Turkish troops will not engage in any combat operation duty other than self-defense if Turkey decides to run the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan, Defense Ministry spokeswoman Maj. Pınar Kara said on July 29.
Turkey’s negotiations with the authorities of other countries and Afghanistan continue regarding the continuation of a mission to run the Kabul Airport, while the consultancy and training activities carried out for 20 years within the scope of the NATO mission and bilateral agreements will be terminated, Kara said at a press conference.
Provided the necessary conditions are met, Turkey will continue to fulfil this mission, “which makes a great contribution to the relations of the Afghan people and Afghanistan,” she added.
“If the duty is continued, the elements of the Turkish Armed Forces will not have a combat mission in Afghanistan as it has been since the very beginning, and they will not be engaged in any operational duty other than self-defense,” the official stated.
Turkey has been holding talks with the United States over the former’s bid to operate Kabul International Airport after the completion of NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“In light of recent developments, necessary troop shifts and reinforcements were made on the Iranian border,” Kara said, noting that Turkish troops carry out their activities to prevent border violations.
There are serious concerns that thousands of Afghans will flee the country on fears that the Taliban will entirely control Afghanistan and impose its radical Islamic rule after the withdrawal of the American troops.
Turkey has taken additional security measures on its border with Iran recently following developments in Afghanistan.
Elaborating on Turkey’s support in Nagorno Karabagh, Kara said an area of 344,409 square meters was cleared of mines in the areas liberated from the occupation of Armenia in order to support the Azerbaijani army.
Hurriyet Daily News