(STATE OF HATAY) 1938 – 1939
El Estado de Hatay —también conocido como República de Hatay— fue un Estado soberano que existió en Oriente Próximo desde el 7 de septiembre de 1938 por la asamblea del sanjacado, entonces bajo dominación francesa, como un mandato.
Las autoridades coloniales proclamaron el Estado de Hatay como república, debido a los altercados entre diferentes grupos étnicos. La república duró un año, bajo supervisión militar franco-turca. El nombre “Hatay” fue una propuesta de Atatürk y el gobierno estaba bajo control turco. Su presidente era Tayfur Sökmen.
En 1939 un referéndum confirmó el apoyo de la mayoría de la población a la integración en Turquía, lo cual fue aprobado por el parlamento local el 29 de junio, y la reincorporación ocurrió el 23 de julio, convirtiéndose la región en la provincia de Hatay.
Hatay State (Turkish: Hatay Devleti, French: État du Hatay, Arabic: دولة خطاي Dawlat Khaṭāy), also known informally as the Republic of Hatay, was a transitional political entity that existed from September 7, 1938, to June 29, 1939, in the territory of the Sanjak of Alexandretta of the French Mandate of Syria. The state was transformed de jure into the Hatay Province of Turkey on July 7, 1939, de facto joining the country on July 23, 1939. Hatay Province includes districts of Erzin, Dörtyol and Hassa in addition to former Hatay State territories.
Formerly part of the Aleppo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, the Sanjak of Alexandretta was occupied by France at the end of World War I and constituted part of the French Mandate of Syria.
The Sanjak of Alexandretta was an autonomous sanjak from 1921 to 1923, as a result of the French-Turkish treaty of October 20, 1921, considering the presence of an important Turkish community along with Arab and Armenian ones. Then it was attached to the State of Aleppo, then in 1925 it was directly attached to the State of Syria, still with a special administrative status.
Turkey under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk refused to accept the Sanjak of Alexandretta to be part of the Mandate and, in a speech on March 15, 1923 in Adana, claimed, that it was “a Turkish homeland for 40 centuries” and that “can’t be a captive at the hands of enemy”. 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.
Turkish politics aimed at incorporating the Sanjak of Alexandretta when the French mandate of Syria would expire in 1935. Local Turks initiated reforms in the style of Atatürk’s, formed various organisations and institutions in order to promote the idea of union with Turkey.
On June 29, 1939, the Hatay legislature voted on disestablishing the Hatay State and joining Turkey in order to increase the Turkish proportion of the population.. On July 7, 1939, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey approved the law establishing the Hatay Province and incorporating districts from Adana Province (then Seyhan Province) and Gaziantep Province. By July 23, 1939, the last vestiges of the French Mandate authorities had left Antakya, and the territory was fully annexed to Turkey.
The result was a flight of many Arabs and Armenians to Syria. The region’s Armenian population had particular reasons to be fearful, having been survivors of the Armenian Genocide and who had fled for their lives to the French Mandate of Syria and were now forced to leave again by the Turks.
According to the estimates of the French high commission in 1936, out of a population of 220,000 39% were Turks, 28% Arabic-speaking Alawites, 11% Armenians, 10% Sunni Arabs, 8% other Christians and 4% were Circassians, Kurds and Jews. Although Turks formed the largest single ethno-religious minority, Arabic speakers including Sunnis, Alawites and Christians were more numerous.
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