Hatay Province

Hatay Province (Turkish: Hatay ili, pronounced [ˈhataj]) is a province in southern Turkey, on the eastern Mediterranean coast. The administrative capital is Antakya (Antioch), and the other major city in the province is the port city of İskenderun (Alexandretta). It is bordered by Syria to the south and east and the Turkish provinces of Adana and Osmaniye to the north. The province is part of Çukurova (Cilicia), a geographical, economical and cultural region that covers the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye, and Hatay. There are border crossing points with Syria in the district of Yayladağı and at Cilvegözü in the district of Reyhanlı.

Sovereignty over the province remains disputed with neighbouring Syria, which claims that the province was separated from itself against the stipulations of the French Mandate of Syria in the years following Syria's independence from the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Although the two countries have remained generally peaceful in their dispute over the territory, Syria has never formally renounced its claims to it.

Hatay Province

Hatay ili
Location of Hatay Province in Turkey
Location of Hatay Province in Turkey
Provincial seatAntakya
Largest cityİskenderun
 • Electoral districtHatay
 • Total5,524 km2 (2,133 sq mi)
 • Total1,609,856
 • Density290/km2 (750/sq mi)
Area code(s)0326
Vehicle registration31



Settled since the early Bronze Age, Hatay was once part of the Akkadian Empire, then the Amorite Kingdom of Yamhad an Mitannis, then a succession of Hittites, the Neo-Hittite "Hattena" people that later gave the modern province of Hatay its name, then the Assyrians (except a brief occupation by Urartu) and Persians. The region was the center of the Hellenistic Seleucid empire, home to the four Greek cities of the Syrian tetrapolis (Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Apamea, and Laodicea). From 64 BC onwards the city of Antioch became an important regional centre of the Roman Empire.

Islamic era

The area was conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate in 638 and later it came under the control of the Ummayad and Abbasid Arab dynasties. From the 11th century onwards, the region was controlled by the Aleppo-based Hamdanids after a brief rule of Ikhshidids. In 969 the city of Antioch was recaptured by the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by Philaretos Brachamios, a Byzantine general in 1078. He founded a principality from Antioch to Edessa. It was captured by Suleiman I, who was Sultan of Rum (ruler of Anatolian Seljuks), in 1084. It passed to Tutush I, Sultan of Aleppo (ruler of Syria Seljuks), in 1086. Seljuk rule lasted 14 years until Hatay's capture by the Crusaders in 1098, when it became the centre of the Principality of Antioch. Hatay was captured from the Crusaders by the Mameluks in 1268.

Sanjak of Alexandretta

By the time it was taken from the Mameluks by the Ottoman Sultan Selim I in 1516, Antakya was a medium-sized town on 2 km² of land between the Orontes River and Mount Habib Neccar. Under the Ottomans the area was known as the sanjak (or governorate) of Alexandretta. Gertrude Bell in her book Syria The Desert & the Sown published in 1907 wrote extensively about her travels across Syria including Antioch & Alexandretta and she noted the heavy mix between Turks and Arabs in the region at that time. A map published circa 1911 highlighted that the ethnic make up (Alexandretta) was majority Arab with smaller communities of Armenians and Turks.

Ethnic groups in the Balkans and Asia Minor, early 20th Century, Historical Atlas, 1911

Many consider that Alexandretta had been traditionally part of Syria. Maps as far back as 1764 confirm this.[2] During the First World War in which the Ottoman Empire was defeated most of Syria was occupied by the British forces. But when the Armistice of Mudros was signed at the end of the war, Hatay was a still part of the Ottoman Empire. Nevertheless, after the armistice it was occupied by the British forces an operation which was never accepted by the Ottoman side. Later like the rest of Syria it was handed to France by the British Empire.

After World War I and the Turkish War of Independence, the Ottoman Empire was disbanded and the modern Republic of Turkey was created, and Alexandretta was not part of the new republic, it was put within the French mandate of Syria after a signed agreement between the Allies and Turkey, the Treaty of Sèvres, which was neither ratified by the Ottoman parliament nor by the Turkish National Movement in Ankara.[3] The subsequent Treaty of Lausanne also put Alexandretta within Syria. The document detailing the boundary between Turkey and Syria around 1920 and subsequent years is presented in a report by the Official Geographer of The Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the US Department of State.[4] A French-Turkish treaty of 20 October 1921 rendered the Sanjak of Alexandretta autonomous, and remained so from 1921 to 1923. Out of 220,000 inhabitants in 1921, 87,000 were Turks.[5] Along with Turks the population of the Sanjak included: Arabs of various religious denominations (Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Greek Orthodox); Greek Catholics, Syriac-Maronites; Jews; Syriacs; Kurds; and Armenians. In 1923 Hatay was attached to the State of Aleppo, and in 1925 it was directly attached to the French mandate of Syria, still with special administrative status.

