An extract on #giresun
Giresun was known to the ancient Greeks as Choerades or more prominently as Kerasous or Cerasus (Ancient Greek: ), the origin of the modern name.
Pre-Greek and Greek linguist Robert S. P. Beekes has stated that the name Kerasous corresponds to (kerass) "cherry" + - (a place marker). Thus, he notes that the Greek root of the word "cherry", (kerass), predates the name of the city, Beekes holds that the ultimate origin of the word cherry (and thus the name of the city) is from a Pre-Greek substrate, likely of Anatolian origin, given the intervocalic in and the apparent cognates of it found in other languages the region.
However, Black Sea Region researcher zhan ztrk has said that Kerasous instead corresponds to (keras) "horn" + - (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, (Keras) "Horn"). According to ztrk, the toponym later mutated into Kerasunt (sometimes written Krasounde 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 as Beekes claims.
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. Whatever the etymology, 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 (gilas) and Turkish kiraz, among countless others, all come from Ancient Greek "cherry tree", which has been identified with Kerasous, although whether the word pre-dates the city's name or not is up for debate, as noted above. According to Pliny, the cherry was first exported from Cerasus to Europe in Roman times by Lucullus.
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.