Justice or power: Which one will have the last word in the Khashoggi case?

Published 07.12.2018 02:01
Updated 07.12.2018 08:00

Riyadh needs to clarify its true intentions regarding the Khashoggi case and help bring the responsible parties in this horrible murder to justice

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan returned home after attending the G20 summit in Argentina and then visiting two other Latin American countries, Venezuela and Paraguay, as part of diplomatic affairs. Erdoğan held significant meetings with world leaders at the summit, but the two most important ones were with U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The gathering with Trump lasted 50 minutes and the future of northern Syria and the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi were particularly discussed in detail.

TurkStream, meanwhile, was the top issue in the talks between Erdoğan and Putin as the pipeline project that is set to cross beneath the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey is of vital importance for bilateral ties. The Idlib situation and the Syrian civil war also occupied the agendas of the two leaders during their talk. Erdoğan declaring Saturday that an agreement for partial removal of visas between Turkey and Russia had been reached proved to be a positive outcome of the meeting between the two leaders. Erdoğan also met with the British, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch and Chilean leaders as well.

However, the most surprising name in the Buenos Aries gathering was obviously Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who came to the Argentine capital amid accusations related to the Khashoggi case. What's more surprising is the crown prince held talks with many leaders except Erdoğan. The friendly high-five between MBS and Putin especially left an unforgettable mark on the summit.

In the meantime, Erdoğan didn't change his consistent stance on the Khashoggi murder and didn't even look the crown prince in the face. At a press conference during the summit, Erdoğan reaffirmed that the Khashoggi investigation should be completed and that the culprits must be found as soon as possible.

Erdoğan noted that no one at the summit, except Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, expressed sufficient concern over the Khashoggi case and also reiterated Ankara's demand that the Saudis extradite the suspects for a proper investigation. There hasn't been any positive response from Riyadh so far.

As Erdoğan highlighted once again, the Khashoggi murder is a test for the whole world, as it is not only a crime related to the Saudi royal family. Nevertheless, while all fingers point at the crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, it is a must for the whole world to take action. According to Erdoğan and many others too, MBS is different from the rest of the royal family as the family wishes to find the killers and bring them to justice. There is no doubt that solving the Khashoggi case will mostly benefit the Saudi royal family's interests.

However, Riyadh insists on keeping the murder out of the spotlight, although the kingdom's public prosecutor says that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate building as a result of a rogue operation on the orders of an intelligence officer.

In short, there has been little progress in solving the Khashoggi case since Turkey seems to be the only actor decisively keeping the subject in the headlines and pressuring Riyadh to help bring the responsible to justice. We will see whether justice or power will have the last word.

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