Ankara warns against attack on tomb

Tue 07 August 2012 05:42 GMT | 10:42 Local Time

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Turkey has issued a warning that it will consider any assault on the tomb of Suleyman Shah, in Syria, as an attack on its territory.

“The tomb of Suleyman Shah [in Syria] and the land surrounding it is our territory. We cannot ignore any unfavorable act against that monument, as it would be an attack on our territory, as well as an attack on NATO land,” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview late Aug. 5. “Everyone knows his duty, and will continue to do what is necessary.”

The tomb of Suleyman Shah in Syria is guarded by Turkish soldiers and is considered Turkish territory, based on agreements made first with France and then with Syria.

Ankara has been concerned about any provocation or attack directed at the tomb, which is guarded by a group of Turkish soldiers, a Turkish official told Hurriyet Daily News. There has been no such provocation so far, the official added.

The tomb occupies the only Turkish territory outside the country’s borders, located 25 kilometers from the Turkish border near the village of Karakozak. Suleyman Shah was the grandfather of Osman Bey, the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

Hurriyet Daily News

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