1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
The place and importance of the old city center in the development of urban tourism in AnkaraCaner Hıdır, Nuray Çaltı, Mehmet Somuncu
Urban tourism is based on both tangible and intangible cultural heritage and on the multiple attractions of a city. Its origins date back to the past, and when properly managed, it can have positive effects on the city. Recently, the concept of urban tourism has become a popular theme in the scholarly discipline of tourism. The historical center of Ankara, the research focus of this study, covers an area comprising Seljuk, Ottoman, and Early Republican structures and works dating back to the ancient Roman and Byzantine periods. Therefore, it has high tourist value that can be evaluated within the scope of city tourism. In this sense, the first objective of this study was, from the perspective of urban identity and cultural heritage, to evaluate the historical and cultural value of the historical city center, starting with the Ulus, Hamamönü, and Hamamarkası districts and including Ankara Castle. The second objective was to propose the preservation, development, and integration of Ankara’s rich heritage. This qualitative research began with an evaluation of the relevant literature. In addition to scholarly literature, documents such as project reports and zoning plans pertaining to the Hamamönü, Hamamarkası, Ulus, and Kale environs were examined. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with stakeholders from different disciplines, observations were made at different times and in different locations throughout the area, and the area was thoroughly photographed. In addition, a SWOT analysis was conducted to explore the protection of urban cultural heritage and tourism development. The findings suggest that cultural identity and sociocultural life can be revived in the historical city center with positive effects on the city and its tourism activities. Therefore, on the basis of a wide-ranging assessment, recommendations are made for the protection of urban cultural heritage and urban identity for the districts of Ulus, Kale, Hamamönü, and Hamamarkası and for the development of urban tourism in Ankara.