Turkey Peace treaty
Turkish borders according to the Treaty of Lausanne, 1923

Despite this, a Turkish community remained in Alexandretta, and Mustafa Kemal said that Hatay had been a Turkish homeland for 4,000 years. This was due to the contested nationalist pseudoscientific Sun Language Theory prevalent in the 1930s in Turkey, which presumed that some ancient peoples of Anatolia and the Middle East such as the Sumerians and Hittites, hence the name Hatay, were related to the Turks. In truth, the Turks first appeared in Anatolia during the 11th century when the Seljuk Turks occupied the eastern province of the Abbasid Empire and captured Baghdad.[6] Resident Arabs organised under the banner of Arabism, and in 1930, Zaki al-Arsuzi, a teacher and lawyer from Arsuz on the coast of Alexandretta published a newspaper called 'Arabism' in Antioch that was shut down by Turkish and French authorities.

The 1936 elections returned two MPs favouring the independence of Syria from France, and this prompted communal riots as well as passionate articles in the Turkish and Syrian press. This then became the subject of a complaint to the League of Nations by the Turkish government concerning alleged mistreatment of the Turkish populations. Atatürk demanded that Hatay become part of Turkey claiming that the majority of its inhabitants were Turks. However, the French High Commission estimated that the population of 220,000 inhabitants was made up of 46% Arabs (28% Alawites, 10% Sunni, 8% Christians), 39% Turks, 11% Armenians,[7] while the remaining 4% was made up of Circassians, Jews, and Kurds.[8] The sanjak was given autonomy in November 1937 in an arrangement brokered by the League. Under its new statute, the sanjak became 'distinct but not separated' from the French mandate of Syria on the diplomatic level, linked to both France and Turkey for defence matters.

Hatay State

Turkish forces under Colonel Şükrü Kanatlı entered Alexandretta (İskenderun) on July 5, 1938.

Hatay Province of Turkey

On 29 June 1939, following a referendum, Hatay became a Turkish province. This referendum has been labelled both "phoney" and "rigged", and a way for the French to let Turks take over the area, hoping that they would turn on Hitler.[9][10] For the referendum, Turkey moved tens of thousands of Turks into Alexandretta to vote.[11] These were Turks born in Hatay who were now living elsewhere in Turkey. In two government communiqués in 1937 and 1938, the Turkish government asked all local government authorities to make lists of their employees originally from Hatay. Those listed were then sent to Hatay to register as citizens and vote.[12]

Syrian President Hashim al-Atassi resigned in protest at continued French intervention in Syrian affairs, maintaining that the French were obliged to refuse the annexation under the Franco-Syrian Treaty of Independence of 1936.

The Hassa district of Gaziantep, Dörtyol district of Adana and Erzin were then incorporated into Hatay. As a result of the annexation, a number of demographic changes occurred in Hatay. During the six months following the annexation, inhabitants over the age of 18 were given the right to choose between staying and becoming Turkish citizens, or emigrate to and acquire citizenship in the French Mandate of Syria or Greater Lebanon. If choosing emigration, they were given 18 months to bring in their movable assets and establish themselves in their new states. Almost half of the Sunni Arabs left. Many Armenians also left and 1,068 Armenian families were relocated from the six Armenian villages of Musa Dagh to Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. Many of the Armenians had been prior victims of the Armenian Genocide committed by Ottoman Empire that had fled for their lives to the French Mandate of Syria. The total number of people who left for Syria is estimated at 50,000 including 22,000 Armenians, 10,000 Alawites, 10,000 Sunni Arabs and 5,000 Arab Christians.[13][14]

Turkish–Syrian dispute

In Ottoman times, Hatay was part of the Vilayet of Aleppo in Ottoman Syria. After World War I, Hatay (then known as Alexandretta) became part of the French Mandate of Syria. Unlike other regions historically belonging to Syrian provinces (such as Aintab, Kilis and Urfa), Alexandretta was confirmed as Syrian territory in the Treaty of Lausanne agreed upon by Kemal Atatürk; although it was granted a special autonomous status because it contained a large Turkish minority. However, culminating a series of border disputes with France-mandated Syria, Atatürk obtained in 1937 an agreement with France recognizing Alexandretta as an independent state, and in 1939 this state, called the Republic of Hatay, was annexed to Turkey as the 63rd Turkish province following a controversial referendum. Syria bitterly disputed both the separation of Alexandretta and its subsequent annexation to Turkey.

