The quintessential Central Anatolian town with a mainly conservative population, Çankırı, home to about 70,000 people, is one of the smallest provincial capitals in Turkey. Although it lies close to both the geographical and the political centre of the country (i.e., Ankara), the main feel of the place is remoteness. As one writer from Ankara (Nihat Genç, often known for his controversial views) puts it, Çankırı is possibly what Ankara would look like, had it not been declared the capital of the country and received the large government investments, which helped it become the modern metropolis that it is today.
Çankırı lies about one to one and a half hour drive north of Ankara, through the windswept Anatolian steppes, with some remarkable views of eroded hillsides watching the highway from a distance.
+90 376 is the area code for Çankırı. While calling from within Turkey, drop the initial +90 and dial 0 before 376 instead.
- Whenever you are bored with the views of badlands, head north and up to the deep green spruce forests of Ilgaz National Park, less than an hour's drive away.