This week President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wrote an article about Saudi Arabian citizen Jamal Khashoggi's murder for The Washington Post. He made the assessment that, 9/11 terrorist attacks aside, journalist Khashoggi's murder was the biggest and most debated event of the 21st century. He reminded the readers that after Sept. 11, no other event had threatened international order at this level and challenged the rules the world had accepted.
President Erdoğan wrote the following: "That, one year on, the international community still knows very little about what happened is a serious source of concern. Whether all aspects of the Saudi journalist's death will ever come to light will determine what kind of world our children will live in. In the wake of Khashoggi's demise, my administration adopted a policy of transparency. Over the past year, Turkey's intelligence and law enforcement agencies, along with diplomats and prosecutors, cooperated closely with their counterparts and took steps to keep national and international audiences informed. Turkish authorities shared their findings with Saudi Arabia as well as other countries, including the United States, Russia, Germany, France and Britain. We have also cooperated with the international investigation led by Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Finally, we have requested that Saudi Arabia extradite Khashoggi's murderers to Turkey, where they committed the crime."
Erdoğan underlined that Turkey's approach to this matter stemmed from the fact that it is a supporter of a rule-based international order, emphasized that since the beginning of the process they have objected making the event a matter between two states, and always made a clear distinction between the gang that violently murdered Khashoggi and King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Saudi Arabian citizens.
President Erdoğan, rightfully criticizing all spheres indifferent to the murder, stated: "Those who have murdered Khashoggi inside Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul and chopped his body into pieces served the interests of a shadow state within the kingdom's government – not the Saudi state or people. Had we believed otherwise, this atrocity would have indeed been treated like a bilateral problem. However, we continue to see what happened as a question of justice rather than politics and maintain that national and international courts alone can deliver justice. Khashoggi's assassination was a tragedy but also a blatant abuse of diplomatic immunity. That the murderers traveled on diplomatic passports and turned a diplomatic building into a crime scene – and were seemingly assisted in the attempted cover-up by Saudi Arabia's top diplomat in Istanbul – set a very dangerous precedent. Perhaps more dangerous is the impunity that some of the killers seem to enjoy back in the kingdom."
President Erdoğan stated that Turkey pledges to continue its efforts to shed light on the Khashoggi murder and addressed the conscience of people by saying: "Where are Khashoggi's remains? Who signed the Saudi journalist's death warrant? Who dispatched the 15 killers, including a forensic expert, aboard the two planes to Istanbul? It is in our best interest, and in the best interest of humanity to ensure that such a crime is not committed anywhere again. Combating impunity is the easiest way to accomplish that goal. We owe it to Jamal's family."
To be honest, why does Europe, and especially the European Union, continue to remain indifferent toward this murder directly proved by voice recording that it was conducted by a gang that was influential in Saudi Arabia at the top level?
Why did the EU, which is proud of being an "example" to the world when it comes to human rights, constitutional state and freedom of thought, forget all of its values when it comes to a dissident journalist whose body was violently split into pieces by government agents?
Are commercial relations with Saudi Arabia more valuable than the EU's core values?
Should we forget about Khashoggi, who was first choked to death and whose body was dismembered by "human butchers" in the Saudi Consulate where he went to arrange his marriage protocols?
Is it more valuable to maintain good relations with the person who gave the order for his murder?
Where is the conscience of the leaders who meet with the person that gave the order for the murder though he is not being held responsible for his crimes?
The European Parliament too is not active enough in this matter. Why has no member of Parliament suggested Khashoggi for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought? Giving Khashoggi this prize this December would be the biggest punishment that could be dealt to his murderers. Khashoggi's fiancee could receive the prize in his name and would condemn the murderers from the Parliament's dais!
If only the European Parliament were to take such a giant step!
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