Infobox Settlement

settlement_type =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = TUR
map_caption =Location of PAGENAME within Turkey.

official_name = İskenderun

image_caption =
image_blank_emblem =
blank_emblem_type =

subdivision_name1 = Mediterranean
subdivision_name2 = Hatay
population_total =300000
population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_density_km2 =
area_total_km2 =
elevation_m = 8
postal_code_type=Postal code
postal_code = 31
blank_info = 31|blank_name=Licence plate
area_code = (0)326
leader_name =
website =
leader_name1 =

latd=36.5817 |latm= |lats= |latNS=|longd=36.1650 |longm= |longs= |longEW=

İskenderun, also Iskenderon (formerly in Greek Ἀλεξανδρέττα, "Alexandretta"; in Arabic الإسكندرون, "al-ʼIskandarūn"), is a city and district in the province of Hatay on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.


İskenderun is located on the Mediterranean coast on Gulf of İskenderun at the foot of the Nur Mountains (Amanos Mountains).

İskenderun is a busy commercial centre, the largest city in Hatay Province, surpassing the Hatay provincial seat of Antakya. The city is one of Turkey's largest ports on the Mediterranean and an important industrial centre home to the Russian-built İsdemir compound, one of Turkey's largest steelworks. İskenderun has an active, modern life with good hotels, restaurants and cafes along the palm-lined sea front, and there is a variety of accommodation for visitors. İskenderun is also an important naval training base. There is a small Suryani Christian community in the city.

The climate on this stretch of the Mediterranean is very hot and humid in summer, when people escape to the countryside or to the beach. At certain times of the year the town is swept by the strong wind called 'Yarıkkaya'. The countryside contains large areas of fruit groves, important producers of oranges, tangerines and lemons, and even tropical fruits such as mangoes.


Distinctive İskenderun dishes include Künefe, a hot dessert with cheese. The main dishes include the Turkish staples such as döner and other kebabs served in the flat durum bread, lahmacun, and also the Arab-Levantine cuisine of Antakya including kibbeh, and sour pomegranate syrup used as a salad dressing. İskenderun in particular offers good quality fish and prawns.



İskenderun preserves the name, but probably not the exact site, of Alexandria ad Issum, founded to supersede Myriandrus as the key of the Syrian Gates by Alexander the Great in 333 BC, about 23 miles south of the scene of his victory at the Battle of Issus. The importance of the place ever since has derived from its relation to this pass, the easiest approach to the open ground of Hatay Province and of Northern Syria, and the Romans continued to fight with Persia for control of this area during their era of dominance.

Alexander camped at the high-lands of İskenderun, around "Esentepe", and then ordered the city to be established and named "Alexandrette". İskenderun is one of many cities founded by Alexander's orders, including Alexandria.


The area was still a scene of fighting under the Ottomans, as it was here in 1606 that the army of general Kuyucu Murat Pasha suppressed the rural uprising of Celali Canbulatoğlu. The Ottomans continued to fortify the city and the remains of early 17th century Ottoman castle walls can still be seen, (where the Güzün stream crosses the Varyant road). The next army to cross the Pass of Belen and attack Anatolia through here were the Egyptians of Muhammad Ali in 1832.

However in the later Ottoman period the city grew and grew as the main outlet for the overland trade from Baghdad and India, which had great importance until the establishment of the Egyptian overland route. Iskenderun served as a base first of Genoese and Venetian merchants, then West and North European merchants. The British Levant Company maintained an agency and factory here for 200 years, until 1825, in spite of appalling mortality among its employees. During the 19th century the port grew, the railway was built in 1912, and the road to Aleppo was improved.

Republic of Hatay

Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War most of Hatay including İskenderun was occupied by French troops and in 1921 was established as the autonomous Sanjak of Alexandretta within French-controlled Syria. This led to the foundation of the Republic of Hatay. In 1939, Republic of Hatay joined with the Republic of Turkey, after a referendum. See Hatay Province for a detailed history of this era.

Places of interest

* Arsuz(Uluçınar), holiday town on the coast to the south of İskenderun, with beautiful sandy beaches, a very warm sea, and places of historical interest. The coast is lined with holiday homes and there is accommodation in hotels or guest houses.
* Soğukoluk, mountain resort on the way to Antakya a quiet retreat from the heat of the coast in summer months.
* Bakras - The castle was built in antiquity and much restored since, a watchtower on the mountain road, convert|27|km|mi|0|abbr=on from İskenderun on the road to Antakya.
* Yakacik (Payas) - contains a splendid example of Ottoman architecture dating back to the 16th century; the Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Complex comprising a mosque, bath, bazaar, caravanserai, and madrasa. 22km from Iskenderun on the road to Adana.

Cultural references

* In the film "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", Jones claims the Holy Grail is in the "canyon of the crescent moon" outside of Alexandretta. Indiana explains that Alexandretta was completely demolished by the end of the first crusades and that the city is now known as Iskenderun, even though that name is simply Alexandretta in Arabic. In the movie, the Nazis offer the sultan of Hatay precious valuables to compensate for removing the Grail from his borders. He ignores the valuables, but accepts their Rolls-Royce Phantom II. Following that, we see the Jones boys head from Berlin to İskenderun where they find the Holy Grail. However the canyon and the El Deir Temple in which they find the Grail was filmed in Petra, Jordan. In the film, the residents of Iskenderun are depicted as Arabs, even though the area is now a part of Turkey, this can be explained due to the Arab population there.

* The progressive metal group Andromeda released the song "İskenderun" on their album Chimera.

ee also

*Hatay Province
*Names of Asian cities in different languages
*Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade



External links

* [ photos from iskenderun resimleri]
* [ iskenderun forum]
* [ iskenderun News]
* [ information on İskenderun] tr icon
* [ İskenderun Highschool] tr icon
* [ Catholic Church of İskenderun]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Iskenderun — İskenderun …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ISKENDERUN — (formerly Alexandretta), harbor town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey on the gulf of the same name; population (2004), 173,900. The town (along with its district), first attached to Syria under the French mandate, was annexed to Turkey in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Iskenderŭn — Iskenderŭn, arab. Name für Alexandrette …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Iskenderun — → Alejandreta …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • Iskenderun — [is ken′də ro͞on΄] seaport in S Turkey, on the Mediterranean: pop. 176,000 …   English World dictionary

  • İskenderun — Vorlage:Infobox Ort in der Türkei/Wartung/Landkreis İskenderun …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Iskenderun — /is ken deuh roohn /, n. 1. Formerly, Alexandretta. a seaport in S Turkey, on the Gulf of Iskenderun. 79,291. 2. Gulf of, an inlet of the Mediterranean, off the S coast of Turkey. 45 mi. (72 km) long; 28 mi. (45 km) wide. * * * ▪ Turkey formerly… …   Universalium

  • İskenderun — İskẹnderun,   Hafenstadt in der Provinz Hatay, Südtürkei, am Golf von İskenderun (Mittelmeer), in der schmalen, fruchtbaren Küstenebene am Fuße des Amanos, (1990) 176 000 Einwohner (1970: 79 300 Einwohner); Eisen und Stahlwerk (Inbetriebnahme… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Iskenderun — Alexandrette İskenderun Alexandrette La bataille d Issos Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

  • İskenderun — Alexandrette İskenderun Alexandrette La bataille d Issos Administration …   Wikipédia en Français

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