â€œA greener worldâ€ is the underlying theme at the just-opened world exposition in Turkeyâ€™s southern coastal city of Antalya, a place which, with its mass tourism industry and towering concrete hotel complexes, is not exactly known as an environmental paradise.
Turkish officials hope this jaded image will be improved when visitors see the EXPO 2016 Antalya International Horticultural Exposition, featuring huge animal sculptures, colourful fields of flowers, palm trees, and in the midst of it all, a lake.
The first world exposition staged by Turkey was officially opened on April 29 by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The expo runs through October 30 under the official them â€œA Green Life for Future Generationsâ€ with subthemes of â€œHistory,â€ â€œBio-Diversity,â€ â€œSustainabilityâ€ and â€œGreen Cities.â€
The green theme of the expo is underscored by the chief attraction, the artificial hill and amphitheatre for events over the next several months, plus â€œthematic gardensâ€ titled Geofits, Plant Sculptures, EXPO Greenhouse, Aquatic Plants, Ottoman Garden, Medicinal and Aromatic Herbs, Fertile Crescent, Turkish Biodiversity Trail and Cactus Garden.
Altogether, the expo grounds cover 112 hectares. The expo site includes gardens of participating countries as well as the Expo Tower symbolizing the historic Hadrianus Gate, one of Antalyaâ€™s most important symbols.
Ankara is projecting upwards of 8 million visitors to the expo, and naturally hoping that they will come away with an improved view of Turkey thanks to the portrayal of â€œgreenâ€ themes. Turkey has undergone strong economic expansion and new construction, but often,
critics say, at the expense of the