In history books Elbistan has been known as Abbasta, Ablastany, Ablastin and Abulastyn. From Arabic sources Elbistan comes from ‘Bilistin’ which means vineyard, garden or market garden. It was called "Ablistan" and "Albisten" during the Seljuk period. The known history of the city goes back to the Hittites (Etiler) and later, the city became part of the Greater Cappadocia Satrap under the Romans. From time to time Elbistan was the scene of struggle for many of the conquering states. Later, the city passed from hand to hand from Rome, Macedonia, Byzantine, Seljuk, Mongol and finally, to the Ottoman Empire.
In 1086, Turkey was conquered by a commander of the Seljuk Sultan Amir Boldaji Suleyman Shah. From time to time, Elbistan was exchanged between the Selcuks, Danişmendli and the Crusaders. The son of the Sultan Seljuk II, Mesut I, strictly ruled Elbistan with Kılıç Arslan as the regional governor. Mugiseddin Tuğrulşah II, one of the sons of Kılıç Arslan, was appointed as governor general in 1187. In 1202, during the time of Sejuk rule in Turkey, the Elbistan office of governor general was the center of the Selcuk government. The capital of the Seljuks was eventually moved to Konya, with Konya becoming a province. The Great Mosque of Elbistan (1237-1246) was built during this period. Elbistan lost its status with the collapse of the Seljuk Empire. In 1337, the Dulkadir Principality was founded in Elbistan and remained a capital city until 1507. Later, in 1515 the Dulkadir Beylik transferred from Elbistan to Maraş.
Elbistan was an important part of the Ottoman Empire and it was through this association that the Maraş Province was established. This administrative situation continued until 1531. Elbistan began to develop socially and economically after the collapse of Ottoman rule in the 19th century
Elbistan, was governed by marshals appointed from Maraş and was made a district and then district governorate. After the declaration of the Turkish Republic, Elbistan continued as an important center connected to Maraş. Elbistan is fertile region surrounded by mountains and plateaus, with an abundance of natural beauty.
Elbistan is located in the north-east of the Kahramanmaras Provence. It is the largest district in the province in economic and geographical terms. Elbistan is on the northern outskirts of Şar Mountain. The Elbistan Plain is one of the great plains of Southeastern Anatolia that include the Çukurova Plain, Konya Plain and Harran Plain. Elbistan is the fouth largest producer of cattle in Turkey. Every kind of grain, sugar beet, rice, wheat, beans and chickpeas are grown. The convergence of Mediterranean, Eastern Anatolia and Central Anatolia Climates in the region causes a more varied terrestrial climate characteristic, with hot and dry summers and cold and rainy winters.
Population in 2015: 141,468