Malatya city in southeastern Turkey.. “famous for apricots”
Turkey has some very importan centers that have hosted civilizations throughout history such as Malatya, city in east-central Turkey.
HISTORY & LOCATION
Malatya famous for apricots is located in a fertile plain watered by the Tohma River (part of the Euphrates) and is surrounded by high ranges of the eastern Taurus Mountains.
After having seen two earlier settlements by Hittites (Milid city) on Arslantepe (today) and and Romans (Melitene town) now called old Malatya, the current city was founded in 1838 near the sites of those earlier settlements.
TRANSPORTATION & ROLE IN THE REGION
When compared to other spots of settlement Malatya is considered to be quite advanced in terms of industry and economy.
Thus it is known to be a center of interest for its surrounding regions and attracts much immigration. This is also mainly due to the fact Malatya is at a key junction in Turkey’s road and rail network. By rail, it also serves as the junction for Aleppo through Syria-Samsun line. Furthermore the city offers very regular intercity bus services to main centers such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir etc.
The town also has an airport called “Erhaç Airport” 26 kilometers west of the city center and there are daily domestic flights from Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. For a long while now air travel companies have been operating regular flights to the city making life much easier for business people in specific.
Malatya has one of the largest universities in the region; Inonu University. The university was established in 1975 and it has three institutions and nine faculties on its campus, with more than 2,500 faculty and 20,000 students. The city provides a fairly good opportunity for high school education with 162 high schools in the region
Apricots and Meatballs (köfte) have a special place in Malatya cuisine.
The town is also famous for its kebabs (meat broiled or roasted in small pieces) as well as desserts. There are over seventy kinds of köfte (meatballs) usually made with wheat and other ingredients mixed in. ”Kagit Kebabi” for instance 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.
It is reported that 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.
FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM MALATYA
Many prominent Turks are of Malatya origin such as presidents, prime ministers, football players, actors, authors some of which are inserted below;
Bar-Hebraeus (13th century Syriac polymath), Battal Gazi (8th century Muslim warrior and a legendary figure in Turkish folk literature),Turgut Özal (ex president), Hikmet Çetin (ex PM), Ahmet Kaya (singer), Belkıs Akkale (singer), Kemal Sunal (notable actor), Emine Sevgi Özdamar – Turkish-German actress and author, Hrant Dink – assassinated journalist of Armenian origin
compiled by editor, BTT