Turkish troops and civilians have left Kabul – Erdoğan

All Turkish civilians and troops have left the Afghan capital Kabul aside from a small number of technicians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

“We transported our citizens to our country,” he told a news conference in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. “Currently we have a small number of technical elements. Apart from this, we have withdrawn all our teams.” 

On Friday, the Turkish National Defence Ministry tweeted that, “The evacuation of heroic Turkish Armed Forces personnel, who successfully performed their duty in Afghanistan for 20 years, has been completed.” 

The Taliban, which seized most of Afghanistan including Kabul earlier this month, has requested that Turkey provide technical help for running Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital. However, the group affirmed that all Turkish troops must leave the country. 

On Friday, Erdoğan spoke about that request. 

“They say, ‘We’ll ensure security and you can operate it’,” he said. “But we have not made a decision yet because there is always a possibility of death and such things there.” 

Erdoğan also revealed that the Turkish government held its first talks with the Taliban that lasted three and a half hours. 

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