Malatya

Malatya

Things to do - general
Country Turkey
Region Central East Anatolia
Subregion Malatya
Government
 • Electoral district Malatya
Area
 • Total 12,313 km2 (4,754 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 781,305
 • Density 63/km2 (160/sq mi)
Area code(s) 0422
Vehicle registration 44

Malatya is a relatively new city by Turkish standards, although its ancient name, Malidiya, dates back to Hittites, a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.

In 1838, during a war between Ottoman Empire and the forces of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, the Ottoman army seized what was then the town of Malatya, forcing the local population to Aspuzu, then a collection of cottages amidst the orchards in the outskirts of the town. After the war, the people decided not to return to their battered town, settling permanently in Aspuzu, and renaming it to Malatya (the abandoned old town, 10 km north of the current city, was later re-populated, and is now called Battalgazi, covered in its separate article).

Today, with its population of more than 400,000 inhabitants, Malatya is the largest city of central-eastern Anatolia, where gently rolling steppes of Central Anatolia give way to heavily-rugged terrain of Eastern Anatolia. The plateau on which Malatya lies is surrounded by higher mountains, some of which are covered with orchards that produce the apricots, for which the city is famous.

Unlike rest of Eastern Anatolia, much of the urban population speak a non-dialectical standard Turkish, sometimes with a slight accent.

Local people are generally friendly and helpful.

Country Turkey
Visa requirements

By plane
Malatya Erhaç Airport (MLX IATA) is 30 km away from the city center and can be reached by shuttle buses of the airlines and taxis. Flights leave from Istanbul and Ankara. Turkish Airlines THY , AnadoluJet , Pegasus Airlines and Onur Air have daily flights to Malatya.

If bought one month prior to the flight date, a one-way flight between Istanbul and Malatya costs between 114 and 154 TL, depending on the company.

By train
Direct trains run daily from Ankara to Malatya, taking 16 hours. There are couchettes and a sleeping car but no buffet. The main stops along the route are Kayseri and Sivas. Twice a week the train continues east via Elazig to Tatvan (the Vangölü Express, 10 hours), with dolmus connections to Van. Trains the other days (the Guney Kurtalan Express) continue to Diyarbakir (6 hours) and Kurtalan (9 hours). For details see Turkish railways website at tcdd.gov.tr. The timetable and the online booking system give different days of running for these services. Ankara railway station is partially closed for rebuilding until 2018, with bus replacements to Irmak 60 km east of the city, and altered timings. A high-speed line is under construction from Ankara eastwards. This will greatly reduce journey times when the first section to Sivas opens, perhaps in 2018.

The Firat Express runs daily from Malatya, south to Adana, taking 8 hours via Gölbaşı and Osmaniye, and north to Elazig (3 hours).

Malatya's train station is some 5 km northwest of the city centre, about 200 m off the intercity highway - look for the small white sign saying TCDD Gar at the roundabout with a Carrefour store at one side. Dolmuses and town bus lines #1A and #1B run frequently to the central square.

By car
Malatya can easily be reached by car, via Kayseri-Malatya motorway, which is numbered D300.

By bus
There are many domestic coach firms from Istanbul bus station. The coaches, reach Malatya via Ankara and the journey takes nearly 15 hours. Beydağı Turizm, Aksoğanoğlu Zafer Turizm, Kernek Turizm have at least 5 daily coaches to Malatya within the specific times of the day.

Buses from Ankara, which also shortly call at Kayseri bus station on the way, take between 9 and 11 hours depending on the service, costing 35 TL on the average. In addition to some of the local companies based in Malatya listed above, nation-wide Metro Turizm operates on this line, too.

Long-haul buses from other major centres in the country, both regional and elsewhere alike, such as Bursa, and Van also call at and accept passengers for Malatya bus station.

Malatya's bus station (otogar) lies at the western outskirts of the city, on the highway from Kayseri and way out of city centre. Luckily, quite frequent public buses, which call at the stops on the highway in front of the station (cross the street for eastbound buses, i.e., those heading for the city), connect it with the city centre (although not all of the buses calling at that stop make it to the city centre—some proceed to the suburbs on the other side of the city via the intercity highway). The earliest public bus services start around 06:00.

The name of the bus stop in front of the otogar (as well as the administration of the station itself) is Maşti, so look for that in bus signs when getting from elsewhere in the city.

