Turkey avoided blackmailing with evacuation operation: Erdoğan
AA PhotoTurkey’s evacuation of a historic tomb in northern Syria prevents the enclave from being used for “blackmailing,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, dismissing critics of the operation conducted by the Turkish army to relocate artifacts from the enclave and protect troops guarding the site.
“This relocation ruins the plans of those who want to use the Süleyman Şah tomb and our soldiers there as a blackmailing tool,” Erdoğan said on Feb. 23, after meeting with a delegation representing temporary village guards.
He said the tomb was transferred to a safer place due to the extraordinary security conditions in the region, stressing “the reason for this operation is strong and [the operation] has been executed successfully.”
Erdoğan claimed that the operation is not a “withdrawal,” but rather a “temporary relocation” conducted in order to protect the lives of the Turkish troops there.
“Turkey did not renounce any of its rights bound by international agreements. We still have land in Syria under the same conditions,” he said.