Monday, 16 September 2013

Malatya - RED CROSS Representative (Julian B. Hubbell) RECORDs - Malatya was the scene of anti-Armenian violence during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A panorama of Malatya.
Location of Malatya within Turkey.
Malatya is located in Turkey
Location of Malatya within Turkey.
Coordinates: 38°21′N 38°18′ECoordinates38°21′N 38°18′E
Country Turkey
RegionEastern Anatolia
ProvinceMalatya Province
 • MayorAhmet Çakır (AKP)
 • District922.16 km2 (356.05 sq mi)
Population (2012)[2]
 • Urban426,381
 • District494,918
 • District Density540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zoneEET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST)EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code44xxx
Area code(s)0422
Licence plate44
Malatya (ArmenianՄալաթիա Malat'yaGreekΜαλάτεια, Malateia;[3] Classical Syriacܡܠܝܛܝܢܐ Malīṭīná) is a city in the region of Eastern Anatolia in Turkey and the capital of its eponymous province.

Overview[edit source | editbeta]

The city has been a human settlement for thousands of years. The Assyrians called the city Meliddu.[4] Strabo says that the city was known "to the ancients" [5] as Melitene (Greek Μελιτηνή), a name adopted also by the Romans following Roman expansion into the east. According to Strabo the inhabitants of Melitene shared at that time with the nearby Cappadocians and Cataonians the same language and culture. The site of ancient Melitene lies a few kilometres from the modern city in what is now the village of Arslantepe and near the dependant district center of Battalgazi (Byzantine to Ottoman Empire). Present-day Battalgazi was the location of the city of Malatya until the 19th century, when a gradual move of the city to the present third location began. Battalgazi's official name was Eskimalatya (Old Malatya); until recently, it was a name used locally.

History[edit source | editbeta]

Aslantepe and Ancient Malatya[edit source | editbeta]

Arslantepe has been inhabited since the development of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent, nearly 6,000 years ago. From the Bronze Age, the site became an administrative center of a larger region in the kingdom of Isuwa. The city was heavily fortified, probably due to the Hittite menace from the west. The Hittites conquered the city in the fourteenth century B.C. In Hittitemelid or milit means "honey," offering a possible etymology for the name, which was mentioned in the contemporary sources of the time under several variations (e.g., HittiteMalidiya[6] and possibly also Midduwa;[7] Akkadian: Meliddu;[4] Urar̩rtian: Melitea).
After the end of the Hittite empire, the city became the center of the Neo-Hittite state of Kammanu. The city continued old Hittite traditions and styles. Researchers have discovered a palace inside the city walls, which has statues and reliefs that are examples of the artistic works of that age. The people erected a palace, accompanied by monumental stone sculptures of lions and the ruler. Archeologists first began to excavate the site of Arslantepe in the 1930s, led by Frencharchaeologist Louis Delaporte.
The Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser I (1115-1077 B.C.) forced the kingdom of Malatya to pay tribute to Assyria. Malatya continued to prosper until the Assyrian kingSargon II (722-705) sacked the city in 712 BC. At the same time, the Cimmerians and Scythians invaded Anatolia, and the city declined. Since 1961, an Italian team of archaeologists, today led by Marcella Frangipane, have been working at the site.
Under Roman rule, Melitene was the base camp of Legio XII Fulminata. It was a major center in Lesser Armenia (P'ok'r Hayk'), remaining so until the end of the fourth century A.D. Emperor Theodosius I divided the region into two provinces: First Armenia (Hayk'), with its capital at Sebasteia (modern Sivas); and Second Armenia, with its capital at Melitene.[8]

Middle Ages[edit source | editbeta]

During the reign of the Emperor Justinian I (527-565), new administrative reforms were carried out in this region, and Melitene became the capital of the province ofThird Armenia.[9] The city was captured by the Rashidun Caliphate in 638 became a base for their raids further into Anatolia, which was pursued also by theAbbasids. In the 9th century, under its semi-independent emir Umar al-Aqta, Malatya rose to become a major opponent of the Byzantine Empire, until Umar was defeated and killed at Lalakaon in 863. The Byzantines attacked the city many times, but did not finally take it until the campaigns of John Kourkouas in 927-934. After successively accepting and renouncing vassal status, the city was finally taken in May 934, its Muslim inhabitants driven out or forced to convert, and replaced by Greek and Armenian settlers.[10]
Capture of Melitene by the Byzantines in 934
The West Syrian diocese of Melitene has been established since the sixth century and was as well surrounded by other bishoprics belonging to nearby towns.[11] In the tenth century the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas convinced the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch to move the head of the patriarchate into the region of Melitene.[12] The city was attacked and devastated by the Seljuks in 1058.[13] In the period that followed the Turkish advance into Anatolia after the Battle of ManzikertGabriel of Melitene, a Greek Orthodox Armenian (see Hayhurum) who had risen from the ranks of the Byzantine army, governed the city. From 1086 to 1100 he preserved his independence with the aid of the Beylik of theDanishmends and after 1100, he invested heavily on the commanders of the First Crusade, especially Bohemond I of Antioch and Baldwin of Boulogne.[14]
The Danishmends took over Malatya one years later in 1101 (see Battle of Melitene). With the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate based in Konya taking over the Beylik of Danishmend in late 12th century, Malatya became part of their realm. It was part of the Mamluk Sultanate in end of 13th century. The city became Ottoman in 1515.

Modern[edit source | editbeta]

The current city of Malatya was founded in 1838, with the old site of Mitilene now designated as Old Malatya.[15]

Persecutions of Armenian citizens[edit source | editbeta]

Malatya was the scene of anti-Armenian violence during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During the Hamidian Massacres of 1895-1896, 7,500 Armenian civilians were massacred by Islamist mobs and Turkish nationalist forces alike. In the aftermath, a Red Cross team sent to Malatya and led by Julian B. Hubbell concluded that 1,500 Armenian houses had been pillaged and 375 burned to the ground.[16]
According to the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Malatya city was inhabited by 30,000 people at the time, with a clear ethnic Turkish majority, and an Armenian population of 3,000, of whom 800 were Catholics.[17] A more recent source, however, states that Malatya's population hovered around 40,000, of which half (20,000) were Armenian.[8] Of the five churches in the city, three belonged to the Armenians. They were chiefly involved in commerce, silkworm cultivation, silk trade and agriculture. In the spring of 1915, the Armenians of the town were rounded up by Ottoman authorities and sent to the deserts of Syria, death marches later considered part of the Armenian genocide by some scholars. Those who survived settled in a number of different countries.[8]

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