General issues: French mandated territory 1925-1930
Country name on general issues: Alaouites
Currency: 1 Piaster = 100 Centimes 1925-1930
Population: 277 000 in 1926
Political history Alawite State
The Alawite State was located in western Asia, the Middle East. At the start of the 20th century the Alawite territory was part of the Ottoman Empire, at that time the ruling power in the Middle East. During and directly after WWI British and French forces occupy large parts of the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. The Alawite territory is occupied by the French in 1918. Between 1918 and 1923, the French gradually gain control over the territories that are to become the French mandated territory of Syria and Greater Lebanon. A mandate that is formalized by the League of Nations in 1922. Starting in 1920, the French form a number of states and territories with a form of self government. This division is officially based on ethnic and religious grounds, although it is also suggested that the aim of the French was to prevent the establishment of a more powerful pan-Arab nation. The Alawite Territory is one of the political entities formed at this time. The Alawites are a Shia group within Islam. In Syria the Alawite are a minority, albeit an influential minority: the current leader of Syria – Bashar al-Assad – is of Alawite origin. In 1922, the State of Aleppo, the State of Damascus and the Alawite Territory form the federation of Syria. When the Federation of Syria in 1924 is to be transformed into the State of Syria, the Alawite Territory separates from Syria to form the Alawite State, still under French supervision. The name of the Alawite State is changed to Latakia in 1930. In 1936, Latakia becomes part of the republic of Syria. Please also refer to the country diagram of Syria & Greater Lebanon.
The Isle Rouad – currently called Arwad, occupied by the French since 1916 – was added to the Alawite Territory in 1922.
Postal history Alawite State
While under Turkish rule, Turkish stamps were used in the Alawite territory. Austria, Egypt, France and Russia had offices abroad in Latakia where the general issues or the issues for the Levant of these countries were used. France has issued stamps for use on the occupied Ile Rouad. Once the Alawite territory is occupied by France, the Turkish stamps are succeeded by the successive issues of the French for Syria & Greater Lebanon. After the formation of the Alawite State, stamps were issued by the state from 1925. All issues are overprints on French or Syrian stamps. The issues of the Alawite State in 1930 are succeeded by the stamps of Latakia and in 1936 by those of Syria.