Giresun (pronounced [ɟiˈɾesun]), formerly Cerasus (Κερασοῦς), is the provincial capital of Giresun Province in the Black Sea Region of northeastern Turkey, about 175 km (109 mi) west of the city of Trabzon.

General view of eastern part of Giresun city
General view of eastern part of Giresun city
Coat of arms of Giresun

Coat of arms
Giresun is located in Turkey
Coordinates: 40°54′55″N 38°23′22″E / 40.91528°N 38.38944°ECoordinates: 40°54′55″N 38°23′22″E / 40.91528°N 38.38944°E
 • MayorKerim Aksu (CHP)
 • District295.71 km2 (114.17 sq mi)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)


Giresun was known to the ancient Greeks as Choerades or more prominently as Kerasous or Cerasus (Ancient Greek: Κερασοῦς), the origin of the modern name.

The name Kerasous corresponds to κερασός (kerasós) "cherry" + -ουντ (a place marker).[3] Thus, the Greek root of the word "cherry", κερασός (kerasós), predates the name of the city,[3] and the ultimate origin of the word cherry (and thus the name of the city) is probably from a Pre-Greek substrate, likely of Anatolian origin, given the intervocalic σ in Κερασοῦς and the apparent cognates of it found in other languages the region.[3]

Another theory derives Kerasous from κέρας (keras) "horn" + -ουντ (a place marker), for the prominent horn-shaped peninsula that the city is situated on (compare with the Greek name for the horn-shaped Golden Horn waterway in Istanbul, Κέρας (Keras) "Horn").[4] The toponym would have later mutated into Kerasunt (sometimes written Kérasounde or Kerassunde), and the word "cherry" (as well as its cognates found in other local languages) was derived from the name of the city itself, rather than the other way around.[4]

Pharnaces I of Pontus renamed the city Pharnacia after himself after he captured the city in 183 BCE, and it was called by that name as late as the 2nd century CE. According to A. H. M. Jones, the city officially reverted to its original name, Kerasous, in 64 CE.[5]

The Greek name Kerasous was Turkified into Giresun after Turks gained permanent control of the region in the late 15th century.

The English word cherry, French cerise, Spanish cereza, Persian گیلاس (gilas) and Turkish kiraz, among countless others, all come from Ancient Greek κερασός "cherry tree". According to Pliny, the cherry was first exported from Cerasus to Europe in Roman times by Lucullus.[6]


The surrounding region has a rich agriculture, growing most of Turkey's hazelnuts as well as walnuts, cherries, leather and timber, and the port of Giresun has long handled these products. The harbour was enlarged in the 1960s and the town is still a port and commercial centre for the surrounding districts, but Giresun is not large, basically one avenue of shops leading away from the port.

Like everywhere else on the Black Sea coast it rains (and often snows in winter) and is very humid throughout the year, with a lack of extreme temperatures both in summer and winter. As a result, Giresun and the surrounding countryside is covered by luxuriant flora. As soon as you get beyond the city buildings you get into the hazelnut growing area and the high pastures (yayla) further in the mountains are gorgeous.


Giresun has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa), like most of the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey, with warm and humid summers and cool and damp winters. Giresun has a high and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. Precipitation is heaviest in autumn and spring.

Snowfall is quite common between the months of December and March, snowing for a week or two, and it can be heavy once it snows.

The water temperature is cool in winter and warm in summer and fluctuates between 8° and 29 °C throughout the year.


Giresun city at the beginning of the 20th century
Pınarlar village, Giresun
Aksu Deresi (Aksu Stream)
Aksu stream, Giresun
Yunanlılar Karadeniz Giresun Kerasounta
Pontian Greek athletics team from Giresun (formerly Kerasounta) early 20th century.

Giresun's history goes back to the late 6th century BC, when it was founded by Greek colonists from Sinope, 110  km east of the homonymous city founded by Pharnaces I of Pontus, using citizens transferred from Kotyora (modern Ordu), circa 180 BCE.[8] The name of the city is first cited in the book Anabasis by Xenophon as Kerasus. Historic records reveal that the city was dominated by the Miletians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines and Empire of Trebizond. The older parts of the city lie on a peninsula crowned by a ruined Byzantine fortress, sheltering the small natural harbour. Nearby is Giresun Island, in ancient times called Aretias, the only major Black Sea island in Turkish territory. According to legend, the island was sacred to the Amazons, who had dedicated a temple to the war god Ares here. Even today, fertility rites are performed there every May, usually involving the famed boulder named the Hamza Stone on the east side of the island, now shrouded as a popular practice but in reality a 4,000-year-old celebration.

