From Ankara Palas to Presidential Museum

Ankara Palas, one of the landmark structures of the capital in the Republic era, was opened in 1927. For many years, it hosted international meetings with senior foreign delegations. Located just across the second parliamentary building in Ulus, Ankara, it was the central point of politics. During the 1930s, MPs, artists and journalists would meet here and assess daily political developments. Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our republic, used to gather with friends and unwind in this building following his speeches at the National Assembly. According to Atatürk, Ankara Palace was the “window opening from East to West” when it was put into service in 1927. The most important names of the period were hosted in the rooms of the building.

The first design of Ankara Palas, which was planned to be built as a clubhouse for MPs in the early years of the Republic, was prepared by the architect Vedat Tek. The historical structure’s foundation was laid in 1924, but was left unfinished when Vedat Bey retired from the project. Ankara Palas was completed according to the new design of architect Kemalettin Bey. The building, which was transferred to the Foundations Administration, was opened on April 17, 1927, as a hotel with a capacity of 120 beds. The meeting place of politicians, journalists and artists during the 1930s, Ankara Palas also served for hosting official delegations and foreign guests. Managed as a hotel until 1975, it was then used as an office and exhibition area by the Ministry of Industry and Trade between 1976-1982. In 1982, it underwent a comprehensive restoration by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was opened to service as Ankara Palas State Guest House with an official reception held on October 29, 1983. Ankara Palas, which witnessed many important events of Turkish political life, was transferred to the Directorate of National Palaces under the Presidency of the Republic in 2018. Ankara Palas will start to serve as Presidential Museum, once the restoration projects are completed.

Some of the important guests hosted in Ankara Palas include Shah Reza of Iran, Afghan King Emanullah Khan, King of Iraq Emir Faisal, King of Greece Elefterios Venizelos and US President Dwight Eisenhower.