Skip to main content

Ankara averts pre-election crisis over tomb in Syria

Turkey’s evacuation of the Tomb of Suleiman Shah in Syria was meant to remove the risk of an Islamic State attack that would have cost the government dearly in upcoming general elections.
Turkish military armored vehicles, which took part in an operation inside Syria, are pictured near the Mursitpinar border crossing in the southeastern town of Suruc, Sanliurfa province, February 23, 2015. A Turkish military operation to rescue 38 soldiers guarding a tomb in Syria surrounded by Islamic State militants was launched to counter a possible attack on them, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Monday. The action, which involved tanks, drones and reconnaissance planes as well as several hun
Read in 

On the night of Feb. 21, Turkey evacuated the Tomb of Suleiman Shah in Syria, its only territory outside the mainland, and 38 soldiers guarding the shrine.

The memorial site — an area of about 10,000 square meters (108,000 square feet) that Turkey acquired through international agreements near Karakozak village in Aleppo province, 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) from the border — had been under Islamic State (IS) threat for more than a year.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.