Officials Deny Reports Turkey Cedes Territory to Islamic State for Hostages

August 21, 2014

A Turkish newspaper claimed that Ankara has agreed to surrender territory to the Islamic State (IS) in exchange for 49 Turkish citizens who were taken hostage by the terror group in June. Taraf daily news reported that Turkey has agreed to surrender the tomb of Süleyman Sah, who was the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I. The tomb lies within Syria’s borders but is the property of Turkey due to a treaty signed with France in 1921. The tomb is said to be constantly guarded by two dozen Turkish special forces soldiers. Islamic State jihadis kidnapped 49 Turkish nationals from Turkey’s Consulate General in Mosul, Iraq, on June 11, and Consul General Öztürk Yilmaz was among those taken hostage. Turkey has censored the media within its country from reporting on the incident, and no public statements from the hostages has surfaced. Taraf said that Turkey offered a substantial compensation package to the terrorists, but the money offer was rejected by the jihadis. Instead, they wanted the land within Syria. The newspaper also said that Ankara has already ordered Turkish soldiers guarding the tomb to stand down and vacate the premises. Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry

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