From the upper fortifications of Ankara’s citadel, you’ll see the city spread out in all its glory. Many of the nearby buildings look less than glorious, however – these are referred to by locals as gece kondu, which loosely translates as “built overnight”. Though likely put together at sub-Amish speed, their hasty construction is all too apparent: after Ankara was declared national capital, Anatolians moved to the city in droves, and many erected their own houses around the citadel. Effectively shanty towns, these have remained the most impoverished parts of the city ever since; Ankara’s present-day rulers would, of course, prefer to see the back of them, and bit by bit, the old buildings are being replaced with rows of ugly high-rises. Mercifully, the former residents of the gece kondu are being moved here, rather than flung to the outskirts of the city.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Turkey features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The film that will inspire your next trip to Turkey

The film that will inspire your next trip to Turkey

The allure of Istanbul is hard to beat. This thrilling city bridges two continents with a history spanning more than 2000 years. And with Istanbul’s Atatürk …

05 Aug 2015 • Eleanor Aldridge videocam Video
Video: why Cappadocia is best seen from above

Video: why Cappadocia is best seen from above

The ethereal landscape of Cappadocia is one of Turkey's top attractions, and the fields of naturally-hewn "fairy chimneys" and mysterious rock caves here hav…

03 Jun 2015 • Eleanor Aldridge videocam Video
5 street foods you need to try in Istanbul

5 street foods you need to try in Istanbul

One of the most enjoyable ways of tasting the best Istanbul has to offer is to work your way around the city snacking on the incredible street food, s…

28 May 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month