Hatay shows the Location of the Province Hatay Enlarge Flag of the Republic of Hatay (1938-1939)
Hatay is a province of southern Turkey, situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the west and Syria to the south and east.

Its capital is Antakya, formerly Antioch. Alexandretta is also located within the province, but is now known by its Turkish name, Iskenderun. The province has an area of 5,545 km (2,141 mi) and a population of 1,002,252 in the 1990 census.

Hatay was originally the sanjak (or governorate) of Alexandretta, part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the empire’s demise after World War I, it became part of the French mandate of Syria. The area was a multi-ethnic melting pot of Turks, Arabs, Maronites, Armenians, Jews, and Greeks.

In 1936, it became the subject of a complaint to the League of Nations by the Turkish government under Mustafa Kemal Atatncerning alleged mistreatment of the area’s Turkish populations. Atatmanded that it become part of Turkey, claiming that the majority of its inhabitants were Turks. The sanjak was given autonomy in 1937 in an arrangement brokered by the League. However, in 1938 rioting broke out between Turks and Arabs, prompting the creation of a temporary Republic of Hatay for one year under joint French and Turkish military control. The election for the parliamentary seats was monitored by the Turkish Army and many Turks from the provinces Adana and Gaziantep were registered as voters. The name Hatay itself was proposed by Atatd the government was under Turkish control. The president Tayfur Sn was also a member of Turkish parliament. In 1939, majority Turkish MPs voted for unification with Turkey, following which the former sanjak became a Turkish province.

France’s willingness to accede to Turkish demands was at least partly influenced by its government’s wariness of getting involved in a potential overseas conflict while Germany posed a clear military threat on its immediate borders.

Syria does not recognize the incorporation of Hatay within Turkey and the issue has been a source of some tension between the two countries.
Hatay figured in the Indiana Jones movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

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