CHP leader slams gov’t for letting Khashoggi murder suspects leave Turkey
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has criticized the Turkish government for conducting a belated search at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, while also accusing it of letting the suspects accused of killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi leave Turkey.
“The [Saudi] king made a statement that a search could be held at the consulate. This is my first question to [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan: Why did you wait five days?” Kılıçdaroğlu said during his weekly address to party lawmakers on Oct. 23.
His second question was about the return of a Saudi team of 13 to their country following Khashoggi’s murder.
“The murderers left the country before the eyes of everyone,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“Today [the president] says that the murder was committed in Turkey and these people should be tried in Turkey. But they left the country before your [Erdoğan] eyes and under your auspices” he said.
“If they have classified information and sent these people despite this, then they are the abettors of this murder,” he said.
The CHP leader also claimed Turkey allowed the suspects to leave “in exchange for Saudi money.”
“I want answers to my questions. Are all these because of money?” he said.
“This means playing with Turkey’s honor, dignity and self-respect.”
The opposition leader also criticized the poor international rankings of Turkish universities, mockingly quoting Erdoğan.
“Erdoğan said on Oct. 13 that we all know that Turkish universities are going through their strongest, most free and most independent era. This is not an Onion News story - he then said on Oct. 19 there are no Turkish universities in the top 500 world rankings,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The CHP leader said there are many academics in Turkey who are banned from travelling abroad, with many being accused of supporting terrorist groups.