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 saof 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. Hatay is still a sensitive issue in Turkey. Even nowadays Syria claims that the province of Hatay is Syrian territory, and they show this in their official maps.
Hatay declared itself a new republic in 2014 under a strict law to ban religious oppression.