Ankara demands international Khashoggi probe
Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu (pictured), has called for an international investigation into the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia is expected to conclude its “inquiry” this week.
“An international investigation is absolutely essential,” Cavusoglu told parliament, according to the Anadolu news agency. “We will do whatever it takes to bring the murder to light.”
The human rights commission of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and the United Nations are also reportedly calling for an investigation.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was killed on October 2 by a team of Saudi agents inside the Istanbul consulate.
Germany has pledged to suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the killing is explained, and has called for a Europe-wide response on military contracts with Riyadh.
Turkey shared audio recordings of the killing, saying it showed the agents moved quickly and methodically to kill and dismember Khashoggi in a planned assassination.
The recordings are so “atrocious” that a Saudi intelligence officer speculated that “only someone who took heroin” could carry it out, according to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He said the recording had been shared with Saudi Arabia, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Canada and other nations.
“The recording is truly atrocious. In fact, when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recording, he was so shocked that he said ‘this one probably took heroin. Only someone who took heroin would do it’,” the populist president said, according to the pro-Erdogan Yeni Safak newspaper.
Media reports suggested his body might have been chemically dissolved as it has not been found.
Saudi Arabia has changed its narrative about Khashoggi’s killing.
At first, the kingdom said the dissident walked out of the consulate but then acknowledged he died inside the building. Now the Saudis acknowledge he was murdered, claiming the journalist was killed in a rogue operation by agents who exceeded their authority.
Donald Trump has said he is awaiting the results of Saudi Arabia’s internal investigation before commenting, amid allegations the US will remain loyal to the Saudi leadership.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter and a supporter of Trump’s plans to contain Iranian influence across West Asia.
Erdogan, one of the world’s largest jailers of journalists, has ended efforts to maintain relations with the Saudi royals.
Saudi Arabia said it arrested 18 men in connection with the killing while failing to reveal what happened to Khashoggi’s body and who ordered the operation.
Mevlut Cavusoglu. Picture credit: Flickr