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Are Turkish troops trapped at Syrian tomb?

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posted on Oct, 1 2014 @ 04:52 PM

This TSF detachment has been serving at the tomb the past 6½ months. But the situation has radically changed in the last 10 days, after the release of Turkish hostages by the Islamic State (IS), the IS assault against Kobani and clashes that broke out between IS and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces in the vicinity of the tomb. Since the end of July, the Turkish detachment has lost contact with local elements that had been providing it with logistics and intelligence. TSF personnel have been guarding the tomb under extremely difficult, high-risk conditions with limited electricity, water and food supplies. The Turkish news media have woken up and begun to question the safety of these 50 to 60 Turkish fighters equipped with light weapons.

Full Story

As a history buff, I find this is interesting, because while I knew that there were cultural Turks throughout the middle east (and Syria in particular), I did not know that the Tomb of Suleyman Shah is considered a sovereign enclave of Turkey. A little digging shows that this dates to the end of the Franco-Turkish War and the treaty of Ankara. Suleyman Shah was the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I.

Turkey apparently fears that stronger action against ISIL would encourage further violence in Turkey or on its borders -- and also may strengthen Assad or the Kurds (who the Turks have their own running feud with. Everyone dumps on the Kurds over there), but they are considering allowing foreign incursions into Syria from their soil in their parliament. Kurds are complaining that the Turks are too busy bombing Turks to battle ISIL, and even tacitly implying that the Turks are actively aiding ISIL in Iraq. So business as usual in the Middle East.

Video with some history and current events.

posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 12:58 AM
Half the world is watching Turkey and what they are up to.....wondering which way they will ultimately go......
ISIS and The Turks seem to have some by play going on......though its unclear what will come of it....
Thanks for the info....

posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 01:20 AM
a reply to: _Del_

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been supporting the so called ISIS terrorists,but now turkey is kind of hesitant to either fight against the group they once helped to create and supported or get out of it once and for all... They are acting somehow confused since they are just a tool in the hands of the elites and it seems they do not entirely know what is really going on.

posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 01:46 AM
It's definitely a twisted web of associates, if not in fact allies. Figure a year ago the US administration wanted to bomb Assad and help overthrow him, now we're bombing the group most capable of overthrowing him. A bunch of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" going on in several capitols. We'll see who is scared the most by whom in the next few months.

posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 11:25 AM

Turkey's lawmakers voted Thursday to authorize military force against the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq, opening the door to cooperation with a U.S.-led coalition going after ISIS as its fighters laid siege to towns just south of the Turkish border.
The Turkish Parliament voted 298-98 to not only to let the country's military leave its borders to go after ISIS and other terror groups, but also allow foreign troops to launch operations from Turkey.


A possible threat to an ancient tomb -- located in Syria but considered a Turkish enclave -- also appeared to be a factor in Turkey's decision to approve going after ISIS. Reports had emerged that ISIS surrounded the tomb of the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed reports that ISIS had surrounded the site. But the debate in Parliament mentioned increasing security risks to the white marble mausoleum.
As part of the Treaty of Ankara in 1921, which ended the Franco-Turkish War, Turkey was allowed to keep the tomb despite its location in Syria, to place guards at it and to raise a Turkish flag over it.
There have been conflicting reports in recent days about what has happened at the tomb and its guards, with some claims emerging that ISIS fighters briefly took the guards captive. It has also been widely reported that ISIS has had the tomb surrounded for months.
So valued is the tomb said to contain the remains of Suleyman Shah -- grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire -- that Turkey deployed special forces soldiers in March when ISIS began to take villages and towns surrounding the tomb.


"There have been conflicting reports in recent days about what has happened at the tomb and its guards, with some claims emerging that ISIS fighters briefly took the guards captive."
That bit is interesting. Why the confusion?

posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 11:33 AM
Turkey's just in for the Kurds. They're trying to get ISIS' help

posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 11:57 AM
a reply to: Hellas

I am completely ready to believe that the Turks have sat on their hands to this point in part because ISIL is fighting the Kurds and Assad, and in part because fighting ISIL would cause larger problems on their border regions (and possibly small scale attacks inside the country).

Having said that, "The Turkish Parliament voted 298-98 to not only to let the country's military leave its borders to go after ISIS and other terror groups, but also allow foreign troops to launch operations from Turkey." So it appears they have decided that the cost of sitting on their hands will be greater than the cost of fighting ISIL moving forward.

posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 12:19 PM
Here is an interesting tidbit (that had slipped my attention on the tubes) from the Wiki page about the Tomb:

On 27 March 2014, recordings were released on YouTube of a conversation purportedly involving Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan, and Deputy Chief of General Staff General Yaşar Güler.

The recording has been reported as being probably recorded at Davutoğlu's office at the Foreign Ministry on 13 March.Transcripts of the conversation reveal that, as well as exploring the options for Turkish forces engaging in false flag operations inside Syria, the meeting involved a discussion about using the threat to the tomb as an excuse for Turkey to intervene militarily inside Syria. Davutoğlu stated that Erdogan told him that he saw the threat to the tomb as an "opportunity."

Source of YouTube Story and it's apparent ban inside Turkey
edit on 5/10/14 by stumason because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 12:23 PM
a reply to: shapur

The Turks know full well what is going on but have dropped the ball and are now trying to play catch up.

The Government of Erdogan has spent the last several years trying to drag secular Turkey into some form of Islamic Government (going so far as jailing Generals who apparently opposed him as the Turkish Army has traditionally defended the secular state), toppling Assad was (and remains) a priority and they have, at least passively, supported IS (and other groups) fighting Assad.

Now their little project is backfiring...

posted on Oct, 6 2014 @ 10:18 AM
A new article today touches on the Kurd angle a bit as well as some other potential flashpoints.

Meanwhile, in the areas controlled by Syrian Kurds with ties to Turkey’s own Kurdish rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), fighting continues with ISIL, especially around the border town of Kobane. The Kurds accuse Turkey of backing ISIL. Kurds in Syria and Turkey are concerned Turkey could now use ISIL as a pretext to intervene and squash the Syrian Kurdish experiment in autonomy. Instead of intervention, they are asking for international airstrikes on ISIL, an open border with Turkey to bring in fighters, and a supply of heavy weapons to battle the better armed ISIL.

With the crisis in Syrian-Kurdish areas boiling over and Turkey pushing for a stronger international response against the Assad regime, the leaked tapes may suggest Turkey’s motives and objectives extend beyond just defending the tomb. Its objectives may include justifying military intervention in Syrian-Kurdish areas and drawing the United States and NATO into the Turkish preference for a safe haven, buffer zone, no-fly zone and ultimately the ouster of Assad.

One potentially dangerous variable mentioned in the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies report is what the Syrian response would be, and the risk that a counterterrorism operation to protect the tomb could turn into an interstate conflict if regime forces fire on Turkey, or any part of a mission goes wrong.

While Assad has not fired on the international coalition bombing ISIL in Syria and appears to be cooperating, the regime described the passage of the Turkish military authorization bill this week as an act of aggression. It may not look the other away to Turkish intervention around the tomb. Ironically, the biggest danger might not be an ISIL attack on the tomb, but rather a Turkish response 20 miles inside a complex war environment that results in clashes with Syria. That could draw in the United States and NATO to support a member state against the regime at a time when NATO and the United States have no interest in bombing or ousting the regime, especially with the threat of ISIL continuing.


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