Turkey faces Afghan refugee influx, Erdoğan says
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey faces a new refugee wave from Afghanistan and thus Ankara will continue to work towards ensuring stability in the war-torn country.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey faces a new Afghan refugee influx as the Taliban gained control of major cities, including Kabul, with surprising speed.
Speaking during a ceremony on Aug. 15, Erdoğan said that the refugees are coming to Turkey through Iran.
He also noted that Pakistan's duty is crucial in ensuring that Afghanistan has peace and stability.
"We will continue our efforts to ensure stability in the region and mainly Afghanistan. We need to continue our cooperation with Pakistan in order to achieve that," Erdoğan said.
"We are determined to mobilize all means in line with that," he added.
Taliban insurgents entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Aug. 15 and an official said President Ashraf Ghani had left the city for Tajikistan, capping the militants' lightning push for power.
Afghan refugees have been flocking to Turkey for weeks to escape from the flare-up violence between the Taliban and government forces.
Earlier, a senior Taliban official said that the militant group doesn't perceive Turkey as an enemy, but as an ally instead.
Speaking to The Independent's Turkish service, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, said that they want to build close relations with Turkey.
Yaqoob also said that the militants expect Erdoğan to be respectful towards them.
"Turkey is a country that houses many Afghans and that we want to build close relations with. We perceive Turkey as an ally and not an enemy," he said.
Also on Aug. 15, Turkey urged its citizens in Afghanistan to contact the Turkish Embassy urgently if they want to leave the country.
Turkey has offered to deploy troops at Kabul airport after NATO withdraws and has held talks with the United States for weeks. Erdoğan has asked it to meet financial, logistical and diplomatic conditions.
Earlier on Aug. 15, Erdoğan said that entrances and exits would be prevented from the Iranian border with the wall that Turkey is currently building.
"The walls on our borders are our security borders," he said.