ANKARA: Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci said the information on which municipalities imported flowers from the Netherlands in the last 2.5 years was “secret,” in response to a parliamentary question about the issue submitted by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu, daily Sözcü reported on July 14. In the last 2.5 years, Turkey has imported 38,195,130 kilograms of flowers worth $86 million from the Netherlands. In the first five months of this year only, this figure was 9.1 million kilograms of flowers, for a payment amounting to $16.7 million. “Which municipalities [in Turkey] imported the flowers?” asked Tanrıkulu in a motion, bringing the issue to the parliamentary agenda. “As per customs regulations, this constitutes secret information,” responded Tufenkci to Tanrıkulu’s question.
Furthermore, Tufenkci provided detailed information regarding the amount of flowers imported. “14,302,268 kilograms of ornamental plants and flowers worth $34,462,224 in 2015; 14,747,520 kilograms worth $36,685,754 in 2016; and 9,145,342 kilograms worth $16,769,067 were imported from the Netherlands between 01.01.2017-05.31.2017,” noted Tufenkci.