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Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, his wife Dr. Marie Ricciardone Plant Trees in Kazan

April 8, 2012

Ambassador Francis Ricciardone planted trees to celebrate Earth Day in Ankara's Kazan district. (Photo: U.S. Embassy Staff)

Ambassador Francis Ricciardone, his wife Dr. Marie Ricciardone, Turkish alumni who have participated in U.S. Embassy-sponsored exchange programs, U.S. Embassy staff and their families, and city officials planted trees to celebrate Earth Day in Ankara's Kazan district over the weekend.  Ricciardone joined Kazan District Governor Veysel Beyru, Mayor Lokman Ertürk, and Forestry Director General Mustafa Kurtulmuşlu as well as Turkish and American children and other guests at the planting ceremony in Kazan.  The Kazan Municipality designated a piece of land and Directorate General of Forestry supplied some 3,500 saplings of different species for the formation of the ‘American Friendship Forest’ in the rapidly developing district. 

Ricciardone told the attendees the U.S. Embassy is the first diplomatic mission in Ankara to plant saplings in Kazan. “Today, Americans and Turks have served as an example in creating natural green spaces.  I hope that in 10 years we will be able to come together for a picnic in this forest,” he said. 

“In the words of President Obama, we have come to renew the friendship between Turkey and the United States.  The environment is one of the most important things we have.  To protect the environment is important not only for today but for future generations.  As Atatürk said, when we protect nature, nature also protects us,” said Ricciardone.