World Bulletin / News Desk
Rebels belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have threatened Turkey to withdraw its troops from the Suleiman Shah tomb in Aleppo, which is officially Turkish territory.
In a video released on Thursday, ISIL rebels said, "Although the Turkish armed forces are expected to withdraw immediately, we have given a three-day period."
"We ask them to remove the Turkish flag and withdraw the soldiers. We do not give consent to the armed forces of a secular country within the ISIL's sacred land. Otherwise, we will demolish the tomb," the statement said.
ISIL rebels recently took control of the surrounding area after defeating rival opposition group the Free Syrian Army in the mainly ethnic Turkmen region.
The Al-Qaeda breakaway group has a history of attacking and destroying the tombs of prominent figures in Islamic history, including those of spiritual and political leaders.
According to international agreements, the tomb of Suleiman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, is Turkish territory and is protected by Turkish soldiers. An attack on the tomb would be an attack on Turkey itself and an attack on a NATO member country, the Turkish foreign ministry and general staff previously warned.
The Turkish authorities are said to be considering all possibilities after carrying out a comprehensive evaluation and may resort to air attacks to defend the territory, which is 30 kilometers from the mainland.
Turkish lawmakers to explain Ankara's post-coup policies, foreign affairs
Greek court approves extradition of 3 Turkish soldiers linked to July 15 coup plot
Turkish lira gains advantage against the dollar for the first time since Dec. 1
Turkish Red Crescent president says the EU financed humanitarian aid is expected to reach a million refugees
'Proposal for the constitutional amendment will be submitted to parliament this week,' says Yıldırım
An operation is conducted in Istanbul's Yıldız Technical University against academicians who have alleged links with the coupist FETO terror organization
After his meeting with Dunford, Gen. Akar also visited Turkish troops at the base with the commander of Turkish land forces, Salih Zeki Çolak.
Siirt province anti-terror branch performs operation at domicile
President Erdogan says manufacturing more advanced satellites than Gokturk 1 is Turkey's next target
Binali Yildirim calls on Turkish women to start movement of conscience for women in Syria
Omer Celik uses EU-Turkey meeting in Ankara to condemn European Parliament's call to freeze Turkish membership talks
President Erdoğan's call to switch to the local currency to tackle the increase in value of foreign currencies, received a vast response among Turkish people
Binali Yildirim to meet Russian counterpart and president during his two-day visit
Suspects charged with having links to last week's deadly dormitory fire
Regional problems require regional cooperation and solidarity, says Mevlut Cavusoglu at meeting in India
"We are taking steps towards trading with Russia, China and Iran with local currencies," he said, ahead of a trip by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to Russia for meetings on Tuesday.