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Republic of Hatay 1938-1939

Last modified: 2002-04-20 by santiago dotor
Keywords: hatay | republic of hatay | alexandretta | iskenderun | france | syria | turkey | crescent: points to fly (white) | star (red) | star (fimbriated) |
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[Republic of Hatay 1938-1939]
by Antonio Gutiérrez

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On September 2nd 1938 the French turned the Alexandretta district of the Syrian Republic into the autonomous Republic of Hatay. It was thereafter handed to Turkey on June 23rd 1939. Sources and Credits.

Hatay (...) is a sensitive issue here in Turkey. Even nowadays Syria claims that the province of Hatay is Syrian territory, and they even show this in their official maps. After World War One the remains of the Ottoman Empire —including all of Syria— was captured by the winning nations — Britain, France, Italy and Greece. Syria became a French Colony and also the area surrounding Alexandretta (Iskenderun in Turkish). That area was majoritarily Turkish-populated (...). After the Turkish War of Independence which gave birth to the Republic of Turkey, the latter tried to get Hatay back from the French. Around 1938 an agreement was made between Turkey and France for an independent Republic of Hatay. The following year a plebiscite was held in Hatay on whether the population wanted to become part of Turkey, and the majority said 'yes'.

Ulas Alpman, 13 April 2002

According to Infoplease:

Hatay, formerly sanjak of Alexandretta, province (1990 pop. 1,002,252), 2,141 sq mi (5,545 sq km), South Turkey, including the cities of Antioch (now Antakya) and Alexandretta (now Iskenderun). Iron is mined and Hatay is a transportation link with Syria and other parts of Turkey. The population is predominantly Arab but includes many Christians. The sanjak of Alexandretta was awarded to Syria in 1920 and in 1936 became the subject of a complaint to the League of Nations by Turkey, which claimed that the privileges of the Turkish minority in the sanjak were being infringed. The sanjak was given autonomous status in 1937 by an agreement, arranged by the League, between France (then mandatory power in Syria) and Turkey. Rioting by Turks and Arabs resulted (1938) in the establishment of joint French and Turkish military control. In 1939, France transferred the sanjak to Turkey and it became Hatay prov.

Ulas Alpman, 13 April 2002


In Neubecker 1992 (corrections), the crescent has an outer radius of 1/4th of the hoist width. The red star is inscribed into a circle of diameter 1/6th of the hoist width, whereas the white star is inscribed into a circle of diameter 1/4th of the hoist width.

Ivan Sache, 19 June 2000

The flag was almost identical to the Turkish flag, except for a concentrical red star within the white one 2/3rds the size of the first. (...) The flag appears in the facsimile Neubecker 1992 edition in the corrections etc. section. It was ready to be included in the original Flaggenbuch 1939 but was removed in the very last moment, so that its page (p.79) was missing.

Santiago Dotor, 20 June 2000

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