Turkish PM thanked PYD during relocation of Ottoman tomb: HDP’s Önder

Turkish PM thanked PYD during relocation of Ottoman tomb: HDP’s Önder

ANKARA – Cihan News Agency
Turkish PM thanked PYD during relocation of Ottoman tomb: HDP’s Önder

DHA photo

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu thanked the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) for its part in the relocation of the tomb of Süleyman Şah from Syria to Turkey earlier this year, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ankara Deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder has said, countering government claims that Ankara performed the move unilaterally.

“Davutoğlu thanked Rojava and the PYD,” Önder said from the rostrum of the General Assembly on Oct. 1 during a session to open the 25th term of the Turkish Parliament.

After protests came from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) banks in the parliament, Önder said: “Friends, I did not dream of this! Davutoğlu should rise and say, ‘I did not thank [the PYD].’ That would be enough.”

Önder said he and the current foreign minister and the then-undersecretary of the Defense Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, organized the relocation of the Ottoman tomb in Syria. 

“I and the then-undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, organized the moving of the [Süleyman Şah] tomb,” said Önder. “Let this be a nice memory for you at the last speech in the parliament.” 

The Süleyman Şah Tomb, containing the remains and relics of the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, were moved closer to Turkey on Feb. 21, from their original place some 37 kilometers from the Turkey-Syria border, in an operation in which 44 soldiers guarding the tomb were also evacuated over concerns of a potential threat from ISIL.

AKP Group Deputy Chairman Ahmet Aydın, as an answer to Önder’s claims, said only an announcement was issued by the Turkish army to the security forces in the region in Syria where the tomb was located, warning them not to obstruct the Turkish army lest the military be forced to do what was “necessary.”

“Otherwise, there was no kind of thank you,” Aydın said, refuting Önder’s claim that Davutoğlu had thanked the PYD.

‘Sensitivity’ to Yüksekdağ’s comments

Önder also said too much sensitivity had been displayed to HDP co-chair Figen Yüksakdağ’s July 19 comments that her party relied on Kobane, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and all peoples resisting the atrocities committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“We rely on Rojava, Kobane, the nations which resist ISIL violence, and the YPG-YPJ [the YPG’s women branch], who are conducting a human struggle. We do not see any inconvenience in saying this. Look, we say very clearly who we rely on and that we will continue to rely on them,” Yüksekdağ said.