“Turkish Armed Forces is returning to our homeland with the pride of successfully fulfilling the task entrusted to them,” a ministry statement said.
Since 2002, the Turkish Armed Forces have operated in Afghanistan under the U.N., NATO, and bilateral agreements to contribute to the peace, welfare, and stability of the Afghan people, the statement said.
It added that the Turkish troops intervened together with the soldiers of other countries during the chaos and ensured security at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
As many as 1,129 civilian Turkish citizens were evacuated through military aircraft during the process, the statement noted.
Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın said the troop withdrawal would take up to 36 hours and that the first plane had already taken off.
He said the Taliban wanted technical support from Turkey in running the airport and that talks would likely reach positive results.
“After our soldiers withdraw, we could continue to operate the airport there,” he said, adding that negotiations on Turkish civilian experts providing technical support at the airport were ongoing.
Speaking to broadcaster NTV, Kalın said he doubted the Taliban had the capacity to secure the airport.
Hurriyet Daily News