The Central Anatolia Region, which covers 24.04% of Turkey with its surface area of 188,586 km², is the largest region of the country.
According to the 2008 ABPRS results, the total population of the region is 11,459,292. Of this population, 9,297,022 live in urban areas and 2,162,270 live in rural areas.
Small and medium-size industrial facilities are fairly common in Central Anatolia. Carpet weaving is concentrated in the provinces of Kayseri, Sivas and Konya. The principal industrial facilities in the region are clustered in centers such as Ankara, Eskişehir, Kayseri, Sivas, Konya, Kırıkkale and Çorum.
Ankara, the second largest city in Turkey and the heartland of the National War of Independence, was planned in a modern manner and developed in a short time. According to historical records, Ankara was first founded by the Celts. The Celts coming from Europe up to Central Anatolia via the Balkans and the Straits in the 3rd century B.C. founded the Galatian State, and Ankara was its first known capital. The city later experienced Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman domination before becoming the capital of the new Turkish State.
The most eyecatching structure in Ankara is the Anıtkabir, a mausoleum built as an eternal resting place for Atatürk. Mighty Atatürk was moved from his temporary tomb in the Museum of Ethnography to the Anıtkabir on November 10th, 1953.
It is presumed that the Ankara Citadel, rising on top of a hill dominating Ankara, was constructed during Galatian period, in the 2nd century B.C. The Temple of Augustus in the Ulus district was constructed in the 2nd century A.D. The deeds accomplished by the Roman Emperor Augustus are inscribed on the walls of this Temple. The Roman baths and theater, and Julian's Column are among other works of the Roman era in the city.
The Aslanhane Mosque, built in the 13th century and famed for its turquoise tiles in the prayer niche, the Hacı Bayram Mosque built in the 15th century and decorated with Kütahya tiles, and the Kocatepe Mosque, the largest mosque in Ankara, completed in 1987, are important treasures of the capital.
The city is also famous for its monuments. Among these, the most notable are the Republic Monument in Ulus Square, the Victory Monument in the Yenişehir district and the Hittite Sun Disc Monument in Sıhhiye Square. Ankara is also rich in Republican period monumental architectural artifacts.
Ankara, the administrative and political capital of Turkey, is also an important center for cultural and artistic activities.
The very rarely found fine light claylike mineral, world famous meerschaum, is like the symbol of Eskişehir. Meerschaum, when extracted from the ground, is rather soft and since it gets harder in time, it is referred to as "White Gold" in the region.
Eskişehir is virtually a student city with more than 250,000 students. Its university, called Anatolia University, is the largest university in the country and is among the 10 largest in the world.
The city hosts intense cultural and art activities, including the annual "International Eskişehir Art Festival" in which worldfamous artists participate. The tomb of Yunus Emre, a famous minstrel who lived in the 13th century, is in Sarıköy to the east of Eskişehir. Here, an International Yunus Emre Culture and Art Week is held annually.
The administrative center being in the Black Sea Region, Çorum's lands encompass the antique cities of Hattuşaş (Boğazköy), the capital of the Hittites in 1600 B.C., and Alacahöyük, which are within the Central Anatolia Region.
Hattuşaş, surrounded by city walls, is virtually a city of temples. At the Yazılıkaya Open Air Temple located in this area, there are reliefs of all the Hittite gods and goddesses. Another important Hittite settlement close to Hattuşaş is Alacahöyük.
The history of Çankırı dates back to ancient times. The prominent historical and tourist sites of the city are the Çankırı Citadel, the Taş Masjid, the Grand Mosque, the caves in Beşdut Village, and the fortresses in Eskipazar. The Ilgaz Mountain has won Çankırı international fame. The Ilgaz National Park, on the other hand, is a winter sports center.
Kırıkkale, located in the central Kızılırmak section of the Central Anatolia Region, is one of the cities created and speedily developed by the Republic. The Machinery and Chemical Industry Organization (MKE) built a chain of factories manufacturing ammunition, guns, rifles and some electrical machines in this city during the first years of the Republic.
Sivas, located on international trade routes, is quite rich in historical and touristic assets. The Grand Mosque dating back to the 12th century, the Twin Minarets, the Şifaiye, the Buruciye and the Gök madrasahs from the 13th century, the Güdük Minaret from the 14th century and the Sait Pasha Mosque, the Taşhan and the Kurşunlu baths from the 16th century are some of the structures, which display the historical riches of the province.
The world-famous Balıklı Çermik Thermal Spring, is near Kangal County in Sivas. This spa is one of the most prominent spa centers in the world, known for the treatment of psoriasis. The district is also famous for Kangal dogs.
The Göreme National Park, which displays some of the most interesting and beautiful land formations in Turkey, has a mystical beauty. Mounts Hasan and Erciyes, active in earlier geological periods but now dormant, are the two biggest volcanoes in Central Anatolia.
In the fantastic Göreme National Park the fairy chimneys, caves and rock formations, each more beautiful than the other, make merry with splendid colors that roll over gray, yellow and green from an earlier pink and brown. The region, an official state of the Roman Empire, was named "Cappadocia", meaning "the country of white horses" in Persian. The volcanic, soft tufa structures easily carved for the first time by the Christians to build underground cities, monasteries and churches, have created all but a magnificent and mystical world.
The Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli Complex, visited as a museum, is in Hacı Bektaş County to the north of Nevşehir, encircled by the Göreme National Park. The famous Turkish philosopher Hacı Bektaşı Veli, who grew up here, enriched the Anatolians with his humanist thoughts.
To the north of Hacı Bektaş is Kırşehir, which possesses a rich culture. Caca Bey, Aşık Pasha and Ahmet Bey have enlightened Turkish society with their writings.
The most important recreational facility in the vicinity is the Hirfanlı Dam Lake. One of the largest parks in Turkey, the Mikasonmiya Commemorative Garden is close to Kaman County. There are a total of 16,500 trees of 33 different species in this park.
Kayseri, located on the plains at the northern foot of Mount Erciyes, is one of the prominent industrial centers of the Central Anatolia Region. Textiles and food, carpet weaving, copper smithery and leather processing are among the principal industries. Kayseri in the mean time, is among the centers of the Turkish furniture industry. Kayseri is also rich in mineral deposits, and most of the minerals, such as iron, lignite and chromium, that are extracted from its mines are exported.
Konya is among the cities that incorporate the oldest and the most precious works of art of Turkish history. The city, which was the capital of the Anatolian Seljuks for more than 200 years, is unmatched for its architectural riches of that period. The famous Turkish poet and philosopher Mevlana Rumi lived and died in this city. The most humanistic philosopher of all times, and having stated that success begins with "Human Love", Mevlana Rumi's philosophy has an enlightening effect on thought, even in the 2000s. The Mevlana Rumi Museum is the most popular site in the city.
Karaman is an important center in terms of Turkish history and language. The Turkish language was first adopted in Karaman as the official language of an Anatolian State (1277). The Karaman Citadel was built by the Seljuks in the 12th century, and the Araboğlu Mosque, which attracts attention because of its dragonhead shaped gutter and novel arches, was built by the Karamanoğulları in the 14th century. There are numerous monasteries and churches dating back to the early Christian period in the environs and on top of Karadağ Mountain (2,288 m.). Christians in the past called this area as the "Land of 1,001 Churches".