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Tulips that adorn Turkey are produced in Konya
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 01 May 2011 Sun 09:54 am

Türkiye´yi donatan Laleler Konya´da üretiliyor.

Tulips that adorn Turkey are produced in Konya

01 May 2011, Sunday / AYDIN HIZLICA - ALI ÖZSOY ÖZDEMİR , KONYA

In addition to their beauty, tulips actually offer employment to hundreds of workers from various provinces across the country. Workers from the east come to Çumra to harvest tulips every spring.

 

This tulip story began in the Central Anatolian province of Konya 15 years ago after a businessman brought tulips of every color to the city for mass cultivation. After being grown in the district of Çumra, the Konya tulips dazzle visitors to many parks and gardens throughout Turkey as well as abroad.
 

Ali Yetgin learned about Dutch tulips during a visit to the Netherlands in 1996. After being enchanted with tulips planted in a vast field in the Netherlands, he researched the history of tulips and established a company, Asyalale (Asia Tulip). In 1996 the company began to produce tulips in four colors, which he brought from the Netherlands, on a 40,000-square-meter field in Çumra. He added more and more colors every year and now owns the largest tulip fields in Turkey, producing 170 different types of flowers, including tulips. This successful businessman also exports tulips abroad.

Yetgin, a senior agricultural engineer, says his company distributes products to 3,500 spots in Turkey, with municipalities and supermarkets among his clients. Starting in April he is sending tulips to dozens of provinces, including İstanbul, Kocaeli and Bursa.

Growing tulips requires attention to a number of points. “The adventure of tulips starts in the months of September and October. In these months, hundreds of thousands of tulips are planted. They love cold and mild weather. The tulip bulbs remain under the soil all winter and begin to blossom with the arrival of spring. Their flowers stay open for an average of a few weeks during which they produce uniquely beautiful scenery and bring a variety of fragrances.

“Once the end of April arrives, the flowers of tulip bulbs are broken up by hand and the seeds taken out. In early June, they are planted. They are kept in a cool depot, at temperatures of minus 18 degrees Celsius. In September, they are sent to clients in the country and abroad. Asyalale employs 14,000 seasonal workers in its bulbous flower business. Overall, we employ 26,000 people,” Yetgin explains.

Yetgin says they export Turkish tulips to many countries, including Syria, Iraq and the Turkic republics in Central Asia. In the near future the company will export tulips to the US and Germany. “We produce 25 million [tulips] annually and aim to surpass the Netherlands with the production of 10 billion tulip bulbs in 2023 [the year marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic]. According to various pieces of research, the colors of tulips grown in Turkey are brighter than those produced in the Netherlands. In order to achieve our goals, we work in cooperation with four large Turkish universities. We will reintroduce the Turkish tulips to the world.”

Korkut Yetkin, an agricultural engineer and also Ali Yetgin’s son, says the Netherlands, well known for its tulips, received its first bulb from Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (known as Kanuni in Turkish) in the 16th century.

“We are basically bringing back something that actually belongs to us. We first approached Dutch officials to buy tulips to grow more here. The producers there didn’t like the idea at first, but we offered to pay up to 20 times the cost. They still didn’t want to help us. It was quite a feat convincing them, but we were finally able to buy tulips from the Netherlands,” Yetkin says.

The tulip fields of Çumra turn all kinds of colors in April. In addition to their beauty, tulips actually offer employment to hundreds of workers from various provinces across the country. Workers from the east come here to harvest tulips. Some of them have been working in tulip fields for 10 years, such as Hacer and Mehmet Bolat, a family of three with their 13-month-old baby Kaan Bolat.

“Kaan will get an education and become an agricultural engineer. He will work to increase the yield in these fields where we work and where he was born. He will contribute to both the country’s economy and his livelihood,” Hacer Bolat says. Zaide Ceylan from Şanlıurfa has been working in a tulip field for the past four years. She harvests the flowers in April and sells them in June.

 

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