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Hatay (Antakyya) is a province in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast, with Syria to the south and east and the Turkish provinces of Adana and Osmaniye to the north. The province is part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region that covers the provinces of Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye, and Hatay. The administrative capital is Antakya (Antioch), while the largest city in the province is the port city of İskenderun (Alexandretta). There are border crossing points with Syria in the district of Yayladağı and at Cilvegözü in the district of Reyhanlı.

Hatay was annexed from, what was then, the province of Syria (part of the Ottoman Empire) by France after World War I. France became the mandatory power in Syria and Lebanon, with self governed Alexandretta succumbing to its military control as part of this mandate. Although geographically part of Syria, in 1938, the province declared its independence from French-ruled Syria changing its name to Hatay. This took place despite France's mandatory responsibility to maintain the unity of Syrian lands (article 4 of the mandate).

On June 29, 1939, the parliament of the newly declared Hatay Republic voted to join Turkey. To date, the Syrian government does not recognize this decision, and considers Hatay to be part of Syria.[citation needed] However, this issue has increasingly become sidelined as Turkey and Syria have strengthened their ties, including the opening of the border between the two countries.

Regards
Anil

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Additional Photos by Anil Tamer Yilmaz (Thrax) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 267 W: 64 N: 350] (2600)
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