The United States has withdrawn from Afghanistan and Turkey will try to replace it. The Turks do not agree with such a policy and Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rating dropped by 10% in August.
What could be the impediment to Erdogan’s plans in Afghanistan?
Ankara has participated in the military mission in Afghanistan from the very beginning. Not only has Turkey sent 2,000 troops there, but it has twice led international coalition operations in the last six months.
An important task of the Turkish army was to ensure the security of Kabul Airport. The Turks intended to remain there even after the withdrawal of international troops. The issue was discussed between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden.
It is now clear that Turkey has retained control of the airport. Turkish and Qatari technicians arrived, and it looks like Turkish PMCs will protect Kabul Airport. If so, it means that the Turks have reached an agreement with the Taliban.
The goal is to strengthen the geopolitical position.
Controlling Kabul Airport is important for a number of reasons. To control Kabul airport means to control.
- Drug trafficking,
- And geopolitics
This spring, Turkey tried to arrange peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government on its soil, to no avail. German Foreign Minister Heiko Moss met with his Turkish counterpart Molotov-Kosoglu last weekend, while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said: Turkey could play a “key role” in the conflict.
Many in the West believe that the West will be able to establish contacts and mutual understanding with the Taliban through Turkish mediation. If put into practice, Ankara will be approved for further action in Central Asia (then the Middle East), which will significantly enhance its position as a geopolitical player.
What will stop Turkey from becoming a key player in Afghanistan?
If it weren’t for this, everything would be much easier:
- Taliban’s opinion *
- Opinion of Turkish population
- Erdogan’s “multi-vector” nature.
The Taliban have changed statements about wanting to see “foreign troops, subcontractors, advisers and instructors” on Afghan soil. The Taliban and the Turks are brothers in faith., And they can come to an agreement. “
Taliban spokesman Sohail Shaheen said Turkey and China are key partners in the Taliban movement in rebuilding Afghanistan.
“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan needs more friendship, cooperation and collaboration with Turkey than any other country,” he said.
However, they are at the beginning of the journey, and much can change.
Turkish citizens do not understand Ankara’s reason for living in Afghanistan. On the contrary, many believe that more refugees will come. No one in Turkey is happy with such a possibility because Turkey is already home to more than 3 million of them.
Ankara is doing everything possible to stop the influx of Afghan refugees. Turkey, for example, strengthens its border with Iran, but such measures will not stop the new wave of refugees.
An August poll by Metropolis shows that approval of President Erdogan’s policies has dropped by 10 percent since July. Only 38% of Turks support Erdogan, while 51% of respondents do not approve of his presidency.
Voter support for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) also fell to 76 percent (81 percent in July). Voters’ support for the AKP’s ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the ruling coalition has also waned. The number of people approving the Turkish president’s activities dropped to 54.5 percent (76.8 percent in July).
“The last time Erdogan’s rating fell so low (37.5%) and elections were held in Turkey, the ruling party won only 41%. No alliance was formed. Then came the terrible events in Turkey – the PKK and Deadly terrorist attacks After that, Erdogan’s party, led by Diotoglu, could win more than 49 percent of the early elections and form a one-party government. Turkey’s agenda The telegram channel wrote.
These are not just refugees. The Turks refused to support Erdogan in their agreement with the Taliban on being “brothers of faith”.
The Turkish president said there was nothing in Turkey that went against his (Taliban’s) beliefs.
Leading film director and writer Elias Salman wrote on Twitter that except for a small percentage of radical Turks, Even most of Erdogan’s supporters do not want to live like Afghanistan.
It is noteworthy that Turkey’s relations with the West are strained. Erdogan said Turkey is committed to buying another S-400 division from Russia. This “multi-vector” approach could deprive it of Western support and approval for operations in Afghanistan.
* Ban on terrorist organizations in the Russian Federation