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Keçiören, Ankara

Keçiören is a metropolitan district of Ankara Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, a crowded district in the northern part of the city of Ankara. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 672,817 of which 625,167 live in the urban center of Keçiören. The district covers an area of 190 km2 (73 sq mi), and the average elevation is 850 m (2,789 ft). The Çubuk River runs through the middle of the district.

The name Keçiören comes from the Turkish for a type of felt footwear that used to be made in the area.

Until the 1950s this was a green and pleasant area outside the city, but in recent years has become a large district of housing for Ankara’s working class, a stronghold of Turkish nationalism, inhabited by very conservative people and covered in Islamic or nationalist graffiti. The Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has his Ankara residence within the district.

Since the 1990s Keçiören Municipality has been controlled by a series of right-wing/Islamist parties notable for such activities as establishing a private force called the “A team” to patrol the district to “warn” people of effects of behaviours such as drinking alcohol or being seen in public with a girl or boyfriend.

Prominent neighbourhoods
Etlik - Located on high ground, overlooking the city (in fact much of Keçiören has good cityscapes, especially at night)

Places of interest
Atatürk’s headquarters during the Turkish War of Independence today used by the department of meteorology.
The current administration has made efforts to decorate the mass of dull concrete that the area mainly consists of. Their buildings include; a huge artificial waterfall and many other pools and fountains; a concrete replica of the Hungarian Esztergom Castle and a park where women in tight sportswear and Islamic headscarfs can go for walks.

Notable natives
Melih Gökçek, politician and current mayor of Ankara
Turgut Altinok, long-term mayor of Keçiören.
Selahattin Biyikli, kick-boxing champion.

Keçiören children’s games
To many Turkish people the name Keçiören evokes a popular children’s TV outdoor game show (similar to the British It’s a Knockout) of the 1980s, which was recorded in the district.

Sister cities
The following places are sister cities to Keçiören:

Tainan, Taiwan (2005)

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