Everybody thinks that tulips come from Holland. Actually, Tulips are native to Central Asia and Turkey. In the 16th Century they were brought to Holland from Turkey, and quickly became widely popular. Today Tulips are cultivated in Holland in great numbers and in huge fields. Dutch bulbs, including tulips and daffodils, are exported all around the world so people think that it’s originated from there as well. In fact many cultivated varieties were widely grown in Turkey long before they were introduced to European gardens. The Turks call the tulip “lale,” a Persian word, suggesting they didn’t know about the tulip or didn’t pay attention to the flower as they moved from Central Asia into the Near East.
Also in the Turkish history tulips played an interesting role. The period in Turkey history between 1718-1730 is called the “Tulip Era”, under the reign of sultan Ahmed III. This period is also expressed as an era of peace and enjoyment. Tulips became and important style of life within the arts, folklore and the daily life. Many embroidery and textile clothing handmade by woman, carpets, tiles, miniatures etc. had tulip designs or shapes, large tulip gardens around the Golden Horn were frequented by upscale people, and so on. Also, the first printing house was founded by Ibrahim Müteferrika in Istanbul. The Tulip Era was brought to an end after the Patrona Halil revolt in 1730, ending with the de-thronation of the Sultan. The botanical name for tulips, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word “tulbend” or “turban”, which the flower resembles. It’s considered as the King of Bulbs.