Turkey Will Declare a Holiday Dedicated to Planting Trees

A young man's tweet that went viral was the inspiration for the new holiday.

Jul 29, 2019

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Many countries have a holiday dedicated to planting trees. There are 34 countries on the Arbor Day Foundation website that celebrate the holiday in the best tree planting time by season. Other countries have tree-themed holidays. India celebrates Van Mahotsava, the festival of trees, and Israel observes Tu B'shvat, the new year of the trees.

Now Turkey will soon celebrate a tree planting holiday dedicated to a nation-wide day of planting after Turkish government officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to a tweet from Enes Şahin that went viral.

Şahin  tweeted, "Got an idea. Why do not we declare a ‘Tree Planting Vacation?’ Let’s put aside a day for all 82 million folks within the nation, together with the kids and the aged, to plant trees. Let’s set an example to the world and hand down an inexperienced nation to the upcoming generations.”

He told the Daily Sabah News that he was inspired by the Muslim religious holidays Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and thought, "why not have a holiday to plant trees."

This tweet was seen by Turkey's youngest elected deputy Rumeysa Kadak according to news outlet. "This is an awesome idea. It will be on our agenda for tomorrow," Kadak replied to Şahin 's message. This was one of over 55,000 responses.

Kadak met with Şahin and she posted an additional message on twitter saying that good news would be coming soon, "Without a doubt, we will soon hear terrific news for a greener Turkey and a greener world," she tweeted.

A few hours later, Şahin received a very unexpected tweet from Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that said, "This is a great idea, Enes. We've always worked for a greener Turkey and continue to do so. My friends and I will undertake all responsibility to make sure that we have a national tree planting day."

Şahin responded by tweeting, “Mr. President, we are very happy that you responded to our call. We are grateful that you are the voice of young people and hundreds of thousands.”Many people have heeded the call and have already started planting saplings  even before the official holiday is declared.

Planting trees is very good for our environment and the health of our planet. Trees stabilize the soil, so it doesn't get blown away, cleans our air, provides food for us and homes for animals and removes Co2 from our atmosphere.

In 2017, India set a world's record for planting 66 million trees in one day. New Zealand has an initiative to plant one billion trees in the next ten years, that's 100 million trees per year. And other initiatives are taking place across the globe.

Şahin 's idea and the ideas of other environmentalists will help us save the earth. Let's all go out and plant a tree today.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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