'Taliban Knows No Mercy': Islamist Group's Victory Sows Fear Among Afghan Refugees in Turkey
17:46 GMT 19.08.2021 (Updated: 17:47 GMT 19.08.2021)
© Sputnik / Osman Nuri CeritAfghan Refugee
© Sputnik / Osman Nuri Cerit
Afghan refugees are criticising the government, accusing the ex-president of "taking the money and fleeing" in the face of the Taliban’s advance.
The US military pullout from Afghanistan has resulted in the collapse of the pro-American government in Afghanistan, with Taliban insurgents meeting little opposition as they swept across the country capturing key cities and seizing vast amounts of military hardware abandoned by government troops.
The ensuing chaos has resulted in many Afghan civilians trying to flee abroad as Taliban rule quickly become a reality. Video from Kabul Airport shows thousands of people desperately trying to fly out of the country.
Many refugees who fled the country before the Islamist group took control have expressed shock at just how quickly the Taliban overthrew the government in their homeland. One, Muhammed Jemshid, whose brother was recently killed in Afghanistan by Taliban militants, insisted the militants are doing terrible things like "killing people" away from the cameras.
"My brother was a civil servant, a commander. My father is a retired police officer – he no longer works, just stays at home," he said. "You can’t find work in Afghanistan. My relatives who remain there await the money that I send them. I’m afraid to return to Afghanistan because Talibs would kill me."
Another refugee, Javid, fled to Turkey three years ago and also sends money to Afghanistan to pay for his sister's medical bills.
"Afghanistan was sold. The authorities took the money and abandoned their people," he lamented. "The Americans stayed in the country for 20 years and couldn’t do anything. Now the US has left, and the Taliban has taken their place."
He also argued that the Taliban is trying to present itself in a more favourable light, but says it's only a matter of time before the group "shows its true face."
19 August 2021, 10:37 GMT
"I live here alone, my whole family remained in Afghanistan, and I can’t even contact them and ask them how they are doing," Javid said. "We are afraid of the Taliban."
Habib Rahman, who fled to Turkey, leaving his wife and two kids in Afghanistan echoed Javid's sentiments, saying he's also afraid of being killed by the militants. "My heart sank when I saw footage of what’s been going on in Afghanistan, when I saw people die. We cannot even call our relatives," he said.
"The people of Afghanistan found themselves in a very difficult situation. To save themselves, they try to get on a plane and fly away," another Afghan refugee named Fahrettin said. "Taliban does not know what mercy is. We don’t want to return home because we fear that we would be killed there. That is why we appeal to the Turkish people and ask them not to deport people who came from Afghanistan."