Ispir is 143 km (88 mile) far to Erzurum. Ispir  is a town and district of Erzurum Province in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey, on the Çoruh River. The mayor is Osman Çakır. The district has a population of 30260 while the town has a population of 11789.

İspir is the historical Speri for Georgians and Sper for Armenians.

Ispir is known from the 3rd millennium BC. The name of Sper is derived from Saspers, who were one of the ethno-linguistically interconnected but politically separated ancient Georgian tribes inhabiting South Caucasus, parts of Northeastern Anatolia and the Middle East. Saspers are thought of as the name-givers to the Iberian Kingdom through evolution of their name Sper/hber/iber because they were most predominant of its population and arguably played an important role in its foundation and consolidation. Georgian Royal Bagrationi Dynasty emerged in this very place:

“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”.

Speri was part of the Georgian Kingdom of Tao-Klarjeti.

In the 4th-3rd centuries BC it was organized into a province of the Iberian Kingdom as noted by Strabo, and during subsequent centuries it frequently changed hands between Georgians and Armenians. Alexander the Great sent one of his generals Menon to conquer Speri, but Menon and his forces were defeated and killed. After 387, Sper and its main city Sper passed to the Roman Empire; in the 7th century 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 Seljuqs, in 1207 it was liberated by Georgians, governed by Zakare and Ivane Zakarids as a fief; in 1242 conquered by Mongols; was regained by Georgian Kingdom during the reign of George V the Brilliant (1314–1346), it remained part of the Kingdom before it’s disintegration, which then passed into the hands of Georgian Atabegs belonging to the House of Jaqeli; it was conquered in 1502 by Persia and in 1555 by Ottoman Turkey.

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