Tulips bloom in Istanbul's parks, gardens

Tulips bloom in Istanbul's parks, gardens

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Tulips bloom in Istanbuls parks, gardens

Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş says the municipality took great efforts to bring the tulip back to its homeland, Istanbul. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The fifth Istanbul Tulip Summit was held on Nov. 14 and 15 in Istanbul’s Haliç Congress Center with the attendance of sector officials from around the world. The summit was previously held in Canada, Australia, England and the United States.

Speaking at the summit, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş said the tulip was a plant that left its mark in history.

He said that tulip had a significant place in the Ottoman era, and was frequently used in ornamentation, ceramics and the art of calligraphy but it did not have as much prominence in Istanbul as it did in the Ottoman era.

Topbaş said that later on tulips gained importance in the Netherlands and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality had started working and taking great efforts to bring the tulip back to its homeland, Istanbul.

“We have initiated a project titled ‘tulip returns home’ in the city. I went to the Netherlands and said there that I would like to plant tulips in Istanbul. We started working in 2005 with 600,000 tulip bulbs. Today 15-16 million tulips blossom in Istanbul in a year.”

The mayor said that they would also return Yıldız Park to its original form at the time of Abdülhamit and the garden of the Topkapı Palace would be reorganized.

“Actually, we don’t use Yıldız Park entirely, but only a 300-decare area of it. The works will be in three stages. We will work to return the park to its original situation especially at the time of the sultan Abdulhamit. This is a 70-decare land, which is closed now and was used as a building site during the construction of the Bosphorus Bridge. We want to add this part to the park. Then there is the place of greenhouses. When we add this part, it becomes a 500-decare land. Archive and documentation was very important at the time of Abdulhamit. Thanks to it, we have very detailed information about all trees planted there. We evaluate them and try to make the park as it was in the past,” Topbaş said at the end of the summit, when asked about the details of the reorganization.

As for the rearrangement of the Topkapı Palace garden, Topbaş said, “The Topkapı Palace is a different value as a whole. We have previously rearranged the garden. We removed some additional parts; there were shanty houses, we ruined them. After arranging it, we left it to the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Topkapı Palace Museum Directorate. During a recent visit, I saw that some parts were neglected in the garden. I told the Parks and Gardens Department to work on it. Because when people come to the Topkapı Palace, they should feel that they are in a palace. You know the royal gardens. Ours has different beauties. We will reveal the unknown or forgotten parts of the palace gardens.”

Tulip unites nations

The World Tulip Summit President Michel Gauthier noted that importance of meeting in Istanbul. He said that he came to Istanbul for the first time 20 years ago for the tulip festival, adding, “We planted tulip bulbs in the garden of the Sultanahmet Mosque. Now I am at the Tulip Summit after 20 years and very proud. This summit has led to the formation of a tulip friendship. Because tulips are a factor that unite nations.”

The summit ended on Nov. 15 and new tulip species were planted in the Emirgan Wood on the last day of the summit.