Mother Nature has finally woken up in Anatolia, offering a visual feast to tourists and photographers. The Sarıkamış district of Kars province, which is known as the "Land of Martyrs," best displays the mysteries and wonders of the natural world to all its guests.
In the district that sits at an altitude of 2,200 feet, there are beautiful Scots pine forests in which many different plant species grow. Among them, a slew of endemic species - including Fritillaria michailovskyi and Fritillaria caucasica, which is a kind of reverse tulip from the Caucasus - decorate the forests.
These two species appeal to nature lovers of every age, and especially draw the attention of photo enthusiasts.
As birds chirp and hum away, a group of photographers are almost always trying to capture the beauty of the plants in the lush region.
Professor Fatma Güneş, who is an academic at Trakya University's Faculty of Pharmacy, explained to Anadolu Agency (AA) that 40 tulip species naturally grow in Turkey and 17 of them are only found there.
"Fritillaria michailovskyi is one of them," Güneş said. "Growing in the Scots pine forests in Sarıkamış, it leaps out of the soil with the arrival of spring. This yellow bride takes its beauty from Kars and its color from Sarıkamış. It is a reverse tulip because of our martyrs here."
Meanwhile she said, "Fritillaria caucasica, the Caucasian beauty, comes from the Caucus Mountains. While it grows in such high places, its color gets darker. We do not know whether it is the sun or snow that makes this species dark, but the plant is a kind of dark purple. No matter if they are yellow or black or any other color, these plants fill the mountains in Kars, decorating them."
Burhan Özba, a nature photographer, talked about Sarıkamış mesmerizing people with its natural beauty and rich flora.
"Fritillaria michailovskyi, one of the endemic plants in regions with an altitude of 2,500 feet, adds a unique beauty to nature. Additionally, Fritillaria caucasica, which are also known as 'Weeping Brides,' can be found here."
Another photography lover Hasan Cellat said they waited impatiently for months to take pictures of these beautiful flowers and stressed that everybody should come out and see them.
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