Çankaya is a district of Ankara and is the home to many government buildings, including the Grand National Assembly of Turkiye, as well as nearly all diplomatic missions including the embassy of Sri Lanka. Çankaya is a cosmopolitan District and considered the cultural and financial centre of Ankara.
Until the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Çankaya was a hillside of orchards and gardens to the south of the city, which had grown up in time, surrounding the Ankara Castle (Kale) on the opposite hill. Everything changed in the 1920s when the founding father of the Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk came to stay in one of the garden houses. Atatürk selected Ankara as capital of the new republic and in the 1920s and 1930s the city quickly grew, especially in the direction of Çankaya. In 1934 the writer Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu described the area as "a wooden bridge, a dirt road, and when you come round the hill you see a hillside, green in gentle contours. That’s Çankaya." Çankaya eventually developed into one of the largest central districts of Ankara in the following years.
The meeting took place between Mr. Alper Taşdelen, Ankara’s Çankaya District Mayor and Ms. Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Türkiye at the Çankaya Municipality premises today, 4th April 2023. Taşdelen, represents the opposition party CHP and has been the Mayor since March 2019.
Ambassador thanked Mr. Taşdelen for the opportunity afforded amidst busy schedule of the Mayor due to the upcoming elections.
Discussions were around commonalities between the two countries in general and opportunities for collaboration in political and socio-economic economic spheres as well as the impacts of climate change, and how we could learn from each other in mitigating and minimizing some of the impacts.
Çankaya Mayor Mr. Alper Taşdelen assured that the Municipality is committed to address issues of all residents including the diplomatic community. He added that there are many cultural centres which are open to residents and institutions as well the Embassies to make use of, for making the life easy, meaningful and interesting for Çankaya residents and welcomed the Embassy of Sri Lanka to join activities that the Municipality organizes.
Ambassador suggested to establish a sister city arrangement with the Municipalities of Çankaya and Sri Jayawardanepura Kotte in Sri Lanka to help improve closer relations, especially people to people contacts. Mayor welcomed Ambassador’s suggestion and said that he would be happy to discuss such arrangement after the Turkish elections in May.
At the end of the meeting, Ambassador presented a copy of the coffee table sketch book with summarized narratives “Colombo” by the renowned Sri Lankan artist Vasantha Perera.
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara
4th April 2023