A new US diplomatic decision on Afghanistan shocked Turkish officials.
According to local news agencies, Erdogan’s desire to maintain his military presence in Afghanistan and take over security at Kabul airport seems to have heavy costs and consequences.
And every day a different angle emerges from the dangers of this decision.
Instead of granting asylum to Afghan nationals linked to the Pentagon, the United States intends to send them to Turkey and place them in Ankara again.
Interestingly, Washington made such a decision without consulting the Erdogan government.
The number of these people is approaching 60,000, and Turkey, which already has more than 4 million refugees and asylum seekers within its borders, is unable to accept new people.
At first, Turkey believed that with the withdrawal of the United States and all NATO forces from Afghanistan, an atmosphere would be created in which a new political and economic space could fall into the hands of Turkey.
But in the first steps, the fact becomes clear that staying in Afghanistan entails serious risks and costs for Turkey, and the new decision of the Biden administration clearly shows the American viewpoint.
Reasons for America’s strange decision
During the years when the Afghan people were in a difficult situation due to the presence of US and NATO forces, thousands of Afghan citizens, worked for the Pentagon and the CIA in different parts of their country, as translators, guides, couriers, drivers, security guards, informants and various types of services and other jobs.
Difficult economic conditions, lack of work, and large wages in dollars were among the most important motivations for those who worked with the United States during these years in Afghanistan.
But now that the Americans are gone, most of their local Afghan allies have fallen into the hands of the Taliban and they will naturally expect a severe confrontation.
As a result, on the eve of their departure, the United States promised asylum to most of the local residents and told them that they would be deported with their families and that they would obtain citizenship on American soil.
But calculating and utilitarian Americans gradually came to the conclusion that such a move would create new economic costs and security and social consequences for the United States, and that granting citizenship to thousands of Afghan families would not be a cost-effective option.
So it is better to send them to another country. where? Turkey seems to be the best possible place.
Erdogan has demonstrated a desire to be in Afghanistan, and in recent weeks several AKP officials have repeatedly accused opposition leaders of “xenophobia” and “anti-immigration” in response to their remarks.
Repeated warnings about Afghan refugees are issued by people who say they lack religious and humanitarian sentiments.
Ankara’s sharp reaction
The response of the Turkish diplomatic apparatus to the United States showed that there is no dynamic and continuous relationship of dialogue and interaction between Ankara and Washington, and that issues cannot be resolved behind the scenes of hidden diplomacy.
In response to the US diplomatic decision, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said:
“What the United States said about the Afghan refugee program is an example of an irresponsible decision, and we, as Turkey, made a decision.”
“Without consulting us, we do not accept. If the United States wants to bring these people home, it can fly them directly to the United States.”
“Our country will in no way assume the international role and responsibilities of a third country and will not allow our laws to be misused by third countries for their own purposes,” Bilgic said.
“No one should expect the Turkish people to bear the burden of the migration crises caused by the decisions of third countries,” he added.
A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the US decision will create a major migration crisis in the region and increase the suffering of Afghans on their migration routes.
Therefore, from Ankara’s point of view, it is unacceptable that the United States, instead of finding a solution on its own, is trying to find a solution in the countries of the region.
Devlet Bahceli’s role
Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the National Movement Party, is in fact the leader of the most extreme right-wing nationalist wing in Turkey, which in recent years, in partnership with the ruling party, has controlled part of the power of the Republican Alliance.
“Bringing asylum seekers and refugees to Turkey is a new form of domination and occupation, and we must be vigilant,” Bahceli said frankly a few days ago.
Bahceli’s statements did not get enough attention in the Turkish media.
But now, after the announcement of the US State Department’s decision, one might consider the possibility of preliminary talks between the US and Turkey, But the Ankara authorities responded in the negative and ignored the issue.
Negative messages for the US decision towards Turkey
The US State Department has announced that Turkey is a country that can host Afghans linked to the Pentagon. Washington’s decision contains two important messages:
1- While in Afghanistan, the Americans caused great suffering to the Afghan people, in addition to killing dozens of civilians in drone strikes.
Thousands of local troops were trained in translation and assistance, but once they achieved their goals, they demonstrated that the lives and safety of these individuals and their families were of great importance to the United States.
This issue is so unimportant to Washington that even the title “Ensuring the lives and security of Afghans who have a history of cooperation with the United States” was not brought up in the Doha talks between the United States and the Taliban.
2- The United States did not consult with Turkish officials to make this strange decision, and allowed itself to take a coercive and intrusive approach to decide not only the fate of thousands of Afghan citizens, but also Turkey.
Finally, it should be noted that the analysis of US decisions, actions, and approaches in recent months in Turkey shows the fact that the Biden administration does not have friendly positions in Turkey.