advertisement

The Turkish psychological equivalent of the John F. Kennedy Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., Anitkabir draws reverent Turks from all over the country to pay their respects to the founder of the republic. Built in 1944 atop a hill overlooking the city, the memorial complex stands starkly unadorned except for the vast mosaic courtyard and the mausoleum itself, the inside of which is covered in gold leaf. Outside, soldiers are present at every corner, and if you time it right, you can witness the severe, imposing Changing of the Guard. The courtyard arcade permits entry into various rooms including the gift shop and the recently installed Atatürk and War of Independence Museum. The museum extends the entire circumference of the courtyard (lower level), and honors the founder of Turkey and the republic with sound and light dioramas of the War of Independence campaigns, portraits, and period artwork, and various exhibits highlighting the history of the republic.