ISTANBUL – A spokesman for Turkey's ruling party promised Saturday that the government would "reveal what happened" with Saudi Arabian…
ISTANBUL – A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling party promised Saturday that the government would “reveal what happened” with Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as skepticism over Saudi Arabia’s account that the US base was killed last month during a fistfight in Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul.
The Saudi Arabian explanation – that an argument in the consulate led to a fatal battle – contradicts the conclusions of Turkish investigators who believe that Khashoggi was deliberately killed by a team of Saudi agents sent to Istanbul. Khashoggi, a Washington Post-Contributing Columnist, was a prominent critic of Saudi leadership.
“We do not blame anyone in advance, but we do not agree that this is covered,” says spokesman spokesman Omer Celik, according to the Semi-official Anadolu news agency.
When Saudi Arabia’s nearest Arab allies rushed to their defense on Saturday, the results of the Saudi investigation were greeted with skepticism or twilight of others, including several US legislators and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But Turkish reactions are particularly careful because Turkish authorities are said to have possessions, including sound recordings, that could reveal exactly how Khashoggi was killed. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has so far refused to publicly share that evidence, possibly to protect Turkish surveillance practices, but analysts also said to preserve a leap over the Saudi and Trump administration, which has sought to protect their Saudi allies.
Khashoggi, residing in Virginia, disappeared in the afternoon of October 2, while visiting the Saudi consulate to receive documents that would allow him to marry. For several weeks, Saudi Arabia had denied knowledge of his place of residence and insisted he had left the consulate unscathed. The journalist’s disappearance and killing have given an international boast, as well as an intense criticism of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and actual ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, who blurs his image in the West as a reformer.
Early saturday, the Saudi government acknowledged that the first time Khashoggi was dead. Saudi authorities said they had fired five senior officials and arrested 1
8 other Saudi nationals as a result of the preliminary investigation. Two of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s close counselors were among the fired.
In a possible attempt to trace Turkey’s ongoing criminal investigation, Saudi Arabian justice minister Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani said on Saturday that the Jewish courts had jurisdiction over the case, as it happened in a Saudi consulate, “falling within the sovereignty of the kingdom”, according to a statement published at the official Saudi press office.
President Trump told reporters on Saturday afternoon that he would soon talk to the crown prince and considering sanctions against Saudi Arabia, but rather not on American arms and other military equipment. “It would hurt us a lot more” than it would hurt the saudis, “said Trump.
He said that no one in his administration had heard any sound or video about what was happening in the Saudi consulate or reviewed transcript of any recordings. “I’m not satisfied until we find the answer,” he said, referring to how Khashoggi was killed.
Trump seemed to initially accept the Saudi explanation, but US legislators, intelligence officials and foreign policy experts quickly accused the Riyadh government of a coverup.
“This is a recognition of guilt, but Saudis will still not clean the truth,” said Jack Reed (RI), the ranking democrat of the Armed Forces Committee, in a statement. “Saudi’s latest version of the events is still unbelievable, and The trump administration must not be complicated to be able to sweep this under the carpet. “
Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, said the Saudi version of the events changed” with every passing day, so we should not assume that their latest history holds water. “
Other nations also expressed criticism.
Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued a statement, according to Reuters, saying:” We expect Saudi Arabia to be aware of the circumstances around his death. . . . The information about events in Istanbul is insufficient. “
” The Spanish government is upset by early reports by the Saudi prosecutor about the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, “Spain said in a statement, according to Reuters.  Fred Ryan, Washington Posten’s publisher and CEO, called it Saudi declaration has a coverup.
“The government of Saudi Arabia has shamefully and repeatedly offered a lie after each other in the next three weeks since Jamal Khashoggi disappeared in their Istanbul consulate,” Ryan said in a statement. “Without proof and, on the contrary For all available evidence, they now expect the world to believe Jamal died in a struggle after a discussion. This is not an explanation; It’s a coverup.
“President Trump, Congress and Leaders of the Civilized World should require you to see verifiable evidence,” he continued. “The Saudi people must not allow to create a face-saving solution of cruelty that appears to have been directed by the highest levels of their government.”
The Kingdom’s closest Arab Allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, have promised their support. Saudi Arabia’s preliminary investigation “shows that the Kingdom is sincere and committed to finding the truth about this event and taking the necessary legal action for the affected parties, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Turkish investigators are still searching for Khashoggi’s body, which they believe was cut into pieces after he was killed. The Saudi statements on Saturday did not reveal what happened to the body.
“This is not over. It just begins, “said Fatih Oke, a representative of the Turkish Arab Media Association, who talks on Saturday at a press conference in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, held by Khashoggi’s supporters.
” We want justice for Jamal, “he said. . “We want Jamal’s murderer to be punished. However, we want to punish not only the 18 men, but also the authorities that gave orders. “
Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi fiancee, published a short video of him on Twitter on Saturday showing a bright moment when a cat jumped on his knee during an interview.” They took your bodily presence from my world, “she wrote.” But your beautiful laughter will remain in my soul forever. “
Tamer El-Ghobashy and Zeynep Karatas contributed from Istanbul.