Turkey targets 7 bln saplings to be planted by 2023

Turkey targets 7 bln saplings to be planted by 2023

ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey targets 7 bln saplings to be planted by 2023

Turkey has set a goal to plant a total of 7 billion saplings across the country by the end of 2023, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Nov. 11, marking the National Afforestation Day.

Speaking at an environmental event at Yıldırım Beyazit University in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said Turkey started a campaign with the idea for a greener and more prosperous country.

"We will provide sapling pots and seeds to our nearly 12 million children every year and enable them to grow their own saplings," he said.

With this campaign, he said, the children will have grown eight saplings each during their primary and secondary school period across the country.

Erdoğan pointed out that Turkey ranks first in Europe and the fourth in the world in terms of reforestation works.

"We will continue to protect nature, which is entrusted to us by Allah, with its greenery, living creatures, cities, historical and natural beauties," he added.

The Turkish leader also stressed that his country reduced the response time for forest fires from 40 minutes to 12 minutes, adding that he hopes to reduce it to less than 10 minutes.

Erdogan also connected to the local authorities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, via video link to start a similar campaign of sapling planting there.

Last year, the public in Turkey planted 11 million saplings on Nov. 11 at 11.11 a.m. local time (0811GMT) with the hope of breath for the future in a greener Turkey.