Area: 12.313 km²
Population: 702.055 (1990)
Traffic Code: 44
The province of Malatya is located at the Upper Firat river basin area of the Eastern Anatolian Region. The area had been inhabited since the Neolithic ages, mainly because of its geographic position at the crossroads of major trade routes; the famous Route of Kings and the Silk Road. It is a busy modern city in a huge fertile region with a major agricultural industry thanks to its rich water supply, and is Turkey’s biggest apricot producer. It is a popular base from which to visit Nemrut Dagi, which is a day trip. Another interesting day trip is to Eski Malatya (Old Malatya), 12km north of the modern city, which is a ruined Roman town with remains of some old city walls, mosques and caravanserais.
Districts: Malatya (center), Akçadağ, Arapkir, Arguvan, Battalgazi, Darende, Doğanşehir, Doğanyol, Hekimhan, Kale, Kuluncak, Pötürge, Yazıhan, Yeşilyurt.
How to Get
By Road : The province is located at the heart of the country’s road network, and is at the crossroads of the north-south and east-west routes, which means good bus connections to all regions. The bus station is 5km west of the city centre, which has regular services from Istanbul (18 hours), Kayseri (4 hours), Gaziantep (4 hours), Ankara (11 hours) and Adana (8 hours). There are minibuses and taxis making the journey between the bus station and city centre.
Bus Station Tel: (0422) 238 4768
By Rail : Malatya is in the centre of the country’s rail network, and there are daily trains to Istanbul, Ankara (express – 20 hours), Adana (9 hours), Diyarbakir, and Van, via Elazig. The railway station is 3km west of the city centre, and is connected to the city by minibus and taxi.
Railway : Station tel: (0422) 212 4040
By Air : There is one daily flight from Ankara, with connections at Istanbul and Izmir. Erhac airport is 26km west of the city centre, and there are airport buses to and from the city, to meet up with arriving and departing flights.
Airport Tel: (0422) 322 34 34
Where to Visit
Malatya Archeological Museum: The museum, less than 1km south of the city centre, has findings from excavations in Fethiye, Gelinciktepe, Pirot, Caferhöyük, Imamoglu and Aslantepe. Exhibits include ceramic statuettes, eye-drop and scent bottles from Asurian trade colonies, tile plates of Byzantine period and relics from the Old Bronze age. There are also exhibits unearthed from excavations at Aslantepe and Lower Euphrates Project before it was flooded by the Keban Dam in the 1960s, and ethnographic works.
Museum Tel: (0422) 321 3006.
Opening hours: 08.30 – 12.30 & 13.30 – 17.00, closed Mondays.
Aslantepe: This is one of the most excavated ancient sites in Central Anatolia: The hill is in the Orduzu quarter of Malatya, 6 km east of the city centre. The scientific excavations initiated in 1932 still continue today, and have so far unearthed seven different layers dating back from the Calcolithic Age to the Romans, with the major settlement layer formed in the late Hittite period. During this period Aslantepe was the centre of Melidia, as the city was previously known. The limited remains include the palace, dating from the end of the 4th millennium BC, wall paintings, and what is left of a Roman village.
Telephone of the Museum: (0422) 337 1002
Opening hours: 08.30 – 12.30 & 13.30 – 17.30, closed Mondays.
At the junction of the East and West civilisations, Nemrut Dagi (Mount Nemrut) is one of the most astounding sites in Turkey: A collection of colossal statues on a remote mountain 2150m high, adorning the temple and tomb of King Antiochus. Unknown until 1881 when an Ottoman geologist discovered these 10 metre-high stone heads, archaeological work began in 1953 to uncover their history.
Nemrut Dağı has since been a significant attraction, with thousands coming at sunrise and sunset to see the stones in the best possible light. It has been designated a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, and is one of the most important National Parks in the country. In addition to the statues, the entire site includes art from the Commagene civilisation, the Eskikale (Old Castle), Yenikale (New Castle), Karakus Hill and Cendere Bridge. Most people use the nearby towns of Malatya, Kahta or Adıyaman as a base, and the road to the summit is only open from mid-April to mid-October because of heavy snow the rest of the year.
