Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has said that the militant group does not want Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan because it does not want any "adverse situation" to arise.
“The reason [why we do not want Turkish soldiers] is so that an adverse situation does not arise between us and Turkey,” he told Euronews' Turkish service in an interview on Aug. 29.
Mujahid said that they want to establish good relations with Turkey but will ensure the security of the Kabul airport themselves.
“The Afghan people are very sensitive to the foreign powers. We do not want the sensitivity [towards Turkey] to increase further. We will ensure the security of the Kabul airport ourselves. We can use all the capacity of the airport ourselves, but we will of course ask for help [from Turkey] if there is a need of technical, trade and diplomatic issue,” he reportedly said.
Ankara has been in talks with the Taliban about providing technical help to operate Kabul airport after the Aug. 31 deadline for troops to leave Afghanistan but said the recent bombing underlined the need for a Turkish force to protect any experts deployed there.
Turkey, which is part of the NATO mission, has been responsible for security at the airport for the last six years. Keeping the airport open after foreign forces hand over control is vital not just for Afghanistan to stay connected to the world but also to maintain aid supplies and operations.
Mujahid told Reuters on Aug. 28 that "it is a bit too early to decided whether we will need Turkey or Qatar's help to operate Kabul airport."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey has not made a final decision about operating the airport because of security concerns and that his country was "not in a rush to start flights" again to Kabul.
"How can we give the security to you (the Taliban)? How would we explain it to the world if you took over security and there is another bloodbath there? This is not an easy job," he said on Aug. 29.