Malatya Information


Malatya , Turkey

Malatya (Armenian: Մալաթիա Malat'ya; Greek: Μαλάτεια, Malateia;[1] Classical Syriac: ܡܠܝܛܝܢܐ‎ Malīṭīná) is a city in the region of Eastern Anatolia in Turkey and the capital of its eponymous province.


The city has been a human settlement for thousands of years. The Assyrians called the city Meliddu.[2] Strabo says that the city was known "to the ancients" [3] as Melitene (Greek Μελιτηνή), a name adopted also by the Romans following Roman expansion into the east. According to Strabo he inhabitants of Melitene shared at that time 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.
Persecutions of Armenian citizens

Malatya was the scene of anti-Armenian violence during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During the Hamidian Massacres of 1895-1896, 7,500 Armenian civilians were massacred by Islamist mobs and Turkish nationalist forces alike. In the aftermath, a Red Cross team sent to Malatya and led by Julian B. Hubbell concluded that 1,500 Armenian houses had been pillaged and 375 burned to the ground.[14]

According to the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Malatya city was inhabited by 30,000 people at the time, with a clear ethnic Turkish majority, and an Armenian population of 3,000, of whom 800 were Catholics.[15] A more recent source, however, states that Malatya's population hovered around 40,000, of which half (20,000) were Armenian.[6] Of the five churches in the city, three belonged to the Armenians. They were chiefly involved in commerce, silkworm cultivation, silk trade and agriculture. In the spring of 1915, the Armenians of the town were rounded up by Ottoman authorities and sent to the deserts of Syria, death marches later considered part of the Armenian genocide by some scholars. Those who survived settled in a number of different countries.


Apricot products in Malatya

Meatballs (köfte) have a special place in the cuisine as do apricots, which are used in many meals from kebabs (meat broiled or roasted in small pieces) to desserts. There are over seventy kinds of köfte (meatballs) usually made with wheat and other ingredients mixed in. "Kağıt Kebabı" is one of the most important local specialities. "Kağıt Kebabı" is a dish made of lamb and vegetables broiled in a wrapper, which is usually oily paper.

The Malatya region is best known for its apricot orchards. About 50% of the fresh apricot production and 95% of the dried apricot production in Turkey, the world's leading apricot producer, is provided by Malatya[18] and the name of the fruit is synonymous with the city. It reached its most delicious and sophisticated form in the fertile soil of Malatya, nourished from the alluvial soil of the Euphrates. Overall, about 10-15% of the worldwide crop of fresh apricots, and about 65-80% of the worldwide production of dried apricots comes out of Malatya. Malatya apricots are often sun-dried by family-run orchards using traditional methods, before they are collected and shipped throughout the world.

Malatya Fair and Apricot Festivities has been held since 1978, every year in July, to promote Malatya and apricots and to convene the producers to meet one another. During the festivities, various sports activities, concerts and apricot contests are organized.

Near Apricot Festivities, there are also some other annual activities on summer. Cherry Festivities at Yeşilyurt District of Malatya and Grape Festivities at Arapgir District are organized annually.

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