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Elaziğ Province (Turkey)

Last modified: 2018-04-13 by ivan sache
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Special Provincial Administration

[Flag]

Flag of the Elaziğ Special Provincial Administration - Image by Tomislav Šipek, 13 January 2018

The flag of the Elaziğ Special Provincial Administration is white with the administration's emblem. "İl Özel İdaresi" means "Special Provincial Administration".

The emblem features the town's landmark, the Harput citadel standing above cliffs, and one of the largest castles still preserved in Turkey. The citadel was extensively rebuilt around 1370 by İbrahim and Halil Dulgadıroğulları after a Mamluk siege. The Ak Koyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan erected the northern tower between 1465 and 1476. At the end of the Ottoman Empire, the citadel had lost any military role but was still containing civilian houses and a mosque.

Elâzığ is the successor of the old town of Harput, which overlooks it from the north-east. Harput appears to have emerged as a town under the second Byzantine occupation (10th-11th centuries). The settlement that developed around the citadel attracted several inhabitants from the neighboring places, especially the town of Arsamosata.
Çubuk, a Turkish ruler, seized the town around 1085 and was confirmed possession by Malik Shah, sultan of Seljuk Iran. The great mosque was built during that period. Harput was then taken over by Balak (d. 1024), who preserved autonomy from the Artukids, as his successors managed to do until the Seljuk gained control of the area in 1234. Population transfer from Arsamosata had then been completed.
The Crusaders Joscelin de Courtenay and Baldwin, King of Jerusalem, were jailed in the castle in 1122 and 1123, respectively. Joscelin soon escaped, while Armenians disguised as monks and merchants seized the castle for a while, being quickly expelled by Balak. Baldwin was spared and ransomed a year later.

Incorporated in 1515 to the Ottoman Empire, Harput was a significant industrial and religious center. In 1834, the governor of the sanjak of Harput moved the seat of the administration down to the plain, in the hamlet of Mezre, initiating a population transfer. After the building of a barracks in 1838 and the establishment of the vilayet of Mezre in 1879, the new town definitively superseded Harput. Its name, Mamuret-el-Aziz was then change to Elâzığ.
[A. Sinclair. Eastern Turkey: An architectural and archaeological survey. Vol. III. The Pindar Press, 1989]

Tomislav Šipek & Ivan Sache, 14 January 2018