'Turkey can take action in Syria for historic tomb'

Ankara, March 21: Turkey may consider a limited military operation in Syria to protect the 13th century Tomb of Suleyman Shah if it comes under attack, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Thursday.

"It's Turkish soil. Our armed forces should ensure its security, " Xinhua quoted Yildiz as saying during a televised interview. "If needed, an operation may come into question, but it will not be wide scale."

The minister's remarks came in response to leader of Turkey's main opposition Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who recently suggested that the Turkish government could launch a military operation in Syria in near future.

The Tomb of Suleyman Shah, located in the city of Aleppo in Syria near the Turkish border, is considered as Turkish territory according to the Treaty of Ankara.

The deal was clinched between France and Turkey in 1921 when Syria was under French rule. The 25 km area is now guarded by Turkish soldiers and flies the Turkish flag.

Suleyman Shah was the grandfather of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman. The tomb was built at the end of the 13th century and fell down in 1922.


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