Khashoggi story a threat to Saudi opposition

Published 18.10.2018 23:40

The Khashoggi story seems to be a part of the internal power struggle in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and looms like a menace to dissidents and those who oppose the crown prince

Many interesting developments have surrounded the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the whole world has been preoccupied with the mystery. First, let me start by saying how important the right and unflustered attitude of Turkey is. This is because when Khashoggi disappeared, the world associated Turkey with this disappearance in an attempt to spread the perception that Turkey had played a role in the crime.

However, Ankara has pursued such a diplomatic and unyielding path that everyone from Europe to the U.S. has been able to see how rapidly and meticulously the murder is being investigated here in Turkey and how Turkey is determined to call those responsible for the murder into account.

So, what do we have? The police and the public prosecutor completed their work at the consulate building and went to Saudi Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi's house where the search is about to be completed as well. All the findings indicate a murder, either committed at the consulate building or at the house.

The consul general flew to his country Tuesday. He has a return ticket for today, Thursday, but Saudi Arabia announced that he has been dismissed. In fact, the overall picture indicates that the consul general was at the heart of the murder. It is unlikely that he will be back any time soon. In the days to come, we may hear Saudi Arabia may say, "We will punish him" – perhaps going so far as to completely pin the murder on the consul general.

After this stage, the findings will be analyzed by forensic specialists, and the results will be explained after being assessed. However, it is already obvious that Khashoggi was killed by his own state. Of course, now we need to figure out the chain of command.

Well, what is next? When we look at the developments in the West, we can say that this murder has seriously shaken the credibility of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (also known as MBS). Germany, the U.K. and France issued a joint declaration. Although the U.S. said they would not sever their relations with Saudi Arabia, they may discard the crown prince.

The young crown prince was trying to garner the sympathy of the West by pretending to be a "reformist" on one hand and committing massacres in the country with the other. Now, the murder committed in front of the world has turned the tables against him. In short, the fight for the throne in the country has escalated. MBS has lost considerable power in the power struggle.

We should not regard Khashoggi as only a journalist. He was part of a very important family and at the very heart of the state. He was very close to Faisal bin Turki, who could be described as the J. Edgar Hoover of Saudi Arabia. MBS considers bin Turki a representative of the establishment and a threat as he has waged a war against the established structure. In this war, he also saw Khashoggi as a threat due to his opposing attitude and his power inside Saudi Arabia and around the world.

Of course, it will be clear in the coming days who committed the murder and with what motives. For now, however, we can record it as one of the most brutal examples of the power struggle in the kingdom.

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