For years making soap has been a tradition for the people living in Hatay. Known for its ability to heal the skin, soap from Hatay is favored for containing olive oil and laurel, known as defne (daphne) in Turkish.
The legend told by locals says that years ago the Greek God Apollo saw Daphne and fell in love with her. When she fled he followed her. When she realized there was no way to escape she prayed to Mother Earth for protection and was transformed into a Laurel tree.
Historically the ingredients for the soap were boiled over a wood burning fire. The mixture was poured into a pan where it cooled and formed a solid sheet of soap. The sheet of soap was cut into individual bars and wrapped for distribution.
Although today some of the soap made in Hatay is manufactured in large facilities, many people still make soap at home.