Malatya mälät´yä [key], city (1990 pop. 276,666), capital of Malatya prov., E central Turkey, in the E Taurus Mts. It is the commercial center for a rich farm region that produces apricots, grapes, and grains. Manufactures of the city include cement, cotton textiles, and sugar. Situated at a strategic crossroads in ancient times, the city was the capital of a small Hittite kingdom c.1100 BC; it was then known as Milidia. In Roman times it was called Melitene and was a military headquarters. An important city of Cappadocia, it became a metropolitan see in early Christian times. The city frequently suffered from attack and changed hands many times. In 1516 it was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. In 1895, Christians were massacred in Malatya.
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