A quarter of the world’s legal production of opium is harvested from the poppy fields surrounding Afyon. While the authorities are reluctant to tout the city’s eponymous enterprise as a tourist attraction, there are still tell-tale signs of civic pride in the traditional industry: a close look at the fountain in the town square reveals that it is a graceful bronze sculpture of poppy seed-pods.
If you want to take a look at the crop, in May/June head out of town for around 5km on the Sandıklı road, and the open fields of poppies are clearly visible from the road. Much more grows around Yalvaç and in the Toros mountains. The fields are regularly patrolled by officials, who check whether the seed heads have been illegally “bled” for heroin.