Erdogan embraced Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, otherwise known as the “Butcher of Kabul” who, when a prominent Mujahedin commander, repeatedly shelled Kabul for no other reason than to ensure his own promotion.
Hekmatyar flew to Turkey on a Turkish air ambulance to seek treatment for an undisclosed illness in an Istanbul hospital. He was welcomed there by none other than Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who promised that he would himself travel to Kabul to celebrate Hekmatyar’s triumphant return. It was not their first meeting: photos published in the Turkish press and a video that subsequently surfaced showed the two met at the height of Hekmatyar’s Mujahedin-era reign of terror in Afghanistan.
More recently Erdogan negotiated an agreement with Hekmatyar, now the leader of the Islamic Party of Afghanistan, to involve new terrorist groups in the war against Armenians. An Afghan militant who twice served briefly as Afghanistan’s prime minister in the 1990s. He was declared a “global terrorist” by the United States in 2003 and is blacklisted by the UN.