KHASHOGGI AND TURK­ISH SAUDI RE­LA­TIONS

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page - NAGEHAN ALÇI

SINCE the first day of the Khashoggi case, the Turk­ish po­lice and in­tel­li­gence ser­vices have been car­ry­ing out an elab­o­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion and ex­am­in­ing all se­cu­rity cam­era footage

On Mon­day, I had to un­for­tu­nately con­firm the news of the death of Saudi jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi. This in­for­ma­tion has be­come widespread in the elapsed time. It is es­ti­mated that when Khashoggi en­tered the con­sulate build­ing on Oct. 2, he was greeted by an as­sas­si­na­tion squad from Saudi Ara­bia and was killed shortly af­ter.

Since the first day of this grue­some and un­prece­dented mur­der, Turk­ish po­lice and in­tel­li­gence have been car­ry­ing out an elab­o­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion and are ex­am­in­ing se­cu­rity cam­era footage. Al­though they al­ready con­cluded he was killed, they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing where the body is and what hap­pened to it.

The pos­si­bil­ity that the as­sas­si­na­tion squad dis­mem­bered the body and re­moved it from Turkey is be­ing con­sid­ered. Yet, it is said that the X-ray sys­tem will not al­low suit­cases to pass with a body in­side. So, it may have been buried some­where. The Is­tan­bul Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice will search the con­sulate and then we will get more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion.

Now, let us see why such bar­barism hap­pened. Why Khashoggi? Why Turkey?

The an­swers to these ques­tions are cru­cial as the mur­der has led to in­ter­na­tional out­rage. U.S. Pres­i­dent Trump gave a se­ries of ex­pla­na­tions on the is­sue, and The Wash­ing­ton Post, the pa­per Khashoggi wrote for, called on the U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion to sus­pend re­la­tions with Saudi Ara­bia.

First, let us take a look at why Khashoggi was cho­sen as a tar­get. The first plau­si­ble an­swer to this is that he is the most re­spected, in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned jour­nal­ist in op­po­si­tion to Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man (also widely known as MBS). MBS has sent the mes­sage that he will find any such fig­ure and de­stroy him wher­ever he may be, in the event that he op­poses him.

It is known that MBS uses a firm hand against his op­po­nents and that thou­sands of peo­ple have been ar­rested in Saudi Ara­bia. Apart from the ar­rests, hun­dreds of ex­e­cu­tions have been and are be­ing con­ducted in the coun­try. No one knows the ex­act num­ber. For the fear of his en­e­mies, MBS lives on a yacht ready to es­cape any­time.

By hav­ing Khashoggi killed, he has con­veyed the mes­sage to his op­po­nents in­side the coun­try that, “Look what I have done out­side, imag­ine what I can do to you in­side.”

It is rather grave that this in­ci­dent hap­pened in Turkey. Turkey will crack down on the is­sue un­til the very end. I think the cur­rent state of the Saudi regime is at its end point of be­ing a dic­ta­tor­ship and a closed coun­try.

On the other hand, we should re­frain from com­ments that will pit Saudi Ara­bia and Turkey against each other through this bar­barism. It is known that Khashoggi told his fi­ancee to con­tact Yasin Ak­tay, a se­nior ad­viser to the Jus­tice and De­vel­op­ment Party (AK Party), if she could not get in touch with him. Of course, we will wait for an ex­pla­na­tion from the Saudi au­thor­i­ties and con­demn what they have done un­til the end. How­ever, we will keep in mind that Turkey and Saudi Ara­bia are two coun­tries that have to main­tain mu­tual re­la­tions.

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