Old Malatya Castle: The castle is located in the Old Malatya and covers a wide area. The construction of the castle had been initiated during the reign of the Roman Empire 1st Titus. The castle had attained its final form in the period of Byzantine Emperor Justinianus (522 – 565).
Old Arapgir Castle: The castle was constructed on the hard rocks. The foundation of the castle is constructed from the block stones while the remaining sections are constructed from cut stones. The castle is a creation of Anatolian Seljukian period.
Doğanşehir Castle: The castle is located inside the borders of the Doganşehir district and has a pentagonal structure. The castle was constructed in the period of Romans.
MOSQUES AND MOUSOLEUMS
The major mosques of the Malatya province are Ulu Mosque, Arapkir Ulu Mosque, Yeni Mosque, Yusuf Ziya Mosque, Çarşı Mosque, Melik Sunullah Mosque (Battalgazi), Somuncu Baba Mosque (Darande), Molla Eyüp Small Mosque (Arapkir).
Major vaults and mausoleums of the province are Emir Ömer Mausoleum, Sıddı Zeynep Vault (Battalgazi) and Kanlı Vault (Battalgazi).
NAMAZGAH MOSQUE (Battalgazi): It was constructed on a rectangular area outside ramparts of Battalgazi district by Seljuks in 1243. The surface of the mihrap( niche of a mosque indicating the direction of Mecca) was embellished with the authentic decorations of Seljuk art.
ULU MOSQUE (Arapkir): The structure is estimated to have belonged to İlhanlı Government who ruled over Akapir in 1334.The structure has a big mihrap( niche of a mosque indicating the direction of Mecca).Its minaret and epitaph has been collapsed.
INNS, CARAVANSERAIS AND BAZAARS
Silahtar (Gunner) Mustafa Paşa Caravanserai: The structure was built in Old Malatya (Battalgazi) on a rectangular field in 1632, by the gunner of the Ottoman Monarch Murat IV Bosnali Mustafa Pasa.
Taşhan: This caravanserai is in the district of Hekimhan on the Malatya-Sivas highway, in Old Darende, and built in order to continue the traditions of Seljuk Monarch Caravanserais.
Bedesten: Part of the old market, this is a rectangular structure in the Old Darende district.
BEYOND THE CITY
The surrounding area of Malatya province provides visitors a vast array of natural beauty. Pure-bred Arabian horses are trained and raised in the Sultansuyu district, and there are attractive areas for walking and picnics, especially around the nearby lake Sultansuyu Dam. Karakaya Dam lake is 15 km from the city centre, which is popular with locals in the evenings, and fishing is allowed. The Günpinar Waterfalls, 10km west of Darende and west of Malatya, is a picturesque and relaxing spot.
Other good areas for scenic walks include Gündüzbey Spring , Orduzu Spring and Horata waters located in Yesilyurt and Konak Boroughs, just outside the city, and Yesilyurt is especially famous for its cherries and celebrates the cherry festival every June.
Kizik, a village near Arguvan which is north of Malatya, is famous for its natural beauty and its pools filled with fish. Both the village spring and the fish living in it are considered sacred, so it is forbidden to catch or eat them. The locals refer to the fish as ‘dishwasher’, because they clean the dirty pots and pans of the villagers if they are left in the water for a short time.
Trekking: The best areas for trekking in the area include Nemrut Dagi, Sultan Suyu Valley, Levent Valley and the plateaus of Pötürge district.
Jereed ( Cirit ): The traditional Turkish sport of Cirit, a type of horseback javelin, is popular in this area and the people are proud to continue it. It forms one of the highlights of the annual Malatya festival, and teams from around the region play in a tournament that is a popular event for locals and visitors. A game consists of two teams, and each player must gallop down the field and throw a blunted wooden stick at his opponent. After trying to hit him, he must then gallop back to his team before being caught.
