World, International and Horticultural Expositions (EXPO)

World Expositions (EXPO) are international activities which have been organized since mid-19th century and have been contributing to communication, dialogue and peace between countries. These Expositions, which could in a sense, be considered as cultural, historical and educational activities of the world, enable information sharing for a better world by bringing the countries together.

The basic goal of the World Expositions is to exhibit ideas, cultural assets or projects regarding the future of the world as well as to share the cultural and scientific accumulations, rather than to promote commodities, and in this manner to pave the way for generating new ideas and to contribute to the universal socio-cultural development. Furthermore, special attention is paid to the suitability of the Expositions with the characteristics of the host country/city.

World Expositions focus on universal themes such as technology, innovation and harmony with environment. They provide visitors the opportunity to address their expectations regarding modern life, while protecting the cultural heritage of their countries.

The Expositions remain open for 90 to 180 days. Within that time period, they make a positive impact on the city as well as the region and the country they take place in. Host cities become a brand thanks to Expositions. Host cities gain monumental buildings through Exhibitions as well. Among them are La Tour Eiffel in Paris, Ponte Vasco da Gama in Lisbon and Atomium in Brussels.

Expositions continue to hold a distinctive value and meaning for the host city even after their termination. Re-organized as a techno-park accommodating firms developing technologies, the exposition venue in Seville is today a contributor to the economy of the city as well as to that of the country.

World Expositions are organized by the International Bureau of Expositions (Bureau International des Expositions-BIE), headquarters of which is located in Paris. BIE organizes a World Expo with a universal theme once in every 5 years, and an International Specialized Expo with a specific theme between the World Expos.

Since 1960, BIE also supports the organization of the International Horticultural Exhibition which is approved upon the endorsement of the candidacy of a country and a city by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH).

BIE has also supported the Milan Triennial Exhibition of Decorative Arts and Modern Architecture.

Although Turkey has become a member of BIE on October 5th, 2004, out of the 63 World Expositions organized since 1851, she has participated in 17 of them during the Ottoman Empire period and 17 expositions during the Republican era.


World Expositions so far participated by Turkey are:



1851- London (England)

1862- London (England)

1867- Paris (France)

1873- Vienna (Austria)

1876- Philadelphia (USA)

1878- Paris (France)

1880- Melbourne (Australia)

1888- Barcelona (Spain)

1889- Paris (France)

1893- Chicago (USA)

1897- Brussels (Belgium)

1900- Paris (France)

1904- Saint Louis (USA)

1905- Liege (Belgium)

1906- Milano (Italy)

1910- Brussels (Belgium)

1915- San Francisco (USA)

1935- Brussels (Belgium)

1939- New York (USA)

1949- Stockholm (Sweden)

1953- Jerusalem

1953- Rome (Italy)

1958-Brussels (Belgium)

1962-Seattle  (USA)

1970-Osaka (Japan)

1984-New Orleans (USA)

1985-Tsukuba (Japan)

1992-Seville (Spain)

1993-Taejon (Korea)

1998-Lisbon  (Portugal)

2000-Hannover (Germany)

2005-Aichi (Japan)

2010-Shanghai (PRC) 
2015-Milano (Italy)




As Turkey’s first EXPO, EXPO 2016 Antalya International Horticultural Exposition is being held between April 23rd and October 30th 2016, in Antalya, with a theme of “Flowers and Children”. Preparations were carried out by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and EXPO 2016 Antalya Agency. The Commissioner General of the EXPO is Ambassador Erdoğan Kök.


The motto of the EXPO 2016 Antalya is “A Green Life for Future Generations".  Subthemes are “History”, “Bio-Diversity”, “Sustainability” and “Green Cities”.


Peony has been chosen as the flower symbol of EXPO 2016 Antalya. Mascots of the Exposition are Ece & Efe, two Turkish children, wearing costumes inspired by the traditional “yörük” clothing seen in the Antalya region.


EXPO 2016 Antalya is held on a 112-hectare exhibit site. The Expo site includes gardens of the participating countries as well as the Expo Tower, symbolizing the historic Hadrianus Gate, one of the most important symbols of Antalya; the first Agriculture and Bio-Diversity Museum of Turkey; a Congress Centre;  amphitheaters; the Children’s Island, where activities are held to train children while entertaining them; the Science and Technology Centre for Children; a countryside activity area for children and their families; Expo Lake; a peony-shaped like terrace; Expo Hill; Expo Forest; Culture and Art Street; restaurants to reflect our architectural culture.


Gardens of the participating countries will remain open for visitors after the conclusion of the event.



