ISIS attacks a Turkish enclave in Syria: Turkey evacuates troops at historic tomb, one soldier killed

Photo of the tomb of Süleyman Şah (Shah)

PM Davutoğlu said Feb. 22 Turkish army took control of another area inside Syria, raising the flag, for the future transfer of Süleyman Şah artifacts. Citing international treaties, Turkey recognizes the land around the tomb as its territory, ‘wherever in Syria it is.’ AA photo

Turkey has evacuated its military personnel protecting the Tomb of Süleyman Şah in northern Syria as well as the artifacts in the mausoleum in an operation jointly conducted by the intelligence organization and the Turkish army, a few days after reports suggested that the tomb was besieged by jihadists belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

A soldier was killed in an accident during the early hours of the operation, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu confirmed during a press conference early on Feb. 22. The soldier has been identified as Halit Avcı. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly called the family of Avcı to convey his condolences.

The tomb, around 37 kilometers from the Turkish border, is regarded as Turkish territory by international agreements and was protected by around 40 soldiers…

Location-of-Suleyman-Shah-tombWho was Süleyman Şah?

The Süleyman Şah tomb was declared Turkish territory under a treaty signed with France in 1921, when France was the colonial power in Syria. Ankara regards it as sovereign territory and repeatedly made clear that it would defend the mausoleum if it was attacked.

Süleyman Şah was a 12th-century military leader of the Seljuk Empire, which was among the first Turkish groups to enter and settle in Anatolia. He is the grandfather of Osman I, who founded the Ottoman Empire in the 13th century, which lasted for six centuries and was inherited by the Turkish Republic in 1923 following the War of Liberation.

The tomb and its annex have gone through several processes of demolition, relocation, and reconstruction since their original construction on the hills of Caber Castle in 1939. The tomb was moved to its current location in 1975 as a result of a dam construction.

Related: Turkey issued diplomatic note to Syria for relocation of historic tomb

Syria says Turkish incursion ‘flagrant aggression’

The relations between Assad and Turkey are bad: Erdoğan has been trying to remove Assad since the war broke out. Karma is a bitch.