MALATYA – General description
Malatya is a large city in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey and the capital of Malatya Province. The city has been a human settlement for thousands of years. The Assyrians called the city Meliddu. Strabo says that the city was known “to the ancients” as Melitene (Ancient Greek Μελιτηνή), a name adopted by the Romans following Roman expansion into the east. According to Strabo, the inhabitants of Melitene shared with the nearby Cappadocians and Cataonians the same language and culture.
The site of ancient Melitene lies a few kilometres from the modern city in what is now the village of Arslantepe and near the dependant district center of Battalgazi (Byzantine to Ottoman Empire). Present-day Battalgazi was the location of the city of Malatya until the 19th century, when a gradual move of the city to the present third location began. Battalgazi’s official name was Eskimalatya (Old Malatya); until recently, it was a name used locally. In Turkey the city is renowned for its apricots, as up to 80% of the Turkish apricot production is provided by Malatya, giving Malatya the name kayısı diyarı (“apricot realm”)
After the archaeological excavations in Malatya, which has a long history, many historical artifacts were unearthed. In particular, the artifacts extracted from Arslantepe Mound and Gelinciktepe were first sent to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
Due to the excavations carried out in the city, the construction of a museum was planned for the works excavated in 1931-1937. In 1971, the building in İnönü Park was converted into a museum. The museum was opened in 1979 in its new building on Kernek Square. The Museum of Malatya, where more than 15,000 works are exhibited, includes Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Tun, Hittite, Urartian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman artifacts. Sword and spearheads, human graves, stamps and king graves are among the important works of the museum. We encourage you to visit the museum to witness a rich collection that sheds light on the long history of Malatya.
Arslantepe Höyüğü is located 7 km from Malatya. It is an archaeological settlement. It is one of the largest mounds in Turkey. The mound lies to the west of the Karakaya Dam Lake on the Euphrates. The mound, which is 30 meters high, was inhabited from the 5th millennium BC to the 11th century AD. Zone MS 5th and 6th.
Great Mosque of Battalgazi
The first and only four iwans in Anatolia, the mosque with the seal of Solomon and magnificent tiles on the dome, bearing the traces of 800 years of history