Syria maintains that the separation of Alexandretta violated France's mandatory responsibility to maintain the unity of Syrian lands (article 4 of the mandate charter). It also disputes the results of the referendum held in the province because, according to a League of Nations commission that registered voters in Alexandretta in 1938, Turkish voters in the province represented no more than 46% of the population.[15] Syria continues to consider Hatay part of its territory, and shows it as such on its maps.[16][17] However, Turkey and Syria have strengthened their ties and opened the border between the two countries.

Protests in Damascus in 1939 by women demonstrators against the secession of the Sanjak of Alexandretta, and its subsequent joining into Turkey as the Hatay Province. One of the signs reads: "Our blood is sacrificed for the Syrian Arab Sanjak."

Syrians hold the view that this land was illegally ceded to Turkey by France, the mandatory occupying power of Syria in the late 1930s. Syria still considers it an integral part of its own territory. Syrians call this land Liwa' aliskenderun (Arabic: لواء الاسكندرون‎) rather than the Turkish name of Hatay. Official Syrian maps still show Hatay as part of Syria.[16][17]

Under the leadership of Syrian President Bashar al Assad from 2000 onwards, there was a lessening of tensions over the Hatay issue. Indeed, in early 2005, when visits from Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened a way to discussions between two states. These discussions resulted with the Syrian government agreeing to end its demand that the province should be returned under Syrian sovereignty as a condition to end hostilities; however, there was no official announcement by the Syrians relinquishing their rights of sovereignty.[18]

Following changes to Turkish land registry legislation in 2003 a large number of properties in Hatay were purchased by Syrian nationals, mostly people who had been residents of Hatay since the 1930s but had retained their Syrian citizenship and were buying the properties that they already occupied. By 2006 the amount of land owned by Syrian nationals in Hatay exceeded the legal limit for foreign ownership of 0.5%, and sale of lands to foreigners was prohibited.[19]

There has been a policy of cross border co-operation, on the social and economic level, between Turkey and Syria in the recent years. This allowed families divided by the border to freely visit each other during the festive periods of Christmas and Eid. In December 2007 up to 27,000 people crossed the border to visit their brethren on the other side.[20] In the wake of an agreement in the autumn of 2009 to lift visa requirements, nationals of both countries can travel freely.[21] However, out of 50 agreements signed between Turkey and Syria in December 2009, the Hatay dispute stalled a water agreement over the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Turkey asked Syria to publicly recognize Hatay as a Turkish territory before signing on to the agreement.[22]

Apart from maps showing Hatay as Syrian territory, the Syrian policy has been to avoid discussing Hatay and giving evasive answers when asked to specify Syrian future goals and ambitions with regard to the area. This has included a complete media silence on the issue.[23] In February 2011 the dispute over Hatay was almost solved. The border separating Syria from Hatay was going to be blurred by a shared Friendship Dam on the Orontes river and as part of this project the two states had agreed on the national jurisdiction on each side of the border. Only weeks before the outbreak of the Syrian uprising and later war, groundbreaking ceremonies were held in Hatay and Idlib. As a result of the Syrian war and the extremely tense Turkish-Syrian relations it brought, construction was halted. As part of the ongoing war, the question of the sovereignty of Hatay has resurfaced in Syria and the Syrian media silence has been broken. Syrian media began broadcasting documentaries on the history of the area, the Turkish annexation and "Turkification" policies. Syrian newspapers have also reported on demonstrations in Hatay and on organizations and parties in Syria demanding an "end to the Turkish occupation".[24] However, although the Syrian government has repeatedly criticized the Turkish policies towards Syria and the armed rebel groups operating on Syrian territory, it has not officially brought up the question of Hatay.[25]


