Damascus, SANA The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Monday sent two identical letters to the head of the Security Council and the United Nations Secretary-General on the recent Turkish transgression on Syrian territory.
In the letters, the Ministry said that the Turkish government, not content with providing all sorts of support for its terrorist pawns like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, has carried out a blatant transgression on the Syrian Arab Republic territory at dawn on Sunday February 22, 2015, with this transgression involving the entry of hundreds of soldiers and military vehicles into Syrian territory.
The Foreign Ministry said this act represents a clear transgression against Syria and its sovereignty and territory, which means that the Turkish government has performed an act that violates the rules of international law which include respecting national sovereignty and prohibition aggression.
The Turkish government, despite notifying the Syrian consulate in Istanbul of its intention to relocate the tomb on the eve of the aggression, had not waited for the Syrian government’s consent as per the 1921 agreement between Turkey and the then-French occupation authority, according to the letters.
The ministry explained that, according to the agreement, the Tomb of Suleiman Shah, the grandfather of the Ottoman Empire’s founder, remains a property owned by Turkey that can appoint guards to protect it and hoist the Turkish flag on ins site, but maintains that Turkey’s ownership of the tomb is symbolic as implied in the naming: “The Turkish Shrine.”
Accordingly, the text of the agreement cannot be invoked as establishing Turkey’s ownership rights over the land on which the tomb is built, which falls within theproperty of the Syrian state.
The Syrian government considers that Turkish unilateral act in which it moved the tomb without obtaining the Syrian government’s agreement cannot be justified as consistent with the 1921 Ankara agreement, but is a clear breach of the Article 9 of the agreement that has unequivocally located the tomb that was later moved by a mutual agreement.
The letters clarified that relevant agreements and correspondences deal with the tomb from a symbolic perspective, not as a mobile Turkish piece of land inside Syria.
The ministry added that the tomb is located in an area overtaken by ISIS terror organization that has a grim record of ravaging tombs and holy places which the tomb was spared, a matter that raises serious suspicions and proves the connection between the Turkish regime and ISIS.
Turkish forces enter and exit areas under ISIS control unharmed, which the letters said is yet another proof of the close cooperation between the Turkish regime and the terror organization.
The letters said the Syrian government calls upon the Secretary-General and the Security Council to condemn this grave transgression against a UN member state and take the necessary steps immediately against the Turkish government as per the UN Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions.
“The coercive expropriation of Syrian lands, and here we are talking about Ashma border village, and hoisting the Turkish flag on it before relocating the tomb is tantamount to occupying a Syrian land.”
The letters concluded by affirming that the Turkish government is called to account for the aggression and its attendant consequences.
Manal Ismael/Hazem Sabbagh