Sites & cities that bear the name of İspir


Today in : Turkey
First trace of activity : ca. 20th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Սպեր, Sper, სპერი, Speri

Description : İspir (Armenian: Սպեր, Sper; Georgian: სპერი, Speri) is a town and district of Erzurum Province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey, on the Çoruh River. The mayor is Osman Çakır (AKP). The district has a population of 30,260 while the town has a population of 11,789. İspir is known from the 3rd millennium BC. Ancient kingdom of Hayasa-Azzi (2nd millennium BC), which was the forerunner of Armenian statehood located in the upper reaches of the rivers Euphrates and Chorokh (included Sper). About 600 years (since the 2nd century BC to 5th century AD) this region was a part of a province of the Greater Armenia - Bardzr Ayk (Upper Armenia). The name Sper is thought by some to be derived from Saspers, a tribe mentioned by Xenophon; The illustrious dynasty of the Bagrationi originated in the most ancient Georgian district – Speri (today İspir). Through their farsighted, flexible policies, the Bagrationi achieved great influence from the sixth through eighth centuries. One of their branches moved out to Armenia, the other to Georgian Kingdom of Iberia, and both won for themselves the dominant position among the other rulers of Transcaucasia. In the 4th-3rd centuries BC Sper was organized into a province of the Iberian Kingdom as noted by Strabo. Alexander the Great sent one of his generals Menon to conquer Sper, but Menon and his forces were defeated and killed. After this, in 2nd century BC - 5th century AD Sper was a land of Greater Armenia and was a part of Armenian province - Upper Armenia. After this, Sper was an Armenian Bagratid domain in the 4th - 6th centuries, a domain whose territory also comprised the Bayburt plain until that was lost to the Byzantines (perhaps in 387). In the 7th century it passed to the Arab Caliphate; in 885 Bagratuni Kingdom of Armenia. Under the medieval Kingdom of Armenia, it was part of the province of Upper Armenia and was famous for its gold mines. In the 11th century it was conquered by the Seljuqs. Ispir was under the control of the Saltukids till 1124 when the Georgians took over power, governed by Zakare and Ivane Zakarids as a fief. It was recaptured by Mughith ad Din Tughrul, son of the Seljuk sultan Kilij Arslan II, sometime between 1201 and 1225. He built a mosque in the citadel which still survives. It was conquered in 1242 by the Mongols; was regained by Georgian Kingdom during the reign of George V the Brilliant (1314–1346), it remained part of the Kingdom before its disintegration, which then passed into the hands of Georgian Atabegs belonging to the House of Jaqeli; it was conquered in 1502 by Persia and was probably in 1515 taken by the Ottoman Empire from the Georgian ruler of Samtskhe. The town was occupied in 1916 by the Russians during World War I and recaptured by the Turks in 1918. Historic sights in the town are the citadel, a mosque and church in the citadel (probably 13th century), the originally 13th century Çarsi mosque today's building being a recent structure. The Sultan Melik mosque and Madrasa built in the 13th century, the Madrasa of Kadizade Mehmet built in 1725/26, Kadizade was the Mufti of Erzurum from 1744 to 1759 and his father was the Qadi of Ispir. There is also a tomb with a graveyard containing some Ottoman tombstones.

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