Introduction of Malatya
Provincial capital city situated at a strategic crossroads W of the Euphrates River, 150 mi SE of Sivas. In an area where known settlement dates back to 4000 b.c., it was the capital of a small Hittite kingdom c. 1200 b.c. and was then known as Milidia and was an independent city-state following the collapse of the Hittite Empire. It was a Roman city much later under Trajan (a.d.98–117). Then slightly relocated and known as Melitene, it became a military headquarters, later enlarged and improved under Justinian (527–65). An important city of Cappadocia, it became a metropolitan see in early Christian times. As a frontier town, it has suffered many attacks and has changed hand s many times. It became Turkish in 1102 and was annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1516. The modern city is on the site of the headquarters of Hafiz Pasha before his advance to fight the disastrous battle of Nizip against Mehmet Ali of Egypt in 1838. Melitene includes baths and a 13th-century mosque; four miles farther N is a mound containing traces of the Hittite city.