Thursday, March 18, 2010

Istanbul, Turkey named as site for 2010 International Peace Garden

Paula Savage, President of the International Peace Garden foundation announced plans today for Istanbul, Turkey to become the site of the 2010 International Peace Garden. The dedication is scheduled to take place on April 22, 2010 and will coincide with ASTA’s International Tourism Expo.

Each year an International Peace Garden is dedicated in a city around the world to recognize the contributions of that city and country to making the world more peaceful. The concept of an International Peace Garden emerged in 1990 when the first International Peace garden was donated by the Canadian Government to the United States to celebrate their long standing friendship of nearly 200 years. The U.S. garden is located adjacent to the Washington Monument. Today International Peace Gardens exist in nineteen countries spanning five continents. Istanbul, Turkey will become number twenty.

Napoleon once said “If the world was a state Istanbul would be its capital”. Istanbul, Turkey was selected to receive this honor for the following reasons: *Not only is Istanbul the economic and cultural capital of Turkey but it has been named the *Cultural Capital of Europe for the year 2010. “Istanbul, a bridge that connects two continents creates a bridge that connects the world”. *Turkey is a founding member of the United Nations. *Turkey strives to uphold and advance the goals and principals enshrined in the UN Charter. *Turkey is newly appointed to the United Nations Security Council.

The Istanbul Peace Garden will be located adjacent to The Constantinapolis Istanbul Gate, close to the Old City Wall. This location offers particular significance as it dates back to the 15th century when Magnificent Sultan Mehmet Fatih proclaimed here that “everyone will live in this city free with his own culture and religious beliefs”. The garden plantings include 50,0000 tulips featuring 80 varieties. In keeping with the Foundation’s commitment to youth and education the Peace Garden Delegation will visit students at Fatih University to discuss the role that the Peace Gardens play in helping to make the world a safer place.

The concept for these gardens is based upon a gift from the Netherlands to Canada, shortly after WWII. That gift of thousands of tulip bulbs was an expression of appreciation form the Dutch Royal Family to the Canadian government, for refuge during the war and for providing extraordinary provisions of assistance in securing the continuity of Dutch royal lineage. That garden was the genesis of Ottawa’s annual Tulip Festival.

At each Peace Garden a permanent stone marker is placed with this inscription “Let the seeds of peace begin here and spread throughout the world.”

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