World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that Turkey's military operation in Syria to retrieve the remains of Suleyman Shah have spoiled "plots against Turkey by those who were using the tomb and the Turkish soldiers who guarded the territory to blackmail us."
Erdogan, speaking at the presidential palace, stressed that the operation was the result of detailed and months-long planning.
He reiterated that Turkey did not abandon its exclave in Syria with the Operation Shah Firat, which was conducted due to the rising security concerns over escalating clashes between groups, fighting inside the country and threats from ISIL.
The Turkish president also condemned "some circles inside the country who criticized the Turkish state for carrying out the operation."
"It is an unfortunate thing that the (Turkish) opposition parties in particular are going along with the Assad regime," Erdogan said, adding that those who are against the operation are indifferent towards Turkey protecting its people's interests.
He also paid condolences for the accidental death of a Turkish soldier during the operation.
Earlier, Turkey's National Defense Minister said Turkey will not hesitate to take measures if country is under threat.
The military operation in Syria demonstrates Turkey's commitment to protect its national interests, said Yilmaz, as he spoke at Turkish parliament to provide information regarding the operation on late Saturday t.
“If we look at who was against this operation, we can see how right it was,” said Minister Yilmaz, adding that the country did not give up sovereignty.
The military operation was criticized by the Damascus regime in Syria and also drew criticism from Turkish opposition parties.
“This operation demonstrates our commitment to protect our national interests,” Yilmaz said, adding that the operation also indicated that Turkey would not hesitate to take any measures to protect its land and citizens if under threat.
The minister also said that Turkey has said many times that no one should undermine the country’s protection of its land and citizens.
Yilmaz stated that Turkey owed their ancestors the fact that the nation was free and it was the country’s task to claim their ancestors' memories if they were suspected to be in danger.
The tomb of Suleyman Shah, Turkey's only exclave, was temporarily relocated to a new site within Syria because of the ongoing conflict in the country, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Sunday.
The tomb was located in Karakozak village in Munbic, Syria, 37 kilometers away from the borders of Turkey, and it was guarded by Turkish Armed Forces personnel.
Yilmaz said the new site since Feb. 22 was located in Esmesi village, northern Syria, close to the Turkish borders.
Suleyman Shah was the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. His tomb and about 40 Turkish soldiers, who guarded the territory inside war-torn Syria, were relocated in a special operation Saturday.
The operation involved nearly 600 troops and 39 tanks and some 40 soldiers guarding them.
Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2015, 23:55