Since the official presentation to the mayor of Istanbul last year, The Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands continued the tradition of tulip diplomacy which was once initiated by the Ottoman Sultans. On April 27, the Dutch National Day, over 1.000 Istanbul tulips were handed out by Consul General Bart van Bolhuis and his staff to partners and relations. At that same time a brochure with the research we conducted last year was published. Dutch Florist Romeo Sommers paid tribute to this very old tulip variety in the TV programme Koffietijd. Pictures of the tulip bouquets circulated all over social media. (Photo credits: Rijksmuseum, Koffietijd, Ingrid Woudwijk and Paleis Het Loo)
In cooperation with the World Tulip Society, the Consulate of the Netherlands in Istanbul, and many others, we returned the original Istanbul tulip to its birthplace.
On May 6 Consul General Bart van Bolhuis presented the tulip to mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, who greatly appreciated the gift. The typical Istanbul tulip with its almond shape and pointy daggers, was cultivated in the 17th-18th century in the Ottoman gardens, and were described extensively in the Tulip Album of 1725. The earliest documented record in Europe of this tulip was in 1811, where the tulip arrived from the Orient and were planted in the royal gardens in Paris. Soon after it appeared in other places in Europe and was registered as tulipa cornuata and later acuminata. The acuminata is still grown on a very small scale by a specialised grower in the Netherlands, and its history was only known within a small community of garden and tulip connaisseurs. The event gained national attention in the media across Turkey.
Mr. Ibo Gülsen of IGMPR lead the project and worked closely with tulip specialists in Europe and Turkey to unravel the history of the Istanbul Tulip. Beautiful pictures of the tulip in the royal gardens were made with the support of Paleis Het Loo.