Turkey to uncover the truth on Khashoggi murder: Erdoğan
Turkey will continue to seek justice on the controversial death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 30 in an opinion piece in the Washington Post, where the slain journalist was a columnist, two days before his death anniversary.
“The murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi was arguably the most influential and controversial incident of the 21st century, barring the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. No other event since 9/11 has posed such a serious threat to the international order or challenged the conventions that the world has come to take for granted,” Erdoğan’s piece read.
During the Khashoggi investigations, Turkey adopted a policy of transparency, the president said, adding that the country used all its means to inform the international community of the developments.
“Turkish authorities shared their findings with Saudi Arabia as well as other countries, including the United States, Russia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. We have also cooperated with the international investigation led by Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions,” he said.
Erdoğan underlined that the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is not a bilateral problem but rather a matter of justice.
“We have requested that Saudi Arabia extradite Khashoggi’s murderers to Turkey’s response to The Post contributing columnist’s killing is based on our desire to uphold the rules-based international system,” he said.
“Turkey has always seen and continues to see, the kingdom as its friend and ally. My administration, therefore, made a clear and unmistakable distinction between the thugs who murdered Khashoggi and King Salman and his loyal subjects,” he added.
Khashoggi’s murder was a “blatant abuse of diplomatic immunity” Erdoğan said.
“That the murderers traveled on diplomatic passports and turned a diplomatic building into a crime scene — and were seemingly assisted in the attempted coverup by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Istanbul — set a very dangerous precedent,” he added.
“Perhaps more dangerous is the impunity that some of the killers seem to enjoy back in the kingdom,” Erdoğan said.
The president also conveyed that the court proceedings in Saudi Arabia lack transparency.
“The lack of public access to hearings and the allegation that some of Khashoggi’s murderers enjoy de facto freedom fail to meet the international community’s expectations and tarnish the image of Saudi Arabia — something that Turkey, as its friend and ally, does not desire,” he added.
In a bid to shed light on the killing of Khashoggi, Turkey pledges to continue its efforts, he said.
“Where are Khashoggi’s remains? Who signed the Saudi journalist’s death warrant? Who dispatched the 15 killers, including a forensic expert, aboard the two planes to Istanbul?” Erdoğan questioned.
“It is in our best interest, and in the best interest of humanity, to ensure that such a crime is not committed anywhere again. Combating impunity is the easiest way to accomplish that goal. We owe it to Jamal’s family,” he added.