Turkey’s army chief General Necdet Ozel and top commanders have for the first time visited the new location of Suleyman Shah tomb inside Syrian territory, the military said on Friday.
Army chief of staff Ozel and the land and air forces commanders on Thursday went inside Syria to visit the Turkish soldiers guarding the tomb of the grandfather of the Ottoman empire’s founder Osman I.
The tomb lies in the settlement of Eshme, just 200 meters from the Turkish border and is easily visible from Turkish territory.
The visit had not been announced in advance.
Images on state media showed Ozel paying his respects at the tomb and then exiting the small brick-built mausoleum.
The visit came just over a month after hundreds of Turkish soldiers staged an unprecedented incursion deep inside Syrian territory to move the tomb from its previous location.
Located some 37 kilometers inside Syrian territory, the complex is considered Turkish territory under the 1921 Treaty of Ankara between the Turkish authorities and France, which then controlled French-mandated Syria.
But the government ordered the tomb, which has a permanent honor guard of Turkish troops, to be moved due to security fears as it was located in territory controlled by Takfiri group, ISIL.
However, some media reports doubted such security threat, saying that the Takfiri militants did not approach the tomb of Suleyman Shah, in indication to relations between ISIL and Ankara.
Turkey has already reburied Suleyman Shah on the site and hastily constructed the new mausoleum.