Hatay Province is the southernmost province of Turkey. It is situated almost entirely outside Anatolia, along the eastern coast of the Levantine Sea. The province borders Syria to its south and east, and the Turkish provinces of Adana and Osmaniye to its north. It is part of Çukurova, a large fertile plain along the cultural region of Cilicia, and its administrative capital is Antakya.
Sovereignty over the province remains disputed with neighbouring Syria, which claims that the province had an demographic Arab majority, and was separated from itself against the stipulations of the French Mandate of Syria in the years following Syria’s occupation by France 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.
Until annexation, Turkish and Arabic were both spoken, after Atatürk’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.