, while other visitors were directed to the right.  The flowers were placed, then the Turkish national anthem was played.    Atatürk mausoleum

Inside the mausoleum the sarcophagus sits at the opposite end from the flag.  The three sections for visitors are seen in the large photo, as are the decorated columns.

From the stairs of the mausoleum, notice the size of the Anıtkabir Ceremonial Plaza.  It can hold 15,000 people.

Anıtkabir Ceremonial Plaza

On the opposite side of the plaza from the mausoleum lies the body of İsmet İnönü, the first Prime Minister of the new Republic of Turkey.  He became Turkey’s second president upon the death of  Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and later served two more terms as Prime Minister.  İsmet İnönü tomb

After a refreshment break, we walked the Road of Lions between twelve pairs of lions depicting the 24 Turkic tribes of centuries long past.  Very impressive sight.  Alas, no photos taken here but searching online will give you an idea of how large the road is, as well as the scope of the entire complex.  Photos are not allowed inside most of the museum, which houses clothing, household items, and even a stuffed dog which had belonged to Atatürk.  One section of the museum holds military artifacts.

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