Selin ATAY-TDO- The evacuation of Turkish soldiers serving in Afghanistan has begun. Turkish Airlines (THY) stated the first evacuation flight of 345 people took off from the airport in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.
The plane, which included Turkish soldiers serving in Afghanistan, landed at Ankara Esenboga Airport at 11.45 am. After Ankara, it was announced that the plane would also land in Istanbul. Also, two more evacuation flights were planned with planes departing from Istanbul, these flights were dependent on demand.
Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın stated that the operation to evacuate Turkish troops from Afghanistan would be completed within 24 or 36 hours. However, military evacuations will not be direct from Afghanistan to Turkey; evacuation planes will come to Turkey via Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, or Pakistan.
The Taliban had given until August 31 for the withdrawal of foreign military forces in Afghanistan. On 25 August, the Ministry of National Defense announced the start of the evacuation of elements of the Turkish Armed Forces from Afghanistan, evaluating various contacts, current situation and conditions. With this decision, about 500 Turkish troops in Afghanistan are scheduled to return to Turkey.