Castle ruins at Bağras in Hatay

Hatay is traversed by the north-easterly line of equal latitude and longitude. 46% of the land is mountain, 33% plain and 20% plateau and hillside. The most prominent feature is the north-south leading Nur Mountains and the highest peak is Mığırtepe (2240m), other peaks include Ziyaret dağı and Keldağ (Jebel Akra or Casius) at 1739 m. The folds of land that make up the landscape of the province were formed as the land masses of Arabian-Nubian Shield and Anatolia have pushed into each other, meeting here in Hatay, a classic example of the Horstgraben formation. The Orontes River rises in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon and runs through Syria and Hatay, where it reserves the Karasu and the Afrin River. It flows into the Mediterranean at its delta in Samandağ. There was a lake in the plain of Amik but this was drained in the 1970s, and today Amik is now the largest of the plains and an important agricultural center. The climate is typical of the Mediterranean, with warm wet winters and hot, dry summers. The mountain areas inland are drier than the coast. There are some mineral deposits, İskenderun is home to Turkey's largest iron and steel plant, and the district of Yayladağı produces a colourful marble called Rose of Hatay.


Hatay has a Mediterranean climate which has very hot, long and dry summers with cool rainy winters.


Hatay province is divided into 12 districts: Altınözü, Antakya, Belen, Dörtyol, Erzin, Hassa, İskenderun, Kırıkhan, Kumlu, Reyhanlı, Samandağ and Yayladağı.

In 2014, three more districts were created: Defne, Arsuz and Payas.


The majority of the population adheres to Islam, belonging to either the Alawi branch of Shia Islam or Sunni Islam, but other minorities are also present, including Syriac Orthodox, Syriac Catholic, Maronite, Antiochian Greek and Armenian communities. The village of Vakıflı in the district of Samandağ is Turkey's last remaining rural Armenian community. Arabs form the majority in three districts out of the twelve: Samandağ (Suwaidiyyah) (Alawi), Altınözü (Qusair) and Reyhanlı (Rihaniyyah) (Sunni). Unlike most Mediterranean provinces, Hatay has not experienced mass migration from other parts of Turkey in recent decades and has therefore preserved much of its traditional culture; for example, Arabic is still widely spoken in the province.[27] To celebrate this cultural mix, in 2005 "Hatay Meeting of Civilisations" congress was organised by Dr Aydın Bozkurt of Mustafa Kemal University and his "Hatay Association for the Protection of Universal Values".[28]

During the Syrian Civil War, the province has experienced an influx of refugees. According to official figures, as of 21 April 2016, 408,000 Syrian refugees lived in the province.[29]


Until annexation, Turkish and Arabic were both spoken, after Ataturk's Reforms, however, the use of Arabic began to decline. Less than a generation ago, a child of an Arabic-speaking family would start school unable to speak Turkish; these days, most children of Arabic families start school unable to speak much, if any, Arabic. Some Arabic speakers will deny being "Arab," a term that can be derogatory in Turkey.[30]

Turkey's policies on language have focused on imposing homogeneity. The degree of imposition peaked in 1983, when the military government introduced a law prohibiting (to varying degrees) languages other than Turkish. For speakers of some languages (those not using a first official language of a country recognized by Turkey), the law forbade the use of those languages, even during private conversation. (Rumpf, 1989) Although the law was repealed in 1991, the Constitution still prohibits any institution from teaching a language other than Turkish as a mother tongue (Article 42.9; provisions in international treaties are ostensibly upheld even today).[30]

85% of Arabs in Hatay believe that the use of Arabic is decreasing, however, 15% who hear it on a daily basis, disagree that such is happening in the region. The Arab Christian minority has the right to teach Arabic under the Treaty of Lausanne, however they tend to refrain from doing so in order to avoid sectarian tensions as the treaty does not apply to the Muslim majority.[30]


Mustafa Kemal University is one of Turkey's newer tertiary institutions, founded in İskenderun and Antakya in 1992.


The province is served by Hatay Airport, as well as inter-city buses.



Hatay is warm enough to grow tropical crops such as sweet potato and sugar cane, and these are used in the local cuisine, along with other local specialities including a type of cucumber/squash called kitte. Well-known dishes of Hatay include the syrupy-pastry künefe, squash cooked in onions and tomato paste (sıhılmahsi), the aubergine and tahini paste (Baba ghanoush), and the chickpea and tahini paste hummus as well as dishes such as kebab which are found throughout Turkey. In general the people of Hatay produce many spicy dishes including the walnut and spice paste muhammara), the spicy köfte called oruk, the thyme and parsley paste Za'atar and the spicy sun-dried cheese called Surke. Finally, syrup of pomegranate (nar ekşisi) is a popular salad dressing particular to this area.


