More than one version of the story about the origin of the name‘Keçiören’ exists. One version states that it literally means “keçilerin ören yeri“ or “the goats’ town“, because this area was used for pasturing the famous goats of Ankara. By merging the word “keçi” – a goat, with the word “ören” which means a historical settlement, the name “Keçiören” was derived.
The second version involves Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, who talks about the the Persian Royal Road that stretched out into the ancient region of Anatolia during the 6th century A.D., from the East through Ankara and over the contemporary region of Keçiören. The local residents with their regional accent would call this East to West route the “geçivermek”, which would later change to “geçiveren”, with the name reaching us today as Keçiören.
Yet another version states that the word Keçiören stemmed from the phrase “geçveren” or “that which ripens late“, which referred to Ankara’s grape varieties which had long ripening periods. The historical city of Ankara was famous for grape growing with more than thirty different grape varieties. The vast vine fields would give a beautiful emerald-green color to the surrounding hills.
The first settlements in Keçiören started to appear around 1955. With its clean air and famous vineyards, Keçiören was nothing short of a resort, thus becoming a frequent vacationing place for middle-class and wealthy Ankara residents. Their houses had lovely gardens with a wide variety of fruit trees, coops, ponds and wells allowing people to grow fruits and vegetables. Water was supplied from the wells. Families would gather around ovens and bake bread in amounts that would meet their ten-day necessities. Keçiören’s vineyards, grapes and pears were exquisitely famous. The non-Muslim merchants, who owned most of the trade businesses in Ankara, also lived in Keçiören. They were exceptionally wealthy, hence they lived in lovely neighborhoods with very clean and well maintained houses and gardens. Later, merchants would gradually sell their houses one by one and move out from Keçiören.
The Hacı Kadın (a Pilgrim Woman) stream used to flow through Dutluk, Duvardibi, Kuyubaşı, Ahmet Çavuş and Mecidiye districts, and it stayed clear and unpolluted until 1955. Dutluk, named after large mulberry (dut) trees that abounded in the area, was a regular public picnic spot, and a promenade for the members of foreign embassies that were located in Ankara. Çubuk Creek was used for washing carpets and rugs but also for swimming at locations where the current was not strong. During the years of National Struggle and at the beginning of the Republic, famous people lived in Keçiören. They used to commute on horses from Keçiören to Ulus, where they would tie their horses at Taşhan. Keçiören has always been thought of as a hotel-town.
Keçiören and Vineyard Houses
Although Keçiören is situated in the northern part of Ankara, it gazes towards the South, and throughout history, Keçiören has been famous for its fertile vineyards and gardens. Due to this fact, Sultan Abdulhamid II established Ankara’s first School of Agriculture on these lands in 1905. The most prominent Ankara residents built their summer and vineyard houses in
Keçiören. Annual migrations to the vineyards in May and from the vineyards back to the city after finishing with the preparation of winter provisions in September evolved into real ceremonies.
Some Important Personalities Who Have Previously Resided Or Still Residing In Keçiören:
Kazım Özalp, Fevzi Çakmak, Yusuf Akçura, Celal Bayar, Reşit Galip, Ziya Gökalp, Hamdi Aksekili,Hasan Saka, aka Gündüz, Vehbi Koç, Recep Peker, Cevat Abbas, Hamdullah Suphi Tanrıöver.
It wasn’t long, however, before Keçiören was affected by rapid population growth and migrations, and in 1956-1957 first permanent houses and buildings started to appear. From that point on, the quality of Keçiören’s unpolluted, fresh air started to deteriorate. Initially, there was no urban planning, and neighborhoods were formed by “squatter house” which randomly began to appear. Later on, urban planning was implemented, preventing the building of houses without permit. Municipal services started to function in 1984 and the town gained a much neater appearance. Today, the development plans in Keçiören have almost been completed. With its wider roads, regulated settlement, convenient public transportation, electrical, water and waste networks, and expansive green areas, Keçiören takes pride in being an exemplary municipal district.
The journey of the Municipality of Keçiören dates back to 1984, when it became a separate municipal constituency. It comprises 52 precincts and covers the area of 190 km2 in the northern part of Ankara, the capital city of the Republic of Turkey. The Municipality of Keçiören is situated about 13 km from the city center with the altitude of 1075 m above sea level. It is a beautiful green area surrounded by hills and mountains. Today, Keçiören is the largest municipality in Ankara with 909,787 residents (2017). Numerous projects in sustainable development, environment, business and economy, education, culture and arts, science and technology, urban development, and tourism have especially flourished in the last years, earning Keçiören the title of one of the most developed areas in Turkey.