Ceremony launches planting of 1st Korea-Turkey ‘friendship forest’ – KoreaNet

To repair damaged caused by forest fires in Turkey over the summer, the first 30,000 of 130,000 saplings donated by Korean nature lovers on Nov. 17 were planted in the Serik district of Antalya, the country’s No. 5 city.

Korean Ambassador to Ankara Lee Won-ik, who attended the planting ceremony for the friendship forest project between both countries, said, “Every sapling we plant will deepen the friendship of the Korean and Turkish people.”

The friendship forests will be planted in six Turkish cities. Sixty-four thousand saplings will be planted in the first forest in Serik, of which 30,000 were donated from Korea, 30,000 from Turkish forestry authorities and 4,000 by a benefactor.

Ambassador Lee said at the ceremony, “Although the fires occurred in a very large area, the Turkish government and people quickly brought the fires under control and healed wounds. Stay strong. I want to convey the message that the Korean people are always with you.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Nov. 11 at a National Afforestation Day event said the country will plant seven billion trees by 2023.

Saying the friendship between both nations dates back to ancient times, the ambassador added, “In the past, the sacrifice of Turkish veterans in the Korean War provided a solid basis for the development of bilateral relations. The Turkey-Korea Friendship Forest that we planted today will also contribute to the restoration of green areas by bringing a new forest to Antalya.”