As thousands of people in Turkey are set to plant 11 million saplings on Nov. 11, the nation’s president on Thursday declared the day National Forestation Day, founding an annual national holiday.
Stressing that industrialization is affecting the environment worldwide, Erdogan said that planting saplings across Turkey will improve biodiversity, protect the environment, and contribute to environmental awareness.
He said the event will be held in all 81 of Turkey’s provinces. With 11 million plants set to take roots on a single day, the event is also hoping to set a new world record.
Erdogan also underlined that forests are crucial not only for Turkey’s ecology, but also its economy.
He said that Turkey is seeking to leave a healthier environment for future generations.
The mass tree planting made headlines this July when Erdogan responded to Abdullah Enes Sahin, an environmental activist who urged state officials to designate a specific day for planting trees.
Welcoming the suggestion, Erdogan said he would make it happen.
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli said Turkish people expressed immense interest in the Nov. 11 event, with the slogan “For a Greener Turkey.”
So far 13 million trees have been adopted, and over 9 million people are set to take part in the mass planting.
Besides the government, a number of NGOs have also joined the push to make Turkey a greener place.
*Writing by Ali Murat AlhasAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.