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Tulips in Turkey

The most widely known event in the history of tulips is probably 'Tulipmania' in 1637 (during the Dutch Golden Age) when the price of tulips went soaring and subsequently the market went collapsing in what has arguably been called the first ever asset bubble.

Even before the Dutch, however, what is less commonly known is that the Turks cultivated tulips by way of Central Asia dating back to the 13th century Ottoman Empire. In fact, the word 'tulip' by some accounts derives from the word 'turban', worn by sultans of the time and resembling the 'turban-like' flower. Centuries later, the Tulip Era of Turkey took place from 1718 to 1730, during which time, high society citizens still under Ottoman rule considered the beautiful flower a sign of nobility, status, and great material accomplishment.

Today, millions of bulbs still bloom across the parks of Istanbul for the city's annual spring Tulip Festival. In addition, Turkish artisans include versions of the tulip on everything from pottery and art to textiles and souvenirs.

When you visit our store, on-line or in person, we hope it's the first step of an unexpected journey through Turkey with the smell of delicious spices in the air.