Article Image
Nov 28, 2023

Ankara VS. Istanbul- A Comprehensive Comparison

Ankara and Istanbul are two major cities in Turkey with different characteristics. Yet, once we say Turkey, the first thing that comes to our mind is Istanbul! Many people even think that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey, well, this is not true, the capital of Turkey is Ankara. Therefore, we will talk about the differences between both cities, in this article.


Ankara is the administrative capital of Turkey. It is located in the central region of the country. It is a modern city with a more conservative and traditional atmosphere compared to Istanbul. It is known for its government institutions, museums, universities, and business centers. It is also home to several historical landmarks, such as the Anitkabir, which is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. It is also known that it is cheaper than Istanbul in terms of cost of life.

Related articles: 

Education in Ankara:

Ankara is home to several universities, both public and private. Students come to study in Ankara whether from Turkey or outside it. Here are some of the major universities in Ankara:

  • Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ)
  • Ankara University
  • Hacettepe University
  • Bilkent University
  • Gazi University
  • Başkent University
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University
  • TOBB University of Economics and Technology
  • Çankaya University
  • Atılım University


These universities offer a wide range of academic programs in various fields, including engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, medicine, law, and business. On the other hand, they offer full and partial scholarships to students from all over the world.

Climate and nature in Ankara:

The climate of Ankara has a temperate humid continental climate (Dc). Due to its elevation and inland location, Ankara has cold and snowy winters, and hot and dry summers. Rainfall occurs mostly during the spring and autumn.

As for the terrain and nature, the city is characterized by its beautiful mountainous nature. It also includes larger green spaces than Istanbul, including gardens and forests that are characterized by the diversity of animals and plants. According to the statistics of the Turkish government in 2012, %15 of the area of ​​Ankara is covered with forests, 8% of these forests are fruitful. In addition, %60 of the area of ​​Ankara is used for agriculture, and this percentage is much higher than the average in Turkey, while its most important productions are wheat, barley and sugar beet.

Tourism in Ankara:

The importance of Ankara lies in being the political and administrative capital, but it also has tourism potential; it is the city of civilization, heritage, culture and ancient castles. It is considered the second largest city in Turkey in terms of population after Istanbul. It includes wonderful forests and mountains, museums and monuments with unique designs, like:

  • Ankara Castle
  • Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
  • Blue Lake
  • Cermodern
  • Atakule tower
  • Ethnographic Museum
  • The State Art and Sculpture Museum
  • The War of Independence Museum.

It also contains wonderful parks and various entertainment destinations, along with distinctive traditional markets, such as the Aqua Vega Aquarium, Gençlik Park, Kugulu Park, Karagol Lake, and many others. It is worth noting that most of the tourists come to Ankara from May-September, as 38% of them are German citizens.

Work opportunities:

Turkey is an industrial, commercial, and tourist country, where you can find work easily or even establish your own work, by following the rules and regulations that the Turkish government imposes on local citizens and foreigners. However, the availability of job opportunities varies from one city to another. You also need to take into account choosing the appropriate city to be the place of your investment, whatever its type. Worth to be mentioned, A large percentage of the complicated employment in Ankara is provided by the state institutions; such as the ministries, sub-ministries, and other administrative bodies of the Turkish government. There are also many foreign citizens working as diplomats or clerks in the embassies of their respective countries. In short, there are many jobs in Ankara as it is the political capital of Turkey and a thriving and economically active city but these jobs are restricted to a specific frame.  

Economy and infrastructure:

The Central Anatolia Region is one of the primary locations of grape and wine production in Turkey. Ankara is particularly famous for its Kalecik Karası and Muscat grapes, and its Kavaklıdere wine, which is produced in the Kavaklıdere neighborhood within the Çankaya district of the city. Ankara is also famous for its pears. Another natural product of Ankara is its indigenous type of honey (Ankara Balı) which is known for its light color and is mostly produced by the Atatürk Forest Farm and Zoo in the Gazi district.

On the other hand, Ankara is the center of the state-owned and private Turkish defence and aerospace companies, where the industrial plants and headquarters of the Turkish Aerospace Industries, MKE, ASELSAN, HAVELSAN, ROKETSAN, FNSS, Nurol Makina, and many other firms. Furthermore, the IDEF in Ankara is one of the largest international expositions of the global arms industry. A number of international automotive companies also have production facilities in Ankara, such as the German bus and truck manufacturer MAN SE. Ankara hosts the OSTIM Industrial Zone, Turkey's largest industrial park.

On the other hand, Ankara comes as the first Turkish city in terms of transportation. The means of transportation within the city consist of land, air, railways, highways, tunnels and others; it has a developed public transportation system that meets the needs of its people. Moreover, the Esenboga International Airport, located in the city, is the most important point of entry and exit into the county by air. There are also other airports in Ankara that are used for military purposes, like Akinci Airport and Guverginlik Airport that are closed to civilians, in addition to Atimasgut military airport which can be used as an alternative for citizens when necessary.



It is the most populated city in Turkey and the fourth in the world. It is located in the northwestern part of the country. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that bridges Europe and Asia. Istanbul is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture. Many people think that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey due to its fame. However, we can say that it is the industrial capital of Turkey where all the international companies and organizations are located.

Education in Istanbul:

Students come to study in Istanbul from all over the world. It is the dream of young Turks and foreigners. There are so many prestigious public and private universities in Istanbul, some of the most famous among them are:

  • Istanbul University
  • Bogazici University
  • Sabanci University
  • Koc University
  • Istanbul Technical University
  • Marmara University
  • Yildiz Technical University
  • Galatasaray University
  • Bahcesehir University
  • Istanbul Bilgi University

These universities offer a wide range of programs and are known for their high-quality education, research, and innovation.

