Turkey to defend Syria exclave at all costs: President

Turkish President delivered a message on Friday to mark the beginning of the holy Feast of Sacrifice.

Turkey to defend Syria exclave at all costs: President

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey will use all its potential to defend its territories, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said addressing the Turkish troops protecting the tomb of Suleyman Shah in Syria's Aleppo, the only Turkish exclave.

Erdogan, in an official message welcoming Eid al-Adha, also called the Feast of the Sacrifice, referred to the Turkish soldiers defending the tomb, "Without any hesitation, Turkey will use all its potential to defend every inch of its territories."

"I want to assure you once again that you're not alone, the whole Turkish nation and their prayers are with you all the time. And you should also know that the Turkish army will come to your service without a moment's hesitation if needed," he also said.

Earlier, Erdogan denied claims that the Turkish soldiers guarding the tomb of Suleyman Shah in Syria had been surrounded by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant militants.

Suleyman Shah was the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, and his tomb is a Turkish exclave 30 kilometers south of the border.

In March, 60 Special Forces soldiers were deployed to protect the tomb on the Euphrates River when ISIL fighters took control of nearby villages.

It is impossible for Turkey to stand by what happens in the region including the deaths of innocent people and the deportation of millions, Turkish President also said as he delivered a message to mark the beginning of the holy Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) or Kurban Bayram. 

"We do not have our eye on the lands of any country," Erdogan said, "we want peace, tranquillity, prosperity, and safety in our region." 

The Turkish President wished that the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice, also called Eid al Adha, would bring mercy towards Turkey's "oppressed brothers".

"Turkey very deeply shares the pain of those in our region, and very much wants to see that all children, as well as ours, can enjoy the feast atmosphere," he said asking the Turkish people to pray for the poor and suffering. 

Congratulating the feast of all Turkish citizens, Erdogan stressed that the Feast of Sacrifice is a time of sharing, solidarity, generosity, and making the poor happier. 

The Islamic celebration of Eid al Adha will start on Saturday and will last for four days, during which millions of Muslims will practise sacrificing sheep and calves, based on their belief in the religious story of Abraham and his son Ishmael, according to the Holy Quran.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ekim 2014, 18:00

Muhammed Öylek