Connecting kessab to Syria
On the 5th of July 1938, the Turkish army entered the region of Antioch (the province of Alexandretta) in agreement with the French colonial authorities, and the region was renamed as the province of Hattai.
On the 2nd of September, the Hattai government became officially authorized and it identified its boundaries including Kessab within their restriction. The Turkish army and employees outraged and exploited against the Hattai government and some serious armed skirmishes took place in the region. Consequently, many Kessabtsies left to Lebanon or took refuge in the mountains. Many important personalities visited Kessab during that time.
On the 23rd of June 1939, the Hattai government was officially dissolved and the whole region was joined to turkey. Luckily, by the efforts of the Cardinal 15th Krikor Bedros Aghajanian and Remi Leprert, the Papal representative in Syria and Lebanon, the parts of Kessab inhabited by Armenians were separated from Turkey and joined to Syria. The poignant result of this operation was that the Mount Gasyos was attached to the Turkish side including the farms, the fields, the properties, the laurel tree forests and the grazing lands located in the mount’s bosoms and valleys, which once used to belong to the native Armenians.