Isparta’s rose season starts one month early

Roses, a quintessential symbol of Isparta’s heritage for over 185 years and an important raw material for the cosmetics industry, have blossomed ahead of schedule this year.

Due to favorable weather conditions, the flowers began to bloom a full month earlier than anticipated, prompting producers to commence their collection efforts.

Introduced to the western city of Isparta from Bulgaria in 1839 by Gülcüzade İsmail Efendi, the rose become an important source of economic income for the city,now accounting for 50 percent of the world’s rose oil production.

Typically yielding during the two-month period spanning May and June, rose harvest requires diligent attention from producers.

Throughout the province, dedicated producers rise at dawn, around 5 a.m., to gather blossoms.

Working swiftly before the sun’s intensity peaks, they then transport their harvest to designated rose-buying centers.

Kadife Sağlam, who works in rose-picking, said that she has been involved in the annual ritual since childhood.

Despite its laborious nature, she expressed a deep affection for the work, collecting around 50-60 kilograms of roses daily with friends in the fresh air.

“Every year when the rose season opens, we come and work in rose picking. Last year we were paid 10 liras per kilo, this year it is not yet clear,” she said.

“According to this price, last year we were earning around 500 liras per day. This year we estimate that it will be between 800 and 1000 liras. We are here for one month.”

Like Sağlam, Ramazan Akpınar is a dedicated rose picker, tending to his 5,000 square meter garden passed down from his mother.

Stating that it is necessary to start picking early in the morning to avoid both bees and scorching heat, Akpınar said that processing the roses takes place before noon as the scales that buy roses are closed after 12 p.m.

Rose producer Veli Çelik stated that they expect the base price of roses to increase this year.

Çelik noted that the rose season started one month earlier this year due to weather conditions and said, “At the moment, our roses have bloomed sporadically and we have come to collect them. Hopefully, it will start to give full yield after a week.”

Meanwhile Gülbirlik, a rose sales cooperative union which opens purchasing centers at 40 locations, inaugurated the season on April 29.

“We started our first rose purchases from the towns of Çeltikçi, Kılıç, Baladız and Güneykent. In time, we will start purchasing roses in other regions, İbrahim Işıdan, manager of Gülbirlik, said.

He expects 12,000 tons of roses to be procured during the campaign period, which typically lasts 45 days.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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