Middle East

Fun red and green holiday flowers in Istanbul: Coquina

Prepared by the Roma people and sold during the New Year holiday season, coquina is not just one plant, but two.

Coquina is similar Mistletoe At first, if you look closely, you can see that the two plants are actually one. How? The red fruits of one plant are hand-tied to the thorny green leaves of another, and it’s done! Coquina is born.

In Turkey, coquina is a Frankenstein plant that emerges during the holiday season, connecting Christmas to the New Year. The Roma people prepared to decorate the Istanbul people’s home.

Coquina means “red” in Greek, and the Greeks in Istanbul began the tradition of decorating with coquina during Christmas. But it is no longer just for the Greeks in Istanbul, but you can see the coquina decorating the Turkish and Greek homes alike.

Although not visible, coquina is made up of red berries tied by hand to green thorns. (Melis Alemdar / TRTWorld)

Bebek Cicekcilik Florist Hasan Konak says that the Roma people search for plants in the forest, tie them together and sell them to florists like themselves. Asked if the forest is near Istanbul, Konak says he was in Samsung on the Black Sea coast the last time he spoke to his contacts.

“I think they couldn’t find what they needed here, so they went there to collect,” he muses. “This plant is the most difficult to prepare, assemble and work with,” he says. “It requires a lot of effort and attention.”

According to Konak, Coquina sells for 30 TL or 40-50 TL in supermarkets. He added that the Roma people who sell directly to the public sell it for 20-25TL. The price is 6 bottles per bundle.

Coquina is a bunch ready to turn into a bouquet at a florist in Istanbul, Turkey.

Coquina is a bunch ready to turn into a bouquet at a florist in Istanbul, Turkey. (Melis Alemdar / TRTWorld)

Faruk Kaymaz, 48, from Istanbul supplies coquina to Bebek Cicekcilik, where Konak works. He says he is looking for the prickly green parts of Coquina from the forests near Istanbul, including Olmankoy, and the forests of Beograd in the north of the town.

“We collect thorns apart from the red berries for three months,” he says. “It will take some time to prepare them.” He says the red berries around Istanbul weren’t enough. “So we went to Samsung to collect them. We also went to Zonguldak Kaikuma. [also in the Black Sea region] A few weeks for them. “

When asked about the preparation process, Kaimazu replied, “I can make about 100 coquinas a day.” He says they sell for 6-7 lira, sometimes 10 lira. “It used to be 8 lira, but with the price increase, it’s now 10 lira,” he says. “The price has gone up because we are in danger now and no one has the goods.” He said, according to his math, a coquina stick instead of a bunch, which costs 60 TL. Talking about.

Kaimazu remembers his grandfather making coquina. “But there wasn’t much demand at the time.” He states that demand has skyrocketed over the last five to six years, but I’m not sure exactly why. “Probably because it brings luck,” he says. “You know, people believe it brings good luck and happiness.”

according to 2019 article (TR link) Istanbul University Faculty of Communication Journal, Iletim, Roma flower seller Zeriha Ildilim explains: [kokina] From Istanbul, Greece many years ago. Since then, coquina has been considered a lucky flower. When we were young, we listened to Coquina every year before New Year’s Eve.

“By the end of the year, we won’t see Roma’s family without coquina at home. This belief goes back many years,” she adds. “For customers who want to buy this flower, I tell them that Kokina is a lucky flower. If you keep it fresh until the next year without dropping the leaves, that means your wish will come true – some Legend has it that it means that a person becomes the owner of a house. “

Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/life/the-joyous-red-and-green-holiday-flower-of-istanbul-kokina-52979?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Fun red and green holiday flowers in Istanbul: Coquina

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