Palmiye Merkezi, was established by Dr. Ragip Esener in Koycegiz municiality of Mugla for spreading appreciation of Palms and to increase their variety in cultivation, in Turkiye. The Centre has an area of 80.000 m (861.113 ft). Part of this area gets flooded during winters and therefore is currently not being used. In the future it is planned to build water gardens in this area.

Palm Centre during its beginnings has reserved an area of 5.500 m (59.200 ft³) for a first-in-Turkey “Palmetum”; a museum for living palms. Organisation of this area was started in 1996 and the first plantations were made in 1997. The Palmetum is surrounded by, Washingtonia palms “Washingtonia robusta” in the north, Datca Date Palms “Phoenix theophrastii” in the west, Queen Palms “Syagrus romanzoffianum” and trees of African origin in the south and by Oriental Arbor vitae “Thuya orientalis” in the east. Here, a 300 m (3230 ft) decorative pond contains Japanese “Koi” fish, and a Senegal Date Palm in the small island mid pond. Currently  there are  more than 40 species of palms in the Palmetum. In addition to palms, various species of perennial, annual, shrubs and tree type plants are situated here.

In the course of time, number of species of non-palm type plants   planted, have considerably exceeded that of Palms  and further with the addition of a Cactus Greenhouse, a Tropical Greenhouse, Water and Grass Gardens, a small “Botanical Garden” has been borne.

Our Botanical Garden which has been opened to visitors on the 1st of June 2006 is being visited particularly   by foreign guests. Domestic visitors are mainly university students and their academic tutors on technical excursions and professionals in horticulture and landscape designers. The Centre is providing practical training (internship) opportunities to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Greenhouses used by the Centre for cultivating, growing and exhibiting plants have now exceeded  5000 m (53.820ft²)  in area. In the greenhouses, propagation and cultivation of exotic plants which are not known or rare previously in Turkiye, are grown,  in addition to palms. With the seeds received every year from the British Royal Horticultural Society and the South African Botanical Society (till 2006), as well as those procured commercially,  the number of plant species in the Centre has reached 900, excluding the palm species. 

Most of the 3000 Palm species existing in the world are found in tropical and subtropical areas. The total number of species used in Turkey for indoor and exterior use, did not exceed 10,  prior to the establishment of our  Palm  Centre. Around 140 species and sub-species of Palms are being presently cultivated in greenhouses and gardens of our Centre.

The Centre, has been continuing with studies on the cultivation, adaptation and growing characters of the Datca Date Palm;  “Phoenix theophrastii”, one of the two Palm species endemic  to  the European continent. Additionally the Centre has supported the introduction of the “Golkoy Palm” a sub-species of “Phoenix theophrastii’, to the world botanical community. Apart from Palms, we have been experimenting on the cultivation and adaptation of various Cycads, and various other plants and trees originating from South Africa, Australia and Americas  in  our  relatively cooler Mediterrenean Climate. The Centre has in the recent years gained experience on the endurance and adaptability of these varieties to colder climates. On this topic we have been helpful to the International Palm and Botanical Communities and researchers, through internet.

4000 m (43.056 ft²) of the land, has been allocated to Water and Bog gardens. Their developement were started in 1992 with the small lake. After 3 years  of  work, the small lake, now “Tourtoise Lake” and its island were completed. This has also facilitated the ground water level-swamp area management. In 2004   with the  construction of 19 circular ponds, “Dream Garden” was created, where 17 varieties of water lilies and other water and swamp plants are exhibited. In 2005, during the second development phase of the Botanical Garden, a rectanguler pond where water plants are exhibited, was added.

In 2005 the  Cactus and Succulent House” project, the construction of which started in the spring of 2004, was completed. In the spring of 2005, exhibition of some 300 varieties of cacti and succulents started inside and outside the Cactus House. Also  in the same year an “Exotic Fruits  Collection” in a small area behind the Cactus  House, containing tropical, subtropical and interesting fruit bearing plants has been created.

The “Oleander Cafe”,  a rest area for the visitors, was designed and completed in June of 2005. The Centre has a collection of 30 varieties of Oleanders. The most important member of the collection is the “Nerium Oleander Esener” which has single pink flowers and variegated leaves in the shape of sickles. In 2006 the construction of the Tropical Greenhouse and the plantings were completed.

Due to its limited resources, the Palmiye Merkezi  (Palm Centre)   has as yet no Research Laboratory. Nevertheless, studies are being conducted in greenhouse nursery environment, in the areas of germination, nutrition, development of new varieties, and seed life (viability) for the our native palms. Twin and triplet Jelly Palms; “Butia capitata” and “Butia yatay” which have  been cultivated in our Centre have yielded their first fruits in 2003. Hybrid palms  which  we have developed in 2003 by cross breeding the Dwarf Palm “Phoenix roebellenii” and Senegal Date Palm“Phoenix reclinata” are continuing to grow.

Almost all of the palms cultivated in the Palm Centre, have been grown from imported seeds. Today, however, through our Seed Bank sales, we provide seeds for many palms and plants which are commonly not available in Turkey. In 2005 we started export of seeds to other countries. From 2005 we also started sales of seedlings of new variety of palms to growers in addition to seeds, to broaden the varieties in cultivation in our country.