This is how it happened:
- Tulips are native to Central Asia and the Anatolia region of Turkey
- The Ottoman Empire was the first to commercially cultivate tulips
- The mid-18th century in Ottoman history is known as the "Tulip Era" because it was a time of peace during which the growth and cultivation of tulips was an emblem of success and affluence.
- Tulips are grown near Turkish mosques because the curvature of a tulip looks very similar to the Arabic word for Allah.
- Turkey began exporting tulips to Holland sometime in the 17th or 18th century.
- Today, most of the tulips grown in Istanbul are imported bulbs from Holland.