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Erdogan blames Saudi state for Khashoggi murder

Erdogan blames Saudi state for Khashoggi murder thumbnail

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the order for journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing came from the “highest levels” of the Saudi government but said he does not believe King Salman ordered the hit.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Erdogan said that Saudi Arabia still has many questions to answer about the death of Khashoggi.

“We must reveal the identities of the puppet masters behind Khashoggi’s killing”, Erdogan wrote adding that Turkey has “moved heaven and earth to shed light on all aspects of this case”.

“We are shocked and saddened by the efforts of certain Saudi officials to cover up Khashoggi’s premeditated murder, rather than serve the cause of justice, as our friendship would require,” Erdogan said.

Khashoggi, 59, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate on October 2.

A Turkish prosecutor said on Wednesday that Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered soon after he walked into the Saudi consulate.

The case has provoked international condemnation, but one month after Khashoggi was killed, the joint Turkish and Saudi probe has made little progress and many questions remain unanswered.

Erdogan expressed dismay that Khashoggi’s body has not been found and urged Saudi Arabia to explain who ordered the killing and also to identify the “local collaborator” to whom Saudi officials said they handed over Khashoggi’s remains.

“Unfortunately, the Saudi authorities have refused to answer those questions,” Erdogan said.

In a sign of cooperating, a top Saudi prosecutor flew to Turkey on Monday and met the Istanbul chief prosecutor, but Turkey’s justice minister has since accused the Saudis of failing to answer questions regarding the case.

“Though Riyadh has detained 18 suspects, it is deeply concerning that no action has been taken against the Saudi consul general, who lied through his teeth to the media and fled Turkey shortly afterwards,” Erdogan said.

“Likewise, the refusal of the Saudi public prosecutor – who recently visited his counterpart in Istanbul – to cooperate with the investigation and answer even simple questions is very frustrating. His invitation of Turkish investigators to Saudi Arabia for more talks about the case felt like a desperate and deliberate stalling tactic.”

Etyen Mahcupyan, a Turkish political analyst and former adviser to ex-AK Party leader Ahmet Davutoglu said that Erdogan has taken an aggressive stance in his op-ed, but has made sure to keep good relations with Saudi Arabia.

“He doesn’t want to disrupt everything and lose Saudi Arabia. Turkey does not want to lose Saudi Arabia at the end of the day,” Mahcupyan said.

“He’s kind of threatening Saudi Arabia, maybe blackmailing a bit in a soft way, but he’s giving the message that Turkey wants to go on with having good relations with Saudi Arabia.

“It gives leverage to Turkey to be used by Erdogan, but it’s not something very ideological or something that will cost him his principles. This is foreign policy.”

Erdogan also displayed more conciliatory language in the op-ed, stressing the “friendly relations” between Saudi Arabia and Turkey and stating that he had “no reason to believe that this murder reflected Saudi Arabia’s official policy”.

Erdogan has previously said that the killing of Khashoggi was planned by Saudi officials days in advance.

Hilal Kaplan, a columnist at pro-government Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, said that with this op-ed, Erdogan is trying to keep the Khashoggi case in the international spotlight.

She noted that Turkey has done a great job in shedding light on many details as information was steadily leaked to the media over the past month.

“With this communications strategy, Turkey was able to control the narrative and keep the Khashoggi murder in the headlines while the public debate continued as the investigation moved along,” Kaplan said.

“This pressured the Saudis to accept the fact that this was a premeditated murder.

“They were in flat denial at first, but then after changing their story several times, they had to accept [this fact].”

Kaplan added that although Erdogan doesn’t mention Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) name and has always emphasized his respect and good intentions towards King Salman, the Turkish president implied in the op-ed that the crown prince is the one who gave the order.

“The crown prince most probably knew about this, he ordered this. At least 5 of the 15 members of the death squad are in the royal guard. And the head of the death squad, [reportedly] made four calls to MBS’ office on the day of the murder,” Kaplan said.

“All evidence points to him, not anyone else.”

US media reported on Thursday that MBS described Khashoggi as a “dangerous Islamist” in a phone call with Jared Kushner and John Bolton, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and national security adviser respectively, days after Khashoggi’s disappearance and before Saudi Arabia publicly acknowledged his killing.

