Turkish Man Turns Barren Hill into A Thriving Forest

Hikmet Kaya who worked as a forest management official in northern Turkey for 25 years, started something that would soon transform a barren landscape into a lush-green thriving forest over the years. He planted 30 million seedlings with the support of local communities. He began working for the Forest Management Department in 1978 in the Sinop province’s Boyabat district and spent most of his time working on afforestation projects in the district’s steppe lands for the next two decades. Here’s how he succeeded in creating his legacy.


He began his work when he was put in charge of the Bobayat Forestry Department in Sinop, Turkey

When Hikmet Kaya was in charge of afforestation at Boyabat Forestry Operations Department in Sinop’s Boyabat district, he planted more than 25 million saplings on a desolate hill overlooking Sinop and transformed it into a lush green oasis for the town.

Hikmet Kaya

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He worked with the locals and created a forest on the previously barren ground with the support of his team and the locals

It all started with an effort to plant trees in the steppes of Boyabat in 1978, using both the forest official team and the local population to turn an uninhabitable landscape into a lush haven for both people and wildlife.

Tree Plantation

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Despite retiring, his eco-friendly initiative is still in progress, and Kaya was also honored for his achievements

Even though Kaya retired in 2002, the initiative he started lives on, and today the locals consider him a hero. Earlier this month, Hikmet Kaya made headlines after he was honored in Sinop for his outstanding achievements. Deforestation and desertification are major issues in Turkey, and photos of him holding a before-and-after picture of the area he helped transform have gone viral there recently.


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He openly stated that he is very proud of the areas which he transformed into thriving forests

Kaya told reporters- “The transformation of those areas into forests has been my biggest source of pride. After many years, we have ensured that our district has more forest assets compared to those days. It is a very good feeling.”


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