Turkey open to talks with Taliban, if necessary: Erdogan

Turkey open to talks with Taliban, if necessary: Erdogan
Turkey's president has said that he would hold talks with the Taliban, if necessary, while also criticising western nations.
2 min read
21 August, 2021
Turkey is currently hosting around 300,000 Afghan refugees [Getty]

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that his country will hold talks with the Taliban "if necessary". 

Erdogan made the announcement to reporters in Istanbul after Friday prayers. 

"If there is a knock on our door, we will open it for dialogue," the Turkish president said. 

He followed his comments with a sharp criticism of western nations and other Islamic countries for what he said was little interest shown and the lack of care given to Afghanistan over the past 20 years. 

Erdogan went on to highlight the efforts that Turkey has been making for Afghanistan's development, adding that he was committed to continue with these efforts. 

"The Afghan nation is comprised of our Muslim brothers and sisters, so of course, we will not close our doors to them," said Erdogan. 

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"Many of our entrepreneurs and investors also have investments in Afghanistan and we cannot leave them behind," he continued. 

Turkey, like many other nations, are pursuing efforts to secure the return of its citizens from Afghanistan while also dealing with a wave of migration as Afghans flee the country following the Taliban takeover and seek safety in Turkey. 

"We didn't close our doors to people who were fleeing their countries and seeking refuge in ours," Erdogan said.

He claimed that Turkey is currently playing host to around 300,000 documented and undocumented migrants from Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan was thrown into chaos last week when the Taliban swiftly swept across the country, capturing many towns and cities, including the capital Kabul. 

In the wake of this swift take over, many states have sought to airlift their staff from the country and secure the evacuation of Afghans who worked with them and whose lives are threatened by the Taliban. 

There have been multiple reports from Afghanistan that the Taliban have been searching for and targeting Afghan individuals who worked for the previous government, the US or NATO forces or helped foreign media outlets.