Tulips mark arrival of spring in Turkiye

ISTANBUL, 25 March 2023:

The tulip season heralds the arrival of spring in Türkiye very April, where some of its capital city’s most popular spots are decorated with colourful spring tulips – transforming Istanbul into a massive and delightful visual feast of bright beauty.

Breathtaking sights captivating both locals and foreign visitors fill Sultanahmet Square, Emirgan Grove, Gülhane Park, Yıldız Grove, Soğanlı Botanic Park, Beykoz Grove, Büyük Çamlıca Grove, Küçük Çamlıca Grove, Fethipaşa Grove and the Hidiv Pavillon Grove.

Not many are aware that tulips are among the most important symbols of Turkish culture, noted Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency in a statement. “These unique bulbs were brought to Anatolia by the Turks of Central Asia’s Pamir Mountains, the tulip’s original homeland.

“This gorgeous flower, featuring such an important place in Turkish culture, was first brought to Vienna, Austria, and then to the Netherlands in the second half of the 15th century and thus introduced to Europe.”

Deployed as an ornamental motif in handicrafts since the 12th century, this beautiful, colourful flower was trendy in the Ottoman period as a subject of poems, edicts, stories and miniature paintings.

Tulip motifs were utilised in mosques, tombstones and palace decorations, as well as in carpet and rug patterns, on caftans and dowry chests, and even on coins, battle helmets and cannon castings.

During the reign of Sultan Ahmet III, the tulip reached such prominence, with almost two thousand varieties, that it gave its name to an era – the Tulip Era (Lale Devri) at the beginning of the 18th century.

Each tulip colour has a different meaning. Red tulips symbolise love, while white tulips represent purity and innocence. Purple blooms denoted ‘nobility and romance’, and yellow pointed to ‘joy’ and ‘hopeless love.’ The rare black tulip signified ‘unattainability and rarity’, while the striped tulip meant ‘you have beautiful eyes’.