Malatya

“Its seven varieties of apricots are world famous. One cannot think of anything else but to run home before its juice leaks when transporting them from gardens”, said Evliya Çelebi, the famous Turkish traveller. There are two Malatya’s, one old and one new. How it came like this is very interesting. Today’s Malatya was Aspuzu vineyards of then, the summer place of Old Malatya. In 1838, when they were looking for a suitable place to make army camp, they have decided to settle in the then almost empty Malatya as every one was in their summer houses in the vineyards. When winter was coming in people returned back to their homes but alas, their houses were already full, occupied. There was no other way out, they had to go back to their summer houses up in the vineyards, they have repaired and reinforced the summer houses so that they could live there under winter conditions. And so, the city of Malatya has moved from one house into another. There are lots of ancient buildings, like mosques, tombs and caravanserais. The Grand Mosque is in Eski (Former – Old – Ancient) Malatya which is also called as Aşağı Şehir (Down Town). This mosque, also called as Camii Kebir, was built by the Arabs in the VII century. It is believed to be the first Mosque built within the boundaries of lurkey. It was later tepaired by the Mamluks (1515) and the Ottomans (1649). It has been repaired again once in 1903 and once in 1966.

The Sahabei Kubra Medresseh (1224), Melik Sunullah Mosque Omer Turbeh (1563), Akminare (1574), Karahan (1583), Silahtar Mustafa Pasha Caravanserai and the Malatya Castle are the places of interest to see. In spite of the fact that the city is in a rather ruined condition, it is still worthwhile to visit.

The Malatya Castle is from the 1 st century. Romans repaired it in 532. It has further been repaired in 1167, in 1 181 and in 1192. But today we have the all run down walls only. There are natural water springs in the castle, for this reason there exists no cistern in the castle. The largest Mosque of Yeni (New) Malatya is the Yeni Cami (New Mosque). This one was built in 1913 in the place of the one built by the Seljuks in 1307.

Museum of Malatya

There are 15.518 pieces on the display in the museum, which is re-opened after some renovations and re-arrangements. There are fossils, findings from the Neolithic and Calcolithic and Bronze ages, and relics from the Hittites, Urartians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans.

Provinces

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They raise race horses at the Sultan Suyu Üretme Çiftliği (horse stud) in Akçadağ. The Levent Vadisi (Valley) in the vicinity is of historical importance. In this valley where there are numerous caves of different sizes, they have recently found rock carvings from late Hittite Age. The historical places worth to see in Arapgir are; Ulu Mosque, Cafer Pasha Mosque, Mirliva Ahmet Pasha Mosque, Molla Eyüp Mosque, Gümrükçü Osman Pasha Mosque and Bath and the Çobanoğlu Konak (Mansion). In the Morhamam Field of Arguvan there are tumulus as well as a thought-to-be sacred Balıklı Park in the Kazık Köy. The Battalgazi town near the lake of Karakaya Dam is nowadays converting into a waterside resort.

It is now possible to make water sports and fish catching and even boat tripping.

Darende is also very rich with its historical and touristic places. Many a mosques and complexes and the Günpınar waterfalls are places of interest to be visited. Furthermore there is a number of ancient libraries and many manuscripts in these libraries. One can enjoy it with the natural beauties and picnic areas along the shores of the Tohma river.

Doğanşehir is another ancient city with the natural beauties and picnic areas of its own. There are ancient city wall relics in the centre of the town. The remainders at Sürgü tumulus date back to 2-4 thousand BC. The waterfalls and the picnic areas in the Erkenek valley and Pınarbaşı (source of spring) near Sürgü province attract quite a few visitors. Pütürge is 74 km from Malatya. There are some places of historical interest in the neighbourhood like; Peri- Eş (Dilbersen) Castle in Uzuntaş Village (450 AD), Mount Nemrut, Gerar Castle and Battalgazi Ziyaret.

Yazihan is 40 km away from Malatya. We can count Hasan Basri Mosque in the Fethiye Village, the Fethiye Tumulus, Ansur (Buzluk) Caves, Hacı Höyük tumulus, and Ünür Field Castle in Iriağaç Village as historical places.

Cuisine of Malatya

Malatya is very rich for its local dishes, and these are served at the restaurants. Paper Kebab, Analı-Kızlı içli köfte, butter-apricot dessert and fish köfte (meatball) are to count a few.

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