EXPO Milano 2015 was held in Milan between May 1st and October 31th, 2015 under the theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”.

Turkey participated in the Expo with a pavilion of 4.170-square-meter. Preparations related to the Turkish Pavilion were carried out by the Ministry of Economy. Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry, Mr. Tarık Sönmez, was appointed as the EXPO Commissioner of Turkey.

Theme of the Turkish Pavilion, which consisted of special patterns belonging to Turkish culture, such as; traditional house, Turkish glasswork “Çeşm-i Bülbül” and Ottoman fountain,  was “Digging into history for future food” and the fruit of "pomegranate”, which represents abundance, was chosen as the symbol of the Pavilion.

 “Turkey Day” was celebrated as part of EXPO 2015 Milano on September 14, 2015.


2012 Yeosu (Korea) International Exposition was held between May 12th and August 12th, 2012 under the theme of “The Living Oceans and the Coasts: Diversity of Resources and Sustainable Activities ”.

Turkey has participated in this Expo with a 1400 m2 pavilion under the theme of "Turkey: A Land of Civilizations Connecting Seas and Continents", with the sub-themes "Turkey; Civilizations Along Seas, Seas Along Civilizations" and "Water and Sea, from a Drop to an Ocean".

“Turkey Day” was celebrated as part of “EXPO 2012 Yeosu, on June 21, 2012.


Commissioner General of Turkey for “EXPO 2012 Yeosu” is Ambassador (Rtd.) Burak Gürsel.




2012 Floriade (Horticultural Expo) was held between 5 April-7 October 2012 in Venlo (Netherland) under the theme of “Be part of the theatre in nature, get closer to the quality of life”. Turkey has participated in this Expo with a 1.000m2 garden. The Turkish Garden was designed with the method of a blend of modern materials and traditional motifs.

His Excellency Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey and Her Majesty Beatrix, the Queen of the Netherlands attended the inauguration of Turkey’s Garden on April 19, 2012. Activities of “National Day of the Turkey’s Garden” were performed on 1-2 June 2012 within the context of 2012 Floriade Expo.

Ms. Beratiye Öncü, Representative of the Ministry of Economy at the office of Commercial Attaché of Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Rotterdam is the General Commissioner of Turkish Garden.



 Turkey has participated in the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition, which focused on the best practices in the cities, with a 2000 m2 pavilion under the theme of “Better City, Better Life” which was held between May 1st and October 31st, 2010.

The themes of “Turkey - Cradle of Civilizations, Anatolia - The Land of Better Cities, Better Lives, İstanbul - Two Continents, One City” were designated as the core subject of the Turkey Pavilion.

Turkey Pavilion has been visited by more than 7 million people throughout the exposition and has won silver medal at the category of "Theme Development". Commissioner General of Turkey for EXPO 2010 Shanghai was Ambassador (ret.) Sencar Özsoy. 



Turkey has participated in the 2008 Zaragoza International EXPO, which was organized with the theme of “Water and Sustainable Development” between June 14th and September 14th, 2008 with a 1000 m2 pavilion.


Water assets of Turkey and its importance from the past to this day was displayed through 4 major themes in Zaragoza – namely, significance of fountains in Turkish culture, details of Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP), elaborateness of marbling art (Ebru) and how the historical and touristic regions of Turkey have been integrated with water. Turkish Pavilion has won the runner-up prize (silver medal) for its design.

Commissioner General of Turkey for EXPO 2008 Zaragoza is Ambassador (ret.) Sencar Özsoy.


Furthermore, “National Day of Turkey” was held within the context of “ EXPO 2008 Zaragoza” on July 13th, 2008.




Turkey has participated in the International Horticultural Exhibition entitled “Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2006”, which was organized with the theme of “To Express Love For Humanity” in the city of Chiang Mai located in north Thailand between the dates of November 1st, 2006 and January 31st, 2007, with a permanent Turkish Garden of 2000 m2.

Inspired by the space utilization and design approach in the courtyard of the Turkish House, some traditional construction features which had been used in the classic Turkish architecture and garden were installed in the Turkish Garden. The Garden, which has a traditional Turkish fountain as well as a gazebo, is adorned with bronze sculpture with “Love” theme belonging to Sculptor Burhan Alkar, 3 boards of İznik Tiles, “Historical İzmir Rowboat”, “Sundial”, “Bird Cage” and similar work.


The Turkish Garden was designed and realized by a team composed of Prof. Dr. Yüksel Öztan, Prof. Dr. Halim Perçin, Serdar Akçay, Erkal Saran and Dr. Ömer Gülkal.



Turkey has also participated in the International Horticultural Exposition entitled
Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2011.