Khashoggi and Turkish-Saudi relations

Published 11.10.2018 23:05

On Monday, I had to unfortunately confirm the news of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This information has become widespread in the elapsed time. It is estimated that when Khashoggi entered the consulate building on Oct. 2, he was greeted by an assassination squad from Saudi Arabia and was killed shortly after.

Since the first day of this gruesome and unprecedented murder, Turkish police and intelligence have been carrying out an elaborate investigation and are examining security camera footage. Although they already concluded he was killed, they are investigating where the body is and what happened to it.

The possibility that the assassination squad dismembered the body and removed it from Turkey is being considered. Yet, it is said that the X-ray system will not allow suitcases to pass with a body inside. So, it may have been buried somewhere. The Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office will search the consulate and then we will get more detailed information.

Now, let us see why such barbarism happened. Why Khashoggi? Why Turkey?

The answers to these questions are crucial as the murder has led to international outrage. U.S. President Trump gave a series of explanations on the issue, and The Washington Post, the paper Khashoggi wrote for, called on the U.S. administration to suspend relations with Saudi Arabia.

First, let us take a look at why Khashoggi was chosen as a target. The first plausible answer to this is that he is the most respected, internationally renowned journalist in opposition to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also widely known as MBS). MBS has sent the message that he will find any such figure and destroy him wherever he may be, in the event that he opposes him.

It is known that MBS uses a firm hand against his opponents and that thousands of people have been arrested in Saudi Arabia. Apart from the arrests, hundreds of executions have been and are being conducted in the country. No one knows the exact number. For the fear of his enemies, MBS lives on a yacht ready to escape anytime.

By having Khashoggi killed, he has conveyed the message to his opponents inside the country that, "Look what I have done outside, imagine what I can do to you inside."

It is rather grave that this incident happened in Turkey. Turkey will crack down on the issue until the very end. I think the current state of the Saudi regime is at its end point of being a dictatorship and a closed country.

On the other hand, we should refrain from comments that will pit Saudi Arabia and Turkey against each other through this barbarism. It is known that Khashoggi told his fiancee to contact Yasin Aktay, a senior adviser to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), if she could not get in touch with him. Of course, we will wait for an explanation from the Saudi authorities and condemn what they have done until the end. However, we will keep in mind that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are two countries that have to maintain mutual relations.

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