Apple has been the most appreciated fruit grown in Eğirdir for decades. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute’s reports, Isparta-known as the major apple producing city in Turkey- produces 650.000 tons of apples annually, while Eğirdir, one of its districts, alone supplies 250.000 tons of this volume. That is, 1 out of every 4 apples in Turkey comes from Isparta, 1 of every 3 apples of Isparta comes from Eğirdir.
Among the apples grown mostly in Eğirdir and its vicinity, there are Red Delicious (Starking Delicious, Starkrimson Delicious, Scarlet Spur ve Redchief etc.) and Golden Delicious (Starkspur Golden Delicious ve Golden Reinders etc) apple groups. Beyond these varieties, Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji, Braeburn, and Cripps Pink (Pink Lady®) are also to be found in the local orchards. In addition to these commercially grown species, more than 400 apple varieties, including both national and global ones, are conserved in the “Fruit Research Center” in Eğirdir.
Located at the intersection of two different climate zones (Mediterranean and Terrestrial), Eğirdir has a transitional climate having a fruitful valley-Boğazova- stretching from Kovada Lake to Eğirdir Lake on south-north directions at an altitude of 940 meter. Taking place amongst high mountains’ range, Boğazova Valley offers the ideal conditions for agriculture, which can be seen only in a few places in the world. The alluvium soils flown away from the mountains by time and the vapor from the two lakes mild the regional weather, so that the valley provides the most suitable-natural circumstance for apple cultivation. As a matter of fact, Apples grow best where there is cold in winter, moderate summer temperatures, and medium to high humidity. The slight warming effect of Eğirdir Lake usually keeps away the devastating spring frosts from orchards, and also the 300 days of sunlight every year guarantee a good production environment in the region. For this reason, Boğazova Valley can be called as the big unique orchard which hosts the cultivation of high quality apples with special aroma. Based on this, Eğirdir has become one of the most rapidly growing regions at the national level along with high-tech storing and packaging facilities.
The success of Eğirdir’s becoming a trademark in apple cultivation is rooted in the realization of important projects in the past. Firstly, Eğirdir and Kovada Lakes got connected with a crook so that Kovada Lake and its vicinity, starting from 1950s, began to transform from being a swampy area to a modern agricultural zone. Secondly, the foundation of Eğirdir Sapling Center in 1952 played an important role in the regional change. The Center continued to conduct its activities with different names till today and now it has been operating as “Fruit Research Institution” (MAREM) since 2015. In addition to all these, the launch of Boğazova Irrigation System in 1969, about 25,000 ha area in the Valley has become irrigable regularly.
It is also worth to mention here that Head of Sapling Center, then, Mustafa Akay and Agriculture Technician Halil Üstün are known as the leading figures who first started the modern apple cultivation by planting Starking variety on large scales in the region. The Farmers in Eğirdir, previously, used to grow Amasya and Ferik kinds disorderly but later on when they were introduced to the Starking variety, they appreciated it much as this variety provided a good source of production and money. The whole region then involved in a big economical and social transformation which still continues today.
Today, Eğirdir supplies apple to all corners of Turkey as well as exporting it to different countries. Eğirdir will continue its efforts to introduce itself as a globally known apple brand in the world markets.
Source: District Governorship of Eğirdir