, (Ankara Çayı) is a small river that runs through the city of Ankara
. Because of long time exposure to sewage
and industrial pollutants, it is no longer viable as a water source for irrigation even though it is still used for irrigation down stream, and causes cholera
and other diseases in the city. During hot days, the smell of sewage from the river makes this environmental disaster even more obvious. There are World Bank
funded projects to clean it up.
The river splits Ankara almost in half and crosses through many neighborhoods and the city landfill. There are many bridges built over it throughout the city and in some instances it is completely covered and encased in a tunnel.
The city was founded in the stone ages presumably because of the river. Hittites
settled in Ankara
4000 years ago on the banks of the river. Alexander the Great
conquered the city in 334 B.C. and established an important trading center on the river. The Roman
incorporated the city to Rome
and continued trade near this river city. The city later became Byzantine
but was lost to the Turks
in 1073. Tamerlane
Sultan Bayezid I
near the river at the Battle of Ankara
. During the battle, Tamerlane diverted all the water from one of its tributaries the Çubuk creek
, which left Bayezid's army who was downstream without water, and won the battle.
The river's future
In response to the foul smell and disease eminating from the river, the city recently tasked "City Canalization Administration" with the river. The plan is to join the river with the sewage system. All the water will be directed to the sewage system, the river will be covered completely in certain locations, and the only water left running through the river will be that of any precipitation. The plan will also eliminate the polluted irrigation problem downstream since the river itself will be dried up. The project is expected to be completed in 2007.
For the moment, Ankara River is a tributary of the Sakarya River.