Turkey's ruling AKP ‘firmly condemns’ French FM’s remarks on Erdoğan
Turkey “firmly condemns” the French foreign minister’s recent remarks critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s handling of the Jamal Khashoggi case, said the spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Nov. 14.
“We condemn the French foreign minister’s statements about our president in a clear and firm way. We have found it strange of him [the French foreign minister] to speak in such an irresponsible and ignorant way,” Ömer Çelik said at a press conference in the capital Ankara.
On Nov. 10, Erdoğan said Ankara had shared recordings related to the Khashoggi killing with Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
On Nov. 12, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that contrary to Erdoğan, France does not have the recordings, also claiming Erdoğan was playing “a political game” over the case.
“The recordings have been shared with French intelligence. If the French minister is only now following up on this issue, this is their problem. He is not informed about their own intelligence,” Çelik said.
The AKP spokesperson has also said the world is wondering who at the top ordered the killing of Khashoggi.
“This could not have been done without a top order. The world wants to know: Who gave the top order?” Çelik said.
Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
After weeks of denying involvement, the kingdom admitted Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of any plot to murder the journalist.
“Three or five years ago this would have been unthinkable. It clearly shows an emerging crack in the transatlantic alliance,” said Çelik on the recent debate over a proposed European army.
United States President Donald Trump last week lashed out at French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal for a European army, calling it “insulting.”
Çelik added that regardless of whether NATO or a European army is used, security cannot be ensured in the Balkans or in Europe as a whole without Turkish involvement.