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Giresun





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Giresun

Giresun, Turkey.
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Giresun, Turkey.

Giresun, Turkey.
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Town in northeastern Turkey with 90,000 inhabitants (2003 estimate) situated on he Black Sea. It is the capital of Giresun Province with 525,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate).
Giresun and its surrounding region has a rich agriculture, specializing in cherries, hazelnuts and walnuts, as well as hides and timber. Giresun is an important sea port for its region, thanks to an artificial harbour from the 1960's.
The word "cherry" comes from Giresun's ancient name Cerasus. It was from Cerasus that the cherry first was exported to Europe. The history goes back to the 2nd century BCE, when it was founded by the Pontic king, who named it Pharnaica.
Old, and central, Giresun lies on a peninsula dominated by a Byzantine fortress. Nearby is Giresun Island, the only major Turkish Black Sea island, which according to legends was sacred to the Amazons, who had dedicated a temple to the war god, Ares, here. Even today, fertility rites are performed here every May, now shrouded as a popular Muslim custom, although actually a 4,000 year old celebration.




By Tore Kjeilen