Commentary:  Why is Turkey so interested in Afghanistan?



Why is Turkey so interested in Afghanistan?


  • Afghanistan is called “the Graveyard of Nations”. After Russia, the US, too, failed to tame this wild country.


  • Taliban’s victory is not a local event, its shocks will be felt in the entire Moslem world.


  • Taliban is a medieval supposedly Sunni institution, which has no respect for life, law, women, or welfare of its citizens.


  • Turkey has been heavily involved in Afghanistan through NATO missions.


  • Recently, Ankara gave up on a futile quest to guard Kabul Airport, as the Taliban refused to concede to the mission.


  • However, President Erdogan’s strange interest in playing a role in Afghanistan’s fate continues despite massive objections across the political spectrum.



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  • Turkey and Afghanistan have neither geographic nor historic ties.


  • Erdogan’s primary purpose is to become the interlocutor between Taliban and Western states to make money and to avert US sanctions.


  • The second objective is to bolster his self-declared credentials as the self-declared Leader of the Sunni Moslem World.


  • Cozy relations with Taliban pose two threats: More migration and re-awakening of Sunni jihadist movements in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.


WHY is the policy doomed to fail?


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.