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 kilometers from the modern city in what is now the village of Arslantepe and near the dependent 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.
Malatya is well known for its apricot selection, being the largest agricultural producer of the fruit in Turkey. Another local favorite is the Kağıt Kebabı, a broiled lamb and vegetable dish. There are many restaurants and cafes to choose from. There are also a few hookah bars, for those interested.
New Mosque - The most famous mosque in Malatya, this one was built in 1912 -- so it was at that time the newest and hence, got its name. There are three minarets and some beautiful architectural elements.
Apricot Festival - Held annually in July, this celebration of the apricot fruit is festive and tasty. In addition to vendors of products made from apricots, there are also music concerts and sports activities.
Waterfalls Park - Actually built to harness hydroelectric power, the main waterfall in this park cascades through a concrete canal down a hill. There are usually some street vendors offering food in the area too. Several foot bridges cross the water for a pleasant walking area.
Kemal Atatürk Statue - Locate at one of the side entrances to Hurriyet Park, the statue portrays Kemal Ataturk alongside an innocent Turkish youth.
Malatya Park AVM - The largest shopping center in eastern Turkey, this mall features an ice skating rink and a movie theater, in additional to many retailers.
Malatya, a popular tourist destination, offers a wide selections of accommodations from luxury hotels to much less expensive, but still suitable, hotels with fewer amenities. Many mid-range options exist to suit most travelers.
It is very easy to travel to Malatya. The Malatya airport has domestic flights to and from Istanbul and Ankara via several airline companies on a regular basis and at very affordable rates. Those who prefer to travel by rail make take the 4 Eylül Mavi Treni to/from Ankara or the Güney Express and Vangölü Express trains to/from Istanbul. Additionally, there is the Fırat Express train taking visitors to the coast. Finally, buses offer service between major cities to Malatya as well.
Once in Malatya, public buses run throughout the city and the downtown area is easily traversed by foot.