Istanbul prepares for grand tulip festival

The İstanbul Municipality has been preparing for the 8th International Tulip Festival by planting around 13 million tulips in various parts of the city.

Municipal official Mehmet İhsan Şimşek stated that they started to plant tulips in November 2012 and will finish planting in April 2013. The tulips are being planted in some popular parks of the city such as Emirgan Park, Gülhane Park, Büyük Çamlıca and Fethipaşa Park.

The 8th International Tulip Festival will be held in Emirgan Park in April. According to Şimşek, with the bulbous plants, such as hyacinths and amaryllis, a total of 20 million plants will be planted for the festival at a cost of TL 13 million.

In the Ottoman Empire, there were more than 1,800 tulip species, and each had its special name in Ottoman Turkish. As a tribute to the past, many tulip species have been planted for the festival. Especially in Emirgan Park, visitors will be able to enjoy the colorful sight of 120 tulip species, said Süreyya Altunışık, deputy technical manager of the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Park and Gardens Directorate.