Most of the historical mosques in Coruh Valley are from the 19th century. These are examples of traditional architecture built in dressed or rough stone in a remote area and are charming with their extensive woodwork. They have mostly a square plan and are covered with timber roofs with galvanized iron superposed recently to weather proof.
Ispir Carsı Mosque(Tugrul Shah Mosque)
It is located on the left of the road when entering the town. It was built by Atabey Erdemsah, an officer of the Seljukid ruler of Erzurum Tugrul Shah who reigned between 1200 and 1225. According to the inscription in the entrance it was built in 1220. The walls and the door of the building are original, but the roof has been changed in the first half of 20th century. The four roughly worked trunks carrying the roof are captivating.
The mosque within the inner walls of the castle is attributed to the Saltuk rulers who reigned in the region under the sovereignty of Seljukids, although no inscription remains. While the lower part of the walls are made with rough stones, finely dressed stones are used in masonry of the upper walls. The building measures 10.80 by 9.5 m. Stalactites decorate the gate opposite the apse as well as the pendentives supporting the dome. The body of the 18m minaret is well preserved.
The Kadioglu Medersa is situated across the Carsı Mosque, on the right bank of the stream when entering Ispir. It was built by Kadizade Mehmet who died in 1759. His father was married to a woman from Ispir and he served as the mufti of Erzurum for almost 15 years. The Medersa was built with finely crafted dressed stones carried from Kalkons village, 10km from Ispir. There are 10 cells in the building for the teachers and students.
Sultan Melik Mosque
The mosque is situated across the Carsı Mosque on the other side of the stream, next to the Kadıoglu Medersa. It is thought to be constructed by the last Saltuk ruler Melik Shah who abdicated or forced to abdicate in 1200 or 1201. The oldest monument of the Coruh Valley has deteriorated a lot, its dome suffered most and needs intervention.
The mosque was built in 1896 according to the inscription above the entrance. The nave measures 11 by 12 m and is prolonged with the narthex of 3.75 m. The galvenized iron sheet covered wooden minaret, accessible from the galery along the northern wall, stands at the north-western corner of the nave. The wooden ceiling is embelished with a wooden dome of 3.75 m in the middle. The interior is colourfully painted.
The architectural style suggests the building was constructed during the 19. century. However, the precise construction date remains unknown because the mosque does not have an inscription. The building is almost a square with dimensions of 7.30 by 7.14 m. The main building is built in rubble masonry and lime mortar. The narthex which was originally wooden, rebuilt later in brickwork, supports the balcony open on three sides above. Instead of a minaret a pole with a loudspeaker stands at the northern corner. A wooden L shaped galery inside runs along the east and north walls of the mosque.
This is a late example of delicate dressed stonework from the 19th century in a remote area. The inscription at the entrance gives 1891 as the renovation date, with generous donations of Ibrahim and Halil Agas, descendants of Custoglu Osman Aga and support of the villagers. Nevertheless the original construction date of the mosque is unknown. Finely cut stones are used in the construction of the main building. The nave measures 11.90 by 11.60 m with a smaller two storey building standing against the northern wall. The remains of the minaret can still be seen along the western wall of the nave. The narthex has been destroyed by an avalanche in the ’80s. The entrance in the middle of the northern wall is ornamented. The U shaped wooden galery inside is supported by four poles and accessible with wooden stairs next to the entrance.