Olives harvested from 800-year-old tree cut down in Turkey’s south
MERSİNOlives have been harvested from an 800-year-old tree which was brought back to life in the Toroslar district of the southern province of Mersin after it had been cut down earlier. The tree was bought from a lumberman and replanted in the district 20 months ago, Doğan News Agency reported.
Municipal workers saw the tree still had its roots and brought it from the neighboring province of Adana, where it was about to be cut into lumber, and replanted it in a park by grafting it with a two-year-old olive tree 20 months ago.
The municipal workers paid particular attention to the 800-year-old tree, which weighed four tons. The tree was maintained intensively with special medicine and had a specific watering routine. These efforts bore fruit when olives were harvested from the tree.
Saying that the history of the tree was older than the history of Mersin, the mayor from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Hamit Tuna, noted it was very significant for the tree to be brought back to life.
“People will have the chance to eat olives from this tree, from which our ancestors and maybe our sultans ate olives. It has a spiritual memory of 800 years,” Tuna said, as he harvested the first olives himself.
“At the same time, olives are symbols of peace. In these days when we need unity, this tree is an attractive one in terms of people uniting,” he also said.
During the harvest, Tuna said the point the tree had reached after 20 months of intensive care was satisfying, adding that root-supporting medicine was used on the tree.
“We followed the growth of the tree constantly and it’s significant that this tree, which is a symbol and suits Mersin, is here. It’s in a 15,000-square-meter park. The park will be historic with this tree. People will take pictures with this tree and when it grows even further. Everyone will have the chance to come here and eat olives from this tree,” he added.