Skip to main content

Ankara mulls ambitious but risky engagement with Taliban

The Turkish government is eyeing a more independent — and riskier — role in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s blitz takeover of Kabul sidelined the United States earlier than expected.
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Ankara was perhaps among those most taken aback by the Taliban’s whirlwind takeover of Kabul and the earlier-than-expected US departure from Afghanistan. Until last week, Ankara was preparing to attempt to mediate between the Taliban and the West and assume a mission to guard and run Kabul’s international airport once fellow NATO forces completed their withdrawal. After the head-spinning turn of events, it is now scrambling to adapt to the new realities on the ground.

The prevailing view in Ankara is that there is nothing left to negotiate with Washington now. Thus, efforts are underway for direct contacts with the Taliban.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.