  • World's second-largest collection of Roman mosaics in Antakya museum
  • Rock-carved Church of St Peter in Antakya, a site of Christian pilgrimage.
  • Gündüz cinema, once parliament building of the Republic of Hatay.
  • Titus Tunnel of Vespasian, in Samandağı, built as a water channel in the 2nd century.
  • Castles: Koz Castle, Bakras Castle, Payas Castle, Mancınık Castle, Cin Castle, Darbısak Castle[31]


  • Hatay is featured in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where it was portrayed as the final resting place of the Holy Grail in the fictitious "Canyon of the Crescent Moon" outside of Alexandretta. In the movie, set in 1938, the Nazis offer the Sultan of Hatay (a monarchy which the province never had in real life) precious valuables to compensate for removing the Grail from his borders. He ignores the valuables, but accepts their Rolls-Royce Phantom II.
  • The Turkish film Propaganda (1999) by Sinan Çetin, portrays the difficult materialisation of the Turkish-Syrian border in 1948, cutting through villages and families.
  • The 2001 film Şelale by local director Semir Aslanyürek was filmed in Hatay.

Notable residents

See also

References and sources


  1. ^ "Population of provinces by years - 2000-2018". Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Map of Iskenderun, Joseph Roux, 1764". huji.ac.il. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  3. ^ William M. Hale Turkish Foreign Policy, 1774–2000 p.45 Routledge, 2000 ISBN 0714650714, 9780714650715
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-01-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Khater, Akram Fouad (2010). Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East. Cengage Learning. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-11178-485-0. (In 1921 there were only 87,000 Turks amid a population of 220,000 that was primarily Arab)
  6. ^ Duiker & Spielvogel 2012, 192.
  7. ^ Kieser, Hans-Lukas (2006). Turkey Beyond Nationalism: Towards Post-Nationalist Identities. I.B.Tauris. p. 61. ISBN 978-1-84511-141-0. According to official French statistics of 1936 the total population (219,080) was made up as follows: Turks 38% Alawite Arabs 28% Sunni Arabs 10 Christians Arabs 8%
  8. ^ Brandell, Inga (2006). State Frontiers: Borders and Boundaries in the Middle East. I.B.Tauris. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-84511-076-5. Retrieved 30 July 2013. According to estimates provided by the French High Commission in 1936, out of a population of 220,000 39 per cent were Turks, 28 per cent Alawites, 11 per cent Armenians, 10 per cent Sunni Arabs, 8 per cent other Christians, while Circassians, Jews and Kurds made up the remaining 4 per cent.
  9. ^ Jack Kalpakian (2004). Identity, Conflict and Cooperation in International River Systems (Hardcover ed.). Ashgate Publishing. p. 130. ISBN 0-7546-3338-1.
  10. ^ Robert Fisk (19 March 2007). "Robert Fisk: US power games in the Middle East". The Independent. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  11. ^ Robert Fisk (2007). The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East (Paperback ed.). Vintage. p. 335. ISBN 1-4000-7517-3.
  12. ^ Çağatay, Soner. Islam, secularism, and nationalism in modern Turkey: who is a Turk? Volume 4 of Routledge studies in Middle Eastern history. p. 119-120. Taylor & Francis, 2006. ISBN 0-415-38458-3, ISBN 978-0-415-38458-2
  13. ^ Emma Jorum (2014). Beyond Syria's Borders: A History of Territorial Disputes in the Middle East. I.B. Tauris. pp. 92, 93.
  14. ^ "ARMENIA AND KARABAGH" (PDF). Minority Rights Group. 1991. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  15. ^ Arnold Twinby, 1938 Survey of International Affairs p. 484
  16. ^ a b parliament.gov.sy – معلومات عن الجمهورية العربية السورية Archived 2007-06-02 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ a b "The Alexandretta Dispute", American Journal of International Law
  18. ^ Navon, Emmauel (20 December 2018). "Withdreawing from the Golan talks". www.jpost,com. Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  19. ^ "Hatay'da yabancılara gayrimenkul satışı durduruldu". hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  20. ^ [1]"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-11. Retrieved 2008-01-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2009-11-26.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ PM vows to build model partnership with Syria Today's Zaman 23 December 2010
  23. ^ Lundgren Jörum, Emma: "The Importance of the Unimportant" in Hinnebusch, Raymond & Tür, Özlem: Turkey-Syria Relations: Between Enmity and Amity (Farnham: Ashgate), p 114-122.
  24. ^ "Syria's "Lost Province": The Hatay Question Returns". carnegieendowment.org. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  25. ^ Lundgren Jörum, Emma: Beyond Syria's Borders: A history of territorial disputes in the Middle East (London & New Yor: I.B. Tauris), p 108
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2011-03-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Radikal-çevrimiçi / Türkiye / Samandağ'da 'Alluş'la dans Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Spiritual leaders speak up in Hatay for global peace – Turkish Daily News Sep 27, 2005 Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ ""Mültecilerin Şartları Kötü, Hatay'da Herkes Tedirgin"" (in Turkish). Bianet. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  30. ^ a b c "For reasons out of our hands: A Community identifies the causes of language shift – Cultural Survival". culturalsurvival.org. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  31. ^ "Kaleler" (in Turkish). Hatay Directorate of Culture and Tourism. Retrieved 13 May 2016.


