Davutoglu’s Unannounced Entry to Syria Angers Damascus

tank-esme
A Turkish tank takes position near Esme in Syrian Kurdistan, where the tomb of Suleyman Shah has been relocated. (Photo: Reuters)

A Turkish tank takes position near Esme in Syrian Kurdistan, where the tomb of Suleyman Shah has been relocated. (Photo: Reuters)

 

ESME, Syria—Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu briefly crossed into Syrian territory on Sunday unannounced to visit the tomb of an Ottoman figure, Euronews reports.

Davutoglu then vowed that Turkey’s flag would fly there forever. The Syrian government condemned what it described as Davutoglu’s “infiltration” without its permission

The tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the “founder” of the Ottoman Empire, had originally been situated further inside Syria but was relocated to within a few hundred meters of the border in February in a Turkish military operation.

On Feb. 22, Turkish special forces entered the area housing the tomb, a Turkish exclave inside Syria — where the remains of Suleyman Shah are held — to evacuate the tomb and some 40 guards, who had come under siege by Islamic State fighters.

Following evacuations, the contents of the tomb were moved to the village of Esme, closer to Turkey but still in Syrian territory under Kurdish control and, in addition, a major site along a route on which Ottoman forces led Armenians in death marches during the Armenian Genocide.

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