Ankara - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing is all apartments, in one of two large luxury complexes - they’re very nice though a few shortcuts taken when they were built continue to cause maintenance problems today. Park Vadi was always considered the “closer” option for getting to work, but with the move to the NEC both complexes are essentially the same commute. Both have a lot of kids, though Park Oran is a bit more contained, so it’s easier for older kids to be independent. Also, the apartments are much larger than US standards - usually four bedrooms plus spacious living rooms and separate kitchens. (Less storage space than a US floor plan would contain though.) - Nov 2023

All housing are in high rise apartments. There used to be three choices, but I have heard the third is being phased out. So, your choices are Park Vadi and Park Oran. We live in Park Oran in a spacious 4 bedroom plus den (one of the larger choices). It is a great place to live if you have kids and or a dog. The green space is very well-kept. The complex is surrounded by fencing and has guards at the to entry/exit points, so it feels safe. There are three large shopping malls with in walking distance with lots of restaurants, arcades and moving theaters. The Embassy provides the usual furniture. And there are parking garages to protect your car from the elements. The only negative is that cars speed through the inner complex street, so you need to be careful when walking! Commute time to the Embassy (via a large, well-maintained highway) is about 20 mins from Park Oran. - Jan 2023

Mostly apartments. Some are only 5-6 floors high, but ours is 30 floors. Housing size varies a lot depending on family size (and somewhat on rank). We have 2 kids and have a 4 bedroom with living room and kitchen and 2.5 bathrooms. No closets except 1 coat closet at entry. Larger families have bigger apartments and those with 4+ kids often have very generously-sized apartments. Some apartments have good balconies, though many (like ours) are very tiny. Park Oran and Park Vadi are popular expat apartment complexes. They have green space, playgrounds, etc. They are also walking distance to shops. Park Oran is walking distance to THREE malls! Commute times are not bad. From Park Oran downtown to the US Embassy is about 30 minutes. Maybe more or less depending on day. - Nov 2021

Housing is in several high rise apartment buildings around Ankara. Commutes range from 10-30 minutes by car to the current US Embassy location. Housing is typically 4 bed, 2 bath and around 1,400 square feet. Apartments are nice, and typically feature a combined living/dining room, and a separate closed-off kitchen. - Sep 2020

Embassy housing is generally clustered in large, modern apartment complexes. The size of assigned housing varied, but only slightly; we didn't see an apartment of fewer than 3-4 bedrooms even for junior officers or singles. Apartments had European-sized ovens and small, European stackable washer/dryer units, which caused some frustration.

We loved our location, with easy walking access to the Panora mall (food court, modern cinema, Kipa supermarket and more) as well as free access to an on-site gym and pool. Commute times were generally 20 minutes. Housing in Park Oran provides the easiest access to the highway that takes one to both the Balgat Air Force Base (DoDEA school, commissary, BX) and to the location of the new embassy, which is slated to open around 2020. - Oct 2018

Renovated apartment from the 1960s. Apartments are usually large, but often in poor repair, and with questionable decoration (local taste is for columns, gold, bizarre lighting features, and bright paint jobs).

Traffic is bad at peak times, and when it rains. Otherwise relatively easy to get around the city. - Oct 2018

High-rise aparments. I think they are nice, although that depends on the person. We have a four bedroom for a family of three. Commute here is great, because traffic is never that bad. Worst travel time from home to embassy is 30 minutes. If there is no traffic, 15 minutes. - Sep 2018

Only apartments in high-rise buildings unless you are the DCM or Ambassador. The apartments have one air conditioning flat pack per apartment. I spend most nights sleeping in the living room because it is the only cool room in my apartment. The apartments come without carpets and no black-out curtains. The walls are concrete so the internet doesn't reach to the bedrooms from the living room. This helps with soundproofing with your next-door neighbors but you can still hear neighbors above and below you. It takes about 20 minutes from Park Oran and less from Park Vadi and Zirvekent. - Jul 2018

We're all in apartments. Some are closer to the embassy and a little smaller (Park Vadi), some are further out but larger and next to malls and a park on a gated community (Park Oran). Families tend to be at Oran, with single folks and couples more in Vadi, but it's not universal. Housing is good. - Oct 2017

