Last month, after it was revealed that Turkey may stay on in Afghanistan to ensure security at the country’s main airport once US and other NATO forces are gone, the Taliban warned Ankara that doing so would be “a big mistake”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the Taliban to end its “occupation” of the areas of Afghanistan which are under its control, and indicated that Ankara remains ready to take control of Kabul airport if Washington provides diplomatic, logistical and financial support.
“Afghanistan is facing a new period at the moment – there are three players there: NATO, America and Turkey. The United States made the decision to leave and wanted us to manage the airport, which we have already been managing for 20 years. We view this situation positively, but we have our own conditions,” Erdogan said, speaking to reporters in Northern Cyprus on Tuesday.
Acknowledging the Taliban’s “discomfort” with Turkey’s airport security scheme, Erdogan assured that the Turkish side would discuss the process with the Islamist militant group, noting that the militants who previously successfully negotiated with the US in Doha “should hold these talks much more comfortably with Turkey. It’s possible that we will discuss these issues with them well and reach an agreement because Turkey does not have an opposition to their beliefs,” he said.
Erdogan also suggested that Turkey has…