Erdogan describes Khashoggi’s killing as ‘political murder’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday described the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a political murder.
While addressing the ruling AK party lawmakers in the capital Ankara, President Erdogan said Khashoggi’s murder was planned by Saudi officials days in advance, though he stopped short of accusing Saudi royals of the “savage” killing that has caused global outrage.
“On the 28 of September Khashoggi arrived at the Saudi Arabian consulate for him to sort out his wedding paperwork,” Erdogan said during the speech in the Turkish parliament.
“It seems that at that time they [Saudi Arabian officials] started to plan a roadmap for his murder.” He added that some officials left Turkey and traveled to Saudi Arabia, “indicating they planned the murder”.
In the wake of intense global pressure, Saudi Arabia admitted last week that Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul consulate on October 2 as a result of a “fistfight” during an interrogation.
The Turkish leader called Khashoggi’s killing “savage”, adding that Turkey will continue its investigation until all questions have been answered.
“Why did they [the Saudi team] come to Istanbul, on instruction by whom,” Erdogan said, adding that Saudi Arabia should make clear why Saudi Arabia did not let investigators into the consulate until days later.
Galip Dalay, visiting scholar at the University of Oxford, told Al Jazeera that Erdogan’s speech about the case is important for several reasons.
“The most important thing is that Erdogan confirmed everything we sort of heard through other channels. However, now it’s no longer attributed to unnamed Turkish officials, but it’s the President of Turkey who has confirmed what has happened,” Dalay said.