Iskenderun,Syria's Beautiful Icon

İskenderun, sometimes called Scanderoon or Scandaroon, is a city and district on the Mediterranean. It was originally named Alexandretta (Greek: Ἀλεξανδρέττα) but its name was changed .

Names

At its founding, the city was named Alexandretta (Ἀλεξανδρέττα) in honour of Alexander the Great, a name which it retained during the Roman period. The city was later renamed al-ʼIskandarūn (Arabicالإسكندرون) during the Islamic Caliphate and then to İskenderun after the Ottoman conquest.

Geography

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

İskenderun is a busy commercial centre and 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.

Climate

The climate on this stretch of the Mediterranean is 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 a strong wind. The countryside contains large areas of fruit groves, important producers of oranges, tangerines and lemons, and even tropical fruits such as mangoes. Winters are mild and wet.

Distinctive İskenderun dishes include Künefe, a hot dessert with cheese, and also Antakya influenced cuisine including kibbeh, and sour pomegranate syrup used as a salad dressing. İskenderun in particular offers good quality fish and prawns.

Antiquity

İskenderun preserves the name, but probably not the exact site, of Alexandria ad Issum (İskender being the Arabic rendering of Alexander). The settlement was founded by Alexander the Great in 333 BC to supersede Myriandrus as the key to the Syrian Gates, about 37 km (23 miles) south of the scene of his victory at the Battle of Issus.

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

Unjust Annexation

Turkey annexed Iskenderun in 1939 .the Syrians have never accepted  the Turkish annexation of Iskenderun and Syria has never formally  renounced its rights to it.

M.D