Damascus, (SANA)- The 74th anniversary of usurping Liwa Iskenderun from its homeland Syria by Turkey comes today, but it still everlasting in the memory and hearts of the Syrians as an occupied Arab land which will return to its owners.
France, Britain agreed to give that strategic land as a bribe to Turkey in return that the latter will support the Allies in the World War II.
The Liwa is located on the north-west of Syria and overlooks the Mediterranean with 4800 KM area.
More than one million people live in the region where the average of the Turks didn't exceed 20% of the residents in 1920.
The Arabs liberated the Liwa in 20 Hijra from the Byzantine occupation and restored it to the Arab identity.
The Liwa came under the French occupation after the Sykes-Picot treaty signed secretly between France and Britain in 1916.
In 1936 mass 40- days protests erupted all over Syria against France demanding independence when the latter yielded and held an agreement on September 9th with Syria recognizing its freedom, independence including the Liwa.
On September 1, 1939 Turkey exploited the outbreak of the World War II and the Coalition's need to join Turkey to them or keeping it neutral, particularly after the treaty of Montero 1939, it dominated the straits in the time of war, announcing the annexation of the Liwa.
Internationally, the Liwa is still an independent region which follows Syria in its external affairs and linked to it in the currency, Customs and mail, the League of Nations which later gave birth to the UN didn't recognize all the procedures and changes made by France and Turkey to the Liwa.
The names of cities, mountains and plains in the Liwa still bear the spirit of the region and its history, they speak through the identity of the land, as Antakya, Iskenderun and al-Swiediya are names which reflect the Arabism of the cities.
Iskenderun and Antakya are considered as main cities of the Liwa.