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History of Malatya

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In ancient times the Malatya province was called Maldiya, Milid or Meliddu. From the Bronze Age, this region became an administrative center of a place, which lies in the kingdom of Ishuwa. In the fourteenth century B.C. the city was conquered by the Hittites and after their reign, the region became the center of a Neo-Hittite kingdom.

During 1115-1077 B.C., an encounter took place with the Assyrian king and Malatya was forced to pay tribute to Assyria. The unhindered progress of Malatya first faced an obstacle in 712 B.C. when the Assyrian King Sargon II sacked the city and later it experienced a steep decline when Anatolia got invaded by the Cimmerians and Scythians. Currently, the village of Arslantepe corresponds to the Hittite city of Milid.

During the Roman period, the city was known by the name of Melitene, which was the base camp of Legio XII Fulminata. Around 100 CE, Melitene was granted city status by the Roman Emperor and at the same time was in the process of becoming the Roman capital of Asia Minor. After sometime, Melitene was completely destroyed by the Byzantine, only to be rebuilt under the instruction of Abbasid caliphs. The Seljuk Turks conquered the city in the 12th century and some 300 years later it got incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. In 1838, modern Malatya was founded in a site that is in the South of the ancient settlement of Milid and Melitene (modern Battalgazi). However, the next year, the city had to be rebuilt, following the devastations of an earthquake.


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