Turkish FM continues informing foreign counterparts about Süleyman Şah evacuation
A Syrian Kurdish militia member of YPG patrols near a Turkish army tank as Turks work to build a new Ottoman tomb in the background in Esme village in Aleppo province, Syria, Feb. 22, 2015. AP Photo.Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has conducted a number of exchanges with foreign counterparts to inform them about the evacuation of the Tomb of Süleyman Şah in Syria on Feb. 22.
Çavuşoğlu held phone conversations with the foreign minister of Qatar on Feb. 23, following phone calls with counterparts from the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Denmark, as well as NATO’s secretary-general, after the completion of the evacuation on Feb. 22.
Nearly all ministers congratulated Çavuşoğlu for “Turkey’s successful military operation,” a diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Çavuşoğlu, speaking in Antalya on Feb. 22, said his foreign counterparts asked “how Turkey managed to carry out this military operation and expressed admiration and respect.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with Çavuşoğlu about “Turkey’s successful overnight operation for the tomb, the State Department said in a written statement.
The U.S. and Turkey have been in close coordination on developments in Syria, including intelligence and information sharing, said the statement noting that Kerry expressed his condolences to Turkey and the family of Turkish soldier Halit Avcı, who died in an accident at the outset of the operation.
Turkey evacuated its military personnel protecting the tomb in northern Syria in an operation jointly conducted by the intelligence organization and the Turkish army launched late Feb. 21.
The tomb, around 37 kilometers from the Turkish border, is regarded as Turkish territory by international agreements and was protected by around 40 soldiers.
Turkey has cordoned off a new area west of Kobane, about 180 meters from the Turkish border, to house the relocated tomb.