History

Elazığ was established at the foot of the historical Harput Castle, in Eastern Anatolia. Altitude of the city is 1067 meters. According to the available historical sources, the oldest inhabitants of Harput are Hurrians. (BC 2000) After Hurrians, Hittites got the control of the region. After BC 1000, Urartus got the control for a long time. As the settlement of Elazığ, the history of the region is very old. For this reason we need to consider the history of Elazığ together with the history of Harput. The historical names of Elazığ are; Mamuratul Aziz, Elaziz and Elazık which means food depot. According to current historical sources, the earliest inhabitants of Harput are Hurrians who settled in Eastern Anatolia since BC 2000. Again, according to historical records, we see that after the Hurrians, the region was under Hittite rule. After the Hittite rule, Urartians who established state in Eastern Anatolia from the BC 9th century ruled for a long time in Harput. Even today, Harput Castle, which stands still with its historical majesty, carries traces of Urartu period. It has been determined that there are stairs, tunnels and waterways carved into the rock in the castle. Harput, which has been known for centuries as a fortified place, has a 4000 year old history. The first word of Harput's name is Har, meaning stone (rock), and the last idiom (put) means castle. As contemporary Turkish it means stone fortress. When we examine Harput's history deeply, from the 1st century to the 3rd century, we see that the Romans remain in political and military influence. However, it is also known that the Pontus King Mithradates, who made long and hard struggles to remove the Romans from Anatolia, changed hands in the time. However, from the time of Emperor Dioclatianus in the 3rd century AC, the Harput region was totally connected to the Roman Empire. Later on, the Sasanids and the Byzantines always encountered in the 7th century of the first period of Byzantine rule in Harput, and occasionally the Sassanese changed hands by being dominated by the Byzantines. But we see that Araps captured Harput and its surroundings towards the mid-7th century, which captured Syria and Iraq in the time of Omar. The Arab domination that started in this way continued until the middle of the 10th century. Just as the Romans were in the era, there was no effective trace in Harput at the time of the Arabs. The region was mostly the scene of the Byzantine and Arab political and military power. Harput ran the 10th century for the second time to rule the Byzantines. The first goal of the great expeditions of the Byzantines against the Islamic world has always been Harput. As a matter of fact, in the first offensive, the Byzantines seized Harput, where they built up a provincial organization and fortified the monuments. In the Byzantine history, Harput is called "Harpote" very close to today's discourse. In fact, the Harput region is also called "Mesopotamia". Byzantine domination in Harput continued until about the end of the 11th century. Harput's Capture of Turks Harput and its environs, after the battle of Malazgirt, in 1085 were captured by Turks. This is called the Seljuks era. The first Turkish ruler of Harput was Çubuk Bey. Çubuk Bey established a government on condition that it was attached to the Seljuk Sultan like other Seljuk dynasties. There is no doubt that the Çubukoğulları and the Turkmens who came with them constituted the ancestor of the people of Harput. After the Çubukoğulları Period, "Artukoğulları Period" started in Harput. This period, which started in the first years of 12th century, continued until 1234. In the period of Artukoğulları; It is known that Belek Gazi, whose name is still mentioned in Harput and Elazığ, is the most famous Turkish Conqueror of Harput. (In 1965, a beautiful statue of Belek Gazi was built on the horse by Harput Tourism Association.) His most important service was seen during the Crusades. After Belek Gazi, Fahrettin Karaaslan has an unforgettable place and works in the history of Harput. Karaaslan ruled in Harput between 1148-1174 and built the Great Mosque (Ulu Camii) here. In 1234 Harput is joined to the Seljuk Dynasty. During the Seljuk period, Harput was ruled by a governor (Subaşı) and in this period no important works were left except "Arap Baba Mosque" and the tomb at the end. When the dominance of the Anatolian Seljuks in the region comes to an end, we see that the Ilkhanids and the Dulkadiroğulları were ruled for a while in Harput in the 14th century. After the Dulkadiroğlular, which did not last long, Harput was restrained by Uzun Hasan in 1465 and remained in the administration of the Akkoyunlular for 40 years. After Akkoyunlular, in 1507 Harput passed to the administration of Shah Ismail. It was conquered by the Ottoman army after the Çaldıran battle in 1516. Harput, which went to the Ottoman Administration, was originally organized as a sanjak affiliated to Diyarbakır Province. According to a report dated 1530, there were 14 muslims and 4 armenian neighborhoods in Harput. According to Kamus-ul-a'lam, there were 2670 houses, 843 shops, 10 mosques, 10 madrasahs, 8 libraries and churches, 12 inns and 90 baths in Harput at the end of 19th century. Harput, which we mentioned briefly in the historical periods mentioned above, was finally abandoned and left its place in present-day Elazığ like many old Turkish cities which are similar to each other. Today's Elazığ, during the reign of 2. Mahmut, Reşit Mehmet Pasha, who was commissioned to rehabilitate and regulate the state authority in the east provinces in 1834, began to be established among the people in the present place called "Mezra". In the same year (1834), hospitals, barracks and ammunition buildings were built and transferred to the Provincial Center Harput. In this regard, Harput has played a role in the fact that Harput is no longer a border town, stuck on main roads, especially in winter season, and transportation is not suitable for establishing a beautiful city. The newly established city preceded the state and county provincial center, becoming a Sanjak connected to the province of Diyarbakır for a while. Elazığ became a province again in 1879. Malatya and Dersim were also connected here in the last years of the Ottoman state in 1921. Later they separated from Elazığ. It was named "Mamurat ül-Aziz" in 1867 during the 5th year of Sultan Abdulaziz's. However, when it was difficult to pronounce, it was simply called "El Aziz". This name later became "ELAZIĞ".