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You can find all the information regarding the place of the olive in sacred books and mythology, its uses, world olive production, production in Turkey and all you wish to know about olives right here.

The Near East, where the world’s largest monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam emerged, is the first region to discover the blessings of olives. The olive carries a sacred meaning for all three religions.

The Torah says that “For the Lord your God is bringing you to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains, a land of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil producing olives and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity (I, Deuteronomy).

It is believed that eight great trees on the Olive Mountain in Jerusalem were witness to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Gospel states that this is where Jesus ascended to the sky. Jesus is Christos, khrisma, or oiled with holy olive oil. Pure Olive Oil is the oil used to baptize newborns throughout history, the consecrated oil revered by priests, heros and kings.

The Olive is mentioned in the Qur’an: “He causes to grow for you thereby the crops, olives, palm trees, grapevines, and from all the fruits.” (Surat an-Nahl 16/11) “And a tree (olive) that springs forth from Mount Sinai, that grows (produces) oil, and (it is a) relish for the eaters.” (Surat Al-Mu’minun 23/20) 
Olive is the product of labor and patience. It is a blessing but also a lifestyle, world view, culture itself, in short, it is an integral part of the Mediterranean culture.
Olives are the natural plant of the Mediterranean climate. Turkey, the motherland of this fruit, has been home to many cultures.

The meeting of Asia Minor, the Western extension of the Near East with the olive goes back to ancient times.

The return of the dove to the Ark with an olive branch in its beak, heralding “The flood has ended, the waters receded” to Noah is a legend which has entered scripture. Were not the areas sent to be surveyed by the doves from Noah’s Ark, dated to 7500 B.C. and the floods of Mount Ararat by scientists, Anatolian lands?

Olive groves have settled in many places throughout Turkey, in Marmara from Tekirdağ to Gemlik, the Black Sea from Sinop to Trabzon, inside to Artvin, in the Aegean from Çanakkale to Aydın, in the Mediterranean from Muğla to Hatay, inside from Kilis to Maraş. Is is known that half a century ago, Anatolia was home to approximately 50 million wild olive trees.
Fossilized wild olive leaves, branches and olives dated to between 12 thousand and 3 thousand BC have been discovered.. It is also now scientific fact that olives are found all over the Mediterranean basin. In cave paintings unearthed in middle Sahara in Algeria near to Tassili and El Hoggar, thought to date back to 5000 and 2000 BC, the depictions of humans wearing olive branch crowns are proof that olives existed there in that period.
The IOOC states that olive cultivation began 6000 years ago. Olive becoming a cultivated plant took place in 4000 BC. However another 1500-2000 years would be needed for the Fruit to be pressed and the oil removed, for it to become a sought after product. Just like the Cretan and Phoenician traders sailing to the west and south from Eastern Mediterranean, the Phocaeans who lived in the Aegean coast took olive seedlings and olive oil to near and distant neighbours.

In the olive leaf, there is tannin, essential oils, organic acids and resin. The leaves and stem bark is used as a appetite stimulant, diuretic and antipyretic in the form of a 5% (infusion) tea. In addition to its usage in diabetes, it is also know as a blood pressure regulator. It is also used for dermocosmetic purposes. Olive oil shampoos prevent hair loss, enable rapid hair growth, help to repair lesions on the scalp and prevent the formation of dandruff. Olive oil liquid soap, shower gels, solid soaps, baby shampoos protect the skin against negative external factors.

It delays skin aging, preventing wrinkle formation and making the skin more beautiful. Olives are a symbol of resistance. As natural olive oil dermocosmetic products do not leave chemical residues on our skin, their use is increasing worldwide. For centuries, it has been the source of health and beauty in the Mediterranean. Scriptures also state that it is a source of healing.

In the table above, where the data obtained from the presentations made at the Economic Committee meeting of the International Olive Council held in Madrid in June 2014 is included, you can find the olive production and export numbers for the main producing countries for the past five seasons, as well as the expected production and export for the current season.

As can be seen from the table, Spain is the country with the most olive production. Spain is first in the table of olive exporters. According to the data of the IOC, our country is 3rd in the world in terms of olive production, and 4th in olive exports.

37 countries carry out olive production in the world in economic terms. 95% of the 9.8 million hectare world olive production areas are found in the North Mediterranean region. 86% of the grain olive production which is around 13 million tonnes worldwide is concentrated in six typical Mediterranean countries.

In descending order, 26% of production is carried out in Spain, 23% in Italy, 15% in Greece, 9% in Turkey, 8% in Tunisia and 5% in Morocco. As can be seen, with an average of over 1 million tonnes grain olive production, Turkey is 4th in line of producing countries in the world.

By exporting a total of 76.200 tonnes of olives across Turkey in the 2013/2014 season, a foreign currency income of around 127 million US Dollars was obtained.

15.127 tonnes of olive export were green, with 61.275 tonnes of black olive exports. By exporting a total of 72.261 tonnes of olives across Turkey in the previous 2012/13 season, a foreign currency income of around 126 million US Dollars was obtained.

In terms of tree presence, Marmara Region has a share of 10% in Turkey. They are found more densely in areas such as Ayvalık, Mudanya, Edremit Körfezi, Orhangazi, İznik, Gemlik and Yalova. There are 12 million olive trees in Akhisar district of Manisa province in the Aegean Region.

Olives are also processed in factories to be converted to olive oil.

As deeply rooted as the history of olive growing is in Anatolia, with the great potential it is likely to have a future that is just as bright. With 900 thousand hectares of olive groves currently, as well as approximately 9 million immature trees, with a total of 95 million olive trees and roughly 10% of the olive plantations and number of trees n the world, the olive plantations are expanding every day.

The average annual olive harvest in Turkey is around 1 million 200 thousand tonnes. A large portion of this, 70-75%, is produced in the Aegean region. The Mediterranean and Marmara region has a share of around 10%. The olive production in the south east is around 5%, whereas the share of olive production in the Black Sea is under 1%.