Ankara, Oct 26: Turkey has ramped up pressure on Saudi Arabia over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, demanding Riyadh reveal who gave the order to kill the journalist in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
“If you are determined to lift this shroud of mystery, then this is the key point of our collaboration,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech on Friday in the capital Ankara.
Addressing provincial members of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the president said Turkish authorities have gathered more evidence, which will be made public “when the time comes”.
He added that he suspected Khashoggi’s killer is among the 18 men arrested by Saudi Arabia in connection to the case and called on the kingdom’s authorities to identify the “local collaborator” whom they say disposed of the journalist’s body.
“These 18 people know who killed Khashoggi. There is no other explanation for this. Because the perpetrator is among them. If the perpetrator is not among them, then who is the local collaborator?” Erdogan asked.
“You have to announce it,” he added.
Erdogan branded the kingdom’s various explanations for Khashoggi’s disappearance and death as “childish statements do not go hand in hand with statesmanship or seriousness of a state”.
He also said the Saudi public prosecutor will arrive in Istanbul on Sunday and meet Turkish investigators.
Khashoggi, 59, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
On October 20, after more than two weeks of denials, the kingdom finally confirmed Khashoggi’s death on October 2, claiming he had died in a fistfight.
In his first major speech on the case earlier this week, Erdogan called Khashoggi “the victim of a vicious murder” and called for an independent international probe into the incident. He also referred to Saudi King Salman respectfully but did not refer directly to
According to Mehmet Celik, a journalist from the pro-government English language newspaper Daily Sabah, Erdogan appeared to harden his tone with his latest remarks.
“I think the [tone] and the language he used was significant in today’s speech; he was definitely harsher,” Celik told Al Jazeera.
“He said the explanations made so far by Saudi Arabia were ‘childish’ and he demanded more concrete and consistent answers,” added Celik.
Sinan Ciddi, executive director at the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University, told Al Jazeera Erdogan is attempting to not only raise Turkey’s profile vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia but also to recast Ankara’s deteriorating relations with its international allies.
“He’s showing partners that there might be problems in Turkey, but that at least Turkey is not Saudi Arabia.”
Ciddi said Erdogan has adopted a more careful approach compared with how he has handled other foreign policy issues in the past.
“Ahead of the Turkish presidential elections, Erdogan took a very aggressive stance versus Europe – and that backfired for him,” Ciddi said, referring to Turkey’s strained relations with major European countries.
“This time he has been more cautious.
“For example, he has said that the Turks have more evidence but hasn’t put the actual evidence out there yet. That would really annoy the Saudis, so he hasn’t done that.”
As a result of Erdogan’s handling, Ciddi noted, Turkey appears to have emerged stronger from the crisis and is being taken more seriously at the international level.
“This is really a gift that landed in his lap.”
Erdogan’s speech came a day after several vigils were held around the world to commemorate the slain journalist.
Members of the Jamal Khashoggi Friends Association gathered outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and said they would do anything to uncover the truth behind the killing.
“On this occasion, and from this place where the spirit of Jamal has been lost, we clearly state that we will not accept compromises in the case of his murder, and that we will not keep silent on any attempt to evade any criminal from accountability and punishment,” the group said.
Clear message to Modi that people are unhappy
New Delhi, Dec 11: Buoyed by Congress’ resurgence, party president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the assembly poll outcome is a “clear message” to the Modi government that people are not happy with it and time has come for a change while asserting that his party will also win in 2019.
Prime Minister Narender Modi got a massive mandate but refused to listen to “heartbeat of the country”, Gandhi noted, and said there are serious questions being asked about the future of country’s youngsters as there was a sense of discontentment and inability to see the future.
Thanking people and party workers for party’s good performance in three states of Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, he said, “It’s now time for change. We are going to provide these three states with a vision for overall development”. However, he added that they would have liked to do better in Telangana.
Hitting at the BJP for its often-stated remark of Congress-mukt (Congress-free) Bharat, Gandhi said,”the BJP has a certain ideology and we will fight against it. We have won this elections, we will also win in 2019. However, we do not want to get rid of anyone, ‘hum kisikomuktnahikarnachahtein’.”
Asked about the selection of chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, he said there will not be any issue and it will be done smoothly.
There is a clear message to Prime Minister Modi that people are not happy with his decisions, including demonetisation and those pertaining to farmers and youth, he said, adding the BJP has failed to provide a vision for the country going forward.
Asserting that the process of loan waiver for farmers will start as soon as Congress governments are formed, he, however, said the loan waiver is a measure, not a solution to farmers’ distress.
Gandhi was named to lead the Congress exactly a year ago and took over the charge from his mother Sonia Gandhi a few days later.
Rahul Gandhi also praised Congress workers and likened them to ‘babbarsher’ (lions).
Accept people’s mandate with humility: PM Modi
New Delhi, Dec 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday congratulated the Congress, Telangana’s K CHandrashekarRao and the Mizo National Front for their victories.
He tweeted: “We accept the people’s mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people.
“Congratulations to the Congress for their victories. Congratulations to KCR Garu for the thumping win in Telangana and to the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their impressive victory in Mizoram,” he added.
The BJP has suffered serious reverses in the heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at the hands of the Congress. In Telangana and Mizoram, its performance has been dismal, despite high hopes of a good showing.
“Victory and defeat are an integral part of life. Today’s results will further our resolve to serve people and work even harder for the development of India,” he said in another tweet
‘Winds of change’ will bring good days to JK: Farooq
Srinagar, Dec 11:National Conference president and former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah Tuesday said that BJP’s defeat in the Assembly polls were the “winds of change” that will bring “good days to Jammu and Kashmir.
Exuding confidence that the poll results in five states of India will have a good bearing on all the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah, as per KNS, said: “I believe winds of change will bring good days to the people of Jammu and Kashmir also.”
“Using the name of ‘Bhagwan Ram’ for winning elections has collapsed BJP. People have rejected Mandir-Masjid politics and upheld secular politics in the country. For four years they didn’t remember a temple to be built in the name of “Bhagwan Ram” but in election time they remember ‘Bhagwan Ram’,” he said.
Farooq added: “People have voted against betrayal of promises, be it GST, demonetization or any other policy decision taken during last four years. The value of Indian rupee has gone down, commitment of transferring fifty lakhs in the bank accounts of people and demonetization are the factors that have contributed to the defeat of BJP in the five states.”