Turkish FM: "Turkey now has a new exclave in Syria"
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Feb.22 Turkey now has a new exclave in Syria after the Turkish General Staff's operation to relocate Suleyman Shah's tomb, Anadolu Agency reported.
Speaking during a Justice and Development Party youth branch meeting in Antalya, Cavusoglu evaluated the "Operation Shah Euphrates" that was carried out by the Turkish General Staff late Saturday.
"Turkey did not abandon its exclave there," Cavusoglu said. "On the contrary, Turkey now has new exclave just near its border with Syria."
Operation Shah Euphrates resulted in the repatriation of Turkish troops stationed at the Tomb of Suleyman Shah and Memorial Outpost, along with all ancestral relics, Saturday night.
The remains of Suleyman Shah was transferred to Ashmeh after the operation, an area located 200 meters south of the Turkish-Syrian border whose control has been seized by Turkish troops, who raised the Turkish flag there.
"We evacuated the place, but we will come back," the foreign minister said. "We said we will deploy the police station in Ashmeh and we will get the remains back there when it will be ready."
Cavusoglu also stated that "there will be no abandoning, no lowering the flag. Right now, our flag is waving in Ashmeh."
He said the Turkish Armed Forces "showed what they are capable of."
Cavusoglu also expressed his sorrow over the accidental death of one soldier during the operation.
"While no clashes took place during the operation, a Turkish soldier passed away as a result of an accident," Erdogan said in a statement.
"The ongoing conflict and state of chaos in Syria posed serious risks to the safety and security of the tomb located in Karakozak village in Munbic, Syria, 37 km away from the borders of Turkey, and of the Turkish Armed Forces personnel valiantly guarding it," the Turkish Foreign Ministry explained in a written statement earlier on Feb.22.