Turkish florists race to meet soaring British demand after Queen's death

Turkey has been shipping millions of flowers to Britain to meet the skyrocketing demand ahead of Queen Elizabeth's funeral which will take place on Sept. 19.


Turkish florists are resorting to cargo planes instead of trucks as they rush to send as many flowers as they can to the United Kingdom to meet a deluge of orders after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Orders for cut flowers have soared by 90% since the queen died, said Selçuk Çelebi, a member of the Antalya Commodity Exchange, adding that Turkish florists were only able to meet about 40% of the demand.

"It is the end of the season in (the Mediterranean province of) Antalya. We are in a period where the production in the highlands in (the southern province of) Isparta is in decline," Çelebi told Reuters.

The rise in demand meant florists had to hire planes to deliver the flowers to Britain, which takes a day compared to a week by truck, Çelebi said.

Turkish Airlines subsidiary Turkish Cargo said it had begun shipping more than 500,000 flowers, weighing some 13 tonnes, to England for the funeral from Antalya and Isparta.

"Turkish Cargo has delivered approximately four tons of flowers to London since the beginning of the week," it said.

Between Sept. 5 and 12, official data showed flower exports from Turkey to England increased by 40 percent, compared to last year.