Turkish forces entered Syria on Saturday to stage a rescue – of the thousand-year-old remains of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the man who would found the Ottoman Empire.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday that all 38 Turkish soldiers who had been guarding the tomb were brought home safely in the mission that involved hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles.
Suleyman’s remains have been evacuated to Turkey, Davutoglu said, adding that at a later stage the body would be returned to an area in Syria under Turkish control.
Suleyman bin Kaya Alp is believed to have been born in 1178 and to have been the headman of the Kayi, a Turkic tribe living in the area now largely controlled by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. He is believed to have drowned in the Euphrates River in 1236 while evading Mongol hordes led by Genghis Khan.