Ankara – The Çankaya Köşk Museum

After his arrival in Ankara on December 27 th, 1919 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk first stayed at the School of Agriculture and then at the lodgings in the Ankara Railway Station. Later still, the house of Bulguradze Tevfik Efendi was bought by the citizens of Ankara and given to Atatürk. The building, a two-storey house with a garden, was called the Army Kiosk since Atatürk was the commander -in- chief of the Turkish armies. With time this building became inadequate and the task of turning it into a more suitable residence was given to the architect Vedat Bey. The work was completed in 1924 and the building had served as the first presidential palace until 1932 when it was superseded by the New Presidential Kiosk. In 1950 the building was opened to the public as the Atatürk Museum, displaying items used by Atatürk in their original setting.

On entering through glass entrance door of the museum, one comes first to a small hall decorated with mirrors and then to a larger hall. There is a general visitors reception room called the "Green Room" to the right; to the left - there is another room divided into two sections for receiving envoys and foreign visitors. Facing the entrance are a dining room and a "tower room".

Stairs lead to the upper storey, where one first comes to a small bedroom on the right-hand side. From here a door gives access to the upstairs anteroom. This room has a typical oriental appearance, being furnished with carpets, a divan and a brazier. It has a balcony overlooking the city on the side above the main entrance. The anteroom leads to the Atatürk's bedroom and a suite bathroom. The tower room next to the bedroom was made into a library and a study. Book shelves are also arranged along the glass-paned corridor between the bedroom and a tower room. The library has windows looking out to the front and side of the building and its walls are lined with walnut coloured old-style shelves and glass-fronted cupboards. In the middle there are sofas and a large desk at which Atatürk wrote his most famous speech, the "Big Nutuk". The polygonal tower room with its conical roof and the library were Atatürk's favourite places, where he shut himself in and worked for days at a stretch.

Both the upper and the lower storey of the kiosk were decorated according to the Atatürk's tastes. The furniture, the ceiling ornaments and the wood, plaster and tile decorations are some of the finest examples of the Turkish handicrafts.

The kiosk, presently colsed to visitors, is one of the Ankara's most attractive buildings with its well kept garden and trees. It is also one of the city's most prominent sights, being the place where the "Great Leaden" Atatürk spent ten years of his life and where cherished memories of him are kept alive.