Welcome to Istanbul, the vibrant cultural hub with a well-kept secret. It has a fantastic and deep hemp heritage that is centuries old. While the mention of hemp in the modern day might evoke images of tie-dye shirts and hippie communes, the vibrant sehir (city in Turkish) of Istanbul has a surprisingly deep-rooted connection to our fave versatile plant. Move over silk and cotton, because Istanbul's got a history intertwined with the mighty hemp!
Istanbul has seen the ups and downs of nations and empires. Hemp heritage weaves through this place like ever-present, slightly green and leafy wind. Picture ancient sailors unfurling hemp sails as they navigated the waters of the Mediterranean, guided by nothing but the stars and the strength of this sturdy fiber. Istanbul was a prominent maritime city and the ships that sailed out of it all would have appreciated and valued hemp, in their ropes and sails.
But wait, the Turkish delight (hehe) doesn't stop there! Hemp's role in Istanbul extended to traditional textiles, producing fabrics that could rival the finest of silks. Sustainable style? Istanbul had it in spades! So, grab a cup of Turkish coffee and get ready to dive into Istanbul's incredible hemp culture.
So, why is Istanbul still a hemp city today?
Well, hemp might not dominate the city's landscape like it does in some other places on this list, but it has found a special home in Istanbul among sustainable artisans. From stylish boutiques offering hemp textiles and sustainable fashion to cafes serving hemp-infused delicacies, the plant's beauty is evident (if you know where to look). Istanbul's love affair with hemp, though understated, hints at a city that appreciates its historical beginnings and is gradually moving into a hempen future. It’s fair to say that hemp is a delightful and meaningful strand in the city's ever-evolving and intriguing story.
While a lot of the negative stigma around hemp has persisted in Turkey in the modern day, Istanbul is looking to return to its roots (quite literally) by slowly allowing hemp back into its life. As stated by Daily Sabah “Turkey is looking to spread cannabis production across it’s arable lands” and return to hempen prominence. The re-adoption of hemp could play a key role in Turkey’s economy by reducing the need for imported fabrics. What’s more, the Turkish soil and climate is perfect for Hemp production, and it’s fantastic to see Hemp once again become a driving force in Turkish agriculture.
So, while we watch Istanbul’s hempen revolution grow, Jo Dope would like to direct your minds to some of our hemp-filled endeavors. We make sustainable bed linen, and we’d love you to try it out. Just like a cozy Turkish battaniye (blanket), our hemp bed sheets wrap you and envelop you into the modern-day manifestation of this wonderful hemp history. Check them out here, or read about our next heroic hemp city.
Love, the Jo Dope team