Tulips in Turkey

tulips arranged in S-curves decorate the border of a driveway leading to Istanbul University

Turkey is full of surprises. For example, it is commonly believed that tulips originated in Holland. In fact, tulips are native to Central Asia and Turkey. It seems that in the 16th century, someone brought them from Turkey to Holland where they became wildly popular.

In Turkey, under the reign of Sultan Ahmed III, the period between 1718 and 1730 became known as the Tulip Era—an era of peace in which handmade textiles, embroidery, carpets, clothing and other objects were adorned with tulip designs and large tulip gardens sprang up around the Golden Horn in Istanbul. When the sultan was dethroned, the Tulip Era came to an end, but tulip gardens can still be found in Istanbul, and the lovely designs still adorn many handmade goods (see photo below).

The botanical name for tulips, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word “tulbend,” meaning turban, which the flower resembles. The tulip is considered the king of bulbs and is Turkey’s national flower.

a gold letter opener from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul sports a tulip design

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Categories: culture, flowers, History, nature, Photography, Shopping, Stock Photography, Travel, Travel: Turkey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Tulips in Turkey

  1. You learn something every day!

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  2. My favorite flower…

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  3. Susan Abernethy

    What a beautiful color of tulip, Jennifer!

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  4. I had no idea of the origin of Tulips. I’ve been in the Netherlands when the Tulips were blooming, but I would love to see them in Istanbul. It’s one of the places I would love to go if money were no object, alas. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your work. It’s beautiful.

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    • I didn’t know either, Susan, so it totally surprised me. I think you’ll find that Turkey is very reasonably priced, especially the food. But drinks are quite expensive, even soft drinks, so we stuck to bottled water. Whereas we just came back from Norway where everything is VERY expensive.
      Thank you for the lovely compliment on my work.

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