Now in my second year in Ankara, I’m making an effort to see more of the city on the weekends. Last Saturday, friends and I took in two museums, the first being the Ethnography Museum of Ankara.
So many interesting objects relating to the culture of the Republic. Upon entering, the eyes are drawn to a roped-off area where Atatürk’s casket rested for nearly 15 years. On November 10, 1953, the 15th anniversary of his death, Atatürk’s casket was moved to the newly-completed masouleum at Anıtkabir.
The Ethnography Museum includes woodworking, metal work, ceramic and beautifully inscribed books.
Just outside the entrance doors is the State Art and Sculpture Museum. Mostly paintings with a small number of sculptures. A nice place.
Yesterday found three of us taking a bus downtown, then relaxing with a cup of cappuccino. A 15-minute walk took us by cafes, tea shops, a bookstore and numerous retail shops before arriving in Kızılay, the heart of Ankara. From there we taxied to the old part of the city where we stopped in at the small, privately-owned Erimtan Achaeology and Arts Museum. A hidden gem amongst the old buildings of that area. The artifacts within are exquisitely curated and the lighting showcases and further enhances enjoyment of the objects.
One last comment on the Erimtan–the toilet area might be considered a work of art. Really. So of course there must be a photo. Notice the clean lines of the ceramic that is found in each of the individual stalls, found tucked behind the staircase to the museum’s lower level. No separate area for men or women–it’s first come, first served in the establishment.
Our final museum of the day was the Gökyay Chess Museum, where a collection of 540 chess set and boards can be viewed. Here are but a few of them:
This set set is made from folded playing cards. You lose a piece, you buy a new deck.
I found the the set above interesting — Saddam Hussein vs George W. Bush. Notice Condaleezza Rice, Tony Blair, and Donald Rumsfeld in the back row behind the pawns (Bush).
A few more:
We flagged down a dolmuş (like a shared taxi in a large van) and stopped for dinner prior to reaching the university campus. I was exhausted. The weekend went by far too quickly.