The Turkish city of Antalya is the main production center for the cut flower industry in Turkey and consequently majority of the Turkish flower exporters are located in this city. The cut flower industry started shipping a total of 75 million stems of cut flowers, mostly carnations, and 4 million Christmas wreaths to nearly 30 European countries and Russia for Christmas and New Year celebrations this year. Central Anatolian Ornamental Plants and Products Exporters' Association (OAIB) President Ismail Yilmaz said, "We have started exporting to nearly 30 European countries and Russia. We expect 75 million carnation stems and an export revenue of approximately 8-10 million USD for this New Year's period. Additionally, we have wreaths prepared from our products that are used as door or table decorations, and with approximately 4 million wreaths, an additional income of 8-10 million USD is expected."

Ismail Yilmaz added: "Turkish flowers are used in European countries and Russia for the holiday known as 'Christmas' or 'Noel', which is celebrated as the birth of Jesus and starts on December 24th, and for New Year's Eve celebrations. The exported flowers are mainly carnations, gerbera, ranunculus, and greenery and they are used in flower bouquets sold at supermarkets or florists in Europe." The Netherlands, United Kingdom and, Germany remain the top export destinations for Turkish flowers. The flowers are sent to the export destinations in refrigerated trucks and it usually takes 3 to 4 days for the flowers to reach their destination. Carnations have been the main export variety of Turkish growers throughout the years but wreaths became a new product that has gained prominence in the last decade and started to be produced in more volumes in recent years.

Ismail Yilmaz stated that they have reached an export of approximately 121 million dollars as of the end of October 2023, for the year and announced that with the end of the summer production season in Isparta, the production season on the Antalya coast also has begun. Turkey had exported 137 million USD worth of flowers in 2022 and with the boost coming from the current increased Christmas activity, the industry is hoping to finish the year 2023 with a similar total export revenue. Underlining that Christmas is a very important time of the year for Christians and that millions of stems of flowers are sent from Antalya to European countries every year, Yilmaz stated that, after Valentine's Day; Christmas and New Year's Eve are the busiest periods of the ornamental plants and cut flower industry.

Explaining that while carnations are the most preferred variety at this time of the year, red is the most demanded color, Yilmaz said, "The red color of carnations is in high demand, especially during the New Year's period. In addition, white, purple, purple-white double colors and, burgundy are our most demanded colors. These flowers are used in decorations. We can say that it is the most important day for the Christian world and these flowers are used both as decorations and as gifts to each other."

Source: Antalya Express