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Walk south from Ulus Meydanı along Atatürk Bulvarı and you’ll soon reach the entrance to Gençlik Parkı (Youth Park), where Atatürk had a swamp converted into an artificial lake. The Luna Park funfair provides amusement for children and several pleasant çay bahçesi (tea gardens); single women should go for those with the word aile (family) in their name.

Other oases in an often wearing city are Kuğulu Parkı (Swan Park; Map ), at the southern end of Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi, and the Botanik Parkı (Botanical Park), spilling into a valley beneath the Atakule in Çankaya.

Further out of town in Gölbaşı, Aquapark Club Watercity (  in Turkish; Haymana Yolu 6, Gölbaşı; adult/child €14/7; h10am- 7pm) has a range of outdoor, indoor and children’s pools, sports facilities, water slides and restaurants. Dolmuşes run here from Opera Meydanı.