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Giresun Island

Giresun Island (Turkish: Giresun Adası) is a small island 1.2 miles from the Turkish city of Giresun on the southeastern coast of Black Sea. It is the largest island on the Turkish Black Sea coast. The ruins of a roofless stone temple, fortifications, and two wine or oil presses stand on the island.

The island's ancient names are Aretias, Ares, Areos Nesos and Puga. A large, black, spherical stone, located on the island and called Hamza Taşı in Turkish, is said to have magical properties. The roofless temple was in ancient times attributed to the Amazons.

Geography

It has 40000 m² land area. While the dominant plants of the island are laurels (Laurus nobilis) and black locusts (Robinia pseudoacacia), it has been reported that the island has 71 wild and introduced species of trees and herbs. It is also a wild habitat for cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae sp.) and seagulls (Laridae sp.). For a long time it has been preserved as a Class II historical and natural site by the Turkish government. Thus it is not allowed to be used as a residential area. Touristic visits to the island are possible on small and medium-sized fishing and cruise boats which can be provided by tourism agencies in Giresun.

Myths about the island

There are many myths about the island. Firstly it is believed that the temple on it has been built and used by Amazons, the warrior women in ancient times. So it was also called as Amazon Adası ("Amazon Island" or "Island of the Amazons"). Another mythological tale is about Athamus, the king of Thessaly in ancient Greek times. He had two sons from his wife Nephele. Once upon a time a serious food shortage happened in his kingdom, and the king was advised to kill his two sons for a remedy to stop hungar problem. But Nephele hears this intention and hides her sons by wrapping with a gold fur, and sends them to Caucasia. In following years a navy troop commanded by Hercules arrives in the island to capture the gold fur. But the dragon birds, kicked out from Greece by Hercules start to fight against Hercules's soldiers when they arrived in the island. Argonauts kills the birds and contiunes to their cruise to Caucasia in order to find the gold fur.

Coordinates: 40°55′44″N 38°26′10″E / 40.92889°N 38.43611°E / 40.92889; 38.43611

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