Cerasus in late antiquity became a Christian bishopric, and the names of several of its bishops are preserved in the acts of church councils: Gregorius at the Council of Ephesus in 431, Gratianus at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, Theophylactus at the Third Council of Constantinople in 680, Narses at the Trullan Council in 692, Ioannes at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, and Simeon at the Photian Council of Constantinople in 879. An episcopal seal records a Leo of the 9th century, and a Michael was transferred from here to the see of Ancyra at the time of Michael Caerularius.[9][10][11] It was the seat of a Greek Orthodox metropolitan until 1703, when the city was placed under the metropolitan of Trebizond.[12] Accordingly, it is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[13] The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople also considers Cerasus (Kerasous), together with Chaldia and Cheriana, as a titular metropolitanate in Turkey.

During the medieval period, Kerasunt was part of the Byzantine Empire and later the second city of the Empire of Trebizond ruled by the Komnenian dynasty. Alexios II Komnenos, Emperor of Trebizond, defeated the Turkmen "Koustoganes" at Kerasunt in September 1302; to secure his victory, Alexios II built a fortress which overlooks the sea.[14] From 1244 onwards the Seljuk Turks moved into the area, pursued at times by the Mongol hordes until in 1461, subsequent to the fall of Constantinople, the whole of this coast was brought within the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Mehmet II. It was briefly occupied by Emirate of Hacıemiroğlu (Emirate of Chalybia) between 1398-1400. Local traditions claim that Kerasunt held out for many months after the fall of Trebizon in 1461, then surrendered on terms that the Christian inhabitants could remain and retain their arms, but were required to maintain a boat for the use of the Turks on a nearby river.[15]

4.2 km east-northeast of Kerasus is a fortified island called Ares (Αρητιας νήσος or Αρεώνησος). According to the poetic account of Apollonius of Rhodes, it was here that the Argonauts encountered both the Amazons and a flock of vicious birds. The Greeks of the island held out against the Ottomans for 7 years after the fall of Trebizond (modern Trabzon) in 1461.


Historically, Giresun was known for producing hazelnut. As of 1920, hazelnuts covered 460 square miles of the area. [16] Manganese mines were also in the area, producing 470 tons as of 1901.[17]

Places of interest

  • The well preserved Giresun Castle in the city centre.
  • Giresun Island
  • Hacı Hüseyin Mosque, Kale Mosque, Seyyid-i Vakkas tomb, Mausoleum of Topal Osman
  • Old Ottoman houses of Zeytinlik district
  • Highlands (Kümbet, Bektaş, Kulakkaya, Çakrak, Tohumluk, Kurtbeli, Kazıkbeli, Ayıbeli, Beytarla, Buları, Kırkharman)

International relations

Twin towns and brother cities

Giresun is twinned with:


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. ^ a b c Robert S. P. Beekes (2010). Etymological Dictionary of Greek. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-17418-4. As the improved cherry came from the Pontos area (cf. Κερασοῦς "rich in cherries", town on the Pontos), the name is probably Anatolian as well. Given its intervocalic σ, the form must be Anatolian or Pre-Greek. For the suffix, cf. ▶-θíασος, ▶-κάρπασος, which too are of foreign origin. Assyr. karšu has also been adduced. Cf. on ▶κράνον 'cornelian cherry'. Gr. κέρασος, -íα, κεράσιον were borrowed into many languages: Asiatic names of the cherry-tree and the cherry, like Arm. ker̄as, Kurd. ghilas, and in the West, Lat. cerasus, -ium, VLat. ★cerasia, ★ceresia, -ea; from Latin came the Romance and Germanic forms like MoFr. cerise, OHG chirsa > Kirsche. Lit.: Olck in PW 11: 509f. and Hester Lingua 13 (1965): 356.
  4. ^ a b Özhan Öztürk (2005). Karadeniz: Ansiklopedik Sözlük [Black Sea: Encyclopedic Dictionary]. Istanbul: Heyamola Publishing. ISBN 975-6121-00-9. Archived from the original on 2008-05-13.
  5. ^ Arrian: Periplus Ponti Euxini, edited and translated by Aidan Liddle (London: Bristol Classical Press, 2003), p. 117
  6. ^ Pliny the Elder. "Olives, olive-oil and fruit-trees". Natural History 15.30. Archived from the original on 2017-01-01. Before the victory of Lucius Lucullus in the war against Mithridates, that is down to 74 BCE, there were no cherry-trees in Italy. Lucullus first imported them from Pontus...
  7. ^ "Resmi İstatistikler: İllerimize Ait Genel İstatistik Verileri" (in Turkish). Turkish State Meteorological Service. Archived from the original on 22 January 2019. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  8. ^ The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, PHARNAKEIA KERASOUS (Giresun) Pontus, Turkey
  9. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 513-516
  10. ^ Raymond Janin, v. Cérasonte, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XII, Paris 1953, coll. 154-155
  11. ^ Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 442
  12. ^ Speros Vryonis Jr., The Decline of medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor: and the process of Islamization from the eleventh through the fifteenth century, (Berkeley: University of California, 1971), p. 449 n. 13
  13. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 866
  14. ^ William Miller, Trebizond: The last Greek Empire of the Byzantine Era: 1204-1461, 1926 (Chicago: Argonaut, 1969), p. 33
  15. ^ Miller, Trebizond, p. 107
  16. ^ Prothero, W.G. (1920). Armenia and Kurdistan. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 61.
  17. ^ Prothero, W.G. (1920). Armenia and Kurdistan. London: H.M. Stationery Office. p. 73.
  18. ^ "International Exchange". List of Affiliation Partners within Prefectures. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR). Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  • The Byzantine Monuments and Topgraphy of the Pontos by A. Bryer and D. Winfield
  • The Encyclopaedia of Pontian Hellenism.

