Saudis must probe all details of Khashoggi murder: Turkey
Vahap Munyar - BUENOS AIRES
Turkey wants Saudi Arabia to probe all details of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing after entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
“We want all dimensions of this issue to come to light, including the identity of the person who ordered it,” the president said Dec. 2.
“We have had a transparent stance since the start of this incident. However, we could not achieve the required support from the Saudi officials,” Erdoğan told a group of journalists before returning from the Group of 20 summit in Argentine capital Buenos Aires.
Erdoğan has also highlighted the bilateral ties between the two countries. “We have been careful about not mixing the bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia and this issue. These are two different things,” he said.
Turkey has described the killing of dissident journalist Khashoggi as a world issue, while underlining that it has no particular intention to give a damage on the image of the Saudi royal family.
“We are following the process,” Erdoğan told a press conference after the completion of the G-20 summit late on Dec 1.
Erdoğan informed that the killing of the Saudi journalist was on the agenda of some world leaders in Buenos Aires as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attended the summit in his first appearance in an international gathering outside his country after the killing of Khashoggi on Oct. 2 in the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.
Reiterating that Turkey’s sole objective was to follow requirements of the international law and to find out the perpetrators and those who instructed them to commit this crime, Erdoğan stressed that Saudi leaders had to admit the murder as a result of Turkey’s determination.
“We have never seen this incident as a political issue. For us, this is a bloody murder and will remain so. I should sadly stress that our judicial and administrative bodies have not received required support in probing the murder from Saudi Arabia,” Erdoğan stated.
Erdoğan said the crown prince mentioned about the principle of presumption of innocence in his response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s urging that the Saudi authorities should genuinely probe and hold all perpetrators accountable for their acts.
“It’s not possible to accept the crown prince’s statement that ‘We can’t charge anybody until found guilty’,” Erdoğan said, citing inconsistent explanations from various high-level Saudi officials over the murder from the very first day.
Turkey has always been transparent and cooperative in probing the murder and shared all evidence it has with all countries that demanded it, including a seven-minute-long audio recording, Erdoğan said.
“We are still ready to do so because this is not only an issue of Turkey. We even demanded (from Saudi Arabia) to give these suspects to us as the crime was committed in Istanbul. They don’t do this,” he said.