Giresun Island, Time Travels 2017

The Time Travel method was introduced in Giresun by Kalmar county museum, Sweden in 2010. In 2010-2012, there were trainings, scenario writing and pilot Time Travel events on Giresun Island led by Kalmar county museum. The first years from 2012, the Time Travel events, organized by the Black Sea Association for Ecological Development, were held mainly for special groups and invited guests. After a couple of years, Time Travels were promoted for tourists. From 2015, the educational programs were offered also to schools.

Time Travels and trips to Giresun Island are made in different ways. In 2017, 27.000 tourists were brought to the island, most of them to have a walk on the island and see the well known birds of global protection. 10.000 of the tourists had the chance to take photos of the Time Travel team and received information. 42 groups with 2000 people took part in the actual Time Travel events. Also five schools with 1000 students participated in Time Travel events on the island this year. So, altogether almost 3000 persons, 2000 tourists and 1000 students experienced Time Travels on Giresun Island in 2017.

The story in the Time Travel is about Jason, Hercule, the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece, the famous legend of a travel from Greece, along the Turkish Baltic Sea coast to the country Colchis (today’s Georgia) in the search for the Golden Fleece. This was a real trading route for centuries, including gold from Colchis. In the Time Travel, dating back to 800 B.C. the participants play the part of Saka Turks, the oldest known people in the region. They go to the island to meet the Argonauts, that have just arrived. On the island they are greeted by Jason, the Argonauts and the Amazons. The Golden Fleece legend is told, archery training is given and of course they look for the Golden Fleece on the island. At the end the participants taste Black Sea dishes of the time. And they discuss dreams of wealth and fortune.

Giresun Island has in a few years become a tourist destination with the Time Travel events. The island has for many years had conservation status because of the breeding and unusual birds. There were plans to exploit the island and erect buildings. Because of the Time Travels, the expoitations have stopped. Thus, the nature of the island will continue to be accessible for birds and visitors and the Time Travel programs will go on, for tourists and students.

The Time Travels is also a way to renew the friendship between the three countries in the legend: Greece, Turkey and Georgia.

In the years to come, BridgingAges Turkey and the Time Travel team in Giresun plan to increase the programs step by step. In 2018 we aim for 2500 Time Travel tourists, 30,000 Island tourists and 5000 Time Travel Students on Giresun Island.

December 2017

Hakan Adanir and team

Goperatif, Black Sea Association for Ecological Development