In 1936, Turkey moved to capture the province of Alexandretta
(modern day Hatay) in northern Syria.
Turkey annexed in 1939 the district of Alexandretta
(Iskenderun), which used to belong to Syria.
The first is parts of Palestine that "cannot be said to be purely Arab," including Mersina, Alexandretta
and certain portions of Syria.
McMeekin provides revealing details on an ill-fated Armenian-British collaboration, which Rogan ignored: This is the strategic role of Cilician Ottoman Armenians in the never-implemented Alexandretta
landings of the British forces from Egypt who chose instead to attack Gallipoli.
The Sanjak of Alexandretta
(Hatay): Its Impact on Turkish-Syrian Relations, 1939-1956", Middle East Journal, Cilt 10 No.
After Britain and France hacked at the borders a much smaller entity emerged, which was again trimmed to assuage Turkish ambitions for Alexandretta
X MAS continued attacking (or attempting to attack) targets--in Gibraltar, Algiers, Alexandria, Bone, Palestine, and Alexandretta
(in Turkey), off the coast of Libya, and in the Black Sea.
He states that "the two districts of Mersina and Alexandretta
and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo cannot be said to be purely Arab and should be excluded from the limits demanded [emphasis added].
This alternative plan called for an invasion of Alexandretta
(now called Iskenderun) which was defended by a garrison of mostly Arab conscripts on the verge of mutiny against their Turkish officers.
The French ousted Emir Faisal (later king of Iraq) from Damascus, ruthlessly suppressed a series of revolts, recruited Alawite officers in their colonial army, established Lebanon as a separate state and even gifted Syrian Alexandretta
(Iskrandrun) to Ataturk's Turkish Republic.
Turkey engineered the annexation of Alexandretta
Province, which was part of the French- mandate of Syria, in 1939 (now the Turkish province of Hatay).
Syrian irredentist claims over Alexandretta
(Hatay), disputes over sharing the waters of the Euphrates River, Syrian support of the PKK from 1980 to 1998, Turkey's recognition of Israel and later forming a strategic partnership with the number one enemy of the Arab states, and the two countries' siding with opposite camps during the Cold War were among the major reasons that prevented good neighborly relations between the two countries.