Ankara deems Taliban's statements against Turkey 'communication mishap'

AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik has said that the Taliban's recent statements against Turkey regarding the country's presence in Afghanistan can be accepted as a communication mishap.

Taliban delegates speak during talks between the Afghan government and Taliban insurgents in Doha, Qatar September 12, 2020.

Duvar English 

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik has said that the Taliban's statements against Turkey's presence in Afghanistan can be branded as a communication mishap. 

Speaking to reporters on July 14, Çelik said that the militant group's statement dated July 13 "has some negative remarks." 

"We would like to evaluate this statement as a communication mishap," Çelik said. 

The Taliban warned Turkey on July 13 against possible plans to keep some troops in Afghanistan to run and guard Kabul's main airport after the withdrawal of foreign troops, calling the strategy "reprehensible" and warning of "consequences." 

Ankara, which has offered to run and guard the airport in the capital after NATO's withdraws, has been in talks with allies, namely the United States, on aspects of financial, political and logistical support.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan condemns this reprehensible decision," the militant group said in a statement.

"If Turkish officials fail to reconsider their decision and continue the occupation of our country, the Islamic Emirate... will take a stand against them."

In that case, it added, the responsibility for consequences would fall on the shoulders of those who interfere.

The Taliban, emboldened by the departure of foreign forces by a September target, are making a fresh push to surround cities and gain territory.

Çelik on July 14 said that Turkey is not in Afghanistan as a combatant force, but rather as one that tries to improve the living standards of the people. 

"NATO is withdrawing from there. There will be major problems if the Kabul Airport is not secured. Turkey is not an occupying force. Turkey would be present there upon the invitation of Afghanistan's legitimate representatives," he said.