External links


Coralla or Koralla (Ancient Greek: τὰ Κόραλλα) was a town of ancient Pontus on a cape of the same name. It is placed by Arrian, and the anonymous author of the Periplus, 100 stadia east of Philocaleia, and Philocaleia is 110 stadia east of Tripolis, a well-known position.Its site is located on Görele Burnu in Asiatic Turkey.

Giresun (electoral district)

Giresun is an electoral district of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. It elects four members of parliament (deputies) to represent the province of the same name for a four-year term by the D'Hondt method, a party-list proportional representation system.

Giresun Island

Giresun Island (Turkish: Giresun Adası) is a small island that has an area of 4 hectares and lies 1.2 km from the Turkish city of Giresun on the southeastern coast of Black Sea. It is the largest island on the Turkish Black Sea coast.

Giresun Museum

Giresun Museum is a museum in Giresun, Turkey

The museum is in Zeytinlik neighborhood of Giresun at 40°55′10″N 38°23′38″E. It is a historic basilica named Gogora Church built in the 18th century. It has been constructed with rectangular yellow and brown lime stones adjoined with iron cramps and lead. The main gate faces west. The basilica which was abandoned in 1923, was redesigned as a museum in 1988. Another building which was used as the clergy house to the north is the administration building.

The majority of items in the museum are from Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuks, and Ottoman eras. Some of the items are terracotta figurines, pottery, amphorae and coins. While the oldest item is dated to 3000 B.C., there is also collection of items from Erikliman excavations.In ethnography section, there are 19th century Ottoman items such as clothes, kitchen and hamam (bath) articles, weapons and ornaments. In 1999 an exhibition was held about Topal Osman and his friends, figures of the Turkish War of Independence.

Giresun Province

Giresun Province (Turkish: Giresun ili) is a province of Turkey on the Black Sea coast. Its adjacent provinces are Trabzon to the east, Gümüşhane to the southeast, Erzincan to the south, Sivas to the southwest, and Ordu to the west. The provincial capital is Giresun.

Giresun University

Giresun University is a public university in Giresun, Turkey, founded in 2006.


Giresunspor is a Turkish association football club based in Giresun. It was founded in 1925 and re-formed in 1967 after the merger of Yeşiltepespor, Akıngençlikspor, and Beşiktaşspor. The football club is playing in the TFF First League (second level). Giresunspor played in the Turkish Super League (Turkish first league) between 1971 and 1977.

Governor of Giresun

The Governor of Giresun (Turkish: Giresun Valiliği) is the bureaucratic state official responsible for both national government and state affairs in the Province of Giresun. Similar to the Governors of the 80 other Provinces of Turkey, the Governor of Giresun is appointed by the Government of Turkey and is responsible for the implementation of government legislation within Giresun. The Governor is also the most senior commander of both the Giresun provincial police force and the Giresun Gendarmerie.

Gümüşhane Province

Gümüşhane Province (Turkish: Gümüşhane ili) is a province in northern Turkey, bordering Bayburt to the east, Trabzon to the north, Giresun and Erzincan to the west. It covers an area of 6,575 km² and has a population of 129,618 in 2010. The population was 186,953 in 2000. The name Gümüşhane means silver house. The city has a rich mining (silver and bronze) history and was the source of exports for Trabzon.


