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"It's Yates' Springtime at Araluen Tulip Festival” 22 August to 21 September 2014.

In early 2014, TACH initiated a partnership with the Hon. Consul General of Turkey in Western Australia, the Hon. Consul General for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Western Australia, and Araluen Botanic Garden Foundation to hold a joint Turkish and Dutch cultural festival during Araluen’s annual Tulip Festival.


Both Turkey and the Netherlands have important historical ties to the tulip flower, and Araluen Botanic Park has a long history of tulip planting and tulip festivals in their unique natural Australian bush environment. Tulips were originally a wild flower growing in the Central Asia and were first cultivated by the Turks as early as 1,000 AD. The period in Ottoman history between 1718-1730 is called the "Tulip Era", under the reign of sultan Ahmed III. From the Ottoman Empire the tulip was introduced to the Netherlands, sparking "Tulipomania", a speculative frenzy in 17th-century Holland over the sale of tulip bulbs where outrageous prices were paid for exotic flower bulbs. Tulips were first planted at Araluen in 1934, being sent from Holland in wooden boxes, each bulb wrapped separately in paper representing the colour of the bloom.

The 2-14 Tulip Festival was planned over eight months, with TACH coordinating meetings and engaging each of the high-level stakeholders in the project through regular face-to-face meetings and electronic communication.

Grant Nixon, Park Manager, oversaw the design of the park including the construction of displays and tulip garden design to reflect the culture and architecture of both countries. The concourse lawn area was transformed to feature a canal, minaret, tulip display beds, silhouette of Dutch and Turkish buildings and the Grand Marquee.

The Grand Marquee featured a display outlining the history of the tulips from Turkey to the Netherlands to the first tulips planted at Araluen 80 years ago. 

TACH and the Turkish community in Perth participated in the planting of the tulip bulbs in early winter of 2014. It was the biggest planting in the park’s history, with 120,000 bulbs planted.

TACH coordinated a sub-committee to organise the Turkish activities for the festival which took place in Spring (August-September) 2014. The sub-committee found, supported and worked with many Turkish community members to volunteer providing stalls, art work, water marbling demonstrations, folk dance performances, food-cooking demonstrations, and Turkish coffee making and reading.

The Yates Springtime at Araluen Tulip Festival was opened by the Hon. Tony Simpson MLA, Minister for Local Government; Community Services; Seniors and Volunteering; Youth and featured speeches from the Turkish and Dutch Honorary Consuls General, Araluen Botanic Park General Manager Rod Ross, ebru (Water Marbling) by artist Vesile Yilmaz and the National Anthems of Turkey, the Netherlands and Australia performed by the John Galvin School Band. In attendance was Hon Consul General of Turkey in Western Australia Dr. Cahit Yeşertener, Hon. Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Western Australia Arnold Stroobach, TACH President Özgur Taşyürek, TACH Former President Nihal İsçel, and TACH Secretary Karen Yeşertener. 

The Tulip Festival ran for 6 weeks and included the demonstration of Turkish folk dancing, music, ebru, hand crafts exhibitions and other cultural activities. The TACH Turkish folk-dance troupe performed every weekend over the festival weeks. Over 60,000 people attended the festival over the 6 weeks.

News Articles on the Tulip Festival:

Videos by local Roleystone videographer:

TACH Videos and photos:

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