King of Bulbs……. The Tulip
Turkey’s national Flower originates in Turkey and Central Asia. While it is commonly associated with Holland, it was actually first introduced to Europe during the Ottoman Empire.
The name originally bore in it’s homeland, Persia, which was “laleh”, defining it as “Flower of God”, because the letters forming the name of the flower coincided with the letters forming the name of god – Allah.
The botanical name is Tulipia, and derives from the Turkish word “tulbend” or “turban”, which the flower resembles.
These gorgeous flowers hold a significant place in Turkish culture and history and they represent feminine beauty, perfection, paradise , the Turkish homeland , and collective cultural identity. In addition to their aesthetic beauty, they also possess a spiritual dimension, as they were believed to protect against evil.
During the Ottoman period they became a symbol of wealth and status, and the “Tulip Era” between 1718 and 1730 marked a time of flourishing quantities in the cultivation and trade. They were also used extensively in Ottoman art and literature.
Tulip Gardens and Festivals
Today, these stunning blooms remain beloved in Turkey, and the country is known for its stunning national gardens and festivals. The Istanbul flower Festival, held annually in April, is a popular event that features millions of bulbs are planted throughout the city. The city of Istanbul has a rich history with tulips, with the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent ordering the construction of a famed garden in the 16th century in the grounds of the Topkapi Palace.
Other cities in Turkey, such as Antalya, also host tulip festivals, and Emirgan Park in Istanbul is famous for its beautiful tulip gardens. Overall, an important cultural symbol in Turkey that continue to be celebrated and appreciated by people from all over the world.
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