Istanbul/ The Change of the Capital City: Istanbul VS Ankara

In 1919, Ataturk developed resistance force in Ankara. He launched the military base in Ankara, which was a small town of no importance. After the victory of

the War of Independence, the Republic of Turkey replaced the ottoman Empire. In 1923, Ankara officially replaced Istanbul as the new capital city.


As the prestigious Istanbul is the only city in the world that spread across both Europe and Asia, the city has a high military value due to its geographical location. Therefore, the city had experienced wars since the Eastern Roman Empire. Comparing to Istanbul, Ankara is located nearer to the country centre, which increases the difficulty of being attacked by other countries. This is an essential criterion of being a capital city. Located in the central area also enhance centralization of power, as the location is more convenient to control the whole country.


Istanbul had been the capital of several empires. It reflects the long history of monarchy in Turkey. Ankara as a new capital, which is also the military base of Kemal’s resistance movement, represents a new era of Turkey had arrived. Therefore, the change of capital also reflected political change in Turkey during the early 1900s.


Although changing of capital to Ankara seem a reasonable idea due to the centre of resistance force in 1921. The underlying idea, which is to develop a new identity of Turkey, cause larger influences in later Turkey. Istanbul, the largest cities rich in history can keep the urban spontaneous growth and Ankara, without background or burden, can lead Turkey as a new way of nationalism.

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