Tomb of Suleyman Shah

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Tomb of Suleyman Shah
Basic information
Location Turkey Sovereign Territory of the Republic of Turkey
landlocked by Syria
Geographic coordinates 36°38′19″N 38°12′27″E / 36.638629°N 38.20752°E / 36.638629; 38.20752Coordinates: 36°38′19″N 38°12′27″E / 36.638629°N 38.20752°E / 36.638629; 38.20752
Affiliation Islam
Region Manbij District
Architectural description

The Tomb of Suleyman Shah (Turkish: Süleyman Şah Türbesi) is a sovereign exclave of the Republic of Turkey situated in Aleppo, Syria. It is the burial place of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. He is believed to have drowned in the Euphrates River in modern-day Syria, and an Ottoman tomb in or near Qal'at Ja'bar has been associated with Suleyman Shah.[1] In accordance with Article 9 of the Treaty of Ankara (1921) signed between France and Turkey, the tomb "shall remain, with its appurtenances, the property of Turkey, who may appoint guardians for it and may hoist the Turkish flag there."[2][3][4] In 1973, the location of the tomb was flooded by construction of Tabqa Dam to create Lake Assad. At that time, the legal exclave and the tomb were moved to a new location some 80 km north of Qal'at Ja'bar,[5] but also on the Euphrates riverside, not far from the town of Sarrin and located a mere 35 km from the Turkish frontier. Up to date, Turkey maintains a small military presence as an honour guard inside the place and has continued to do so throughout the Syrian Civil War.

Syria Crisis and the Tomb[edit]

On 5 August 2013, the Syrian civil war prompted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to state that, "The tomb of Suleyman Shah [in Syria] and the land surrounding it is our territory. We cannot ignore any unfavorable act against that monument, as it would be an attack on our territory, as well as an attack on NATO land....Everyone knows his duty, and will continue to do what is necessary".[6] On 20 March 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threatened to attack the site unless the Turkish troops were withdrawn within three days. The Turkish government reiterated that any attack on the tomb would be treated as an attack on Turkish soil.[7]


  1. ^ Sourdel, D. (2009). "ḎJabar or Ḳalat ḎJabar". In P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, et al. Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.). Brill online. 
  2. ^ "Franco-Turkish agreement of Ankara" (in French). Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  3. ^[dead link]
  4. ^[dead link]
  5. ^ Burns, R. (1999). Monuments of Syria. An historical guide. London: I.B. Tauris. pp. 180–181. ISBN 1-86064-244-6. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Today's Zaman: Erdoğan: Attacking tomb of Süleyman Şah means attacking Turkey