Ischopolis (Ἰσχόπολις) was a city in ancient Pontus. It was near Pharnacia, and was in ruins even in the time of Strabo, but is still noticed by Ptolemy.

List of populated places in Giresun Province

Below is the list of populated places in Giresun Province, Turkey by the districts. In the following lists first place in each list is the administrative center of the district.

Ordu–Giresun Airport

Ordu–Giresun Airport (IATA: OGU, ICAO: LTCB) (Turkish: Ordu-Giresun Havalimanı) is an airport on an artificial island just off the coast of Gülyalı, a town in Ordu Province, Turkey and Piraziz, a town in Giresun Province, Turkey. It is located 19 km (12 mi) away from Ordu and 25 km (16 mi) from Giresun city centres. It is the third artificial island airport in the world.


Philocaleia or Philocalia or Philokaleia (Ancient Greek: Φιλοκάλεια) was a town on the coast of Pontus Cappadocius, 90 stadia to the east of Argyria, and 100 to the west of Coralla.Its site is located near modern Görele in Asiatic Turkey.

Sheep sorrel soup

Sheep sorrel soup (Turkish: Kuzukulağı çorbası) is a soup made from Sheep's sorrel leaves, water, corn, beans, onions, butter and salt. Sheep sorrel soup is a dish from the Black Sea city of Giresun popular among Turkish people. It may have a tart and lemony flavor. It may be served garnished with chives or bull thistle, among other ingredients.

Sivas Province

Sivas Province (Turkish: Sivas İli), (Kurdish: Sêwas) is a province of Turkey. It is largely located at the eastern part of the Central Anatolia region of Turkey; it is the second largest province in Turkey by territory. Its adjacent provinces are Yozgat to the west, Kayseri to the southwest, Kahramanmaraş to the south, Malatya to the southeast, Erzincan to the east, Giresun to the northeast, and Ordu to the north. Its capital is Sivas.

The majority of Sivas Province shares the climate of the Central Anatolian Region, in which the summer seasons are hot and dry, while winter seasons are cold and snowy. However, the northern part of the province shares the Black Sea climate, while the eastern portion shares the climate of the Eastern Anatolian higher region.

This province is noted for its thermal springs.

Tripolis (Pontus)

Tripolis (Ancient Greek: Τρίπολις), formerly Ischopolis (Ἰσχόπολις), was an ancient fortress city in Pontus Polemoniacus, on a river of the same name, and with a tolerably good harbor; it is now the site and namesake of the city of Tirebolu in Giresun Province, Turkey. It belonged to the Mossynoeci and was situated at a distance of 18 km east from Cape Zephyrium. The place is situated on a rocky headland.

USS Antrim (FFG-20)

USS Antrim (FFG-20) was the twelfth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of guided-missile frigates. She was named for Rear Admiral Richard Nott Antrim (1907–1969). Ordered from Todd Pacific, Seattle, Washington on 28 February 1977 as part of the FY77 program, Antrim was laid down on 21 June 1978, launched on 27 March 1979, and commissioned on 26 September 1981.

USS McCalla (DD-488)

USS McCalla (DD-488), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for Bowman H. McCalla, who served during the Spanish–American War and would eventually attain the rank of rear admiral.

McCalla was laid down 15 September 1941 by the Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Kearny, New Jersey and launched on 20 March 1942; sponsored by Mary MacArthur (Mrs. Arthur MacArthur), the daughter of R.Adm. McCalla The ship was commissioned on 27 May 1942, Lieutenant Commander W. G. Cooper, in command.

Yeşilgiresun Belediye

Yeşilgiresun Belediyespor, more commonly known as Yeşilgiresun is a Turkish professional basketball club based in Giresun which plays Turkish Basketball Super League. The team was founded by Giresun Municipality in 2006. Their home arena is 19 Eylül Sports Hall with a capacity of 3,500 seats.

Climate data for Giresun (1929–2017)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 25.5
Average high °C (°F) 10.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 7.2
Average low °C (°F) 4.5
Record low °C (°F) −6.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 127.5
Average precipitation days 14.6 14.2 15.9 15.0 14.2 11.6 10.7 10.8 12.5 13.9 13.4 14.4 161.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 40.3 53.7 55.8 75.0 96.1 123.0 108.5 93.0 72.0 52.7 63.0 40.3 873.4
Mean daily sunshine hours 1.3 1.9 1.8 2.5 3.1 4.1 3.5 3.0 2.4 1.7 2.1 1.3 2.4
Source: Turkish State Meteorological Service[7]
Giresun in Giresun Province of Turkey
Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia

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