After six years of military training in Turkey, more than 26 former officers and soldiers of the Afghan army now live in fear and concern due to the lack of residence permits.
Six of the Officers and Soldiers come from the air forces and 20 from the ground troops of the former Afghan army. They came to Turkey in 2016 by inviting the Turkish Ministry of Defense for military training. They were trained in Turkish language for a year. After that, they received lessons and training at the Turkish Air Force Academy in aircraft technology, aerospace technology and flight states as pilots for four years and received a training for Air Defense systems.
They were supposed to return to Afghanistan in August 2021. Fifteen days before they completed the training the Taliban took over the power in Afghanistanand and they had to stay in Turkey. Their residence permits expired with the end of the training program and they cannot renew them. They share two houses in Izmir and are confronted with an unbearable uncertainty.
The members of the former Forces of Afghanistan in Turkey asked the Ministry of Defense, the Air Force and the Ground forces to extend their residence permit, but they have not received an answer from the Turkish government.
Ali Allahyari, one of the pilots of the Air Force of the Department of Defense of the former government of Afghanistan, told the Kite Runner media hub that after completing the training, they asked the Turkish Ministry of Defense for help regarding residence permits. He added: “We are currently in Turkey, but most of us have no residence permits or our approvals available have expired and we cannot renew our residence permit.”
Ali Allahyari and his colleagues underline that there is no legal government in Afghanistan, they do not trust the Taliban and if they return, they face a serious risk of lossing their lifes. They criticize the lack of attention from the Turkish government and the absence of any possibility to share these problems with an international organization.
The former members of the Afghan Forces claim: “We want to share our situation with international institutions and the United Nations. We expect international institutions and western countries to help us to find a permanent residence in a safe country.
After democratization in Afghanistan failed due to the return of the Taliban, the army of the former government collapsed. Some of the members of the former army, which were trained in countries such as Turkey, India and the Allied countries of the former government of Afghanistan, have problems getting residence permits. The political future of the country is uncertain. The Taliban announced a general amnesty, but has already arrested former soldiers under various preliminary prevents and tortured or killed them.
By Somaia Valizadeh