‘Bor’s market is over...’

‘Bor’s market is over...’

Turkish is a very interesting and rich language. You can use an expression instead of making an explanation for hours and explain an opinion. For instance, it is possible to explain with the “Bor’s market is over, ride the donkey to Niğde” expression, that is in a few words, to tell your counterpart that refusing a compromise, wasting time with dragging feet might indeed produce a serious loss.

Basically, it’s a pretty simple story. According to the urban legend, this phrase aims to explain that if someone is a naughty buyer, he might miss the cheap market of Bor district of Niğde city and might be compelled to ride his donkey to the city and end up spending more money at the city market. The message wanted to be conveyed is often results in wasting time and thus compels one to recognize that “it’s too late.”

Two days before its end-of-August deadline, the United States completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The U.S. departure from Afghanistan, as was the case with the disastrous withdrawal of the Soviet Union, of course, did not end the Afghanistan problem but only contributed to its moving to a new phase. We are going to be debating whether it was a defeat or a strategic move for a while. Some even already go a step further and say that with the defeat of Afghanistan, the United States has closed its “retreat” period and now is entering a period of “collapse.” Really, I disagree but anyhow must respect the right of expression of even the lunatics.

Naturally, some politicians and analysts - I doubt their mental health - also claim that the U.S. departure from Afghanistan was a victory for anti-imperialist warfare. Some even cited the Turkish liberation war as an example and outrageously tried to make a comparison with the Turkish War of Liberation. How can the Turkish National Liberation Army be compared with the Taliban who are condemned as “terrorists” by the U.N. and the most members of the international community of nations?

The U.S. defeat in Afghanistan was not new. When the Trump administration sat down with the Taliban in front of the cameras in Doha on Feb. 29, 2020, supposedly to bring peace to Afghanistan and establish a joint Afghan administration and signed a peace agreement, that day Washington was defeated in Afghanistan... Now only a huge stone moved by the U.S. action has rolled down the mountain, crushing on everything that represented some sort of modernity built in Afghanistan over the past two decades and now the United States has rapidly abandoned, and those who developed hopes in such modernity… It crushed on them all.

So the moment the U.S. withdrew its last soldier, there was no remnant of the “Bor market” as it was too late for everything.

Was the withdrawal a defeat for the United States? Or did the U.S. place not just a grenade in the heart of Central Asia but a huge doomsday bomb, in addition to pulling China, Russia, into the Afghan swamp? In order to understand the threat posed by Islamic radicalism in all that geography, we don’t even need “all-know” experts who break back on television screens in all subjects day and night.

A very dangerous process has begun, and unfortunately, the world was able to find out quite late that it had begun. Neither the U.S. came out of Afghanistan unprepared, nor did the Taliban take over Afghanistan without any preparation. In fact, it can be said that on behalf of the United States, the Taliban have become the new ruler of Afghanistan. Will it be the new owner? I doubt…

So is it all over? It seems that at this point “Bor’s market is not yet over.” The Taliban may struggle to maintain control across the country as it wishes. In fact, perhaps a civil war might be inevitable. If, as the United States and other actors “recommend,” the Taliban can implement “more moderate policies” and share power with a broad national coalition, even if it constitutes the strongest component of such a coalition. That will be a different process that could save Afghanistan from a major implosion.

It is possible for Turkey to take part in this process. Of course, there is also the danger of being dragged into the swamp, but if a “bearable” some sort of “normalization of governance” is desired in Afghanistan, it would not be right to avoid taking this risk. The issue is to calculate what to buy and what the cost will be.

And if “he does not want to drive the donkey to Niğde,” Turkey has to do what is to be done without wasting precious time with false hopes...