Housing is in apartments in one of three areas. This could be changing as the embassy moves to a new location. The apartments are on the newer side and very nice. They are fairly spacious but their functionality can vary. I have a very large porch but a kitchen that is almost not usable, think the size of a twin mattress. Others have no porch but a large kitchen. Most units don't have any storage or closets. - Sep 2017

Housing is in apartments. There are three main complexes, Vadi, Oran and Zirvekent with a few others scattered about. That may change with the embassy moving locations in the next few years. The sizes vary, I have one of the two small two bedroom apartments. It suits me, however the kitchen is extremely small. Most people have a three to four bedroom place at a minimum. - Jun 2017

All apartments. In the three years we've been here, the housing pool has gotten better. Older apartments in GOP are being phased out. Now options are Mesa Koza in GOP, Zirvekent, Park Oran and Park Vadi. All have benefit and drawbacks. Commute times to Embassy are all reasonable. (People complain about traffic, but compared to Istanbul it is child's play.) Park Oran is the furthest from the Embassy. - Sep 2016

There are three main apartment complexes.

Park Oran is the furthest from the Embassy, but popular with families with young kids, near a modern mall.
Park Vadi is more central, with an easy commute to the Embassy.
Zirvekent is the least modern housing, near a mall complex.

The biggest problem is lack of air conditioners in the apartments. In most housing, only the master bedroom has AC. Some are lucky enough to have a second unit in the living room. Ankara does get very hot in the summer and not having ACs is a big problem. Having darker shades might have helped but GSO is no help with that either. - Jun 2016

Primarily apartments in several areas of town. Even the furthest apartments assigned to Embassy personnel had no more than a 20-minute commute in normal traffic. In HIGH traffic times, 8-10am and 5-7pm, it could take an hour or more. - Aug 2015

Scattered housing. Park Vadi is close to the Embassy. Some people walk from there. Housing in GOP allows for a little further walk, but most people drive. Park Oran is farthest from the embassy. About 30 minute commute. I'm in GOP. Family of 3 in a 4BR, 3.5 BA 250 sq meter apartment. Kitchen is a good size, US. .appliances. Laundry room. Balcony. Small fenced yard (embassy owned, guard out front, 3 apartments in the building). 2 bedrooms have en-suite baths, the other 2 have shared bath. Large living room, library, dining to, office. - Jun 2015

We live in a high-rise apartment building in a gated communities with security guards. Our apartment is modern, clean, and in good condition. We have a covered parking spot and extra storage in the garage. Most apartments lack closets and instead provide wardrobes. Our wardrobes are not very spacious. Ankara does have a "rush hour" but it's not bad. - Apr 2015

Apartments. Mostly highrise, but not always. Commute can be from 10 minutes to 50 minutes, depending on distance and traffic patterns. - Feb 2015

Typical commute time to the downtown area where most embassies and offices are can range from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on where you live, traffic and weather conditions. Housing is generally not close enough to walk to the Embassy, especially given the hilly nature of the city. Housing is good for those in the embassy community, I hear of very few complaints. Taxis are inexpensive and always easy to find. The metro system is not very extensive and the bus system is so-so. - Jun 2014

Apartments. Most of them good size and in good locations spread out in the city. - Apr 2014

Old apartments close to the Embassy (they have more of a local neighborhood feel) or high-rises further out where malls, traffic and not knowing your neighbors is the norm. All housing is apartments. This will not be the best housing of your career and once you come to terms with that, the better. Many people end up changing apartments and then not liking that one. None are great. Commute time seems to be bad for the people that live in Oran where the big mall is. - Mar 2014

Apartments that are spread out around the city. The commute can be a real adventure. - Mar 2014

Everyone lives in an apartment. Commute times vary by location ranging anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour with traffic. Commuting has become more difficult since the bombing and commute times have increased. - Jul 2013

For members at the mission, it varies. Anywhere from 5 - 25 minutes; more in rush hour. - Aug 2011

Almost all apartment living here. Ranges from medium to extremely large. - Jul 2010

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