Malatya is situated at the foot of the anti Taurus Mountains, and is an agricultural, industrial and stockbreeding center of Eastern Anatolia. The fertile plain is famous for its apricot growing and many delicious confections are made from it, as desserts as well. This province was called "Maldiya" in ancient times, taking its name from the Hittite language. It is located 670 kilometers (416 miles) east of Ankara, and the two small towns outside the city constitute the most important sites for visiting.
Arslantepe, at a distance of 7 kilometers (4,3 miles), was once the capital of a Hittite state and dates back to the first millennium BC. It is the city carrying the old Hittite traditions and styles, and inside the city walls a palace has been found, with statues and relieves, which are examples of the artistic works of that age. In 2021 the mound of Arslantepe entered the UNESCO World Heritage sites list.
Battalgazi, 9 kilometers (5,6 miles) from Malatya, is an ancient city of the Byzantine period, known as "Melitene" in those times. The city walls of this medieval center were constructed by the Byzantines. Inside the town, there is the Ulu Mosque from 1247 which was built by the Seljuks, reflecting their distinct architectural style.
The archaeological finds from Malatya are housed in the city museum, including new artifacts found in the lower Euphrates area. The museum, taken into service in 1969 in a temporary building and then moved to its new place near Kernek Park in 1979, has over 15.000 artifacts on display. There is a wide range of exhibitions ranging from the fossils to sand rocks found in Malatya area, and many objects dating back to Neolithic, Calcolithic, and Bronze Age periods, such as small sculptures, obsidian knives, sickles, arrow ends, cutters and perforators, swords and spear ends, seal prints, rythons, and human grave findings. Hittite, Urartu, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman period works are also exhibited in the museum.
Next to this museum, there is a nice and original bazaar. Copper objects are sold along an entire street here, and it is a nice shopping place which will add color to your holiday.
Turgut Özal was one of the Prime Ministers and, later, President of Turkey who was born in Malatya.