Tulips mark return of spring to Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The festival is marked by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality with the planting of millions of tulips in areas all around the city. AA photoNo passage to spring in Istanbul would be complete without the color offered by Turkey’s most famous flower, the tulip. Whether in parks, squares or anywhere else, the flower can be found throughout the city as part of the Istanbul Tulip Festival.
The festival, now in its seventh year, is marked by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality with the planting of millions of tulips in areas all around the city.
This year, work crews have arranged the flowers in a number of geometrical shapes and produced figures such as amulets, waterfalls, the Turkish flag and various human figures. As Istanbul is also the 2012 European Capital of Sports, there are also tulip figures relating to sports.
The tulip spread to Europe from Anatolia and then was exported to the rest of the world. While all tulip bulbs that were planted in 2005 were brought from abroad, 90 percent of the over 10 million tulip bulbs that have been planted as part of this year’s festival come from Turkey. Some 30 percent of these were grown by villagers in Istanbul’s Çatalca and Silivri districts and 60 percent were grown by producers in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Çumra district. Local villagers and flower producers have thus been able to take advantage of additional revenue sources.
In addition to parks and gardens, crossroads, rest areas and walking areas in the city have been decorated with 11,650 million tulips at a cost of 2.68 million Turkish Liras.
Opening will be on April 15
Some 11.5 million tulips were planted last year at a cost of 2.7 million liras, while 9.3 million tulips were planted the previous year.
The opening of the Istanbul Tulip Festival will be held April 15 at a ceremony at the Beyaz Köşk in the Emirgan Forest, with the participation of Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş.
The festival will continue until April 29 with various activities in the Emirgan Forest, Sultanahmet Square, Büyükçamlı Forest, Hidiv Forest and Taksim Square.
There will also be a Tulip Statues exhibition in Taksim Square, continuing until the end of the festival.
Emirgan Forest will also host exhibitions of tulips and present tulip-themed products produced at the Women’s Coordination Center.
A “50 Best Tulip Photos” competition award ceremony will also be held at the forest.