The city of Malatya were founded in the Hittite Period and the town of “Melidu” became Malatya with taking different names within the time during Hittite Period. Malatya, conquered by Turks in 1075, has been caught by the Memluks for a while and it was again conquered by Yıldırım Beyazıt in 1392. After, Malatya was governed by Dulkadiroğulları which recognized Ottoman sovereignty and it is directly joined to the Ottoman Empire in 1516. Today’s Malatya is 9 km away from the place where old Malatya is located. City was moved to the country region called Aspuzu in the first half of the 19th century.
Malatya, becomes a city with Republic (89th Article, Constitution of 20 April 1924), is one of the rare cities that are not subjected to foreign occupation.
Malatya is located between 35º 54 'and 39º 03' northern latitudes, between 38º 45 'and 39º 08' east longitudes. It is located in the Upper Euphrates Valley of Eastern Anatolia Region and at the southwest end of Adıyaman, Malatya, Elazığ, Bingöl, Mus, Van depression area. Neighbours are Elazığ and Diyarbakır in the east, Adıyaman in the south, Kahramanmaraş in the west, Sivas and Erzincan in the north. The surface area of the province's territory is 11,776.5 km².
Malatya is a lowland located between East, Southeast and Central Anatolia. The lowland extends from north to south with a slight incline. The land is far from the sea and high. For this reason, Malatya's climate is hard. The summers are hot and arid; in winter the climate is mostly rainy and cold, but it is also possible to see the climate characteristics of the East, Southeast and Central Anatolia in the region. Climate can be examined in three different regions with different characteristics. The steppe climate of Central Anatolia is observed in the high tableland. On the south lowland, a warm Mediterranean climate between the Euphrates and Dicle Rivers and a special Mediterranean climate under the influence of the glow of the Syrian Desert. In mountainous regions, the winter is cold and a climate dominates both regions. Malatya is considered to be 900 meters above sea level and spring is the rainiest season of the year. It is known that these climate conditions are very suitable for apricot growing. The hottest months are July and August, and the coldest months are January and February. Forested areas are not seen as vegetation cover; however, oak forests are widely distributed in the mountains of Pütürge sub-province. A large number of willow, poplar and walnut trees were cultivated on the side of the river.
Especially apricot, apple, pear, peach, cherry, sour cherry, mulberry, grape and many fruit types are not counted here are grown in significant quantities. In recent years, the cultivation of pistachios has started in Yeşilyurt and Akçadağ sub-province and positive results have been obtained. The mountains, which green in the spring with rainfall, turn into steppes as a result of the warmth of summer and the subsequent drought. 53% of the lands within the provincial borders are meadow & pastures and 10% are forest and shrubbery areas.
ADMINISTRATIVE AND SOCIO-ECONOMICAL STATUS
The population of Malatya is 736,884 according to the results of Address-based Population Registration System in 2009. 468,310 people live in cities while 268,574 people live in towns and villages. The rate of living in the city is 63.6% and the rate of living in the villages is 36.4%. According to the same population census, the population of the province centre is 388.590 and the population density of the province is 63 persons per km². The biggest districts in terms of population are Central, Doğanşehir, Yeşilyurt, Darende, Akçadağ and Battalgazi respectively. Hekimhan is the largest town in terms of surface area, but the smallest district in terms of population, and Kale is the smallest district in terms of surface area.
The number of districts in Malatya is 14, the number of municipalities is 53, and the number of villages is 495. İnönü University, located in Malatya province, started education in 1976-1977 academic year. Plant production in Malatya is based on apricot. The average annual dry apricot production is approximately 80 and 100 thousand tons. 90% of the world dried apricot market belongs to Turkey. 70% of this amount is compensated by Malatya. Every year, a significant amount of foreign exchange is provided to the Turkish economy from apricot.
Economy of Malatya is based on agriculture, agricultural industry and animal husbandry. However, Malatya also has economic activities in all other sectors of the general economy. Almost all fruits are grown in Malatya except for citrus fruits and the most important crop of plant production is fruit growing. Large part of community in Malatya continues their subsistence with agricultural activities. Especially apricot, wheat, sugar beet, barley, chickpeas, lentils, corn and rye are the most important agricultural products grown in Malatya. Agriculture has diversified. The cereal planting is common in the harvesting areas. The area devoted to industrial plants is more than the areas devoted to the production of vegetables and fruits. Viniculture and fruit growing are also developed. There is proper environment for stock farming because of pastures and meadows (55% of the land). In recent years, fattening, cow dairying and poultry husbandry are performed in Malatya. Moreover, small fishing, previously made in the shape of a river fish, has grown in such a way by the formation of Karakaya Dam Lake.
Malatya is a rich city in terms of underground resources. The most important underground source within the province borders is the iron deposits in Hasançelebi within the boundaries of the Hekimhan sub-province. There are also rich iron ore in Darende and Pütürge district.