Gerede is a town and a district of Bolu Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey. It is located on the highway from Istanbul to Ankara (approximately 150 km (93.21 mile) from Ankara, where the road to the Black Sea coast brances off). It covers an area of 1,255 km2 (484.56 sq mile), and the population (2000) is 41,391 of which 25,200 live in the town of Gerede. Elevation is about 1,450 m. The mayor is Omer Baygin (AKP).

Gerede is a large area of hill country surrounded by pine-covered mountains, on a passage from central Anatolia to the Black Sea coast. The climate is notoriously cold and wet, enough to make it a centre for cross-country skiing, and traffic on the highway often has to negotiate fog, rain and ice around Gerede.

Gerede was an established town in the Ottoman Empire period and was visited by the 16th century traveller Evliya Celebi, who described a town of 1,000 homes and 10 mosques, with a military base.

For many the name Gerede evokes Husrev Gerede, a key companion of Ataturk in the Turkish War of Independence (of 1919-1922). He was later given the surname Gerede for his success in leading the town’s rebellion against the occupying forces during that conflict.

Gerede today is a small town with a number of tanneries and leather workshops, but even though the highway is so close the town is growing slowly, perhaps because of the forbidding climate.

Gerede has many high meadows (yayla) and places in the forest for walking and picnics, particularly near the wood of Esentepe. A number of Turkish football teams have their summer training camps here, attracted by the fresh mountain air. Esentepe also has ski slopes and cross-country skiing in winter.

History of Gerede district in which Esentepe Natural Park is located goes back to AC 3-4th century. Esentepe Natural Park is a beautiful place in which unique antique trees. The height of the Esentepe Natural Park is 1450 meters, and it is located on 407 square meter area. Esentepe Natural Park has te centennial trees which have long history.

In 1988, after opening a 100 bed capacity 3 star hotel in Esentepe Natural Park, the number of foreign and domestic tourists has increased. Due to its nearness, the number of visitors coming from Ankara and Istanbul have also increased.

Gerede has a very rich variety of flora and fauna.In this region red deer, fallow deer, wild boar, grey wolf, red fox, silver fox (animal), golden jackal, marten, black bear, brown bear, European badger, hedgehog, shrew, roe deer, Eurasian lynx, wild cat, jungle cat, hare, mole (animal), stoat, weasel, mallard duck, common pochard, ruddy shelduck, red-breasted goose, greylag goose, golden eagle, eastern imperial eagle, greater spotted eagle, rough-legged buzzard, long-legged Buzzard, common buzzard, Eurasian eagle-owl, long-eared owl, little owl, barn owl, European bee-eater, goldcrest, short-toed eagle, western marsh harrier, northern goshawk, Eurasian sparrowhawk, black kite, hen harrier, saker falcon, barbary falcon, Eurasian hobby, common kestrel, red-footed falcon, great spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, hoopoe, blue-cheeked bee-eater, white stork, black stork, raven, common quail, partridge, common kingfisher, red squirrel, Southern Crested Newt, Banded Newt, smooth newt, common toad, European green toad, European tree frog, European spadefoot toad, agile frog, Long-legged Wood Frog, marsh frog, Caspian turtle, spur-thighed tortoise, stellion, slow worm, sheltopusik, Darevskia, European green lizard, Balkan green lizard, Ophisops elegans, common wall lizard, grass snake, Caspian whipsnake, Coronella austriaca, Aesculapian snake, Elaphe quatuorlineata, dice snake, otter, various rodents, various carps like fish and trouts are found. Vegetation is resistant to winter conifer forests. On the mountains pure fir and spruce forests occupies a very large area. At lower elevations Scots pine, black pine, oak, beech, hornbeam, elm, maple, hazel etc. are found.

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