Following a series of bombings near Kabul airport in Afghanistan which are reported to have killed at least 90 people including 13 US soldiers, Turkish president Tayyip Erdoğan said that the incident showed the importance of security in Afghanistan, and also that Turkey will not be undertaking the management of Kabul airport until they decide it is safe.
Speaking at a press conference, Erdoğan also indicated that the attacks showed how dangerous the Islamic State was, a branch of which assumed responsibility for the bombings.
Erdoğan said that Turkish state officials had recently met with the Taliban to discuss relations, and that the Taliban had offered them the job of management of the airport.
“Our first meeting there with the Taliban to discuss relations lasted three and a half hours. It was held by our colleagues there in the presence of embassy officials,” he said. “First of all, the Taliban made an offer for the job of the management of Kabul airport. To whom? To us. They said, ‘We will make the security arrangements, but you do the management.’ We have not yet reached a decision in this matter.”
He added that Turkey would be left in a very difficult position if there were another bombing incident with so many fatalities in an area they were managing:
“If we’re involved… If Turkey gets involved and undertakes the management of the military and civilian airports, and despite this 72 people are killed, if we’re involved in such a thing, we won’t be able to explain it at all.”