By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
Afghanistan's envoy to Turkey said Afghan people love Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan "like their sons."
Amanullah Jayhoon, Afghan envoy in Ankara, evaluated Thursday morning’s attack that struck a special team protecting Turkish Ambassador Ismail Aramaz, NATO's Senior Civilian Representative in the country.
One Turkish soldier was killed along with an Afghan passerby, while another Turkish soldier was wounded and is now being treated at Bagram NATO base hospital.
Jayhoon offered his condolences to the Turkish nation, Turkish government and the soldier's family.
"The suicide attack happened just next to the Iranian embassy, we harshly condemned this terrible incident," Jayhoon said. "Afghan officials are investigating the situation and we want them to be brought to justice as soon as possible."
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack but said the Turkish convoy was not the intended target. No announcement has been made yet regarding the identities of the victims.
When asked about what Afghan people think of the Turkish military in Afghanistan, Jayhoon said that since 2001 Turkish troops in Afghanistan "have been nothing but helpful to Afghan troops" by training them and "protecting the peaceful environment."
"Afghan people love Turkish soldiers in Afghanistan like their sons," the ambassador said. "They are helping Afghan people as much as they can."
Jayhoon also mentioned that Turkey has pledged its help to Afghanistan "whenever Afghanistan needs so."
"That's why Turkish missions are in our country. That is why they are building the new Kabul International Airport," he said.
The Turkish parliament authorized the government in January 2015 to continue posting Turkish troops in Afghanistan for two more years under a new NATO mission.
According to the new legislation, the government is authorized to send troops to Afghanistan to support a new NATO-led mission called Resolute Support, which was launched on Jan. 1, 2015.
As the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force ended its 13-year combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, the mission has evolved into training and advising of the nascent Afghan security forces.
Replying to a question as to whether the terrorist incident will negatively affect Turkey and Afghanistan's relations, Jayhoon said "Not at all. This unfortunate incident will strengthen the cooperation between Turkey and Afghanistan on combating terrorism."
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack but said the Turkish convoy was not the intended target.
"The target was a U.S. military convoy," the Taliban’s purported spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said on his Twitter account.
Jayhoon also mentioned that sometimes U.S. officials are teamed up with Turkish officials on certain projects because there are risky areas for U.S. officials to be in.
"We don't want this horrible incident to ever be repeated again," Jayhoon said.