Hatay Province

Hatay is a Turkish province. Its capital is Antakya, formerly Antioch. In the present boundaries, it is one with 5678 km ² of the smallest provinces in the country, but with about 1,413,287 residents in area relatively densely populated ( 244 inhabitants per km ²).

The area of Hatay, called by the end of the 1930s in the West Sanjak of Alexandretta, now forms the geographically southernmost part of Turkey, located in the north-western border with Syria. The main cities are İskenderun and Antakya.


46 % of the area are mountains, valleys, 33% and 20 % plateau. The main mountain ranges are the only mountains in north-south direction. They are also known under the name Gavur or Amano Mountains. The highest peak is the Mığırtepe with 2240 m. Other high mountains are the Ziyaret Dağ and Keldağ 1739 m ( Arabic: Jebel Akra ', Latin: Casius ).

The most important river is the Asi ( Orontes former ). He comes from Lebanon and flows through Syria in southern Hatay, near the town Samandağ into the Mediterranean.

Major lakes are Gölbaşı and Yenişehir Gölü. The Amik lake has dried up in the 1970s and is now used as agricultural land.

The Amik Valley is the most important valley in Hatay. Other valleys are Dörtyol, Arsuz, Payas, Iskenderun and Erzin.


The counties of the province of Hatay are:

  • Antakya ( Hatay actually Merkez )
  • Altinözü
  • Dörtyol
  • Erzin
  • Hassa
  • İskenderun
  • Kırıkhan
  • Kumlu
  • Reyhanlı
  • Samandağ
  • Yayladağı


The Hatay province belonged to the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire and was after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War occupied in 1918 by the French. After the Treaty of Sanremo 1920 it was administered by France within the mandate of Syria. However, they remained isolated from the French Syria and received on 4 March 1923, the autonomy.

Originally wanted France no united Syrian State but intended a division into four states with its own government, with religious and confessional aspects should play a role. In Alexandretta Armenian refugees from all over Cilicia should get together with the former Arab population majority and other minorities a home.

With the expiration of the French mandate over Syria intensified Turkey from 1936 their demands for a port in the area.

France came to meet Turkish demands for a separation from the Syrian mandate to prevent Turkey from entering the war on the side of Hitler's Germany.

On 2 September 1938, the independent, but short-lived State Hatay was proclaimed in İskenderun. The union with the Republic of Turkey was decided by the Parliament of the Republic of Hatay on 29 June 1939. France, the former mandatory power of Syria and Lebanon had agreed to connect in a treaty with Turkey already on 23 June 1939. Since then, Hatay forms a province of the Republic of Turkey.

Hatay is still a point of contention between the states of Syria and Turkey. Still, there are (except in wartime ) a lively local border traffic across the border; Residents may Hatays with Tagesvisen easily to Syria, as a result of the Treaty of 1939., The economic exchange of goods between the two countries runs primarily through Hatay, with Syria rather agricultural products, Turkey delivers rather industrial and commercial products.


The name of Hatay is related to a publication by the publicists İsmail Müştak Mayakon. This had postulated the mid-1930s based on the existence of a village Hetye and the so-called Hata Turks, who he equated with the Hittites, a 4,000 -year existence of the Turks in the region of Antakya and İskenderun. The provincial government then decided to call the future "state" Hatay.


Hatay is one of the most cosmopolitan provinces of the country. The population is in the south mostly from Arab Alawites ( Nusairiern ) and Christians ( Orthodox and Catholics ) together. In addition, in the southern village Vakifli lives an Armenian and a Jewish community. In the north live alongside Turkish Yazidi Kurds Sunnis who relocated increased from Anatolia to the south. In addition, located in the district Altinözü with Tokaçlı the only largely inhabited by Arabic-speaking Christians Village Turkey.