Turkish troops evacuated from Afghanistan land in Ankara

The first group of Turkish troops evacuated from Afghanistan landed in Ankara on Aug. 26. Defense Minister Akar said that the evacuations are planned to be completed as soon as possible.

Duvar English 

The first group of Turkish troops evacuated from Afghanistan landed in the country's capital on Aug. 26. 

The plane landed in Ankara at around 11:45 a.m., according to a statement from Turkish Airlines. 

The group of 345 Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) personnel initially traveled from the Afghan capital Kabul to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, via a Turkish Air Force transport plane, then proceeded to Ankara on a Turkish Airlines flight.

Two more evacuation flights are set to take off from Istanbul on Aug. 30, depending on demand.

Also on Aug. 26, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Ankara plans to complete the evacuations as soon as possible. 

Akar said that Turkish soldiers successfully fulfilled the task given to them in the war-torn country.

Despite the extraordinary conditions at the airport, where thousands of people are desperately trying to get a flight out since the Taliban takeover, Turkish troops are making every effort to ensure that their plan is implemented without any major disruptions, he added.

"We would like to thank our friends Pakistan and Tajikistan, and our allies with whom we worked together in the region, for their support," Akar said.

Turkey was part of a NATO mission in Afghanistan since 2002 and was also involved in evacuation efforts at the Kabul airport since the Taliban took control of the capital this month.

Azerbaijani peacekeepers withdraw from Afghanistan

Separately, some 120 Azerbaijani peacekeepers serving at the Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport have been withdrawn from Afghanistan, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Aug. 26.

“Currently, the Azerbaijani soldiers, their weapons, and military equipment were transported to Ankara by air," a ministry statement said, adding the soldiers will soon return to their homeland.

The Azerbaijani peacekeepers along with Turkish forces ensured security in the Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport.