President Erdogan lashes out at West as well as Muslim countries for their lack of interest in Afghanistan crisis, says Ankara "will not close doors to" fleeing Afghans.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised the West and Muslim countries for their lack of interest and care for Afghanistan over the past two decades, as thousands flee the country after the Taliban's takeover.
Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey is hosting some 300,000 documented and undocumented Afghan refugees, adding Ankara has been putting in the necessary effort for Afghanistan's development and will continue to do so.
"The Afghan nation is comprised of our Muslim brothers and sisters, so of course, we will not close our doors to them," he said.
"Many of our entrepreneurs and investors also have investments in Afghanistan and we cannot leave them behind."
The purpose of the border walls being built is to prevent irregular migration, he clarified.
"We didn't close our doors to people who were fleeing their countries and seeking refuge in ours," Erdogan said.
Open to dialogue with Taliban
Erdogan has asked European countries to take responsibility for Afghans fleeing the country, adding that Ankara had taken measures along its borders with Iran – a key route for Afghan migrants into Turkey.
He also said Turkey could engage in talks with the new government to be formed by the Taliban.
"If there is a knock on our door, we will open it for dialogue," he added, saying Turkey is ready to hold talks with the Taliban if necessary.
Rush to flee Afghanistan
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan after taking Kabul on August 15, forcing the president and other top officials to flee the country.
Since then scenes of chaos have unfolded as thousands seek to leave, fearing a return to the harsh Taliban rule that ended 20 years ago.
The unexpected takeover has triggered a rush to flee Afghanistan, including civilians who assisted foreign soldiers or groups and now fear Taliban retribution.
'Europe's migrant storage unit'
On Thursday, Erdogan urged European countries to take responsibility for migrants coming from Afghanistan, adding Turkey had no intention of becoming "Europe's migrant storage unit".
Turkey already hosts nearly four million Syrian refugees – more than any country in the world.