Turkish brigadier general assumes command of NATO in Kabul

Turkish Brigadier General Selçuk Yurtsizoğlu has assumed command of the NATO-led Train, Advise, Assist Command-Capital in Kabul, NATO’s spokesperson Oana Lungescu announced this week.

“With its 600-strong contingent, Turkey is a vital contributor to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan,” she said on her Twitter account.

Turkey joined the military alliance of 29 North American and European countries in 1952.

Diplomatic ties between Turkey and Afghanistan can be traced back to 1919, the year Afghanistan gained its independence. Turkey became the first diplomatic representation to be inaugurated in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul and the two countries further strengthened their relationship with the signing of the Turkey-Afghanistan Alliance Agreement on March 1, 1921.

Afghanistan also became the second country to recognize the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TRNC) during Turkey’s independence war.

“As we celebrate the centennial of the establishment of our diplomatic relations, we wish to further develop our cooperation in every aspect in this special year; hope that the ongoing violence in Afghanistan comes to an end and lasting peace and calm will prevail in the country,” the Daily Sabah cited the Turkish government as saying.

In 2020, Turkey pledged to provide $75 million in aid to Afghanistan and it has also acted as a mediator between Afghanistan and Pakistan on terrorism-related issues.

More recently, Turkey agreed to host the US-proposed peace summit which is scheduled to be held early this month.