Kaplan said that the call, which was reported by the New York Times and the Washington Post, was an attempt by MBS to justify the killing of Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia has denied the media reports.

Last week Trump said that MBS bears ultimate responsibility for the operation that led to the murder of Khashoggi.

When questioned about the possible involvement of MBS in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said, “Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage.

“He’s running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him.”

Will the body of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi ever be found?

Inside Story

Will the body of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi ever be found?

SOURCE: Al Jazeera

60 Comments on "Erdogan blames Saudi state for Khashoggi murder"

  1. Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 3:23 am 

    “Davy: “The pipe bombs sent to the leaders of the Democratic party is a false flag attempt by Democrats to throw the election.” Where did Davy obtain this “breaking news” conspiracy? From none other than Rush “The Drugster” Limbaugh.”

    Sloppy Joe (JuanP), you of course quoted me wrong. This is the comment:

    “Exactly, these people represent the real and present danger of a group that has hijacked liberalism and
    the Democratic Party. They are justifying the means which is disregard for the rule of law and
    corruption to maintain a power. This bombing event has all the hallmarks of a false flag conveniently
    placed before the midterms. This after the Supreme Court fiasco of lies and deceit which was a bold
    faced attempt a slander to achieve a political end. I am all for cherished liberal values but I am dead set
    against this activity. We must stand up to it and defend the constitution. The thieves are being exposed
    and their time is near. Their lies and brazen disregard for the checks and balance of powers will likely be
    terminated with a midterm win or not. Trump may be disgusting to liberals but this behavior is far and
    above disgusting. This behavior is an existential threat to the government.”

  2. Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 6:53 am 

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

  3. Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 7:41 am 

    Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 6:51 am One man’s extremist, is another man’s moderate. It is all a matter of perspective.

    Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 7:08 am Thanks Anonymouse. Good point.

    Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 6:53 am In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

  4. JuanP on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 9:22 am 

    If Davy could write properly and knew how to express his thoughts clearly I might read some of his comments, but the guy has a wandering, confused mind that requires multiple paragraphs of nonsense just to express one idea. I wonder if anyone here still reads the Exceptionalist’s comments. Probably yes, since the world is full of idiots with too much time in their hands, particularly in the USA, the world’s biggest idiocracy.

  5. Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 9:40 am 

    “If Davy could write properly and knew how to express his thoughts clearly I might read some of his comments”

    As opposed to no idea Juan? or whining Juan? or how about empty reference “RT” Juan. You rarely say anything JuanPee.
    Most of the time you are just talking tough like you are tough. JuanPee you are the biggest dumbshit on this board because you think for some reason you are the most intelligent. One thing’s for sure you are the most mentally ill with multiple personality disorders. Who cares what you read or don’t. WTF!

  6. Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 10:18 am 

    Sorry for losing my shit again everyone.

    After reading my above comment several dozen times, it is slowly starting to sink in that I might have been projecting again.

  7. JuanP on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 10:24 am 

    I don’t think I am the most intelligent person on this board, and I never did, there are quite a few here who sound smarter than I am and better educated. I think that you are projecting again, Davy. You should seek professional help; you continue to get worse. You are not going to end well, buddy. Your denying your mental problems won’t allow you the chance to overcome them

  8. Davy on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 10:58 am 

    Says multi personality Juan, lol, you are one insane dude JuanPee

  9. JuanP on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 11:32 am 

    Davy “Sorry for losing my shit again everyone.”
    Apology accepted.

  10. Free Speech Forum on Tue, 6th Nov 2018 7:21 pm 

    Some Americans may have thought that tyranny would never come to the US because the rich, celebrities, media, politicians, and American people would resist.

    Who would have thought that the rich would loot the country by getting bailouts and subsidies while being the ones conspiring and building the police state by paying actors, singers, and atheletes to distract Americans with bread and circuses, using reporters to push propaganda, real crises, and false flags, and buying off and corrupting politicians with campaign donations and cushy job promises to start wars, import refugees that weaken and divide the US, drive up the debt, make laws that enslave Americans, and throw crumbs to pacify the 99% in the form of food stamps, Obamacare, Obamaphones, and public housing?

    The destruction of the USA is nearly complete.

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