  • fr Elizabeth Picard, 'Retour au Sandjak', Maghreb-Machrek (Paris) n°99, jan.-feb.-March 1982
  • [3]

External links


Coordinates: 36°25′49″N 36°10′27″E / 36.43028°N 36.17417°E


Alalakh (Hittite: Alalaḫ) was an ancient city-state, a late Bronze Age capital in the Amuq River valley of Turkey's Hatay Province. It was occupied from before 2000 BC, when the first palace was built, and likely destroyed in the 12th century BC and never reoccupied. The city contained palaces, temples, private houses and fortifications. Modern Antakya has developed near the site.

The remains of Alalakh have formed an extensive mound; the modern archaeological site is known as Tell Atchana. It was first excavated in the 1930s and 1940s by a British team. A team sponsored by the University of Chicago started surveys in the late 20th century, and has conducted excavations led by K. Aslihan Yener in the early 21st century. She is now leading work sponsored by Mustafa Kemal University and the Turkish government.

Amik Valley

The Amik, Amuk, or Amuq Valley (Arabic: الأعماق‎ al-A’maq) is located in the southern part of Turkey, in the Hatay Province, close to the city of Antakya (Antioch on the Orontes). Along with Dabiq in north western Syria, it is believed to be one of the future sites of the battle of Armageddon according to Islamic eschatology.It is notable for a series of archaeological sites in the "plain of Antioch".

The primary sites of the series are Tell al-Judaidah, Çatalhöyük (Amuq) (not to be confused with Çatalhöyük in Anatolia), Tell Tayinat, Tell Kurdu, Alalakh, and Tell Dhahab. Tell Judaidah was surveyed by Robert Braidwood and excavated by C. MacEwan of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in the 1930s.

Antigonia (Syria)

Antigonia (Greek: Αντιγόνεια) also transliterated as Antigonea and Antigoneia was a Hellenistic city in Seleucid Empire, Syria (in modern Turkey), on the Orontes, founded by Antigonus I Monophthalmus in 307 BC, and intended to be the capital of his empire; the site is approximately 7 km northeast of Antakya, Hatay Province, Turkey. After the Battle of Ipsus, 301 BC, in which Antigonus perished, the inhabitants of Antigonia were removed by his successful rival Seleucus I Nicator to the city of Antioch, which Seleucus founded a little lower down the river. (Strabo xvi. p. 750; Diod. xx. 47; Liban. Antioch. p. 349; Malalas, p. 256.) Diodorus erroneously says that the inhabitants were removed to Seleucia Pieria. Antigonia continued, however, to exist, and is mentioned in the war with the Parthians after the defeat of Crassus. (Dion Cass. xl. 29.)


Arsuz (Arabic: أرسوز‎, Greek: Αρσούς), also known as Uluçınar is a city in Hatay Province, southern Anatolia (Asian Turkey), and under its Ancient name Rhosus (Ancient Greek: Ῥῶσός) a former bishopric and titular see.

Epiphania (Cilicia)

Epiphania or Epiphaneia (Ancient Greek: Ἐπιφανεία) was a city in Cilicia Secunda (Cilicia Trachea), in Anatolia.

