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[LISTEN] Suha Cubukcouglu: “Turkey Adopting a “wait & See” Mode before Making any Major Moves in Afghanistan”

Aug 31, 2021

Image: AFP

Faizel Patel – 31/08/2021

Turkey political analyst Suha Cubukcouglu says Turkey is leveraging its cultural, linguistic and religious ties to fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of US and NATO forces in the Middle East.

Cubukcouglu was speaking to Radio Islam about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement that Turkey would maintain its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

NATO countries have been pulling out their diplomatic missions in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s victory two weeks ago.

In an interview with Turkish media on a flight back from Montenegro on Sunday, Erdogan said the Turkish embassy in Kabul had relocated to its building in the city after operating from the airport for two weeks.

Cubukcouglu says other countries are establishing themselves in the region and Turkey wants to be included.

“Turkey doesn’t want to be left out of the game if I may put it this way and because Iran is there, Pakistan is there and Turkey and Pakistan have close relations. Pakistan is the outlet or the gateway to southern seas, to the Indian Ocean for Central Asia and Afghanistan. So it sits on a crucial trade route for Central Asia and China. Turkey know that Asia is an emergent continent and wants to cultivate closer relationships over there.”

Cubukcouglu says if Turkey had remained under a NATO mission, it would have become vulnerable.

“Turkey I think made the right decision to pull out its troops and end the NATO mission there. If there is to be a new arrangement and sort of an agreement for operating or protecting our wealth, Kabul airport which is the only international gateway to the outside world, then that will come at a later stage.”

Cubukcouglu says Turkey is adopting a “wait and see” mode before making any major moves in Afghanistan including deliberating on the Taliban’s request to operate and manage the Kabul Airport.

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)


Listen to the interview with Suha Cubukcouglu



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