Fishing : Good areas for fishing as a hobby are Karakaya, Sultansuyu and Sürgü Dam Lakes, which offer a healthy number and selection of fish in a peaceful and relaxing environment.
Parachuting: The Inönü University Aviation club arranges training for Hillside Parachuting, and also runs diving courses.
The summer seasons are hot and dry while winters are cold and mostly snowy. However after the recent construction of Karakaya and other dams, the climate has softened and occasionally shown characteristics of a Mediterranean climate. The wettest months are during the Spring and Autumn.
Archaeological excavations and historical analysis have revealed the history of the province dating back to the Paleolithic Age, and the first settlement was founded in 7000 BC. Later, the region was rules by the Hitties, Urartu, Persian, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks and Ottomans. Most of the city was destroyed when Mohammed Ali’s forces from Egypt garrisoned Malatya in 1839 and after they left, the old residents returned and rebuilt it.
Where to Eat
The variety of food in Malatya is rich, with the main dish of a meal composing of meat cooked with bulgur (cracked wheat), with around 70 different varieties of these rissoles. Bulgur is also cooked with the leaves of cherries, quince, grapes and mulberries.
The apricot is the local produce for which Malatya is famous throughout Turkey, and its delicate flavour is used in numerous ways in food, like kebaps and deserts. The local speciality is kagit kebap (paper covered kebab) and içli köfte (meat balls) and there are numerous ways of preparing the area’s most popular fruit.
What to Buy
There is a great variety of Malatya’s original souvenirs. Among these are textile products like table-cloths, curtains and hand-painted handkerchiefs; brightly coloured carpets, kilims and light rugs, traditionally crafted copper kitchenware; wooden spoons and gum gum (churns).
Apricots, the region’s most famous product, also offer themselves in many varieties, and the streets are filled with apricots which have been desiccated, frozen, made into preserves and jams, marmalade and cream, pickled and pulped.
The city’s main shopping areas are Kapali Bazaar, Copper artisans Bazaar, Desiccated Apricot Bazaar, Atatürk and Inönü Caddesi.
Don’t Leave Without
– Visiting Old Malatya, Aslantepe and Archeological Museum,
– Visiting Sultansuyu and Nemrut Mountain,
– Feasting on kebab in a good restaurant,
– Tasting Analı – kızlı içli köfte and apricot desert with butter or fish rissole,
– Shopping at the Şire Bazaar where the apricot and products are sold.
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in Malatya
Archaeological Sites: 21
Urban Sites: –
Natural Sites: 2
Historical Sites: –
Archaeological and Historical Sites: 1
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural
Governorship : (+90-422) 323 02 43 – 324 22 66
Municipality : (+90-422) 326 57 70 – 326 57 79
Hospital : (+90-422) 326 15 70 – 326 15 78
Police : (+90-422) 212 55 00
Gendarme : (+90-422) 324 15 76
Provincial Directorate : (+90-422) 323 30 25
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (422) 323 29 42
Fax: (422) 323 29 12
State Fine Arts Gallery Directorate
Inönü Mah. Istasyon Viraji No:35 MALATYA
Tel: (0 422) 212 46 11
Fax: (0 422) 324 98 98
A hall with 350 seating capacity for theater, conference, etc. 250 m² Library Gallery
Contact Address: Sabancı Kültür Merkezi Müd. İnönü Mah. İstasyon Virajı No: 35 Malatya
Tel: (422) 324 76 12
Malatya Museum Detailed Information
Address: Dernek Mah. Kanal Boyu – Malatya
Tel: (422) 321 30 06
Malatya Governorship http://www.malatya.gov.tr/
Alaşehir Municipality http://www.alasehir-bld.gov.tr/
Demirci Municipality http://www.demirci-bld.gov.tr/
Salihli Municipality http://www.salihli-bld.gov.tr/