Turkish main opposition leader warns over military strike in Syria
The leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (C) chats with his party MPs as the Turkish Parliament convenes in Ankara on March 19. AFP photoMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel “not to embark on an adventure” with a military intervention in Syria to protect the tomb of Süleyman Şah.
Speaking to Samanyolu Haber television on March 19, Kılıçdaroğlu said reports about possible attacks on the tomb had started to appear in newspapers as the March 30 local elections approach.
“It is 30 kilometers from our border. He [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] could decide to move the army into Syria before the elections. I’d like to address the chief of General Staff: Don’t send Turkey on an adventure. Especially when there is a shady prime minister in charge, who also jailed the previous chief of General Staff as a terrorist,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Kılıçdaroğlu argued that no Syrian group had attacked the tomb, but that “a provocation can happen.” He said he received “some unconfirmed information” and warned that “everyone should be very careful.”
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reiterated last week that Turkey has the right to take all precautions to protect the tomb following clashes around the shrine, which is recognized as Turkish territory.
The tomb for Süleyman Şah, the founder of the Seljuk Empire in Anatolia who died in 1086, is located in the governorate of Aleppo.
Two Turkish F-16 fighter jets are reportedly on duty to protect the tomb, from either Syrian government forces or the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).