The Land Of Roses, Isparta

Everywhere in Turkey is like a piece of heaven. Wherever you go , you can find secret treasures and they take us a journey both through history and to the heart of Mother Nature.

Located in the Mediterranean region’s hinterlands, Isparta is one of those beautiful provinces with fields of roses as far as the eye can see. Now in Isparta ,a great deal of work is being carried out which is the most important center in rose production of the world,

It  has been the subject of legends since ancient times due to its fragrance, medicinal value and place in nutrition, and has become an indispensable flower .

How Did Rose Production starts in Isparta?

Oil rose and rose oil production has been carried out in and around Isparta since 150 years.

With this feature, Isparta is called “The Land of Roses”. The adventure of rose flower in Isparta is the product of an individual, giant effort.

Rose production in Isparta began with Müftüzade İsmail Efendi (1840-1915)   who came from Yalvaç district and settled in Isparta.

Ismail Efendi was a well-educated merchant.In the first time  he developed weaving around Isparta.

But  when he learned that he could obtain oil from rose flower, He started to get information to develop  rose production in Isparta.

He  was the first to bring the oil rose to Isparta in 1888 and to produce the first rose oil. For this reason, he was later called “Gülcü İsmail Efendi”.

The oil rose was brought to Isparta by Müftüzade İsmail Efendi from the Kazanlık (Kızanlık) region of Bulgaria.

The first rose oil was extracted by Müftüzade İsmail Efendi in 1892.Although he did  attempt  to extract rose oil before, he was not successful, but  was  able to obtain only  rose water. In his fourth crop year, he met a rose oil master from Kızanlık/ Bulgaria  and took over the business and succeeded in extracting rose oil as well as rose water.

After this success, rose production started to develop rapidly in Isparta and Isparta has now become the center of rose production.

During the First World War and immediately after the War of Independence, there was a decrease in rose and rose oil production, with the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, rose production was revived and an increase in production was observed.

The first rose oil production in Isparta started in 1892 with simple and primitive boilers called “Alembic”, also known as village type rose oil production, and this method has been used for many years in the production of rose oil.

In line with the instructions given by Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK during his visit to Isparta on March 6, 1930, steam boilers were purchased and the first modern rose oil factory was established in 1935 by the Ministry of Economy.

In Isparta, the production of factory type rose oil was started with Gülbirlik, which was established in 1954 and  Isparta with its large rose gardens currently  meets the 65 percent of the rose oil production of the world. By the way round 1350 rose species have been identified around the world . Although 24 species are native to Turkey, only “Rosa Damascena Mill” is used to make oil. Finally  if you would like to get rose products, They are various : rose delight with petals, rose cologne ,perfume,jam,rose water , cream, shampoo, make up products etc.

When does Rose Harvest Start and End in Isparta?

So  now  as rose harvesting season starts  (between mid-May to end of June ) , tourists from all over Turkey and around the world flock to the city to be a part of the ceremony and to get a whiff of the sweet smell of roses.

 They can visit the rose gardens and pick roses from the bushes, working side by side with the locals. Afterwards, they can take a tour of rose-processing facilities and learn more about what kind of processes are applied to the roses after harvest.

They  can take home the roses they collect. They can dry them and use as ornaments or make jams  out of them

The annual rose harvest in Isparta is about addressing all five senses of its visitors, from the fragrant smells to the beautiful colors emanating from the lush gardens. Now It is your turn. A Rose Harvest experience will awaken your senses.You  can experience Isparta’s aromatic rose gardens until at least June 20. Travel is a therapy.

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