Tulips grow with women’s touch in central Turkey
KONYA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoWomen working in tulip fields in the central Anatolian province of Konya, where many of Turkey’s tulips come from, contribute to their family income.
A company that produces tulips in the fields of the Karatay neighborhood provides employment opportunities for women living in neighboring villages.
Women are involved in every stage of the tulip production, from planting to cutting and packaging. With their children on their back, they go to the fields early in the morning to work on the tulips that turn various cities’ streets and squares into visual feasts.
The tulip fields themselves host many visitors, mostly photography aficionados, in blooming season.
An executive board member of a tulip planting company in Karatay, Korkut Yetgin, said tulip production was a significant source of income for locals in the region.
He said production also continued in tulip fields during winter months, and added, “Tulip fields are a source of income for the locals the whole year. Tulip production provides economic opportunities to 150 women.”
Yetgin said more than half of women working in the fields came from the surrounding villages. “At first, women used to bring their own food. Now we give them insurance and provide food,” he added.
Only source of income for some
Yetgin said in some households, more than one person works in tulip fields and supports their family.
He said as tulip production rose, the number of local women who work in other cities and regions as seasonal workers, decreased.
“The employment of female workers in our 300-decare fields is very important. We prefer to work with women of this region. We can say that the number of those who go to other regions to work has decreased. We have women who have been working here for 15 years. They prefer to work here in their own region, rather than looking for a job in other places. Our company provides them various opportunities, so they love their job here,” Yetgin said.
One of the workers for the company, 30-year-old Hacer Bolat, said she had working in the tulip field for 10 years, during which she has contributed to her family’s income. “I earn money for the education of my two children in this field. Working here is both fun and provides a pay check. We cut tulips in summer months and package the tulip bulbs in winter months. We can find job in this sector throughout the year. We work in a field where many people just come to take photos for 12 months.”
İsmil neighborhood local administrator Hasan Böcü said women working in the tulip production had revived economy in the neighborhood.
Stating that tulips had become a ray of hope for local people, Böcü said, “In the past, our villagers used to go to various surrounding regions to work. Thanks to the tulip fields, the number of seasonal workers decreased.
Since the work also continues in winter, workers do not want to leave. Company owners protect workers’ rights; that’s why women are pleased with working with tulips.”