|Region||Central East Anatolia|
|• Electoral district||Malatya|
|• Total||12,313 km2 (4,754 sq mi)|
|• Density||63/km2 (160/sq mi)|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Currency used||Turkish lira (TRY)|
|Area (km2)||12,313 km²|