In general, Istanbul occupies an advanced ranking on the regional and global arena. Students from all countries come to study in its universities, especially because it contains many private universities, in various disciplines, and at prices that are cheaper than European universities with the same level of education and even better. Universities of Istanbul have high international infrastructure and meta-elements related to the quality of education, research and results, in addition to offering the educational programs in several languages, including English, French, German and Arabic.

Climate and nature in Istanbul:

Istanbul's climate is temperate, and is often described as transitional between the Mediterranean climate and the oceanic climate. The city's summer is warm to hot and moderately dry, with an average daytime temperature of about 27 °C. Sometimes it is considered uncomfortable, due to high dew points and relative humidity. Winter is cool, quite rainy, and relatively snow-rich with above-freezing temperatures.

As for nature in Istanbul, it is less than any Turkish city because it is over crowded as it is the most populated city in Europe. Yet it has many green areas including: Gülhane Park, Yıldız Park, Fethi Paşa Korusu, Emirgan Park, and many others. 

Tourism in Istanbul:

Although there are many tourist cities in Turkey, Istanbul usually has the largest share in the tourism sector. Istanbul was the capital of many countries and empires in the past, such as the Roman Empire, the Byzantium, the Latin, and finally the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which makes it combines between history through its historical monuments, museums, and religious temples, and modern recreational places such as its new shopping centers and public parks that attract people from all over the world. Moreover, the tourist places in historical Istanbul were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985, while Istanbul was chosen as the joint capital of European culture in 2010.

Tourists places in Istanbul include:

  • Hagia Sophia
  • Topkapi Palace Museum
  • Dolmabahçe Palace
  • Galata Tower
  • Küçüksu Kasrı (Milli Saraylar)
  • VIALAND Tema Park
  • Venezia Mega Outlet
  • Aqua Florya 
  • Emirgan Park 
  • Maiden's Tower
  • Yıldız Park

It is important to say that tourist places in Istanbul are not limited with the mentioned above, yet we tried to summarize the most visited among them, as we advise you not to miss its visit, if you have the time. 

Work opportunities:

Istanbul is a thriving city and the economic heart of Turkey. It offers a wide range of work opportunities in various industries, due to the great interest of the Turkish government towards it, which appears clearly in the strategic projects that the government has been establishing in Istanbul such as the Istanbul Finance Center, the Istanbul Canal, the infrastructure projects, and so many others. Due to this, people from all over the world come to Istanbul to work, it even becomes the dream of Turks who leave their cities and villages and go to Istanbul searching for job opportunities. Some of the major sectors that offer employment opportunities in Istanbul include:


The history of Istanbul dates back to the 7th century BC, hundreds of civilizations have passed through this city which makes it full of historical and tourist landmarks. Therefore, it is a major tourist destination, with millions of visitors flocking to the city every year. This creates numerous job opportunities in the hospitality industry, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, translators and tour operators.


Istanbul is an important financial center in Turkey, and in the world especially after opening the Istanbul Finance Center. This includes many banks, investment firms, and insurance companies. This creates a demand for professionals in fields such as accounting, finance, and economics.


As part of the economic uprising that the Turkish government has been working on, Istanbul has taken the largest share in most sectors, being the economic heart of Turkey, therefore, it is rapidly emerging as a technology hub, with a growing number of startups and tech companies. This creates job opportunities in fields such as software development, data analysis, and digital marketing.


Istanbul is home to many prestigious universities, worldwide. Being the first Turkish destination for foreigners makes it the home for many educational institutions to teach Turkish and foreign languages, creating opportunities for teaching, training and research positions.


Istanbul has a robust healthcare system, with many public and private hospitals, clinics, and medical centers located in the city. It includes the Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital, which is considered the largest medical city in Europe. This creates job opportunities for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, for both foreigners and Turks. 


Istanbul has a large share of the manufacturing sector in Turkey, with many factories producing a range of products, including textiles, food products, and electronics, therefore, the demand for workers and manpower in Istanbul never ends.

Economy and infrastructure:

Istanbul had the 11th largest economy among the world's urban areas in 2018. It is also responsible for %30 of Turkey's industrial output and %47 of the tax revenues. Moreover, Istanbul straddles the Bosporus strait, it includes international ports that link Europe and Asia, with more than 200 million tons of oil passing through it each year. Furthermore, Istanbul has been an international banking hub since 1980. It is home to the only active stock exchange in Turkey (Borsa İstanbul). Recently, in April 2023, the Ataşehir district on the Asian side of the city hosted the Istanbul Financial Center which is planned to take the attraction to Istanbul from many international financial hubs such as New York, Hong Kong, Dubai, Vancouver, and others.  

On the other hand, Istanbul is a sprawling and dynamic city with an advanced and complex infrastructure system which has undergone the Turkish government's interest resulting in significant development in recent years. The city's infrastructure includes transportation, water supply, waste management, and telecommunications. Due to the significant urban development that Istanbul has been going through, numerous construction projects and new developments are popping up throughout the city. This has led to improvements in the city's housing stock, commercial facilities, and public spaces. The city has a comprehensive transportation system that includes buses, metro stations, tramway stations, and ferry services. It also includes two international airports, Istanbul Airport, which is considered the largest airport in Europe, and Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. 

In brief, talking about the infrastructure of Istanbul needs a separate article yet we tried to summarize the most important elements of it in this passage. 


We are ready to answer all your inquiries, so do not hesitate to contact us via WhatsApp.



#ankara #istanbul #turkey #turkish_cities #life-in-turkey #living-in-turkey 



Be the first to receive the latest news in our blog.

I’m okay with getting emails