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Alexanderetta and Colonialist Policies

"Iskenderun(Alexanderetta) and Colonialist Policies… From Occupation to usurpation from the Syrian State” is the title a book recently issued by the Syrian General Organization of Books and written by history researcher Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Bitar.

The 247-page book discusses the stages and procedures adopted by the French occupation in this part of the Syrian land which eventually led to the separation of Iskenderun from Syria in 1939.

The book came in the form of a documentary study divided by the researcher into eight chapters starting with the English and French occupation  of the  countries of  “Bilad Al-Sham” (Levant)  according to the Sykes-Picot agreement after the First World War, the French occupation policy  in the Syrian coast,  the Syrian revolutions against the French occupation, the division of “Bilad Al-Sham” into five countries and the establishment of the  Sanjak of Iskenderun under the French occupation dominance. The book also tackles Iskenderun’s stance towards the Great Syrian Revolution.

Dr. al-Bitar also sheds light on the resistance of Iskenderun’s people against the division policy and their insistence on the demand for unity with the whole of Syria. In addition, the writer deals with the issue of Iskenderun between Turkey’s claims and the international policy and the role of Zionism in France’s acceptance of detaching Iskenderun from Syria and the approval of the league of Nations.

Dr. Al-Bitar also discusses in his book the procedures taken by the French occupation authorities to implement the separation of Iskenderun and annexing it to Turkey in exchange for ensuring Turkey’s support for France in World War II.

It is worth mentioning that researcher Al-Bitar holds a PhD in Arts and Humanities, the history section. He is the head of the history department at the University of Aleppo and head of the Arab Writers Union’s branch in Homs.

He is also the author of other books including "France's Policy in Syria", "Researches in the History of Syria and the Arab Mashriq" and "The Development of the Syrian-Lebanese Unity" from 1939 to 1950.


Rawaa Ghanam