The city was originally called Oeniandos or Oiniandos, and was located in the area of the northern tip of the Gulf of Iskenderun on the route from Missis to Antioch. In the 2nd century BC the city was renamed Epiphania, in honour of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of Syria from 175 BC to 164 BC.

The city is mentioned in the writings of Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder. Cicero stayed there briefly during his exile. In 66 BC the Roman general Pompey led a campaign against the Mediterranean pirates. After the surrender of the pirates, they were dispersed and many were settled at Epiphania.

Greater Syria

Greater Syria (Arabic: سُوِرِيَّة الْكُبْرَى‎, romanized: Sūriyyah al-Kubrá), also "Natural Syria" (Arabic: سُوْرِيَّة الطَّبِيْعِيَّة‎, romanized: Sūriyyah aṭ-Ṭabī‘iyyah) or "Northern Country" Arabic: بِلَاد الشَّام‎, romanized: Bilād ash-Shām, is a Levantine region which extends roughly over the medieval Arab Caliphate province of Bilad al-Sham. The Hellenistic name of the region, "Syria", was used by the Ottomans in the Syria Vilayet until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The wave of Arab nationalism in the region evolved towards the creation of a new "Great Syria" over French-governed Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, declared as Hashemite Kingdom on March 1920, claiming extent over the entire Levant. Following the Franco-Syrian War, in July 1920, French armies defeated the newly proclaimed Arab Kingdom of Syria and captured Damascus, aborting the Arab state. The area was consequently partitioned under French and British Mandates into Greater Lebanon, various Syrian states, Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan. Syrian states were gradually unified as the State of Syria and became the independent Republic of Syria in 1946.

Habib'i Neccar Mosque

Habib'i Neccar Mosque is a historical mosque in Antakya, Hatay Province, Turkey. The mosque is to the east of Orontes River (Turkish: Asi Irmağı).

Hatay Airport

Hatay Airport (IATA: HTY, ICAO: LTDA) (Turkish: Hatay Havalimanı) is an international airport in Hatay Province, Turkey serving the cities of Antakya (25 km by road) and Iskenderun (45 km). Built in what used to be the center of now drained Lake Amik, it was inaugurated in December 2007.

Issus (Cilicia)

Issus or Issos (Phoenician: Sissu, Ancient Greek: Ἱσσός or Ἱσσοί) is an ancient settlement on the strategic coastal plain straddling the small Pinarus river (a fast melt-water stream several metres wide) below the navigationally difficult inland mountains towering above to the east in the Turkish Province of Hatay, near the border with Syria. It can be identified with Kinet Höyük in the village of Yeṣilköy near Dörtyol in the Hatay province of Turkey. Excavations on the mound occurred between 1992 and 2012 by Bilkent University. It is most notable for being the place of no less than three decisive ancient or medieval battles each called in their own era the Battle of Issus:

The Battle of Issus (333 BC); Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated Darius III of Persia. This battle is occasionally called the First Battle of Issus, but is more generally known simply as the Battle of Issus, owing to the importance of Alexander's victory over the First Persian Empire and its impact on subsequent history of the region, including all the successor polities.

Battle of Issus (194), or Second Battle of Issus — between the forces of Emperor Septimius Severus and his rival, Pescennius Niger.

Battle of Issus (622), or Third Battle of Issus — between the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Persian Empire.Whether Issus is still present within a modern settlement is hotly debated among researchers. Regardless of which mountain brook was the locus of the battles, the old town was situated close to present-day İskenderun, Turkey, in the Gulf of İskenderun. Today, no town exists on both sides of the Pinarus river, which may or may not have been called Issus.

Although Issus was once considered to have been an episcopal see, there is no evidence to support that idea: Issus is not mentioned in the "Notitiae Episcopatuum" of the Patriarchate of Antioch, to which the Roman province of Cilicia belonged.

List of populated places in Hatay Province

Below is the list of populated places in Hatay Province, Turkey by the districts. Unlike most other provinces of Turkey, in Hatay the capital of the province and the province don't bear the same name. The capital of the province is Antakya. In the following lists first place in each list is the administrative center of the district.


Myriandrus (Greek: Μυρίανδρος, Myríandros) was an ancient Phoenician port on the Mediterranean Sea's Gulf of Alexandretta. Its ruins are located near the modern city of İskenderun in southern Turkey.

