The issue of Turkish forces taking over the security and operation of the airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has become one of the most important topics being discussed with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
And questions have recently been circulating about the risks that the Turkish forces will face, in light of the Taliban’s demand for them to withdraw from Afghanistan, and how can Ankara convince the movement of its presence?
Turkey deploys more than 500 soldiers on Afghan soil as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mission to train local security forces.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar hinted that the survival of his forces in Afghanistan would not be without a price, saying, “We intend to stay in Afghanistan according to the conditions. What are our conditions? Political, financial and logistical support, if this is fulfilled, we can stay at Hamid Karzai International Airport,” adding that Ankara’s offer is conditional on the support of these allies.
He added that his country would need “diplomatic, logistical and financial assistance” from the United States if it wanted to keep troops in Afghanistan to protect and manage Kabul airport.
persuading the Taliban
Hikmet Cetin, a former Turkish foreign minister, who also served as a former NATO representative in Afghanistan, said; The survival of Turkish forces in Afghanistan is subject to the approval of the Taliban, and the risks of staying without that will create many problems.
The Turkish official spoke to Turkish media about another formula for the survival of the Turkish forces, explaining that it is possible to go to Afghanistan with a bilateral agreement, and away from the international identity, after the withdrawal of all foreign forces.
He stressed that any agreements without the consent of the Taliban will expose Turkey to significant security risks that are indispensable, and institutions such as NATO and the United Nations are required to support Turkey.
In his speech, Cetin reminds of previous talks with the Taliban, pointing out that the movement’s objection to Turkey is because it is part of an international force.
“The Taliban leaders told me that they treat us as brothers, but you came as part of an international force (NATO), as they see,” he added.
For its part, Hurriyet newspaper – which is close to the Turkish government – said in a report that the Turkish forces can perform this task in the best way if some requirements are met, and it will be very successful.
She noted that Turkey has a great status with the Afghan people, for many reasons, and has made great contributions to this country in many areas, including training the army since the era of Ataturk.
She explained that a large number of Afghan officials in high positions have graduated from Turkey, and that the Afghan people are the most loving to Turkey in the world.
Among the concessions Turkey wants is an agreement from the United States that would allow Ankara to maintain and operate a Russian air defense system, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.
The newspaper pointed out that the meeting between Erdogan and Biden on the sidelines of the NATO summit focused on Turkey’s long role in securing Kabul Airport.
Officials say no other country or company can implement the security service quickly or easily, and Turkey’s departure could force embassies and international organizations to close, threatening billions of dollars in aid that keeps the Afghan government and military running.