The bus station has an official tourism information office, an internet cafe open 24-hr, toilettes (which cost 0.75 TL), as well as benches which might offer a quite uncomfortable sleep if you arrive in the middle of the night. The place is calm and safe through the night with a visible presence of security officers.

Languages spokenTurkish
Currency usedTurkish lira (TRY)
Area (km2)12,313 km²

Sports & nature

Visit during the Malatya International Arts and Apricot Festival in July.
Go to Malatya Park AVM (shopping mall), the largest mall in eastern Turkey. An ice skating rink and a movie theater with subtitled films are also available there.

Nightlife info

There are a number of cafes along the Kanalboyu, some of which serve hookah (nargile).

Nostalji Cafe (opposite the Yeşil Sinema). Housed in a two-floor historic building, this is the place to try traditional drinks such as Turkish coffee, sahlep, or kefir. edit
Genç Girişimciler Derneği, Kışla Caddesi. The only pub in Malatya.

Culture and history info

1 New Mosque (Yeni Cami) (at the central square). A beautiful mosque built in 1912, and one of the few in Turkey featuring three minarets. The one on the side—top of which was demolished long ago—was perhaps the minaret of an older mosque on site.
Just across the street from the New Mosque at the front yard of Governor's Office is the last standing statue of İsmet İnönü, a native of the city and the second president of Turkey (in office 1938-1950), who was later blamed for instituting a cult of personality for himself after the death of Turkish Republic's founder, Kemal Atatürk.
From the central square, a stroll of 800 metres along the Fuzuli Caddesi (Street) will bring you to Kernek Square (Kernek Meydanı).

Waterfalls Park (Şelale Parkı), Kernek Meydanı. A park on the side of a hill with lots of water features. A man-made waterfall running through a concrete canal and getting stronger at each upper cascade is the main attraction. The park surrounds a small hydropower plant harnessing the power of the waterfall—the reason why the waterfall exists in the first place—although the plant is not open for visits. Some open-air cafes line the cascading water canal.
2 Museum (Müze), Kernek Meydanı (next to the park), ☎ +90 422 321-30-06, fax: +90 422 324-98-98. Tu-Su 08:00-12:00 and 13:00-16:45. 3 TL. Malatya Museum on Wikipedia Malatya Museum (Q28136236) on Wikidata
The waters of the waterfalls park keep running along a canal spanned by pleasant foot bridges in the leafy median strip of Hamit Feritoğlu Caddesi, unofficially known as Kanalboyu (literally "along the canal"). A stroll of about 500 metres along the Kanalboyu will bring you to another square.

On the side of the square is Hürriyet Park, the largest in the city.
At the side of the entrance of the park is a statue of Kemal Atatürk, complete with his cloak, next to a guy, presumably symbolizing Turkish youth, who is wearing nothing but a fig leaf.
Heading back to northwest from here along Kışla Caddesi—which has a beautifully landscaped wide median strip, which includes benches and palm trees (yes, palm trees. Like those that are found in tropical paradises. All thanks to legendary cold hardiness of Trachycarpus fortunei species)—you will arrive back at the central square; drawing a triangle in the city. However, there are a few more sights on the way, which might slow down your pace a bit.

3 Atatürk Museum (Atatürk Evi Müzesi), Kışla Caddesi (very close to Hürriyet Park). Tu-Su 09:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00. The historic mansion in which Kemal Atatürk stayed during his visits to the city. edit
There are also a number of other historic stone buildings along the Kışla Caddesi from the late Ottoman or early Republic eras, which look quite stately and impressive.
At yet another square on your way, there is an old-looking clock tower, which actually was built recently but is nice anyway.
Outer neighbourhoods
There is a large park east of the city, on the highway to Elazığ with a large pond and distant views of the Karakaya Dam lake. Minibuses and public buses heading for Üniversite pass by the entrance of it.
Northwest of the city centre (on Boztepe Caddesi a block north of intercity highway-çevreyolu), there is a ruined Armenian church that is, well, ruined. Only its outer walls are standing and the neighbourhood in which it stands seems to be a somewhat rough one, so a distant look from the highway might suffice unless you have a special interest in the Armenian heritage of the region.

Unfortunately there are no accommodations at this location at the moment.

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