Herodotus records the entire Gulf of Alexandretta as Marandynian Bay, after Myriandrus. (Later classical geographers would subsequently name the bay after nearby Issus.)

Xenophon claimed that Myriandrus was the border town between Cilicia and Syria. (Herodotus, meanwhile, placed the line further south at Ras al-Bassit in what is now Syria.In 333 BC, Alexander the Great intended to lay an ambush of Darius III of Persia at Myriandrus, but in the end the battle took place near Issus.


Reyhanlı (pronounced [ɾejˈhanɫɯ]; Arabic: الريحانية‎, ar-Rayḥānīyah) is a town and district of Hatay Province, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, near the country's border with Syria.


Samandağ (Arabic: السويدية‎, as-Sūwaydīyah), formerly known as Süveydiye, is a town and district in Hatay Province of southern Turkey, at the mouth of the Asi River on the Mediterranean coast, near Turkey's border with Syria, 25 km (16 mi) from the city of Antakya. The mayor is Mithat Nehir, ÖDP candidate.

Seleucia Pieria

Seleucia in Pieria (Greek Σελεύκεια ἐν Πιερίᾳ), also known in English as Seleucia by the Sea, and later named Suedia, was a Hellenistic town, the seaport of Antioch ad Orontes (Syria Prima), the Seleucid capital, modern Antakya (Turkey). The city was built slightly to the north of the estuary of the river Orontes, between small rivers on the western slopes of the Coryphaeus, one of the southern summits of the Amanus Mountains.

According to Pausanias and Malalas, there was a previous city here named Palaeopolis ("Old City"). At present, it is located at the seaside village of Çevlik

near the town of Samandağ in the Hatay Province of Turkey. Seleucia, Apamea, Laodicea, and Antioch formed the Syrian tetrapolis.

Tell Tayinat

Tell Ta'yinat is a low-lying ancient tell on the east bank at the bend of the ancient Orontes river, in the Hatay province of southeastern Turkey about 25 kilometers south east of Antakya (ancient Antioch). It is located along the southwestern edge of the Amuq valley. The site lies some 800 meters from Tell Atchana, the site of the ancient city of Alalakh. It is a possible site of the city of Calneh mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Yarseli Dam

Yarseli Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

Yayladağ Dam

Yayladağı Dam is a dam in Turkey. The development was backed by the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.


İskenderun (Arabic: الإسكندرونة‎, Greek: Αλεξανδρέττα "Little Alexandria"), historically known as Alexandretta and Scanderoon, is a city and the largest district in Hatay Province on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

İskenderun Naval Museum

İskenderun Naval Museum is a museum in İskenderun, Turkey.

The museum is situated on Atatürk Boulevard, İskenderun ilçe (district) of Hatay Province, at 36°35′39″N 36°09′49″E.

The building was purchased by the Turkish Naval Forces in 1942. Till 2008 it was used as an office. On 26 June 2009, it was opened as a naval museum.

There are six exhibition halls. The first hall is the memorial hall of

Tayfur Sökmen (1892-1980), who was the president of the short-lived Hatay Republic, which was soon merged into Turkey in 1939. The second hall is the memorial hall of Şükrü Kanatlı (1893-1954)

who was the first Turkish commander in Hatay. The third hall is named after Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa. Barbaros (1478-1546)

was the famous Ottoman admiral of the 16th century. The fourth hall is Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa Hall. Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Pasha (1713 (?)-1790)

was an able admiral of

the 18th century. The fifth hall is Savarona Hall. MV Savarona was formerly the Turkish presidential yacht

in which Atatürk, the founder of Turkey

spent his last days in 1938. The sixth hall is named after Rauf Orbay (1880-1964) who was the commander of the Ottoman cruiser Hamidiye and one of the last naval Ministers of the Ottoman Empire. He was also an active figure during the establishment of the Turkish Republic.

Climate data for Hatay
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 12.3
Average low °C (°F) 4.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 172.7
Average rainy days 14.2 13.5 12.8 9.8 5.8 2.8 1.9 1.7 3.8 7.5 9.7 13.3 96.8
Mean monthly sunshine hours 105.4 123.2 186 225 297.6 330 356.5 337.9 291 220.1 147 102.3 2,722
Source: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü [26]
Hatay Province of Turkey
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