By the Syrian writer and researcher and poet : (Dr. Mohamad Farid Essa).
Did you hear of president “Taj al-din al-Hasani” who sold the Sanjak of Alexandretta?
A long time ago, I struggled myself to avoid revealing a dangerous secret that I had reserved until my chest was tight with it; a secrete I got when I was looking at the files of Syrian history.
The history we learned in our schools tells us that France gave up Sanjak of Alexandretta to Turkey. The truth is that when France entered Syria as a mandate country under the Mandate document, the area of Syria in the Mandate document is 245 thousand km, as stated in the Mandate document which also prevents France from ceding any part of the Syrian territory to any third party.
However, the actual area of Syria decreased to (180) thousand km while the area of (185) thousand, which we know the area of Syria, includes the Sanjak of Alexandretta in it, i.e.
the 65 thousand km of Syria area has been ceded, and this does not include the Syrian Cilicia area amounting to 117 thousand square kilometers. Furthermore, and through suspicious agreements, such as the 1st and 2nd Ankara Treaty, the Syrian Cilicia was ceded completely in the 1st Ankara Treaty, while in the 2nd Treaty, which was held by France with Turkey, a land area of about 60 thousand km was ceded. All these concession were made outside the notorious Sykes-Picot agreement, which appeared into public in 1917 after being revealed by the Russians after the Bolshevik revolution.
The 4800-square-kilometer Sanjak of Alexandretta remained and the Syrian State appoints its governor, and the Syrian flag was to be raised on its institutions, provided that it has its own parliament with 40-seat and representatives for it in the Syrian parliament.
In 1928, the date of the organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which extended to Syria, the first official of this organization in Syria was called Taj al-din al-Hasani of Turkish origin, and he arrived to the post of President of the Syrian State in 1936, he is the grandfather of someone named Moaz al-Khatib.
The Prime Minister was Sheikh Ahmed al-Nami the brother-in-law of Sultan Abdul Hamid, the husband of Princess Aisha sister of Sultan Abdul Hamid, while the President of the House of Representatives was Jamil Mardam Bey and all were Turks. This was the major disaster: Sheikh Taj sent a letter with a big delegation that included some members of the Muslim Brotherhood at the time to Ataturk requesting him to work on the annexation of Sanjak of Alexandretta to Turkey as the majority of Sanjak of Alexandretta is from a certain sect.
Ataturk then began demanding the annexation of Sanjak of Alexandretta to Turkey under the pretext of the existence of a Turkish community predominating in it. France rejected the request, citing the mandate document that prevents the transfer of any Syrian land to another party.
The following day, the Turkish press launched a scathing attack against France, and demonstrations marched demanding the annexation of Sanjak of Alexandretta to Turkey.
With the insistence of France on its position, the genius of Sheikh Taj crumbled the following solution: since Syria is an independent State and a founding member of the League of Nations and that France is a State that is mandated to develop Syria, then it has no right to reject bilateral agreements between Syria and Turkey.
Thus, the government of Sheikh Taj submitted a memorandum of agreement with Turkey, under which the Syrian State would cede Sanjak of Alexandretta to the League of Nations in order to embarrass France.
When France realized the weakness of its position after such memorandum, it accepted under conditions, including conducting a referendum for the inhabitants of Sanjak of Alexandretta and giving France privileges in the Turkish port of Izmir.
A referendum was conducted in Sanjak of Alexandretta and the Arabs won (38) seats. Turkey rejected the result and canceled the elections and the Turkish army entered after the French withdrawal.
Then, Sheikh Taj al-din al-Hasani gave the following incendiary statement: “If our dear Turkish brothers have annexed Sanjak of Alexandretta, relations between us may get worse, God forbid.
And, since God did not permit, then the relations would not worsen”. At that time, King Abdulaziz Al Saud sent the following cable to Kemal Ataturk saying: Dear brother Kemal Beck Ataturk (How grateful we are for your Excellency’s favor in accepting the annexation of “Sanjak of Alexandretta” as standing by your brothers in Syria).
Furthermore, Prince Abdullah bin Al Hussein, Price of Jordan, sent a similar message. Four years later, Syria officially became independent.
However, no Syrian government claimed Sanjak of Alexandretta until 1970.
Thus, the story remained untouched until the grandson of Sheikh Taj, who is Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib, reminded us of it.