Turkey plants 11 million saplings on National Forestation Day
More than 11 million saplings were planted during the “Breath for the Future” campaign on Nov. 11.
Turkey’s Agriculture and Forestry Ministry launched the “Breath for the Future” campaign in late October. The ministry plants the saplings on behalf of people who adopted them online. So far, 13 million trees have been adopted.
By planting millions of young trees, the nation is working to foster a new, lush green Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 11, kicking off the mass tree-planting project in Ankara.
“By planting 4.5 billion saplings over the last 17 years, the breadth of Turkey’s forests has expanded from 20.8 million hectares to 22.6 million,” he said.
Speaking at the ceremony, he expressed hope of a “breath for the future in a greener Turkey.” “We expect great support from our citizens to spread love for trees and forests and leave the legacy of a greener Turkey for our children,” he added.
Erdoğan said that he hopes such planting ceremonies on 11/11, Nov. 11, at 11:11 a.m. will become an annual event for the Turkish public, something made possible by his declaration of a yearly National Forestation Day on today’s date.
He stressed his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) sensitivity to environmental issues.
“Some people tried to wreak havoc on our cities under the pretext of trees. They set streets on fire for weeks. Here we are, planting saplings, where are those trouble-makers?” he said, referring to the 2013 Gezi Park protests. T
The event was being watched by officials from Guinness World Records and the campaign would set an example to the entire world, Erdoğan stated. Kazak Prime Minister Askar Mamin also attended the ceremony.
“Their purpose was to encircle Turkey on behalf of others, but not to protect the environment. With the support of our nation, we have defeated all of these traps,” he stated.
The illegal PKK group burned Turkey’s forests in the western and southern regions of the country this summer, Erdoğan said.
The Turkish people expressed immense interest in the Nov. 11 event, with the slogan “For a Greener Turkey,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said.
President Erdoğan declared Nov. 11 as “National Tree-Planting Day.”