Welcome to our Consular Website.
28.08.06: Official website of Afghanistan Consulate
in Istanbul has been opened.
13.09.06: Major updates have been applied.
17.06.08: Major updates have been applied.
22.12.10: Visa Application Form has been updated with new one.
11.07.11: General Consul page has been updated.
History of Afghanistan can be summarized as below :
Afghanistan's history, internal political development, foreign relations, and very existence as an independent state have largely been determined by its geographic location at the crossroads of Central, West, and South Asia. Over the centuries, waves of migrating peoples passed through the region--described by historian Arnold Toynbee as a "roundabout of the ancient world"--leaving behind a mosaic of ethnic and linguistic groups. In modern times, as well as in antiquity, vast armies of the world passed through this region of Asia, temporarily establishing local control and often dominating ancient Afghanistan.
Invariably, most of Afghanistan's history was spent as part of the larger events that took place upon the Iranian plateau as a whole. The Iranian peoples who arrived in Afghanistan have left their Iranian languages (Pashto, Dari, etc.) as their legacy as well as distinct cultural traits that many authors and historians such as Sir Olaf Caroe, writer of The Pathans, describe as distinctly Iranic: "There is indeed a sense in which all the upland (the Iranian plateau) from the Tigris to the Indus is one country. The spirit of Persia has breathed over it, bringing an awareness of one background, one culture, one way of expression, a unity of spirit felt as far away as Peshawar and Quetta." It is perhaps not surprising that it is the Iranic past and Islamic invasions of the Arabs that have defined modern Afghanistan, while its Greek, Central Asian nomadic, and Buddhist/Zoroastrian past have long since vanished.
Although it was the scene of great empires and flourishing trade for over two millennia, the area's heterogeneous groups were not bound into a single political entity until the reign of Ahmed Shah Durrani, who in 1747 founded the monarchy that ruled the country until 1973. In the nineteenth century, Afghanistan lay between the expanding might of the Russian and British empires. In 1900, Abdur Rahman Khan (the "Iron Amir"), looking back on his twenty years of rule and the events of the past century, wondered how his country, which stood "like a goat between these lions (Britain and Tsarist Russia) or a grain of wheat between two strong millstones of the grinding mill, [could] stand in the midway of the stones without being ground to dust?"
Islam played perhaps the key role in the formation of Afghanistan's society. Despite the Mongol invasion of what is today Afghanistan in the early thirteenth century which has been described as resembling "more some brute cataclysm of the blind forces of nature than a phenomenon of human history," even a warrior as formidable as Genghis Khan did not uproot Islamic civilization, and within two generations his heirs had become Muslims. An often unacknowledged event that nevertheless played an important role in Afghanistan's history (and in the politics of Afghanistan's neighbors and the entire region up to the present) was the rise in the tenth century of a strong Sunni dynasty - the Ghaznavids. Their power prevented the eastward spread of Shiism from Iran, thereby insuring that the majority of the Muslims in Afghanistan and South Asia would be Sunnis. Later native Afghan empire builders such as the Ghorids would continue to make Afghanistan a major medieval power as well as a center of learning that produced Ferdowsi, Al-Biruni, and Khushal Khan Khattak among countless other academics and literary iconic figures.
When the victorious mujahidin entered Kabul to assume control over the city and the central government, internecine fighting began between the various militias, which had coexisted only uneasily during the Soviet occupation. With the demise of their common enemy, the militias' ethnic, clan, religious, and personality differences surfaced, and the civil war continued.
In reaction to the anarchy and warlordism prevalent in the country, and the lack of Pashtun representation in the Kabul government, a movement of religious scholars, many of them former mujahideen, arose. The Taliban took control of 90% of the country by 1998, limiting the opposition mostly to a small, largely Tajik corner in the northeast and the Panjshir valley. The opposition formed the Afghan Northern Alliance, which continued to receive diplomatic recognition in the United Nations as the government of Afghanistan.
In response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States and its coalition allies launched a successful invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban government. Sponsored by the UN, Afghan factions met in Bonn and chose a 30 member interim authority led by Hamid Karzai. After governing for 6 months, former King Zahir Shah convened a Loya Jirga, which elected Karzai president, and gave him authority to govern for two more years. Then, on 9 October 2004, Karzai was elected president in Afghanistan's first ever direct presidential election.