WorldMiddle East


Journalist's Death Deepens Saudi-Turkish Divide

As the story of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance has evolved, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have both pushed back against each other's stories.
Posted at 5:56 PM, Oct 23, 2018

Saudi-Turkish relations aren't exactly in a great spot right now as both countries push their own message on what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

It came to a head Tuesday when Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the murder of the Saudi journalist was premeditated. But even before then, the two were on opposite pages about what happened to Khashoggi after he disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

It started with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who, one day after Khashoggi mysteriously disappeared, told Bloomberg that the journalist actually left the consulate. The Saudi consulate backed this up with a statement the next day.

Turkey claimed the opposite and said he was still inside the consulate. Not long after, that was changed into claims that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. Reports of a Saudi "kill team" started surfacing. 

Saudi Arabia was quick to deny the reports. The crown prince's younger brother even shifted the story, saying Khashoggi left but it wasn't clear what happened to him after. 

Soon after, Turkish media outlets published leaked images showing the faces of the 15 Saudi nationals who allegedly targeted Khashoggi, along with CCTV footage from the consulate.

The story changed again after the Saudi king spoke with President Donald Trump over the phone. Suddenly, there was a possibility that "rogue killers" were responsible for Khashoggi's death. 

It wasn't until around 18 days after Khashoggi's disappearance that Saudi Arabia admitted Khashoggi was killed in the consulate. The Kingdom's new story said Khashoggi was killed after a fistfight broke out in the building. Eighteen people were arrested in connection with his death.

This latest statement by Erdogan is Turkey's way of saying they aren't buying the Saudi's latest version of what happened in their consulate almost a month ago.