Turkey simply wants to solve the Khashoggi case

Published 26.10.2018 01:51

Riyadh's contribution to clarifying the Khashoggi case is still underwhelming; if the kingdom cannot increase its cooperation with Ankara, its image in the world may never recover

Turkey is not after incriminating anyone. It is not after defaming foreign governments or leaders. All it wants is that the horrific murder case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is solved and that the international community learn all the details about it, including who staged this terrible act. The fact that the atrocity was committed on Turkish soil justifies Turkey's demands.

The first question was why Khashoggi was lured to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to become the victim of an unprecedented murder. As everyone agrees that this was a premeditated murder, then someone has to tell us why Khashoggi was given an appointment on the same day a group of professional executioners was summoned to Istanbul from Saudi Arabia to kill him.

The other question is who ordered this atrocity back in Saudi Arabia. Many fingers are pointing at Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and this means he has to make a good effort to clear his name and be very transparent about it as he is notorious for using rough and tough tactics, as we witnessed with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's case, who virtually became a hostage and was forced to announce his resignation while in Saudi Arabia.

The incident created an international furor that forced the Saudis to release him and send him to Europe. Prime Minister Hariri later retracted his decision to quit and remains today in the same office. He was back in Riyadh a few days ago to attend an international conference where MBS still had the courage to joke about this incident and tell the crowd "Prime Minister Hariri is here to attend the conference only for two days and then he will go home."

The crown prince says he cherishes good ties with Ankara and declares no one will be able to spoil the relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Of course, many Turks are asking who authorized the $100 million in Saudi aid to the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, while knowing that the YPG is an offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization, which is waging a secessionist war in southeastern Turkey. And they are also asking why he has taken a negative attitude against Turkey for the past few years.

Back in Istanbul we still need an answer as to what the Saudis have done with the apparently mutilated body of Khashoggi. They say they have handed the body to a "localperson friendly to Saudi Arabia" which means the Saudi authorities still have to identify this person.

Turkish investigators and the intelligence units are working round the clock to shed light on this murder and will no doubt come up with several important clues. Yet it would be wise for the Saudis to cooperate properly with the Turkish authorities to solve this case and put this mess away.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has asked all these questions and needs some clear answers. If the Saudis fail to come up with some satisfactory answers, sooner or later all this will create more complications for them in the international arena.

The issue is not Turkey versus Saudi Arabia but the real issue is the world versus Saudi Arabia. That is why the Saudis have to clear their good name and this can only be done if they manage to satisfy the international community.

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