Anatolia is a land blessed with the most beautiful creations of nature. It is home to numerous endemic plants which are in need of protection for their survival for years to come.
As part of the project ran by the Southeast Anatolia Project Agricultural Research Institute (GAPTAEM), with the support of the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council (TÜBİTAK), the endemic and endangered plants growing in the region have been taken under protection at the collection garden put together in Şanlıurfa. The plants will be both protected and grown in the garden to make sure of their survival. Speaking to the Anadolu Agency (AA), project manager and agricultural engineer Ufuk Rastgeldi said that around 7,000 plants as well as 3,000 endemic plants in the region are facing extinction. He also said that most of these endemic plants are used in the medicine and cosmetics industry.
Currently, a total of 350 different plant species have been brought to the institute. While the project keeps the live samples in the institute, it also aims to detect and protect the endemic plants in their natural habitat. "Even if these plants are lost in time, thanks to the project, we will have samples to reproduce them. We are also trying to reproduce the plants that have economic value," Rastgeldi said. Incorrect fertilizing and pest control can threaten the survival of endemic plants as these things corrupt the flora of the region.
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