Why Turkey Might Join ISIS Fight: Ancient Tomb?

Tomb of Suleyman Shah, located in Syria, is dear to country
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2014 11:11 AM CDT
Why Turkey Might Join ISIS Fight: Ancient Tomb?
In this April 7, 2011 file photo, Turkish soldiers stand guard during a ceremony at the entrance of the memorial site of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of Osman I.   (AP Photo/ Ministry of Foresty and Waters, File)

Turkey is today weighing whether to join the fight against ISIS. As the AP explains, the country's parliament is debating a motion that would grant the government new powers to launch military operations targeting ISIS in Syria and Iraq; it also would allow for the use of Turkish bases by foreign troops. Though two parties are opposing the bill, it's expected to pass, and CNN shares what could be a motivating factor: an ancient tomb located in Syria. It is said to house the remains of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

As CNN reports, the tomb is incredibly dear to Turkey, which, as part of the 1921 Treaty of Ankara, gained possession of it, though it's not within Turkish borders. The semiofficial Turkish news agency's report on today's vote notes that the tomb's increasing vulnerability is listed as a motive in today's motion. (As of yesterday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had denied reports that ISIS had the site surrounded.) Should the motion pass, it's unclear what intervention will follow. "Don't expect any immediate steps," warned the country's defense minister. (More Turkey stories.)

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