The Tulip flower has a special place in Turks’ hearts. Celebrations and festivals were created to celebrate the Tulip flower. Their interest goes back hundreds of years ago. Historians refer to the years between 1718 and 1730 as the ‘Tulip Era’ in Ottoman history. It references the people who were fascinated by the flower and their interest in Tulip gardens. However, it is not just a period that saw high aesthetic tastes on the rise, but draws interest as a peaceful and prosperous time between periods of intense war.
Tulip’s era was during the ruling of the Sultan Ahmed the third, he was a cultured man who cares about art and aesthetic. He helped with spreading the Tulip flowers and encouraged it. Artists at that time were singing the Tulip, it was reflected in their art. Poems, paintings and many other arts were produced to reflect the glory of this flower. So, they have hybridized it and produced hundred types of the Tulip flowers.
In the early 17th century, the Holy Roman Empire’s ambassador in Istanbul brought Ottoman Tulips to Europe. The word “Tulip” is even taken from the Persian word for “turban”. Europeans learned this word from the Ottoman elite, who spoke a fluent Persian language. After sometime, Tulip flowers were highly priced and only nobles could buy them. They were reflecting the wealth and power of the European family. Later on, Tulips will be the most important flower in Holland and now they are exporting it to many other countries.
Turks have kept their passion about this flower until now. They have established for her a yearly wedding. Which will be held during all the days of April. The celebration was started in 2005 when Mr. Kadir Topbaş the president of Istanbul municipality launched the first Tulip festival in Istanbul. They have planted 30 million Tulip flower all around the city. In Sultan Ahmed square alone, they have planted 530 thousands Tulip flower, creating the largest Tulip carpet at that time “the number have been broken yearly at the same place”.
April is an important month for Turks, not only because of the Tulip celebration. But there is also a special and important event happened in April. It is the opening of Constantinople by the great leader Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, who defeated an army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos. The conquest of Constantinople followed a 53-day siege that had begun on 6 April 1453.
In 2017, Turks celebrated the Tulip and the 546 memory of Opening Constantinople. They have planted the Tulip carpet in Sultan Ahmed square and broke their own number of the baggiest Tulip carpet again. The new number is 1728 square meter of Tulip flowers. And we will see soon if this number will be broken or not.