In ancient times it was called Antioch. It joined Turkey in 1939. From 1938 to 1939, the city was an independent Arab emirate known as Hatay State. It then became a part of Turkey which caused protests by the Arab majority in the city however the protests were later shut down. Currently, the city has a mixed population of Turks and Arabs and both of these groups follow Sunni Islam.
The province was badly damaged and many people died in the 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquake.