In 1923, Alexandretta was attached to the State of Aleppo, and in 1925, it was attached to the combined State of Syria, still with special administrative status.
The 1936 elections in the sanjak returned two MPs favoring the independence of Syria from France, and this prompted communal riots as well as passionate articles in the Turkish and Syrian press. The sanjak was given autonomy in November 1937 in an arrangement brokered by the League. Under its new statute, the sanjak became 'distinct but not separated' from the French Mandate of Syria on the diplomatic level, linked to both France and Turkey for defence matters.
According to the estimates of the French high commission in 1936, out of a population of 220,000, 46% were Arabs, 39% were Turks, 28% Arabic-speaking Alawites, 11% Armenians, 10% Sunni Arabs, 8% other Christians and 4% were Circassians, Kurds and Jews. Although Turks formed the largest single ethno-religious minority, Arabic speakers including Sunnis, Alawites and Christians were more numerous.
Population of Hatay State in 1936 according to the French census