Yağlıdere is a long and highly voluminous stream that flows to the Black Sea (Karadeniz in Turkish) in the west end of the Espiye which is the capital town of the Espiye district with same name in Giresun Province in Turkey.
The stream has two big and many small tributaries. Tohumluk Deresi, one of its main arms, begins in Kurtbeli highland used by nomadic people in summers. Kılıçlar Deresi begins in Erimez. These arms flow north to Üçköprü (meaning "three bridges" in Turkish) of Çakrak village and join each other there. After this point, the stream is called as "Yağlıdere". In its narrow valley it flows to Yağlıdere town, which is the district center with same name as the stream. Finally it ends in the Black Sea west of the seaside town of Espiye. It is 65 kilometres (40 mi) long.
It has high flow especially in spring because of rain and snow in the Giresun mountains. This has caused flooding in Yağlıdere town in the past. Digging in the bed of the stream and pollution from solid wastes of Yağlıdere Municipality have created problems.
"Yağlıdere" is a generic compound word in Turkish. "Yağ" means "oil" or "butter", and "Yağlı" means "oily" or "with butter" in Turkish. "Dere" is "stream". Thus "Yağlıdere" can be translated into English as "Oily stream".
Coming to the origin of this name there are two hypothesis we know. According to a local saying from the old people who live in the valley there was a dairy processing center in Çakrak village of Alucra district. This dairy center was collecting raw milk from surrounding villages via a coarse pipeline made from clays, and were discharging dairy wastes such as cheese water and residues to the stream through the village. Dairy wastes on surface of freshwater was appearing as if the stream was oily. Then it was called as "Yağlıdere".
The other version about its name comes from the natural view of the fluids (Pers. comm. by Dr. Z. Cebeci) It has many small stream waterfalls joining to its main bed. Because of these waterfalls of tributaries and sharp falls of its main stream on the rocky bed it is appeared as if its surface covered with a foams layer of milk and/or butter cream. When the old people viewed the scene formed with foams they called it as "Yağlıdere". (See a beautiful view of Yağlıdere in Çakrak Village and an old stone arc bridge over it to prove what it means with its name).
- Official Web site of Yağlıdere Governmental Administration (in Turkish)
- Yağlıdere article at Turkish Wikipedia
- Umutbuku Village