Seğmenler Park in Ankara and a Return to Semi-Normalcy

On March 1st, Turkey announced a rolling back of many of the restrictions we have faced since mid November. Each province is coded as low, medium, high, or highest risk and restrictions are based on their coding. It is re-evaluated every 2 weeks. Ankara is medium risk. Medium and low are both fairly open now. Kids and the 65+ crowd no longer have curfews and can be out all day every day. Weekend lockdowns ended. Schools are back in person (or working on going back in person). Restaurants and gyms and sporting is open. Restaurants close for in-person dining at 7 pm, but can do take away and delivery after that. Everyone is on a 9 pm to 5 am lockdown daily, but that doesn’t affect me much! Masks and social distancing is still in effect and places are supposed to operate at 50% capacity.

While on high restrictions, I didn’t take the kids many places in their 1-4 window as everyone was out in that window and it was too hard to distance. Now, I have started back on some field trips as we can go in the morning before crowds gather and while other kids are in school.

We recently checked out Seğmenler Park, which is about halfway between us and downtown and near Atakule Mall. After examining Apple Maps Satellite view, I decided I thought there was parking and we risked driving. Whew! There was parking. Not a ton, but enough for 10:15 am on a Weds!

The park is long and skinny and runs in an uphill/downhill direction. We parked near the top of the hill. There are many trees and grassy areas and lots of sidewalks going all over the place. We saw a few stray dogs, but not many. At that hour, there were some walkers and dog walkers but not many other people. It was also a fairly chilly day (though not as freezing as some days we’ve had recently).

The kids ran around pretending to be young wizards and witches going to Diagon Alley to get supplies for their first year at Hogwarts (We are VERY into Harry Potter these days). We worked our way down the hill to a playground and exercise equipment area and played there a bit. They also enjoyed some of the water features (though not all were on in the winter).

Overall, a very nice park.

Practical Information

Parking: There is one small lot on Ataturk Blvd (one way, headed downhill into downtown) that fits about 20 cars. It is at the bus stop linked above and immediately after the Japanese Embassy. At 10:15 am there were 4 cars. At 11:30, there were about 15. I imagine it fills up on weekends and afternoons. On Iran Cd (one way, uphill, on the other side of the park), there was a very small lot near a shop that fit 10 or fewer cars. There also seemed to be a lot of street parallel parking. If going on a weekend or a nice day, I’d cab it.

Playground: The playground is at the downhill end, here. It is shaped like a train. It is also right next to the exercise equipment and bathrooms.

Bathrooms: While I didn’t use them as they were being cleaned, there were bathrooms at the exercise equipment at the downhill end (and maybe other locations).

Food/Drink: There is a small shop near the Iran Cd parking lot that sold some snacks and drinks.

Stray Dogs: We saw 3 and they were chilling and interacting with some people walking dogs, so seemed friendly enough.

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