Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, September 24th, 2021

Why Afghans Welcome Turkey in Afghanistan?

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Why Afghans Welcome Turkey  in Afghanistan?

Before everything, we need to know a bit about Turkey and that the geography of Turkey with 814578 square kilometers situated in Southeast Europe and Northwest Asia bordered with two European neighbors including Greece and Bulgaria on the northwest, and six Asian neighbors including Azerbaijan and Iran on the east, Georgia and Armenia on the northeast, Iraq and Syria on the southeast. Almost a century ago, the Republic of Turkey was founded on the ruins of the 625-year-old Ottoman Empire, the largest Islamic empire, and Afghanistan was the “second” country that recognized the new Turkey led by Kemal Ataturk in 1921.  Now, the Republic of Turkey has a population of about 72 million people while most of whom culturally pertain to moderate Islam such as Sunni Hanafi, Shia 12 Immami and Alawi. Although the Turkish people preserve Islamic values, they have promoted and respect modern values such as human rights, women rights, freedom and equality.
Following the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, the Turkish peacekeeping forces were suggested to fill the security gaps in Afghanistan. The inside Turkish opposition and its affiliated media strongly opposed the deploy of Turkish troops in Afghanistan .If a government cannot even control its capital airport, then what is the logical reason to support such a government?” the report was quoted from a member of Turkish opposition. Nevertheless, the Turkish formal officials have recently confirmed their positive position to stay and send more troops and facilities in Afghanistan. The people and government of Afghanistan have warmly welcomed this decision but the Taliban has unexpectedly issued a statement warning Turkey that if it did not reconsider its decision, the Taliban would attack them as it had fought foreign forces. “If you continue to occupy, we will stand against you”, Taliban officials said as local media quoted the report.  Now, the mentioned question on tip of every tongue is why does the Taliban always take paradoxical position against people’s wants and demands?
In response to this question, there are different speculations and analysis, but the answer that has fascinated most Afghans, especially the social network users, was the one quoted from the Turkish authorities in response to the Taliban recent warning. The social network users have widely shared the statement quoted from Marjib Tayyip Erdogan saying if “the Afghan government does not stop us, we will start military operations not only in the capital of Afghanistan but also in all parts of the country. We are not the United States or Russia to launch political games there, but we are a Muslim nation and the closest friend of Afghans that will strive for stability in Afghanistan. The Taliban do not want us because they know that we will not come for political games but will come to continue the good-will and friendship started in the reign of Shah Amanullah. The passage of time will let Afghans know that how Turks are their true friends”.
As aforementioned, unlike the proxy fighters group and terrorist groups, the people of Afghanistan trust Turkey and Turkish because of widespread historical, cultural, economic, and political ties between Afghanistan and Turkey. Since the establishment of Turkey in 1921, Afghan people have not had any bad memory of Turkey and Turkish.
Politically, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has defined Ankara’s foreign policy towards Afghanistan in four goals: maintaining political stability and unity, strengthening existing political structures and institutions, supporting the stability of its security environment, and restoring peace and prosperity by eliminating terrorism and extremism. In addition, the Turkish government has had a lot of cooperation with the Afghan government and people in recent decades. For example, they provided a good and friendly environment to thousands of Afghan refugees, traders, families, and students in Turkey. The Turkey has also adopted an easy method of accommodation and citizenship facilities for asylum seekers which are unheard of among countries in the region. Some neighboring countries, although claiming to be God’s representatives on earth, deprive even innocent Afghan children of education, let alone grant citizenship to the oppressed Afghans who worked for them and fought for them.
The Afghan people also welcome Turkey in Afghanistan because of its economic, social, and cultural cooperation and relation. On the subject of economic relations, it is enough to say that the goods of Turkey are famous for their proper price and high quality in Kabul. In regard to the cultural and educational relations, while other neighboring countries provide educational services in Euro and Dollar, Turkey provides free educational services to more than 5000 students in 17 provinces of Afghanistan. The friendly relation of Turkey has not only has a special place in the hearts of Afghan people, but also in the heart of the independent and patriotic Taliban. Thus, despite the fact that thousands of Turks were present within the framework of NATO forces in the last two decades, there was no serious clash between them and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and so only one Turkish soldier was killed in 2015.
In general, the Turkish drones, Military aircraft, defense equipment, troops with the continuation of its honest policy will further strengthen the ties between the two countries. The people of Afghanistan are hospitable people, and they will not and should forget their goodness in these difficult days.  The government of Afghanistan should prioritize the Turkish companies in the extraction of mines, economic projects, and other projects. On the other hand, people will not and should not forget the two-faced or opportunistic policies of the other countries. All this will be recorded in the memory of history. Future generations will remember that how the oppressed people of Afghanistan were being massacred, houses ignited, heads were cut but the claimant of Muslim brotherhood and claimant of humanitarianism just kept looking. To end with, the next generation will say curse to such Islamic slogans, friendly condolences, sweat promises but Machiavellian actions.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail com.

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